We love any opportunity to get to know our favorite authors better. So a lightning round of questions sounds like a good place to start. Here, we ask five quick questions (with one wildcard) about books, genres, reading preferences, writing style, and their secret to success.
Nobody captures readers’ hearts quite like Christina Lauren. Maybe that’s because the powerhouse romance author is actually a writing duo. Best friends and writing partners Lauren Billings and Christina Hobbs, who fuse sexy with sweet in their bestselling books, combined their first names to create their pen name. Together, they conjure strong, independent female protagonists and make rom-com readers swoon over everything from heartfelt meet cutes and steamy enemies-to-lovers, to flirty flings-to-rings and spicy erotic romances.
In their latest steamy story, The True Love Experiment, the pair combines heat and heart when a jaded romance novelist and a documentary filmmaker take a chance behind the scenes on a reality TV show.
Here, Lauren and Christina share their favorite books, how they navigate writing together even though they live in different states, and the musicians they’re grateful for.
3. Which do you prefer: ebook or audiobook?
4. What’s your writing routine or process?
Christina Lauren: Since we live in different states, we always get together to outline in person. It's usually a fun stretch of days where we bat around ideas until the outline starts to solidify, and then we organize it by scene and chapter into a spreadsheet, split up who is writing what (either by POV or alternating chapter), and then we head to our separate homes to write! We build the book together as we go and like to spend a lot of time in edits. That's where a book really shines. But as far as daily routines, we treat it like any other job! We get up, we make coffee, and we get to work.
5. How much of your writing success is due to hard work, talent, or luck?
Christina Lauren: Any successful writing career is a mixture of all three. We were lucky to release our first book in a time when there was a large appetite for romance, and our first series did well enough to build a good audience for us. And from there, we've worked very hard to ensure that we are continuing to grow as writers, that we are always getting better at telling these stories. We want our readers to be able to see how hard we work, and to know how much it means to us that they continue to pick up our books!
Wildcard: If you could have coffee/tea with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Christina: Dolly Parton. When Lo and I saw her in New York, we realized that people left to use the restroom during the songs — they would bolt out and run back, but they never left while she was speaking. And I get it — everything she said felt heavy with wisdom and love and this really intense feeling of well-wishes to everyone there. I think I'd love to be able to look her in the eye and thank her for being so amazing.
Lauren: My answer to this changes all the time, but right now I'd say Tom Petty. His music has been the backing track of my entire life, and I'd love a chance to tell him how much that means to me.