Contemporary Romance Authors Susan Andersen and Molly O'Keefe, took to social media to discover what fans really want to know about cover art, characters, and how they get the job done. Do you get to choose the picture that goes on the cover of the books? And does it then match the idea YOU had in mind for your characters? -- Pamela Lowery
SA: I’m consulted on cover art—then I pretty much get what I get. I’ve had both horrid and great covers, but only on Bending The Rules did I look at a model and say, “Yes, that’s my hero!”
‘Course, when you end up with a model like Scotty Too Hotty (Burning Up) who cares if he’s not the image you had in your head? ;-D
MOK: The abs on the cover of Can't Buy Me Love, are exactly the abs I pictured on Luc Baker! Joking aside, I get my say in cover art, too. And I love my covers. Especially Can't Hurry Love, the details are so rich and I love his wrinkled shirt. Totally fits my hero.
I would love to know your routine. Is it structured? Different everyday? And how do you flesh out a story? -- Kristi's TeaRoom
SA: I outline just enough to sell on proposal. In truth, I don’t have a clue what will sputter from my fingertips until I plant my butt and start typing. I make deadlines by building books a day at a time. I sooo wish I wrote faster, but I have come to accept that this is my process. I also write largely by correction, laying down the bones, then fleshing ‘em out more with each new pass.
MOK: Routine? I'm unfamiliar with that word. I have two young kids at home (both will be in school full time next year!) so every day is pretty different for me. I do a lot of thinking and planning and brainstorming while playing Barbies or building Legos, and then, when I sit down, I write like someone is chasing me. I like Susan's answer so I'm going to steal it—I write by correction as well.
How do you keep the ideas coming for new characters/conflicts? -- Louise Groarke
SA: I’m character-driven: each book starts with a hero or heroine scratching at the back of my brain. In the case of That Thing Called Love, half-brothers Jake and Max Bradshaw—who grew up hating each other’s guts—were first to agitate for a story. Then my brainstorming partner and I tossed around ideas for Jake’s heroine and their conflict (Max had to wait, since he’s not primary until Book 2), and it went from there.
MOK: Can't Buy Me Love was totally inspired by NHL superstar Sidney Crosby and his concussion a few years back. I was fascinated by the idea of a man so physically fit, at the top of his game, having to walk away because of potential brain trauma. I had all these questions about the emotional impact that would have on someone, so I had to write the book to answer the questions!
SA: And trust me on this, Molly’s Can’t Buy Me Love will Knock. Your. Socks off!
“Molly O’Keefe is a unique, not-to-be-missed voice in romantic fiction . . . an automatic must-read!”—New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen