We host a lot of author interviews here on the blog. But today I have a double whammy. Triple if you count my multiple letters in the post. 😉
Most of you are familiar with Maggie Ryan, but we have a new girl in class and her debut novel is co-authored with Maggie. You get to meet both Laurel Jane and Maggie Ryan in this double feature interview.
Here they are. Hello, ladies. Thanks for dropping in. I know that there is a fun story between you two. Don’t hold back. How did you decide to co-author?
I joined the blushing books authors’group. I had an idea for a book and asked a few authors what they thought of the idea. They were very encouraging and Maggie gave me some tips for writing and I asked her to coauthor with me. Thank goodness she agreed.
I’d come to know Laurel through the Blushing Author’s group. She made a comment that she was interested in writing a book and asked if I’d read her idea. I did and when it made me laugh, I knew it could become a good book so I encouraged her to continue. A few chats later, she stated she had finished her book but she then discovered that what she thought was about 40K, was only a little over 4K.
Laurel sent me what she had and I reworked the first part, taking a little over one hundred words and expanding to a bit over a thousand. I was attempting to show how adding description, thoughts, additional dialogue, and some history as to what was happening could take her words and develop the story in a deeper way. Next thing I knew, she was stating she loved what I’d done and asked if I’d consider co-writing it with her. I was a bit leery as I’d never even considered co-authoring before but, loving Laurel, I really want to help her see her dream of writing a book come true.
So, tell us about Realizing Her Dream.
My idea was a woman who lost her husband, decided to have and do a bucket list.
It is a book that will have you laughing as Casey Reeves takes another step to work down her bucket list. It is also a book that will show you that her need to submit to her partner’s submission is cherished by Paul. You’ll enjoy travel as the couple travel on a yacht, visit the rainforest of an ancient Maya civilization and go ‘down under’ when their travels take them to Australia. There are twists and turns throughout that we both hope you enjoy.
How did you divide up the work load? Did one of you write the first sentence and then the other add to it? Or wait, I know some authors who have done: One chapter for you. One chapter for me. One for you, one for me…
I had the ideas but had trouble writing extensive dialog like sex scenes and Maggie was able to write wonderful dialog and expand my ideas.
As I said, Laurel sent me her idea and I began to write the book around it. Whenever I needed clarification or wished to expand on her idea, we’d email back and forth until we got it just the way we liked. It really was amazing that it flowed far more easily than I could even imagine now that I think back on it – lol.
What was each of your favorite chapters (or parts) to write and why?
My favorite chapter was the first where she is skydiving and scared and starts cursing like crazy.
Oh my, I love so many parts. The first chapter has you laughing and definitely captures your attention from the get-go. Once hooked, you want to discover what happens next. I liked writing it all!
Is there anything you two found particularly challenging in working together?
I found I could explain some of my ideas and we would kick it around.
The only challenging part was that I felt bad some times when Laurel would ask how it was going. I had several other books in the writing process when we began and I have to commend her for her patience. I knuckled down at the beginning of this year and focused on finishing it as I wanted it to be done and published before the Passionate Pen Conference in August.
Was there anything about your co-author that was simply amazing that you took away from them?
I was deeply impressed with Maggie’s way with words and could take 150 words from me and turn them into a chapter.
Laurel is one of the sweetest women I’ve met. She has the patience of a saint and a sense of humor that makes me giggle. She is exceptionally supportive of other authors at Blushing and frankly, deserves to be acknowledged for her constant encouragement to everyone. And, here is a confession – ready, Laurel? I was a bit concerned that she would cringe at the more explicit scenes but the day she sent me an idea for another plot line and left a big blank space that said – Maggie – insert sex scene yada yada yada here – I laughed and knew it would be okay. It is so refreshing to know that there are people who do enjoy a nice racy book without being judgmental about it.
Did you spend a lot of time doing research?
I did some research on underwater demolition and how to diffuse a bomb. Some other thing too.
I tend to research a lot in any of my books. Not wanting to give away the plot, I did a lot of research on the Maya Empire – it was truly fascinating. Since I’ve actually walked among some of these ruins while on vacation, I was thrilled to be excited to insert a bit of my personal research into the book.
Are you thinking of another book to do together? If so, will you tell us a little about it?
That’s something we have not discussed.
We haven’t really talked about another – let’s see how this one does first – lol.
Maggie, we all know you from your amazing backlist, stocked full of best-sellers, but, Laurel, are you planning to write a book on your own now?
I’m not sure, right now I have writers block.
What have you learned in working together?
How wonderful it is to have another person to talk over your ideas and see them to fruition.
I’ve actually heard some pretty bad stories about people working together and I was determined that would not happen with us. I believe that while creative people can tend to be – um, shall we say, a bit diva-like – the secret is open communication and trust. Laurel trusted that I wanted to take her idea and expound upon it to turn it into the best book we could write and I trusted that she would honestly let me know if anything I wrote or suggested didn’t fit her idea. My advice is to never hesitate to bring up any concerns and get the air cleared – otherwise, feelings can be hurt, things can fester and too soon those who were friends are no longer. That is never an ending I want.
