AMA - You Ask, Bethany Answers!

Hey, loves!

It’s that time of the week again where you ask all your burning questions, and I try to answer them as best I can.

Some things to note:

--if you’re wondering where your question is, or why I haven’t answered it yet, I predo my AMAs for the month ahead of time SHOULD I have enough questions in my form to do that. So, in that case, your question may be coming later in the month.

--if your question is the exact replica of a question I have been asked a couple of times already, like the “why will the line end with Andino’s son” question, then I space them out because while apparently I need to keep saying it, I won’t say it every single week. Scroll through past AMAs.

Do you have a question for me that you want answered?

Awesome. Drop it into my form HERE.

Now, onto the Qs for the week, loves.

***

1.In what ways have you grown as an author since you first started writing?

I got better? LOL, I mean, I suspect you want a deep answer here but it ain’t that deep for me. I simply got better at writing. I came into this career thinking I was already good, and quickly realized, eh, not really. I was okay, at best. And subpar, typically. There wasn’t anything that set my books out from the rest.

Some people might even say right now about my work that there isn’t anything to THEM that sets my work apart from the twenty other authors they read, and that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but they are not entitled to a response from me about it at the same time.

Being an author taught me that, by the way.

The thing is … I have been at this for five years, or whatever, now. I have written fifty-ish books. I write a book a month, sometimes more when I am writing two chapters a day every day, no breaks until I finish a book. I still learn things – this week, I learned that, in fact, I use the word ‘actually’ far too much. 76 times in a book is TOO MUCH. And if you go back into some of my previous titles, and word search the word, you are going to find it a lot. Sure, I space it out, but it still be too much, okay.

I am beginning to get more comfortable in my process of writing, and the fact that I don’t have to justify to anyone why I write the way I do – ie, the speed at which I write. Some think authors who can put out a book a month are writing trash, and that’s fine. I love what I do, but everyone else isn’t required to love it, too.

I constantly grow and learn, so it isn’t that deep for me. I expect to get knocked down by someone saying you use “such and such” a word too much. Or “her sex scenes aren’t hot” or “her stories aren’t THAT great, they’re basically watered down versions of …” (that last one is bullshit, but it’s been said, and I don’t even have time for it). And sometimes, a comment will come up that teaches me something … like the “actually” thing. And other times, the comments I find are just a good reminder that I am not everyone’s cup of tea.

I don’t know if this answered your question, but here you are.

2.Hi Bethany, I love your books! The books I am looking forward to the most next year is The Guzzi Legacy books. I just wanted to ask without trying to ask for a spoiler will the brothers interact with Chicago a lot in different ways during their books since they are related to the boss? Thanks for answering my question and you are an amazing writer.

Hi there, and thank you so much for your kind words.

As for your question …. So, actually (there’s that word again, see) you will see Chicago a lot in specifically Beni Guzzi’s book because that’s where he gets sent, in a way. He has not decided, essentially, his path in which family he would like to be most involved with and as all the brothers have dual citizenship, he’s done work back and forth between his father’s organization and his uncle’s. He is also good friends with the boys from Chicago – Cory, Joe, Tom, etc.

You will not see Chicago mentioned a lot in the other books because either they take place in a different country, or the plot simply didn’t call for Chicago to be involved. I try not to add MORE characters into books than what are needed simply because I know readers who have been here since the beginning would love to see them. Mostly because it gets confusing for people who don’t know all of these characters, the backstory, or why they’re even showing up on page when they don’t have an effect on the plot.

But yeah, in Beni, you’ll see them.

3.What do you use most to do research for your books?

Depends on what kind of research … for like places, or like if a character has a disorder or disease or something, then I try to go direct to the source for that. When I wrote a bipolar man, I went to people who had bipolar and had conversations with them. I had them as sensitivity readers, etc. When I need medical info, I go to my doctor friend, and also go online to search for articles and information about whatever written by people who either study it, or have whatever I am talking about.

If I need to have the details REALLY nailed down for a certain place, like a specific place in the city (that I didn’t make up, because I really don’t like using real life places in my book, because someone might not like to see their café or diner mentioned in books about criminals) then I literally get on Google and scour pictures of the area to use it as a reference as to what I should mention.

Now, if we’re talking mafia and organization crime … I don’t research a lot about the Italians anymore unless it’s a faction of crime I am not familiar with … like the Camorra or something. And when I am not actually getting deep into the business, because maybe their day to day business isn’t an important part of the plot – like in John and Siena’s duet, we only really saw John kind of going from place to place, or Siena doing the books but the ACTUAL business of how he makes money and works his crew just didn’t matter to the plot of his books. Well, then every detail of the mafia life and the rules aren’t important but for when they occasionally come up on page.

These books get labeled mafia romance … but sometimes, that’s just because these people are in the mafia, but it doesn’t mean I am drawing out every sordid detail of their business and the organization. It would get boring book after book, I think. It’d be the same nonsense again and again. It got boring for me pretty quickly when I was writing it like that which was why I stopped unless it was pertinent to the plot.

But when I do research, I use many things not just one source. That’s not how research works – sources can be biased, or have information that isn’t entirely factual. So, I use many different sources.

Internet. Documentaries. Published articles. Criminal indictments. Transcribed court proceedings. All sorts of things.

4. Hello, Ms Bethany. This is my first time doing an AMA, blogs or anything like that as I am an “older reader.” I must say I have loved each and every one of your books. I see in this link you mentioned John and Andino both have sons and the awesome Marcello legacy can continue. During one of your previous books or outtakes (not sure) but did you elaborate on the total number of children Haven and Andino had? If I don’t get an answer, please keep up the good writing.

Hi there!

I did mention in Unruly (Cross + Catherine, 3) that Haven already had two daughters, and was “heavily” pregnant with a third child. That third child was also a girl. You will see an outtake in the future in which after several years of which it was assumed there were some sudden fertility issues (because Haven had never had a problem getting pregnant before that; suddenly, she couldn’t get pregnant at all, the body is strange), she has a surprise pregnancy … and that was a boy, named after his grandfather, Giovanni David the Second.

So in total, it was three girls, and one boy. With the boy being the baby of the bunch.

And thank you for the kind words.

5.What was or would be the reaction from the Marcello family when Cross finally showed up to his first Marcello family gathering after he and Dante got on good terms? I always find their reactions interesting especially after the family dinner in Revere! These families are such gossipers lol.

They truly are gossipers, and I never meant for that to happen when I wrote them, but they all kind of grew into something bigger than I ever intended, quirks included. That was certainly one of them.

I think in this case, though, it was pretty clear from different people that they all knew what the inevitable was with Cross and Catherine – they were going to be together whether Dante liked it or not, and they were just waiting for it. He was the one making it into a damn problem, as Dante sometimes does.

Cross still, to this day, occasionally tends to rub his father-in-law the wrong way because they are both different and alike in the same way. Dante is also arrogant and cocky but he tends to showcase his arrogance and cockiness in a different way than Cross does. Cross is far more likely to just outright tell someone what he thinks, while Dante will only do that if business or family requires it, sort of thing. So yes, of course they still have their moments, and sometimes it plays out at the family dinner table for everyone around them to see it happen.

So that family dinner, like many that followed it was probably amusing for everyone but those two men sitting at the same table. It helps now that Cross and Dante got to a point where they simply respect one another, and they respect what each other loves, and that they do love the same thing just for different reasons – which is Catherine.

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