Romance editor Alyssa Morris spoke with author Maya Banks about her new trilogy, favorite romance authors, and how she got her start as a writer.
Alyssa Morris: You are a very prolific writer who has series in several very different worlds. How do you keep them separate in your mind and how are they similar? Do you ever work on more than one book at the same time?
Maya Banks: Oh absolutely not. I can’t work “out of order.” It gives me hives! Whatever book I’m currently writing gets my absolute focus and 100 percent concentration. I’ve certainly been hit with ideas for several different stories, but I force myself to remain focused on the goal right in front of me and not to cheat it (or my readers) by hurrying through one book just for the sake of having it “done.” That’s not fair anyone. Me, my publisher and most important is that it’s absolutely not fair to my readers!!
AM: What is your all-time favorite romance novel?
MB: That’s really hard to answer, not because I have mountain books in my office, but I can definitely point to at least a few that I come back to for all manner of reasons. Some of the authors who have “nailed” it for me have always provided me with a deeply satisfying “comfort read” or, to be more accurate, a reread since I read favorite books over and over. So I tend to focus on the author more than a particular title since truly it’s the author who is providing me with so many hours of comfort and enjoyment.
AM: Why do you think erotica has recently become so popular with both romance readers and an audience that traditionally hasn’t read much romance?
MB: I think publishers were smart to go for a more mainstream look for the covers of books because it lessened inhibitions to both buy and/or read in public. And what’s popular is cyclical in publishing. What’s hot today may be lukewarm in the future and genres currently considered “dead” will once again be revitalized and become popular again.
AM: The hero of Letting Go, Dash, is a very powerful, successful man, albeit with a softer side than we sometimes see with dominant heroes. Did you have a particular inspiration when writing him? What are your favorite kinds of heroes to write?
MB: I didn’t have a particular inspiration for Dash because I write all my heroes they way I love them. Dominant yet tender. Loving and patient. A man who is intensely protective of the woman he loves and one who will go to any lengths to protect her, keep her safe and make her happy.
AM:Letting Gois a “second chance at love” romance that handles the trope in a very original way. What are some of your favorite classic romance plots?
MB: Oh there are lots of themes that I adore in romance. Friends to lovers, pregnant heroines, woman in jeopardy, marriage in jeopardy stories. Oh I could go on and on! [Laughs]
AM: What can we expect to see next in this new trilogy? Are all of the stories going to be based around BDSM-related themes?
MB: Yes, the trilogy will have BDSM themes however more from an emotional standpoint, especially in the second book. I examine the emotional aspects of a dominant/submissive relationship and the focus is more on the emotion than the actual physical components.
AM: Who are your favorite new or new to you romance writers? Have you read anything lately that you really loved?
MB: The last “new to me author” I discovered and loved was Kristen Ashley. As far as reading anything “lately” unfortunately my deadlines have prevented me from doing any pleasure reading.
AM: Do you have a favorite genre to write? Is it different than your favorite genre to read?
MB: I don’t have a favorite genre to write. What I most love about being able to write in so many genres is that it keeps it fresh and exciting for me. If I only wrote in one genre, I’d bore myself silly. As for favorite genre for me to read, I don’t pay attention to genre. I just want an awesome story no matter what genre it’s classified under. Give me that and I’m happy.
AM: What inspired you to write your first romance novel?
MB: I actually started writing full length novels when I was in junior high and high school. It was just something I loved to do. After the birth of my third child, I decided that it was time for me to pursue writing as a full time job.
AM: Well thank you so much!
MB: Thank you!
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