Maggie, what has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? And the best?
I think I am a person who appreciates constructive criticism. Sure, it might hurt for a moment, but when given thought, I usually find the benefit in having received that criticism. However, it truly hurts when someone wants to rip you apart as an author simply because they do not agree with your ideas. I realize that a lot of people don’t enjoy reading the harsher aspects of discipline or BDSM, but want them to realize that there are a lot of people who do. Feel free to state your opinion, but maybe try to do so in a constructive and not hurtful way.
The best I’ve been given was by a fan who wrote that she had recently become a widow and that my books were helping fill a void in her life. Another fan wrote that reading not only my books but others in the genre enabled her not to feel alone or different. Having anyone tell me that they laughed or cried as they read one of my books makes me proud to have written that book. I want to draw readers in so that they can love my characters the way I do. Hearing that they feel as if they’ve stepped into another world due to my descriptions and that they want to actually sit down and talk to my characters is a feeling that is indiscernible and keeps me writing.
Laurel, we know you have supported, encouraged and reviewed many Blushing Books authors in the past, what has been the best compliment or other experience you’d like to share?
I had become friends with many of the authors but when I asked if a few authors would host me I was flabbergasted at the large number of authors that responded to me and wanted to host me. It was over 40 authors and I was just thrilled by the response.
I know this is directed at Laurel but I’d like to say I’m thrilled she has received such encouragement and asked to appear on so many blogs – way to go, Laurel, and thanks to all the wonderful authors/bloggers out there who support each other!
So, what books are you two reading now?
I am rereading one of my favorite authors, Breanna Hayse’s books about The Generals Daughter.
I’m currently re-reading Cara Bristol’s Corbin’s Book novel as I am writing my third for Corbin’s Bend and her book gives some insight into my main character.
I just finished Stevie MacFarland’s newest and loved it. I read a great deal and try to keep up with all of ya’ll and am anxiously awaiting the release of each one so keep them coming my friends.
And now for fun, tell us your 5 favorite movies. Why?
Secretary with James Spader it was ahead of its time.
Young Frankenstein which I have watched numerous times. I still laugh even though I know what’s coming.
Gone With the Wind, just a lovely romance without a HEA.
The Godfather. It followed the book and it was so well done.
The Dead Poets Society, I loved Robin Williams, and that was one of his best.
Titanic – I remember thinking – really, a movie about that? Then I saw it and wow – it was done so incredibly well. I actually paid to go see it twice before I bought it on DVD. And, of course, bought the soundtrack.
Chicago – wow – who knew all those stars could really sing and dance.
Braveheart – OMG – that movie moved me to tears and I will always remember the line “every man dies but not all men truly live” – just gives me chills
Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves – another yummy one with lots of action and love stories – not to mention a nice firm bare bum under that waterfall – lol. Loved Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman’s connection and dialogue
The Lion King – what can I say – love that cuddly little lion and the computer generated scenery with all those animals was just so fantastic. I love most Disney films and remember sitting down every Sunday evening in my youth waiting for the Wonderful World of Disney to come on….oh, now I’m thinking about Old Yeller – another tear-jerker!
I LOVE MOVIES almost as much as I LOVE BOOKS!
When Casey Reeves loses her husband to an unexpected heart attack, she gives herself a new mantra: To live life as if it were an amazing adventure, as every single day matters. Unfortunately, one of the things on her bucket list looks far better on paper, and when Casey finds herself up in a plane, strapped to a tall, handsome man, about to undertake her very first parachute jump, she realizes that she’d do just about anything to be able to back out.
Paul Jackson has been a parachute instructor ever since he retired early, and has seen his fair share of terrified women, but when Casey hysterically promises to do anything he asks in return for being able to return to solid ground safely—even let him spank her—he’s amused, and not a little intrigued. He’s also more than willing to accept her bargain.
Casey finds herself taking a leap of faith—in more ways than one. The two begin their journey together, spending some time on a luxurious yacht, in a tropical rainforest and even in a ranch in outback Australia, as they work their way through her list.
What they discover is that life has a tendency not to follow carefully designed plans. With Paul beside her, Casey quickly learns that living every day to its fullest entails far more than she’d ever imagined. And by her side throughout the action, danger and laughter is a man who not only has no hesitation in reddening her bottom when she deserves it, but can send her soaring into ecstasy with a single look or a touch of his hand.
Finding a new love to equal—or even exceed—her old one was not even on Casey’s bucket list but now that she has, can they make it work? Is Paul really the man of her dreams?
Best-selling author Maggie Ryan and newcomer Laurel Jane have put their heads and their pens together to come up with this, an exciting tale of romance, lust, love, spanking and adventure. If the subject of domestic discipline or explicit erotica offends you, please do not read this book.