AMA - You Ask, Bethany Answers!
It's that time of the week again when I answer all your burning questions, or try to, anyhow. Do you have a question for me?
Cool. Drop it into the form HERE so I can keep this AMA going next week.
Oh, and if you missed it ... Captivated released yesterday. This is Joe Rossi (son of Damian and Lily from The Chicago War series) and Liliana Marcello's (daughter of Lucian and Jordyn from Filthy Marcellos series) story. It IS a standalone. It is not connected to any series, and you absolutely do not need to even glance at their parents' stories to read, enjoy, and follow along with Captivated.
Grab your copy at one of the following:
Amazon US | UK | CA | AUS
iTunes | Kobo | Barnes & Noble
Now, onto the Qs of the day ...
1. Hi, Bethany! I am a HUGE fan and can't wait to read Cozen. My question is about whether you have been tempted to move into another kind of romance genre? Something less organized crime based, or is it that this world is the most interesting. Once again, love your way with words and your entire attitude :)
Hi there. Thank you.
I hope you loved Cozen (it's been out for about a month now, so I suspect you have probably gotten your hands on that little gem).
As for your question ... I do plan on writing coming of age romance, and straight contemporary romance with no organized crime relation at all sometime in the future. It's a side project for me that I want to release under a separate penname from my BK one. I feel like BK is very much known for this world building, organized crime romance subgenre that I have kind of thrust myself into.
The other things I would like to write really don't fit into this penname. And that's okay.
So, yes, I do want to write other things. It's just a matter of finding the time, and launching a new brand. Because that's the thing about this writerly business of mine - it is just that. A business. And I have to treat it as such. I never go into something knowing I will lose out. Doing so means being unable to provide for my family.
Not something I am willing to do.
So, when I do finally get around to launching this new penname, you all will be the first to know. I can't say it's going to be soon, though.
2. Since the commission world is almost coming to an end, do you already have any ideas or are you planning for a new Italian crime family world?
I can't say the new world is Italian. There are three Italian based families in it out of ... like twenty different organizations I plan to write on. The reason why my commission world felt so Italian is because that's what the Commission is. It's made up of Italian families, but there are other organizations and families in that world. There's Irish, Russians ... lots of gangs, cartels, etc.
But my main point to the world was just to write about the families surrounding the commission table, and those close to them. Like when I veered off to write the Irish we met in Donati Bloodlines.
So, no ... the new world isn't Italian based. It's crime based. There's thieves, Russians, car theft rings, madames, gun traffickers, cartels, diamond smugglers, drug traffickers.
There's a lot.
And only three of them are Italian mafias. I don't actually expect them to come into play until later in the world just because that's basically how the world is falling in terms of plot lines right now.
I do love me some Italians, but I like every organization I can touch on, too.
3. Hello, Bethany! Can I just say that you are the reason I started reading Mafia romance books? Anton and Vine *sigh* my all time favorite couple! Are you planning on writing any more of them or their kids, grandkids?
I think Vine and Anton are a favorite for a lot of people. They will always have a very special place in my heart because they were my first mafia couple even if I did so many things wrong with their stories, and details.
But eh, what can you do.
I am planning to go back and write more in that world where they exist, it's basically centered around just Russian families and organizations of Russians.
Their kids already have books - Demyan & Ana; Shattered; The Jersey Vignettes. Go read them, if you haven't.
I am planning on hopefully a series for Roman, and a standalone for Vera. But when remains to be seen, and you all will be the first to know whenever I finally get back around to them. It's all about finding the time to do anything in my life.
4. How do you know or decide which heroine is the right one for the hero? Or vice verse. How did you know that Dante needs a woman like Catrina?
So, it really all depends on the hero and heroine. In some cases, the hero needs the exact opposite of what he is reflected back from a heroine. Like take John for example ... he can be unstable and unpredictable. He is, at times, wild and a little out of control. And so, he needed a heroine who was the literal pillar of strength. The very meaning of reliability. Someone who could and would have his back, and stand by him no matter the situation.
And then there's a man like Andino ... a man who is the opposite to what John is. A man who is in control of his life in every aspect, and hates to be challenged. A rule follower when he needs to be, but also someone who knows just how far he can push to bend those rules. He didn't need a woman to keep him in line. He needed a woman to make him step out of line.
Or ... like Dante with Catrina. No heroine who was quiet, meek, and easily pleased would have been a good fit for Dante. He needed a woman who reflected his own characteristics and traits back at him. Someone who would challenge him, because challenge is what makes Dante a better man and boss at the end of the day.
And that's the thing about finding your other half - what you need is someone who makes you a better person, not just someone who makes you feel like a better person.
So, I try to do that with each of my characters. Both for the men, and the women. I take what one needs, and find those characteristics reflected in either another one of my already made characters, or I create someone entirely new like in the case of Andino and Haven.
When a character comes into my head ready to talk, the first thing I do is find their flaws and weak spots. Ie, John and his stigma around his mental illness. Andino and his lack of desire to be the head of the family or get out of his comfort zone. Dante and his stubbornness. I find those flaws, and I exemplify them by putting them up against a woman who will either make or break that flaw. She will either make it better for him, or she will break him of it entirely.
That is what I do, and that is how I choose heroines for heroes.
Until next week, loves!