AMA - You Ask, Bethany Answers!
It's that time of week again, and don't we all look forward to it by now?
I am a little late getting this up today; had to go out and do my groceries, plus work on the first chapter of Andino and Haven's first book, Duty. If you've read the Legacy prequel, then you'll have ready most of that first chapter for Andino, but for some new bits like a new opening scene, and some added on the backend when Andino ran into the mystery woman on his park walk.
And... You get a couple extra Q's this week just because.
And if you have any questions, drop them into the form HERE.
If your question isn't answered, then maybe I already answered a question just like it, or haven't gotten to it yet.
1. I know your husband is very supportive of your writing, does he read any of your books and also do you ever ask him for a male point of view if you are ever stuck? xx
So I kind of answered part of this before, but the second part was new, so I chose to include it again. No, he doesn't read my books - I don't care either way, he's not a reader, and some people just aren't.
I've also never really gotten stuck on a male POV. Like, my audience isn't men, and I don't think women actually want to read heroes with their brains working like real-life men's brains work. I am sure you might think you do, but let's put it this way - if you were to get a look inside my hubby's head, it would literally be, kids, PS4, his work on his truck, work, money and sex. That's what he thinks about.
So, I am in the business of writing men who think in a way that appeals to women. And everybody who writes male POVs can say they want it to be authentic all they want, and whatever else.
I call bullshit.
Books would be very boring if we wrote them how people really think, behave, and act. This is meant to be entertaining, so let's give the entertainment.
So no, I don't ask my hubby's perspective on anything when it comes to men.
Except for the male orgasm - I did ask for that description in his perspective because obviously, it's not the same, and I was curious.
2. Have you read the Ruthless series by JJ McAvoy? Beside you, she's definitely my favorite!
No, and it's totally okay to just assume any other question in this vein will be no as well to save anyone from asking.
3. Hey there! I really appreciate that you shed insights pertaining mental illness with John's story, will you tackle more disorders/issues with your upcoming books? These snippets with Captivated got me thinking it could serve as a good platform of awareness to anorexia or weight issues since Liliana is into ballet.
Hi there. And thank you so much.
So, while Liliana is/was a ballerina for a spell in her life, I don't tackle anorexia/weight issues in Captivated. It's mentioned in the book as sort of a culture in the dance world by Liliana, but that she had never fallen into that trap.
Will I be discussing other mental health issues/dark themes in upcoming books?
Yes - several. I'm just kind of in that zone right now with the occasional break for some books/series where they don't touch on that stuff. But yes, it's coming up more with the books for this summer.
And no, I am not going to discuss what those issues are, haha. It would entirely ruin the plot for two of the books.
Will I ever go into the discussion of anorexia/bulimia etc?
Likely someday. Just not right now. And not with Liliana.
4. Will Ginevra get a book?
Yes, she's paired with a Guzzi brother - Corrado, specifically. And she is F in their MMF romance. So, another man is involved. Wait and find out more, I suppose. *winks*
5. Hi Bethany!
I am a young (teenager) and aspiring romance author and I need some advice! I have been writing small romance stories for at least two years now and I am finally ready to write a novel! But I am insecure. How does one write about something they personally never experienced? Do you think because I have never experienced it myself that it will show in my work? Also when writing romance obviously you have to write certain scenes, unfortunately, I can't get past the fear of writing it and then having my family, my biggest supporters (parents + sibling) read those scenes. It's very awkward and embarrassing for me. Do you have any suggestions for all of us aspiring author teenagers in the world with the same problem? And lastly, you have any overall advice for us?
Like how young are we talking, and how did you get your hands on my books? Haha. I kid, mostly. I don't think all my books are necessarily appropriate for a terribly young audience. Please don't let your parents find them - I do not want to tell somebody's mom to shove off when they message me in a rage because their teen got caught reading my novels. Again, I kid ... mostly.
