AMA - You Ask, Bethany Answers!



Hey, loves!

So, the AMA didn't go up yesterday simply because it was a big day for me - busy, as usual, but I also revealed the Cozen blurb everywhere. So, in the midst of all that, I didn't want this post to get lost in the mess and chaos. I pushed it forward to today.

Tomorrow, I will share a snippet from my WIP, which is typically what I do on Wednesdays.

If you have a Q for me, you can drop it in HERE.

If I haven't answered your question yet, then I may have not gotten to it at this point. Sometimes I pull randomly from the form, and sometimes I pull ones that I think are relevant to whatever I am feeling/working on at the moment. And it's possible I may have already answered your Q. Click on the Ask Me Anything tag here, and it will bring up all my previous AMAs.

Now, onto the Q and A portion of the week.

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1. So a Q that has been put into the form A LOT since I mentioned I have a very small list of authors writing mafia that I read - the question is basically the same, who are they/what is your list/so forth? 

London Miller.
JM Darhower.

That's it; that's my list. If I add to it, I will let you know. I have my reasons why this is my very small list, and I don't feel like going into it, nor am I in the business of tearing saying something that might be bad/not nice about other romance authors (unless you're Faleena Hopkins because then you're fair game, sweetheart). There are a lot of mafia authors I haven't even tried yet at all - you get burned a few times, and you're pretty happy to just stay in your content, comfortable corner.

At least, that's how I am.

Someday, I will get to more authors, and try them out. I have a list a mile long because my readers seem to think I MUST read the same kind of genre that I write (I absolutely don't have to), but I appreciate the recs all the same.

Today is not that day when I try, though.

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2. Hi! I'm a huge fan of ALL your books and I've read them all as well. I was just wondering what's your thought process when it comes to selecting book titles? I mean, do the plot comes first before the title or do you get inspired with a word or phrase and you come up with character and plotlines?

Hi there.

So, it's been both ways for me. A plot has come in first, and I decided on a title after writing the entire book, and then I have had a title come to me first, and worked an entire plot around that one word just to make it fit.

Usually, I tend to have a title already in mind while I am in the process of plotting but before I actually start writing. I'm not sure there's a thought process that goes into me picking a title as much as I simply want the title to reflect something important in the book.

Like Loyalty for John and Siena and their first book.

Or Always for Cross and Catherine's first book.

Especially when I go for one-word titles, I try to make sure that the one word is significant to the book/plot/main couple in a major way. And especially to the theme - no matter what the theme is. That's just sort of how I go about picking a title, or for a title I already decided on, make sure that it brings appropriate impact when you find it in the book.

And when I am lazy, I use names.

Like the Filthy series. :)

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3. Hi there, I'm Noura from Saudi Arabia and I really love your books, read most of them!! So I was reading AMA for this week and saw what you said about the scenes the publisher cut from The Arrangement! I hate them too for cutting it! so my question is can we have these scenes??? Maybe as outtakes or something! Thanks. 

Hi, Noura from all the way across the pond!

I didn't realize I had readers in Saudi Arabia, but that's cool.

So, this is kind of hard to answer - there's one scene where it's right after Vine has locked herself in the bathroom after she finds out the truth, and Anton is outside the bathroom with Rocco. So, there's a bunch more that goes after that bit mostly with Anton and Rocco just because you know, he just hurt a woman (Tatiana) and I wanted him to have a soft moment - balance out the good/bad. They thought it was pointless, and removed it.

Another one is the erotic spanking scene - uh, they cut most of that out because according to the editor, "He smacked her a few times, and she doesn't seem to be enjoying it," despite the fact she came from it, begged for it, etc. Like it was just ridiculous. I had an editor who was a prude, and my book offended her every time sex got brought into it.

She also didn't know how anal sex was possible with a girl on top and they really didn't appreciate my reply comment telling them to get a mirror and check between their legs if they were curious to learn.

Listen, I can't be contained.
I am problematic.

Moving on - other than these two bits where there were large chunks removed from scenes that I could possibly post, what they cut the most would be like this in any given scene:

PARAGRAPH - keep.
PARAGRAPH - removed.
PARAGRAPH - removed.
PARAGRAPH - removed.
PARAGRAPH - keep.
PARAGRAPH - removed.

And it went this way throughout the majority of the book. That makes it very hard to share when a lot of that is still published, or in the actual book, some of it is spoiler-y, etc.

So, no, I can't. I'm sorry.

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4. Hi! Have you ever thought of writing an outtake or novella about Lucian's biological parents? We've only really seen Johnathan in Antony's story. I was just wondering more about them since finishing Loyalty. 

Hi there.

I've had this asked a few times since Loyalty/Disgrace published, which I didn't think would happen. I don't know, I kind of figure everyone knows how their story ends - unhappily.

They were at a prime in their life and love, they were just starting to get comfortable in the shitty situation they found themselves in, and making the best of what they had.

And then they were both brutally murdered.

And a little boy was left to fend for himself on the streets.

I don't know about other people, but this is depressing to me. Sure, I like a whole lot of angst in some of my books or whatever, but I'm not sure this would be the book I want to write where it ends bittersweet, or unhappily.

Maybe I will do an extra-long outtake for them or something (not promising things, so don't come back and tell me I haven't done something I said I would do). But not right now because I have so many other projects to get finished that they're not even a blip on my radar at this point.

Kind of how it has to work at the moment.

Maybe someday.

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5. Hi! Would just like to ask what kind of writing app you use to track the number of words you write in a day. I often see you posting a screenshot and I'd like to try it sometime. Also, do you have several tips and tricks on how to remain focused in writing your novels? I'm an aspiring writer myself but I find it hard to commit to it full-time since I still have a day job and it's so hard to find the right balance between writing for myself and writing for a living. Thanks! 

My tip for writing and hitting your word count is:

Ass in chair.
Write.
Protect your writing time.
Find time to write.

No excuses.

If you find excuses, or swap out time you could be writing because you want to go out, go to dinner, have drinks, watch five shows a night on Netflix, then you don't actually want to write and excuses are how you justify laziness.

That's my take.

My kids are at a good point where they've learned when mom sits down at the computer, you take care of yourself as much as possible if Dad is busy/sleeping/whatever. You take care of the littler one if he needs a drink, or help in the bathroom. You don't fight - you go outside, whatever the case may be. Even my three year old only comes into my writing space to ask me to open a chocolate egg, or get him a drink if his brothers are busy.

And for the most part, the hubby manages the kids when I am writing.

And when I worked full-time and wrote with the intent to write for a living, I made time then, too. I got up an extra hour earlier than normal, and used that time to put words in on Lucian. I took my laptop to work, and wrote on my fifteen and one thirty minute break. Instead of going to dinners with my family, I stayed home and wrote.

I made time.

This is what I wanted to do.

I figured it out.

As for my app (usually I post it on Instagram) - it's called WriteoMeter. It's an app specific to Andriod users - so, if you're an Apple user, it ain't gonna work for you (unless they've come out with an Apple version, I have no clue). You can use it to sprint, or as a reward based system, etc. It's a great app, but I mostly use it just to track word counts, and current projects for the year.

It's right on my phone, and it's super easy.

I like that.


Okay, loves, this is all for this week.

Until next week!

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