Today we’re very happy to welcome Lauren Dane on Book Lovers Inc. Lauren’s new book Inside Out came out last week, it’s the 3rd book in the Brown Siblings series. This series is one of my absolute favorites. I adore her characters and these books just make my heart melt. So it was a real pleasure and honor for me when Lauren agreed to answer our questions. Be sure to stay tuned till the end of the post for your chance to win Inside Out and believe me you want to. *wink* Please give Lauren a warm welcome.
The Geeky Lover: Lauren can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Lauren: Let’s see…the official bio part goes like this: A few years ago, Lauren Dane decided to quit her job and stay home with her brand new second child. As a result, she had lots of conversations in a sing-song voice but no real outlet for adult thoughts and words. It was three years later, on bed-rest with her pregnancy with the tiny monster, that Lauren had plenty of down time. Her husband brought home a second hand laptop and she decided to “give that writing thing a serious go.”
Lauren had no idea how fabulously wonderful it would feel to actually make a go of her writing and she’s thankful every day people actually want to read what she writes! She’s well aware of her good fortune and loves every moment of it, even when she has to edit and put Barbie’s dresses back on over and over again. She still hasn’t managed to figure out how to shut out the sound of the Backyardigans so she can write a love scene, though.
A few things have changed. My kids are all finally in school so I don’t have to write over Backyardigans (though I often hear Justin Bieber in the background if my daughter is home). Otherwise, I’m fortunate enough to still be doing the job I love so much!
The Geeky Lover: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Lauren: I usually get up at 6 to start getting kids off to school. I try to take care of catch up stuff until they’re all gone and then get to work for a few hours. I used to be far more of a pantser back when I first started out. But the way the process works with the publishers I write for, they buy from synopses and/or samples/partials.
So I do synopsize my books loosely these days. I usually look at where I am each day, going back ten or 15 pages, and then reading back to where I am. I’ll think about what my writing that day should have. Sometimes it’s a quick note like, “fight in town” and other times it’s more about the emotional journey that character needs to take, “Erin reveals her fear to Ben.” And I’ll write the scenes that work for those characters. The outside framework, the synopsis is in place but all the filling is pretty much organic and written day by day. So far I’ve found this method to be really effective. I try not to get too stuck in one way to work. Over the years I learn more and try new things. I love that.
The Geeky Lover: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Lauren: I know when I see a woman next to me on the bus dig through her bag around a book or an ebook reader, that’s a book lover. The kind of person who has not just a to-be-read stack, but a mountain of books and we still keep buying or checking out new ones from the library every single month, LOL!
Spine-crackers and page folders or those who never crack or fold – those of us who think of books as our friends, as a reason to stay in bed an entire Saturday afternoon just to read – we are book lovers.
The Geeky Lover: I think for everyone who ever read one of your books knows that family is always a really prominent topic in them. What do you think is the appeal of this? And why does it always play such an important role in your books?
Lauren: I personally find family to be incredibly important and so I know a big part of why it shows up so often in my books is simply because that’s how I view the world. Who we are to the people we care about. How they see us, how they view our actions – there’s no better way to understand a person than through the eyes of the people they love.
Family is a powerful thing. It’s about connection and personal history. All the little things that add up to create a relationship. It gives characters an instant, believable connection to other people, it enables readers to understand the characters as people much like someone they are, or that they know. Not even just in a biological sense, but the types of relationships we create with others. People who become ours in as important a way as a brother or parent is.
In romance, to me, connection is it. Connection is the floor, the ceiling, the very framework of the house. So it makes sense to me to write about family, especially in romance.
The Geeky Lover: Your new novel Inside Out is the third book in your Brown Siblings series. When you wrote Laid Bare, the first book, were you already sure that this would be a series?
Lauren: Originally, Laid Bare was going to be a three novella anthology about the Browns. But when I started writing Erin’s novella, as it began to open up and I got to know her, I knew for sure she had to have her own book. So once I had sold it and really got into the writing of it, I knew I wanted to write Brody’s book. My series are usually four books and as I wrote Coming Undone I knew I wanted to make the 3rd book Cope’s and the last book Adrian’s.
The Geeky Lover: We noticed something while reading the Brown Siblings novels: all your heroines have a name starting with an “E”. Did that happen by accident or did you do this on purpose? If the latter why?
Lauren: It was an accident. I didn’t realize the Elise and Erin thing until after the book was finished and the covers with the copy on it calling her Elise had been printed. And Ella was already named Ella in book one and she was meant to be with Cope, something I didn’t realize until I was plotting Cope’s book and that’s when I realized it would be three E names. But I was already too far along to change it and I wasn’t going to not write the book between those characters simply because they all had E names.
