Audio Interview: Beautiful Bastard Authors Christina Lauren Talk Beautiful Player, Fanfiction And TwilightBY Elisa Verna, NOVEMBER 07, 2013 | PERMALINK
Maya Banks has quickly become a major name in the romance world thanks to her impressively sexy and bold stories that have captured readers' hearts, including ours! Today, we chat with Maya about Colters' Gift, her latest release and the last book in the Colters' Legacy series. It's been seven years since the first book in the series was published, and Maya discusses how her writing process has changed, the challenges of writing the new book and what her readers can expect to see next.
It’s been seven years since the first Colters’ Legacy book, Colters’ Woman, hit shelves in 2006 and you’ve released many stories since then. How has your writing process changed since the first Colters’ Legacy book?
Gosh it’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since Colters’ Woman released! So much has happened since then and yet that book, in many ways, defined my career. It was the book that readers really responded to and gained me such a large audience.
The heroines in my erotic romances typically offer me a bit of escape from my every day life. They are young women in their twenties, at a stage where everything is in front of them: all their mistakes, all their accomplishments. Life is a long road that has yet to unfold. Love, sex and romance are all new to them.
This summer, I was in the middle of writing a novel about an NYU college student when reality intruded. I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. It was a reminder that while it’s fun to write about twenty-something women discovering love for the first time, I am a forty-something woman who experiences love and sex from a very different perspective. And I suspected I could no longer resist writing about that.
This is the first in a three-part series on self-published romance. Today we're focusing on those who are solely author-publishers. We'll also include a piece on authors who do both — publish traditionally as well as self-publish — and finish up with some recommendations in this popular (and often inexpensive) category.
The December issue of RT Book Reviews features a letter from reader Karen Ancell, who despairs of ever reading a self-published book again. In her letter, she states, "I am always looking to add authors to my list, but the people who self-publish may no longer be an option." She adds that her feelings hinge on the lack of a standard when it comes to "grammar, sentence structure and spelling."
As a self-published author — although not in romance or erotica — Ms. Ansell's email wasn't a surprise to me, but it was a disappointment. Those of us who have self-published are well aware of the many books out there which simply aren't "ready for prime time" — and the stereotype of a self-published author as one who either doesn't care about good writing or doesn't know how to write well in the first place.
So I did what any self-respecting blogger who has self-published would do: I tracked down some of my fellow self-published authors to talk about self-published romance and erotica.
If not Charlie Hunnam, then who?
You may have already heard that Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam has dropped out of the role of Christian Grey for the 50 Shades of Grey film adaptaion. Citing fan dissaproval as his main reason for leaving the role, Hunnam explained to Entertainment Weekly:
"'There are so many fans of that book and I know that on the surface, I’m probably not what everybody imagined,' the actor admits. 'Because reading is so personal and people bring a character to life in their imagination, they feel ownership over that character. That’s daunting if I allowed myself to think about it too much. I’m taking it very seriously and intend to explore the nature of who this character is, what motivates him—and also dress up nice and look good in those suits.'"
Sounds like 50 Shades fans got the best of Hunnam, which is a shame, because we think he cleans up quite nicely! Still, the fact remains: 50 Shades of Grey needs a new Christian.
So tell us, readers, what do you think of Hunnam dropping out? And more importantly, who should be the new Christian Grey?
You might've seen that the 50 Shades franchise has gone beyond books, film and sex toys to now include wine. This isn't a huge surprise, given that in 50 Shades of Grey there's a lot of wine drinking. Christian Grey even goes so far as to actually spit wine into Anastasia Steele's mouth, because nothing is sexier than drinking wine that contains a good dose of your lover's saliva. (Note: Our editor Regina Small was so freaked out by this moment in the book that she actually noted it on Goodreads.)
But E.L. James has "always had a penchant for good wine," so we decided to test this claim by trying the wine ourselves. Dubbed "Red Satin" and "White Silk," both bottles retail for $17.99 each, which is a little steep for what we were expecting to be Franzia in a bottle. But the wine did not disappoint! It was actually good, you guys. We should have known a billionaire would have good taste. It wasn't amazing, but I would bring it to a party. The white was fruity but not too sweet and the red was robust, but did not taste like leather, as the description claims (ew).
Sometimes you just need to read a sex scene in the middle of the afternoon, we understand. And we're here for you. For hump day, we're offering this very naughty snippet from Alice Clayton's The Unidentified Redhead. In this scene, up-and-coming actress Grace Sheridan finally gets to do the deed with younger British superstar Jack Hamilton. Curious? Read on ...
Jack gazed at me as he slowly slipped my shirt from my shoulders, letting it drop to the floor. He ran his hands down the length of my arms, his fingers entwining with mine. Then he crossed our hands behind me as he kissed me long and deep, pressed so tightly against me, I almost couldn’t breathe. In a really good way.
Whether she's writing erotic and enthralling stories or sending out snarky tweets, Lauren Dane is one of those authors who is constantly pushing boundaries — and winning over readers. With Drawn Together, which our reviewer called a "super-hot tale," Lauren is set to get us all hot and bothered once more. Today, Lauren discusses the latest entry in her Brown Family series, Raven's transformation and understanding characters.
The challenge with a series is to bring secondary characters and their growth to life so that when it’s their turn, readers are ready to take that trip with you. To do it without overshadowing the main characters’ journey, and to bring them to life when readers only see them through the perspectives of the current main characters, who are telling their own story. You’ve seen this character over a number of books from everyone else’s perspective and reactions. And when that character is one readers have a mixed reaction to, the challenge is manifold, but one I really enjoy.
We can't resist a gorgeous guy in (and out of ... we'll never get sick of making that joke, by the way) uniform, and in Elle Kennedy's erotic Out of Uniform series, she delivers plenty of hunky military men. Reviewer M.H. Morrison says Kennedy's latest installment, Getting Hotter, earns high marks when it comes to "sexy military men and the women who love them, Kennedy gets a 'seal' of approval." The story of a SEAL and a Vegas showgirl-turned- dance instructor piqued our interest, so today we're sharing the full first chapter, available as a downloadable PDF. But before you download, try the first page:
“C’mon, girl, don’t be hatin’. Just gimme your digits. I promise you won’t regret it.”
Miranda Breslin slammed a bottle of Coors on the counter and flashed a polite smile at the very young, very cocky guy who’d been hitting on her for the past twenty minutes. “Sorry, not interested,” she shouted over the techno beat blaring out of the club’s speakers.
Sometimes a series takes a slow burn to really get going for you. Case in point: Christina Lauren's Beautiful series. Beautiful Bastard was a tough one for me, not because it was originally fan fiction (you won't find me complaining about published fanfic, I think a good story is a good story), but because I don't have a thing for detached heroes who need fixing. The second book, Beautiful Stranger, garnered tons of rabid fans for writing duo Lauren, but it wasn't until Beautiful Player, the third novel in the series releasing next month, that I finally started coming around. I can't stop thinking about how much I enjoyed geeky heroine Hanna and sweet, patient hero Will's story.
And now that 50 Shades has been cast, and attention has turned toward who will play whom in Lauren's film adaptation, let's just say I have some thoughts, not just for Beautiful Bastard, but for the other two books as well (you know, in case they make it to the big screen). So who would I cast for the heroes and heroines of Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger and Beautiful Player? Let's see ...