Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on author Christina Lauren. When asked to tell us a little about herself (see below) and her writing, this was her response:
We are Christina and Lauren (there are two of us! Surprise!), best friends and co-authors. We write Romance, YA and commercial fiction. We’re lucky enough that our books have been translated in over 30 countries, we have 17 NYT Bestsellers, and are unapologetic fangirls.
Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)
You can find our books at most independent bookstores, online retailers, audiobook retailers, and probably your local library.
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from Something Wilder?
We write love stories! Some are full of belly laughs, some are very sexy, some are more sweet and/or earnest. We’d say Something Wilder falls somewhere in the middle with a giant dose of Romancing the Stone adventure thrown in. It was the most fun book we’ve ever written.
What kind of research went into writing Something Wilder? What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?
We did a ton of research on the geographical area, as well as the history of Butch Cassidy and his gang. We even hired an expert expedition leader to help us design a map for our treasure hunt. He also gave us a ton of info on his own adventures that helped make Lily feel real and totally competent. We would absolutely do whatever Lily Wilder told us to.
The geography was fun to learn about, but the story of the area, as well as Butch Cassidy’s life and how he came to be an outlaw was fascinating. We would have written a lot more about him if we could have.
What was the inspiration for Something Wilder? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
After being in our houses for the last two years, we knew we didn’t want to write an office romance or a story that even took place anywhere indoors! We wanted adventure, even if only through the pages of our book. We wanted something that felt expansive and maybe a little like we were taking an intimidatingly big swing. We were hoping to create something that will make readers feel the way movies like Romancing the Stone and Indiana Jones make viewers feel! Writing Something Wilder was all those things. Drafting a book can be a stressful process, but it was honestly the most exciting drafting experience we’ve ever had.
What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out Something Wilder? How did you overcome that challenge?
It was hard to balance the genres. We are romance writers, of course, but this book has suspense and action/adventure, too. It was a challenge, but the most fun one.
What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?
Obviously, we loved writing the romantic leads, Leo and Lily. But after that, Walter and Nicole absolutely stole our hearts. Walter is a sweetie, and Nicole is a hilarious bruiser, and together they are great.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
Don’t worry about what’s trendy or what you think you *should* write. Write the book you want to read.
What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?
We wouldn’t say at this point that *most* people don’t know this, but it’s still fun to discover people who don’t realize we’re two people. Readers are always very apologetic when they realize and we’re like no! We love that you can’t tell. It’s the best compliment.
While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
Christina needs silence. Lo listens to music.
What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?
Drafting can be very hard. It’s difficult to face the blank page, to have to create something from nothing, even if you think you know what you want the chapter to include. But our superpower is that there are two of us. Sometimes those scenes are easier to start when we just talk it out for a while, and that usually breaks any writers block or uncertainty.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?
That a publishing career is made of hills and valleys. There will be times when sales are high, and when sales are low. All you can do is enjoy the hills, and keep working when you’re in a valley.
Christina and Lauren, thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions! Also, good luck with Something Wilder and also The Soulmate Equation, which just came out.