The Geeky Lover: What can we expect of Inside Out?
Lauren: Cope is a guy who has been all about surface in the last few books. The handsome, slightly promiscuous man who flirts with everyone and everyone, even his exes likes. I wanted to get past all that, down to the person no one really knows about.
No one but Ella. And it’s beign understood as something more than the ladies man, that really undoes Andrew Copeland. The book is really intimate and romantic because that’s who both these people are and who they need.
Cope is so much more than his hard abs and his sexual prowess. He’s poetry and slow dancing and Ella can’t resist him. I loved writing her falling for Andrew as she was also growing and getting stronger as a person, rebuilding a life that had fallen apart.
The Geeky Lover: Ella nearly died when her ex decided to let his anger out on her. She is still strong, as all your heroines, but how do you think she found the power to survive? What can we learn from her and her way to keep going and not give up on life?
Lauren: Ella had the inner strength to leave her boyfriend to begin with. She left him and she got a protection order. She did everything she was supposed to and still nearly ended up dead. So she was down, but not out. She was already a strong person and with the help and support of her parents and her friends, she was able to take the time she needed to get herself back on track.
I don’t think Ella ever would have considered anything but surviving. She wouldn’t have let her ex win.
The Geeky Lover: We already met your hero Andrew Copeland in the previous book. He is a really outgoing and flirty person- he is quite the charmer. How does he fit Ella? And how will he learn to keep his charms to himself or better said to Ella?
Lauren: As I said above, Ella understands him in a way no one ever has. She’s got his number and that appeals to him in a way no one else ever has or could. He’s been admired for how he looks. He’s been admired for how he is in bed. But no one brought out his desire to recite poetry in bed.
For Andrew, there simply is no other woman on earth for him but Ella. She’s the key to his lock. They fit. She loves him and his family and friends. She makes room in her life for him. She’s his.
The Geeky Lover: We read that in Inside Out your hero and heroine write each other letters/notes. Letters are always a heartfelt thing to do. It’s easier to bare your feeling and thought in the written word than standing in front of someone- looking them straight in the eye. It can also be a really romantic thing. What do you think makes letters special? Why did you feel the need for Cope and Ella to write those to each other?
Lauren: Letters take time. When you get a letter, especially ones like Ella and Cope exchange in Inside Out, you know the other person put aside all their other responsibilities to put you first.
When Cope sent the first letter, he’s opening himself up to Ella. She knows it’s special. He reveals this inner self to her, makes himself vulnerable. He’s this happy go lucky guy, a letter like the ones he sent is the opposite of that, it’s serious and romantic.
From the start, I felt it would have been easy to show Cope as only a super sexy guy with his sexual prowess. Ellla has seen it over the years. We’ve seen it in the first books. But the letters, well that’s different. Taking her into his house, that’s different. It’s an opening of his inner life to her and that’s intimate. That’s sexy and irresistible.
The Geeky Lover: Will there be more books in this series? We already know that Adrian will get his book next year and yes we can’t WAIT. But are there more books planned after that?
Lauren: I’m going to start a new contemporary erotic romance series with Berkley and it will spin off from Never Enough. While that one will be standalone from the Brown books, we will get glimpses of these characters in that series.
The Geeky Lover: What is next on your schedule?
Lauren: I’ve got BELIEVE out in early December. It’s a novella that picks up several months after the end of Second Chances. I’ve got a blurb up at my site but I will also warn folks that the blurb contains spoilers for Second Chances so take care if you haven’t read Second Chances yet.
Then I have a nice, semi-quiet four months until MESMERIZED comes out. That’s the next futuristic from Berkley and it’s Andrei’s book.
The Geeky Lover: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Alpha but not dumbass heroes
Sense of connection and community
The Geeky Lover: Can you summarize each book in your Brown Siblings series, twitter style (140 characters or less)?
Lauren: (I did these in my tweetdeck window to be sure I didn’t go over my allotted words, LOL)
Laid Bare is dark, sexy and emotional. Full of music, laughter, hot sex and some tears. Heroine-centric.
Brody Brown is the heart of Coming Undone. Dirty talking hero, strong heroine who’s also a mother. Sexy, sensual and emotional.
Sweet, intimate and inherently romantic , Inside Out is about two people who see straight to the heart of each other.
The Geeky Lover: Thank you for taking the time to answer all our questions Lauren.
Lauren is offering a signed copy of Inside Out to 1 lucky commenter
All you have to do is ask Lauren a question
or leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
Please leave us a way to contact you
(email in blogger profile or twitter name-
no way to contact you – no entry).
This giveaway is International
Giveaway ends on Saturday, November 21th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.