So, here's the thing - people say to write what you know, but that's not entirely true. People write about things they don't experience all the time. I have never been to New York, Chicago, or a multitude of other places I write about, but here we are. I have never gone to private school, been rich (actually grew up dirt poor), or talked to a mafia boss (other criminals and organizations, never that though).
I have also never done confession.
Never flew in a private jet.
Never sold cocaine.
Never shot someone.
We are all writing about things we never experienced. And my advice to you would be to write about things the way you hope to experience them when it comes to love, and men, and all of that sort of jazz. Write the hero you wish was your first love - write him how you hope he treats you. And I promise he will feel genuine, and all will be well.
As for the second part of your question ...
Listen, there is all kinds of romance out there to fill the voids. There is lots of romance that has no sex scenes, or fade to black, or door closed scenes. You don't have to write things you're uncomfortable with. I read romance ranging from sweet and clean to dirtier than sin.
And if you do want to write them, then practice them. Maybe take up fanfiction, or write online for free like on Wattpad under a penname that won't be attached to the author name you choose to use for professional publishing. You will get used to writing that kind of stuff, and more confident in your ability to, as well as become desensitized to knowing that other people are reading it.
And at the same time, without tying it to you, it becomes easy to abandon ship should the time call for it.
As for the family bit ... listen, one of my aunts read my very first published novella, A Mile High. She called it trash - said it was raunchy, and nothing but sex. And maybe she was right, but who gives an honest fuck? She told everybody in my family all I wrote was sex - to this day, a lot of them still believe it, and have never picked up any one of my 40+ titles. In fact, my grandmother asked one of my cousins who is the same age as me if she had ever read one of my novels, and my cousin looked at me, scoffed, and said, "I don't read sex books."
I simply replied, "Do you think I write 300 pages of sex? No. And also, those books make me 3x the amount of money that you make and you've got 30k in student loan debts to show for the shitty job you hate."
I don't play around about my books, and nobody is ever going to diminish what I have done for myself, either. So, they can not like me, or the books, or what I write. And if they think that hurts my feelings, I have news for them. All it does is save me conversation when I have to go to family functions because nobody wants to ask about my "sex books." It might be uncomfortable for them.
Can you hear me laughing? Because I laugh all the way to the bank about it.
You just do you - people will either be supportive, or they won't say a damn thing. People tend to be predictable that way. I know authors with family reading their books (and the books have the dirtiest scenes) but their mom or sister or whoever just skips over that bit to the next scene. And that's fine, too.
But remember, you do not have to write anything you are not comfortable with.
As for advice ... just keep writing. Good things happen to those who persevere.
6. If you have one...what is your one of your top goals for 2018?
To write over a million words.
I know, sounds like a lot.
It's not for me, really.
I used to make goals attached to sales, or money, or stats. Like my page have this many likes, or have this many followers on (insert social media platform here). I used to track my success in things that I thought would validate me as an author, but I stopped doing that because I don't care about numbers and stats and whatever else as long as I am making enough money to support my family, and I still enjoy writing while I do it.
So yes, my only goal for 2018 is to write over a million words between books, and outtakes.
And the last one for today!
7. Would you ever write a character who is into BDSM lifestyle?
So, please, anyone who enjoys this kind of thing or lives this lifestyle - don't take what I am about to say personally. It's not about you - it's a preference. And just like you might not like vanilla sex, or even snuff play or whatever else, other people have preferences about BDSM.
BDSM is not for me - not in books, or in real life. And I have been keen enough to try both in one variation or another. I don't like it. I don't write about things I don't like. Sure, BDSM can tend to be written in a sexy manner, but it's not for me.
I write kinks, variations of kinks sometimes like degradation, or a little bit of bondage here and there with a tie or something like that ... but that's as far as I am ever going to go.
Might I have a character who is very dominant and controlling in the bedroom? Looking at you, Tommas and Gian.
But collars, rules, and safe words are not coming into play. It's not going to be labeled BDSM. I don't like that, and I won't write things I don't like. It always comes down to that for me.
Okay, that is all for me this week, loves.
Until next week!