Month: December 2017

Ep. 7 Alisha Rai: Wrong to Need You

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Sarah and I were perusing a stack of books at The Ripped Bodice, discussing how much we love Alisha Rai when someone laughed and said, “You realize she’s sitting right there, right?” Sure enough, there she was–and she was awesome enough to do an impromptu interview with us.

Alisha is the author of critically acclaimed contemporary and paranormal romance novels (and an attorney!). Her most recent book, Wrong to Need You, was just named one of Entertainment Weekly’s Ten Best Romance Novels of 2017. We dig into her phenomenal Forbidden Hearts series and then talk writing, dating as a romance novelist, and how to approach racial issues in your writing. Alisha is lovely and full of wonderful wisdom!

Download the episode (and subscribe!) on iTunes or click below to listen.

https://embed.simplecast.com/e418bb89?color=f5f5f5

You can find her online on her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

*Books and authors we mentioned in this episode:

Nalini Singh

Cabin Fever by Alisha Rai

Hot as Hades by Alisha Rai

Night Whispers by Alisha Rai

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai (March 2018)

Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai

Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai

Serving Pleasure by Alisha Rai (first Indie book on the Washington Post list of best books)

Shirley Busbee

A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai

Loyal League Series by Alyssa Cole

*The above links will take you to The Ripped Bodice website where you have the option to purchase the print books from the only exclusively romance bookstore in the US. We don’t get anything from the purchase except the satisfaction of supporting a small business that we love! If you’re in the LA area, definitely go and visit the store–it’s magical!

Special thanks to our Editor, Chris Willett!

Ep. 6 Christina Lauren: Roomies

IMG_1117.jpgHappy Wednesday, Wicked Wallflowers! We’re thrilled to have Christina Lauren as our guests this week!
To listen, download (and subscribe!) on iTunes or click below:

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The #1 international bestselling coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. They are published in over 30 languages, won both the Seal of Excellence and Book of the Year from RT Magazine, named Amazon and Audible Romance of the Year. Their third YA novel, Autoboyography was released in September, and their latest is a contemporary romance, Roomies that just came out a few weeks ago. Their first Women’s Fiction, Love and Other Words in April.

 

In this episode we cover all kinds of topics from their writing process to how they were first introduced to romance—and eventually how they started writing it—with some funny reactions from the people in their lives. We also ask them about the comments Hillary Clinton recently made about romance novels to get their take on it. 

Other highlights from our conversation include:

-How changes in the world can impact a book in progress.

-Their organic writing process for working as a duo and how their outlining process has evolved to include the emotional transitions for their characters.

-How research opens up a broader world for Christina.

-The importance of writing different types of families.

-Their thoughts on Hillary Clinton’s misguided comments about romance novels. Lo wants to send her some Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, and Sarah MacLean to demonstrate how strong romance heroines really are. We mention Lisa Kleypas’s Washington Post article.

-We discuss how the people in their lives reacted when they started writing romance. Lo had been doing research on macular degeneration and got mixed responses when she left to write romance full time. Christina doesn’t talk about it as much, but still had some stories of her own.

To keep up with them, you can follow Christina Lauren on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or find more information on their website.

*Books we mentioned in this episode:

Roomies by Christina Lauren

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

Palomino by Danielle Steele

Barbara Cartland

Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

*The above links will take you to The Ripped Bodice website where you have the option to purchase the print books from the only exclusively romance bookstore in the US. We don’t get anything from the purchase except the satisfaction of supporting a small business that we love! If you’re in the LA area, definitely go and visit the store–it’s magical!

Special thanks to our Editor, Chris Willett!

Ep. 5 Courtney Milan

IMG_1102.jpgListen (and subscribe!) on iTunes or click below to hear the episode.

This week we’re joined by Courtney Milan, an award-winning and bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance. Her most recent release, Hamilton’s Battalion is a trio of short romances set during the Revolutionary War written with Alyssa Cole and Rose Lerner. We chat about her fabulous story in Hamilton’s Battalion and how she developed two such interesting characters. Other fun highlights from our wide ranging conversation include:

  • Her fascinating journey from math degree to theoretical physical chemistry to law school to law clerk to law professor to romance author (!).
    •  She decided she was bad at writing when she started college, and was fascinated by math, so she majored in math. One of my favorite quotes from this episode: “I ended up not being able to disprove all of modern mathematics, but I did have a lot of fun!”
    • As a lawyer, she served as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, and others before becoming a law professor. The reactions from the law community to her writing romance ranged from heartwarming (Justice Kennedy!) to infuriating.
  • We dig in to her intriguing writing process, which she describes as chaotic, like building a snowflake from the outside edges in. There’s something really romantic about the way she handwrites everything, relying on instinct and inspiration to find the story without getting caught up in word count…but you can probably hear Sarah and I start to twitch at the idea of handwriting the whole book!
  • How her editor has to give instructions a specific way because Courtney can’t be told what to do.
  • How she essentially trained herself to like olives–and how that strategy didn’t work with dark beer.

After sitting across from Courtney for an hour, it was clear that she is brilliant, humble, and kind…but what we didn’t learn until last week is just how brave she is. In the episode, she references a federal judge who forbid her from reading romance novels during her dinner break. Last week she came forward with five other women to expose Judge Alex Kozinski’s sexual misconduct while she was working for him as a clerk. The Washington Post broke the story, but Courtney’s own statement is powerful and worth a read. Standing up and exposing behavior like that takes incredible courage. Courtney has cemented herself as not only one of our favorite authors, but now one of our feminist heroines.

Regrettably, we didn’t talk about Courtney’s adorable dog, Pele, but if you follow her on Twitter, you can see all the pictures! She can also be found on her website or on Facebook.

*Books mentioned in this episode:

Hamilton’s Battalion by Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole, and Rose Lerner

A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold

Georgette Hayer Regency romances

Thunder and Roses by Mary Joe Putney

Serving Pleasure by Alisha Rai

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin

*The above links will take you to The Ripped Bodice website where you have the option to purchase the print books from the only exclusively romance bookstore in the US. We love them–please consider showing your support to such a wonderful small business! If you’re in the LA area, definitely go and visit the store–it’s magical!

Special thanks to our Editor, Chris Willett!

Ep. 4 Bea Koch: Owner of The Ripped Bodice

IMG_6518We’re joined this week by Bea Koch of The Ripped Bodice. The Ripped Bodice is the only exclusively romance bookstore in America–and a truly wonderful place.

We talk about Bea’s fascinating graduate degree in fashion history, her love of Early Modern British history, and passive aggressive embroidery.  We discuss why romance is unquestionably feminist and some of the challenges she faces as the owner of a romance only bookstore.

Listen on iTunes! Or click below.

Two of my favorite Bea quotes from this episode:

“Elizabeth I is the Beyonce of her time.”

“Are you scared I’m going to cut your dick off? I would never do that, I don’t like blood.”

You can follow The Ripped Bodice on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. You can also follow Fitzwillian Waffles, the roguishly charming dog, on Instagram.

*Books mentioned in this episode:

Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning

Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce

A Lady’s Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran (passive aggressive embroidery)

Harlots the TV show on Hulu

Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

*The above links will take you to The Ripped Bodice website where you have the option to purchase the print books from the only exclusively romance bookstore in the US. We love them–please consider showing your support to such a wonderful small business! If you’re in the LA area, definitely go and visit the store–it’s magical!

Special thanks to our Editor, Chris Willett.