Have a question? Well, maybe we’ve answered it here…
- In what order should I read the Beautiful books? The Wild Seasons?
- It depends! The Beautiful books are broken down by novels and novellas. The novels are: Bastard, Stranger, Player, Secret. The novellas are: Bitch, Bombshell, Beginning, Beloved. You could absolutely read the novels without reading the novellas, but would miss glimpses into their lives like the bachelor party weekend, the wedding, and the birth of Max and Sara's daughter. If you wanted to read them all the order would be: Bastard, Stranger, Bitch, Bombshell, Player, Beginning, Beloved, Secret.
The Wild Seasons consists of Sweet Filthy Boy, Dirty Rowdy Thing, Dark Wild Night and Wicked Sexy Liar--and you would read them in that order.
For those who read them all, a character from the Wild Seasons crosses over into Beautiful Secret.
- Do I have to read the books in order, or can they each be read as a standalone?
- Our books are like sitcoms. What does that mean exactly? Well, even if you've never watched an episode of Friends, you could still come in at any time and understand what's going on. Each novel focuses on a different main couple, but the others are there along the way and we get little glimpses into their lives. Each novel can definitely be read on its own, but still fit together as a series.
- What is the creative process like for the two of you? Do you assign the development of certain characters to one author, for example, or do you collaborate fairly evenly?
- We collaborate evenly. It’s really important to both of us to get together in person to outline, and we usually take about two days where we just talk about the book and characters nonstop. But then our outlines are pretty basic; they’re often just a single word or sentence. From there, we draft the chapters we’ve chosen and share the docs early and often so that we both know what’s coming, and what parts are getting tricky.
- When you write, is one of you the male character and the other the female character? Or is it a collaborative effort?
- It’s a completely collaborative effort. Sometimes we start writing one or the other, but in the end, we both go through each paragraph, sentence, word so carefully that it never is just one voice or one author.
- Will Beautiful Bastard be a movie?
- Constantin Film acquired the rights to Beautiful Bastard in 2012, and then renewed the option when it expired. When a renewal was offered a third time we decided to pass. We currently hold the rights, and have been working on a television pilot in which the timelines of the first three books (Bastard, Stranger, Player) have been collapsed. This lets us have a much wider cast of characters, and explore all their different stories.
- Did you always know that you wanted to write more beyond Beautiful Bastard?
- We’ve been writing together since 2009, and finished our first novel in 2010. We’ve always planned to have many things out there—the funny thing is that Beautiful Bastard wasn’t ever in those plans initially! Beautiful Bastard was really fun to rework from the fanfiction version and, honestly, when we were editing it, we weren’t even sure at the time whether we were going to send it to editors or just put it up online to keep people from trying to sell it themselves (it was happening) or write copycat versions (also happening). But the edited version was so different, we decided to send it out, and it sold immediately to Gallery (yay!). So yep, absolutely we always had plans to write other stories far beyond Bennett & Chloe’s.
- Who would you rather be stuck in a fallout shelter with; Bennett, Max, or Will? Why?
- Lo: Bennett is a good choice, because he’d stay in there long enough to relieve some tension (ifyouknowwhatImean) and then bust out of there and demand that someone fix the problem so he can go back to work. Of course Max would be good, too, because if there is anyone you want to be with when things get stressful, it's the relaxed, happy sugar of Max Stella. (And his three fingers.) But I’m going to go with Will, because he’s a scientist and could probably build contraptions to determine whether the air is safe outside. Also, he’s got stamina and we might be in there for a while.
Christina: If it's like the zombie apocalypse and there's a chance for survival give me Will. If I just have a few hours to kill I’m gonna wax the floor with Max like whoa. But if we’re all dying, then give me Bennett, because I’m going out with a bang.
- Do you know anyone in your real lives that you draw on for character personality for either the men or the women in your books?
- It’s funny to see different aspects of each of them in us. There are some ways that Lo is a lot like Bennett and Chloe—impatient and ambitious. She has some of Max’s openness and generosity with affection, and Hanna/Will’s analytical view of the world. Christina is patient like Sara, but surprisingly has a lot of Chloe’s fire in her, too. And Christina definitely has Hanna’s easy, everyone-is-a-friend approach to life. It’s probably been easier to draw on aspects of ourselves than it is to try to model the characters on someone in particular.
- What is the hardest part about writing since you two do not live in the same state?
- There are more things about it that are wonderful than hard, so let us be clear about that up front. It’s a rare day that we feel the downsides of coauthoring at a distance. And in truth, the thing that is hardest is probably also true for authors who live in the same house: sometimes you’re on different speeds. Sometimes one of us is flying and the other is struggling. It doesn’t last very long, because writers block is about not knowing what you want to write, and there’s a benefit of writing as a team: you can just talk it out together. Another thing that is hard is not being able to be together for every bit of good news and every setback, no matter how small. No one else goes through this in quite the same way as the other, and so sometimes it’s hard to not be together for support or celebration.
- What is your favorite book or book series?
- Our favorite genre to read is YA. We both love THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson, FORBIDDEN by Tabitha Suzuma, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and ANGELFALL by Susan Ee. For series, Harry Potter, the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore, the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson.
- Which book was the hardest to write & why?
- It’s really hard to look back in hindsight and remember which was hard, because at the end of the day, we’re done and always love the final product. Most likely BEGINNING was tough, not because the words weren’t flowing or we didn’t have fun doing it, but because it was the last Chloe & Bennett book, it’s their wedding, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make it perfect. But honestly, writing this series has been a ridiculous amount of fun.
- If you could go back and talk to yourself when you were starting out, what advice would you offer?
- We would just remind ourselves to keep writing, and that we’ll get better with each project. It’s always important to remember in the thick of drafting that things get better with even the smallest revisions, and to just push through to get the book written.
- What inspired you two to come together and co-author?
- We’ve been writing together since 2009 (we met writing fanfiction). Before BEAUTIFUL BASTARD, we’d written a few other books together and had signed with our agent Holly Root for our young adult fiction projects. When the opportunity to rework BB for publication came up, it just made sense to do it together.
- There's going to be a Roomies movie?
- Hopefully! From the Variety article:
Andy Fickman will direct and produce the music-driven romantic comedy “Roomies” with Jenna Dewan via her company, Everheart Productions.
Fickman’s Oops Doughnuts’ Betsy Sullenger and Everheart senior VP Jean Song will also produce.
“Roomies” is based on the 2017 romance novel of the same name by Christina Lauren, about a woman who marries an illegal immigrant in order to keep him in the country and help him get his dream job of starring in a Broadway musical. The story follows the couple as their marriage of convenience evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers. Christina Lauren, the combined pen name of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, will adapt their own novel.
- What is this Not Joe's Not So Short short I keep seeing?
- This little snippet was written as an extra for the Target edition of Wicked Sexy Liar, and not intended to stand on its own as an actual book. Our French publisher put it in print for a promotional offer, so if you see the cover somewhere, that's why.