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Cook. Read. Sing. Sleep. I go hard.

TNT and Fan Interview with Christina Lauren

We had a chance to ask Christina Lauren (Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) ANYTHING!  Soooo, we invited you guys to help and you asked a few questions too.  Check out their HILARIOUS responses.  You’ll laugh and we guarantee that you’ll want to hang out with them as much as we do.  Enjoy!


Lo (left) and Christina (right)

How do you come up with these story lines?!
We have a ton of ideas floating around that we file away for when we have time to consider new things, and both STRANGER and PLAYER were like that—stories we had wanted to write for a while. It just so happens that both of these are based on old tropes in romance—the hot one-night-stand, or the brother’s best friend—and it’s always fun for us to play with them and make them feel fresh, or at least fun to revisit.

Beautiful Player is a bit different than the other books in the series. Was this done purposefully or is it a consequence of your evolution as writers?
Probably a bit of both. On the one hand, we wanted to make sure that Hanna and Will felt very different from Chloe/Sara and Bennett/Max. But this past year was wild, and busy, and overwhelming, and amazing: between August 2012 and December 2013 we will have written eight books. No doubt we have grown as writers as a result—not only in our comfort putting words to paper, but in our collaboration and how to make it the most fun for both of us. Honestly, writing PLAYER was so fun, we both sort of want to go back to those short months this year and get to do it all over again.

We know Lauren is a scientist. Were any life experiences put into Beautiful Player?
Lo says: I love this question! And yes, absolutely! There is one scene where Hanna refers to a guy as “SN2” and it is absolutely something that a friend of ours said. He was basically the king for the rest of the night after that, so I can claim none of that hilarity as my own.

Also, I have a number of friends who do stem cell research, and the more time that passes and I watch the progress in that the field, the more doubtful I am about whether the stem cell treatment breakthrough will be for something as complicated as neurodegeneration. There are so many moving parts and we have a lot of front-end work to do in basic science to understand things better. So, the scene where Will and Hanna are in the café talking about stem cells came about one day when my mind was wandering in a meeting. We may not be able to replace dopaminergic cells in the midbrain, but rebuilding a simple tissue, like a hymen? I can totally see that. And people are ridiculous about what they’ll pay money for. So, I just basically giggled the entire time I wrote that scene.

We don’t see too many characters as scientists in books, especially as leading ladies. Was it fun for you to write Hanna this way?
Lo says: It really was. Scientists are a special breed of masochist, so it was fun making Hanna an extreme version of that phenotype. Grad school is brutal, post-docs are brutal, and many women scientists realize early on that, despite the nearly equal numbers of males and females in their graduate program, a great deal of patriarchy remains in all fields of research. Although this is changing—and there are many, many inspirational older women in science—the career path and schedule for young scientists is grueling and has not traditionally been compatible with raising children. Before anyone bites my head off, let me say of course that isn’t a women-only domain—it most certainly isn’t in my household—but it is a role that has traditionally fallen to women, and is one reason there are far fewer older-generation female role models in science.

So I’m most fascinated with the women who are single-minded in their pursuit of a particular question—to the exclusion of other life ambitions—because we so commonly associate that kind of ambition with men (feel free to argue with me here, but really, as someone who has been in both research and business for a long time, I can say the phenotype is more commonly male). I love listening to these women speak about their work because their passion and drive and ambition is inspirational. My research never took over my life in that way, but even so there have been projects I did feel just that passionately about—to the point where I did go back to work when my kids were infants, and I did sometimes wish I could stay at work long into the night—and it doesn’t make me weird or broken. I love that Hanna is driven, and so focused she lost track of everything around her. Like I said, it’s an extreme phenotype, and certainly one that never really described me, but I do admire her for pushing through those barriers. I like to imagine her future, where she’s publishing groundbreaking work and somehow managing to balance that with family and her own passions away from the lab.

Will is delicious as are the rest of the men in the series. What’s something that is going to have the ladies wanting him over Bennett or Max?
There’s one paragraph in the book that probably describes this best, so we’ll just quote it here:

     I’d always understood why women wanted Will in the first place. He wasn’t beautiful in the way Bennett was, and he wasn’t tender like Max. He was visceral and imperfect, dark and knowing. He gave the sense that he looked at a woman and in an instant read every need she had.

