I know Lauren Billings and Christina Hobbs [AKA: Christina Lauren, AKA Lo & C] from the Twilight fandom. It’s been awesome seeing them on this whirlwind journey of success and I’m beyond thrilled to finally be helping them promote their newest addition to the Beautiful series.
Before we get to their interview, let’s check out the book, shall we?
In the third book in the Beautiful Bastard series, an agreement between a venture capitalist and a bookish woman quickly becomes a very NSFW version of My Fair Lady.
When Hanna “Ziggy” Bergstrom moves to New York City for graduate school, Will Sumner thinks his responsibilities to his best friend’s nerdy little sister will be limited to the occasional dinner and check-in. Little does he know that Ziggy is ready to break out of her bookworm academic shell and move more into bombshell territory. Of course she figures the gorgeous womanizing venture capitalist Will is the best person to help mentor her in this new field of study: dating.
Will takes on the challenge with more than a healthy dose of skepticism and humor, but soon finds that Ziggy just needed a tiny push, not a world of change, to reveal a woman every man seems to notice. Soon “Ziggy” is gone and the unfiltered, innocently seductive Hanna Bergstrom is hijacking his dreams, his moods, and even his orderly no-strings-attached dating life—beginning the night his mentoring activities move between the sheets.
Sounds delicious, right?
1. By now everyone knows how Beautiful Bastard came to be, but what about Stranger and Player? Where did those ideas come from?
Stranger was the second book in our first contract, and it was due about two months after we signed with Gallery. We knew that we had to do something really fun and different to follow up Bastard, but it had to have the same heat level. One day, we were at the beach and Christina said, “What if we start with the age-old, ‘Two people meet in a bar’ and try to make it memorable?” Stranger just took off from there.
Player was the idea we had considered doing right after Bastard, but we chose Stranger instead. In Player, the idea was more the brother’s-best-friend trope, but we really wanted Hanna to be a quirky character who is distinctly different from Chloe and Sara. Honestly, we had so much fun writing both books, and looking back we are proud of all three of them for being fun, and silly, and different enough from each other that they can stand alone.
2. What is your writing process like as a partnership?
We’ve been writing together for so long that sometimes it’s hard to describe how it works. In some ways, it’s easier to describe how it would be difficult to do it any other way. Who would we text in the middle of the night when we have an awesome idea? Who would drop everything to read a new scene we’re excited about? Who would fly to CA to plot with Lo, and who would make all the spreadsheets?
The thing is, writing can be lonely and having someone who is always just as excited, who is just as invested, who thinks about it just as much and feels everything as strongly — that’s what makes it a partnership. We outline together, we split up the writing duties, and we write in shared docs where we can always see what is happening when we need to. It just…works.
3. Describe Player in five words.
Slow burn, realistic hesitation. Goner.
4. What three things would you take to a desert island?
Lo: a boat, a satellite phone, sunscreen.
Christina: How could my answers possibly beat Lo’s? I’d also add: Bear Grylls.
5. Who are your favorite swoony boys?
Lo: Joe Fontaine from The Sky is Everywhere, Prince Po from Graceling. Ed from Graffiti Moon, Peeta from Hunger Games.
Christina: Joe Fontaine from The Sky is Everywhere always and forever amen. Adam Kent from Shatter Me and Peeeeeeta!
6. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?
Lo: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K Massie. I could write stories forever based on her extraordinary life.
Christina: This question is so not fair. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, all of the feels.
Haven’t pre-ordered your copy of Beautiful Player? I’ve got them for you. Well, I don’t have them, but I have people who do. :D There will be two winners and they will receive the books directly from Gallery Books.
Rules are listed under the “terms & conditions” on the Rafflecopter widget.