AMA - You Ask, Bethany Answers!
It's that time of the week again where I answer all your burning questions, or try to, anyway.
If your question hasn't been answered yet, then please check out previous AMAs because I may have answered another question just like yours, and I try not to be repetitive here. Or, I may have simply not gotten to it yet.
Remember, I can only keep doing these AMAs if I have questions to answer. Do you have a question for me?
You can drop it into this form HERE.
Okay, onto the Qs for the week!
A reminder because people keep dropping these same Qs over and over again into the form - YES, August is getting a book with a Guzzi brother. NO, I will not keep giving details for Renzo and Lucia.
1. Hiiii! Keep slaying on the pages, mama! I love reading your words :) My question is: Is there any particular scene that was hard for you to write? I know reading the many times Catherine lied and let Cross take the heat for her was hard for me to swallow...lol...maybe cause I could see so much of myself in her. But yeah, are there any scenes or storylines that you have to force yourself to write through? Thanks for sharing your worlds and characters with us. You're the best :)
Hi there. Thank you for your kind words.
And this is such a great question, really. That's why I picked it to be the first one I answered this week, actually.
If you find when reading one of my novels that it's very angsty or it's made you cry, then chances are I sobbed my way through writing the whole book. For whatever reason, my creative process seems to latch onto these characters beyond the fictional realm on the pages. In my head, they feel very real to me.
And so, when I put them through hell ... it's like I am right there walking through it with them. It's also probably why I am quick to defend someone like say, Catherine, when a reader feels the need to tell me she's childish or something else of that nature.
The scenes I struggle with the most to write, or I really find it difficult to put words down on are any scene in which rape, the aftermath of that is present, or mental illness like depression. Self harm. Or even abuse. Drug addiction. Parental neglect. John's bipolar. I have touched on all these topics more than once, and it has not gotten easier for me to write them over time.
If anything, it just reopens old wounds for me all over again. But then I bleed all over the pages and make these novels for you all to read.
So, if I ever tell you a novel of mine was made out of sweat and tears, you can probably trust that yes, that is exactly what I mean. I have cried my way through writing it, and it is genuine emotion you're finding on the pages because ... these things that are hard for other people to swallow, as you said, has been my life at one time or another.
I write what I know - and that's why it feels real.
Because it is very real to me.
I am human, and on my good days, I am still a mess.
2. Silly question. Why do so many of your women wear bodycon dresses?
So, I have never noticed that they only wear bodycon dresses. Because I have them wear all kinds of different dresses - gowns, summer dresses, sweater dresses, etc. I do, however, tend to put them in club style attire when they go to things like a club. Catrina, in particular, had a signature style which was bodycon dresses, red lips and nails, and sky-high heels. That was how she kept on top of her game by keeping men distracted and focused on what she wanted them to see, and not what she was doing right in front of their faces.
Also, bodycon dresses encompass a lot of different styles - it is not one single dress. It is a variety of a type of dress which means tight, usually low cut. Not formal, in most cases. There are still a range of bodycon styles, and it's not just one dress.
So, that's important to note, too.
Hope this explains it.
3. Hi 😃 Have you picked inspirational models for the Guzzi Brothers and Lucia or Renzo though they come out next year?
So, no, not really. I don't tend to focus on picking muses before writing unless one kind of stumbles on me, sort of thing. I did share a picture of my muse for Renzo on my Instagram. And shared a bit of a story behind it. It's a man lying in a tub, if you want to go check it out.
That's the only one so far that I have picked out.
I do have muses for all my Guzzi wives, though. They are the ladies on the covers. So hint for that, it is women on all the Guzzi covers with the titles being the respective Guzzi man they are paired with.
Maybe I will have something to share soon for this. Best bet is to join my Bella Dushkas fan group on Facebook because that is typically where I share these sorts of things first.
4. I don’t have to tell you how awesome you are as you already know. Your books and London’s are my favorite obsession. I appreciate all the work you put into each and every one and the fact you don’t shy away from your fans. So onto my question, when and where did you get the idea to write Mafia romance novels? Do you plan to write another Russian series? I remember in one book (Emma & Cal) you brought in another family to help out...do you still plan to write about them? -T
I am happy to feed your addiction.
So, I have kind of answered this why did I write mafia romance before - a few times. Organized crime is something I have always had an interest in for various reasons, but most notably because my mother was a club whore (that's what they call them; don't come shouting at me for her own choices, thanks) and drug dealer for one of the most famous motorcycle gangs for several years before they put a hit out on her, and we went into hiding. So, a good portion of my later childhood (7-12ish) was spent around some shady characters doing shady things.
I have always had a fascination interest in this life, and the women who love the men inside the life.
I don't write MC (motorcycle club) romances for obvious reasons.
I do plan to do more Russian series. I am writing Kolya Boykov right now, which is a Russian series. Finishing him up this week, hopefully, but he will release next summer. I do plan to go back to my Russian Guns world where Anton and Vine live to tell the story of Adrik Vasin and his daughter, Sofia.
I have more Russians to tell yet.
As for the Irish family you mentioned from Donati Bloodlines - I wrote Inflict, which is Connor's story. It's free everywhere, so go pick it up.
I have no plans yet to go back there to write more for that family. My next three years are fully tied up elsewhere unless I can fit Killian in somewhere.
5. Hello, first let me say I love your books. I don’t think I have read one that I didn’t like enough to say "it was a good read." I apologize if this has been answered previously. When writing Lucian, did you have an “inkling” that John would reclaim his birthright?
Uh, so I probably have answered this before but I am not sure if it was here or not. I have known from the moment I wrote the ORIGINAL Johnathan being Lucian's father that Lucian's son would go back and reclaim the family as theirs, or as a faction of the Marcello dynasty. This entire Commission world of mine means to come back full circle in every aspect that I can bring it that way. I meant for it to be that way from the start. Certainy details of how I planned to do that have come into play later, but the end goal always remained the same from the very beginning.
It is the same in that respect if you look at Andino and Gio - Gio was the man who could never be right for a boss's seat, and he raised his son with this idea of being his own man, who was loyal to the family and the life, but also lived freely to his own needs.
And Andino ended up being the man who takes over the Marcellos for his generation.