     But now I knew why women truly lost their mind over him. Because in the end, he did actually know every need a woman had, that I had. He’d ruined me for any other man, even before the first touch.

Did you have any celebrities in mind while writing Beautiful Player?

Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why? What would you say to that person?
Lo: I’d love to meet Hanna, for obvious reasons. I’d also love to meet Bennett, just because I think I’d like to get in an argument with him for the hell of it.
Christina: I can’t imagine spending time with anyone more fun-loving and upbeat than Max.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? Hardest?
The hardest chapter of PLAYER for both of us was the first chapter, because it just felt like we had a lot of shared history between the two characters that we had to dish out slowly. For Lo, the easiest chapter was the party chapter (Chapter 6), and for Christina, Chapter 7, where Hanna goes over to Will’s apartment in the middle of the night.

We seriously love how we get to visit with the characters throughout the series. They never leave and we get to see how far they’ve come in their relationship. Have you started preparing yourselves to say goodbye to them after the release of the final novella, Beautiful Beginning?
Most likely it hasn’t hit us yet and we’ll be in tears when BEGINNING comes out on 11/19. It’s been such a crazy year and we’ve been so intensely absorbed in this world. But, it’s always possible that there will be more BEAUTIFULs someday. That possibility is comforting, because these books really are the most fun to write.

What has been the best compliment?
When someone says they laughed or swooned. We really just want people to have a good time when they’re reading these books. They’re meant to be fun, light, and entertaining.

You’re contracted to write one more book in the Beautiful series (which makes me happy), but do you have other book writing plans when the Beautiful series is completed?
The last book in the BEAUTIFUL series is actually BEGINNING. The book we’re working on now is the start of something new, and we’ll share all those details as soon as we can!! And yes, there’s a lot more to share . . . again, soon.

What is your favorite book or book series?
We both love THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson, FORBIDDEN by Tabitha Suzuma, and ANGELFALL by Susan Ee. For series, Harry Potter, the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore, the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson.

Novel Teasers:

What’s the craziest thing in your fridge right now?
Lo: These salted lemons that my friend Jenn preserved that she swears are good with fish or chicken and I’m half-convinced I’ll use them in something and will do it wrong and . . . Yeah, sorry, my fridge is pretty clean and not very interesting.
Christina: My fridge is clean because I’m on vacation for ten days.

Do you have ring tones for each other?
Yep. Ridiculous One Direction songs.

[Christina is not answering texts anymore—she’s on vacation in Hawaii for Christ’s sake—so Lo is going to answer these last few for her]

Which Monopoly token do you usually go for?
Lo: My son has the Star Wars monopoly set, so obviously I pick Princess Leia.
Christina: The shoe, obviously, because I’m allergic to irons and wouldn’t dare put a top hat on this fabulous hair

[Again, Lo is answering for Christina and is cracking herself up . . . ]

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

Eventually You’ll Be Glad You Did This


All of that Awkwardness Will Make You More Interesting Someday, I Swear. Maybe.

(Subtitle: Okay Probably Not But It’s Not Like You Can Choose How Big Your Front Teeth Are)


Heart Kites and Dimple Pokes: The True Story of an Accidental Genius


Cornfields: A Love Story (heehee omg she’s going to kill me)

What is your best or favorite pickup line?
Lo: Oh, man. I have this one friend from grad school who walked up to me one time at a bar and reached around my neck to look at the tag on my shirt. I was like, “What are you . . .?” And he goes, “What does this say? Oh, Made in Heaven.” I seriously laughed for an hour, but that was probably also his perfect delivery and maybe also the drinks I’d had.

Some others I can’t resist:
Are you made of Copper and Tellurium? Because you are Cu-Te
Do you have 11 protons? You must, because you’re Sodium fine!
If you were oxygen, I would be an alkali metal so i could get in you and explode!
My husband’s favorite: Do you want to extract some protein from my column?

Christina: So, Christina was at Disneyland the other day, so of course we have to look here for Disney pickup lines . . .
Hey Beauty, can I introduce you to my Beast?
I’d really like to Poke-her-hontas. [Omg, dying]
Hey Jasmine, Does the magic carpet match the drapes? [So bad, but so good]
But the winner is: Hey Cinderella let’s see if this fits!

Connect with Christina and Lauren:


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Beautiful Player


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