Book: Twice in a Blue Moon
"Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is a silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.
Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. These days you can find her at her desk, writing or watching BTS videos. She lives in Utah with her husband and daughter, thinks she’s the luckiest person in the world to write books with her best friend, and is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter."
1. How did the Christina Lauren pairing come together and what made you both want to become a writing duo?
We met in 2009 when Lo was putting together a panel at SDCC on fanworks, and invited Christina to participate. We just clicked! We wrote a short story together and the collaboration came so naturally and was so fun that we decided to write a book.
2. Being that you are a duo, what does your writing process typically look like?
Honestly it’s different with every book. You’d think we’d have a pretty solid process by now, but with each new story we find ourselves looking at each other going how do we do this again??? It’s always different and we’ve learned we have to be flexible. One thing we try to always do is outline in person.
There’s just something magic that happens when we spend a few days bouncing ideas off each other. Obviously COVID has made that more difficult, but along with the rest of the world, we’re working around it! After we have a pretty detailed outline, we go back to our individual houses and write whichever chapters/scenes/POV’s we’re responsible for.
At some point we start to combine and begin the very long process of editing. It’s possible to write a good draft, but in our opinion revising is where the magic really happens.
3. How did the story idea for “Twice in a Blue Moon” develop and do you really believe in second chance love?
We were inspired by the opening of A Room With A View, where a passionate love blooms on vacation and then—for whatever reason—circumstances keep the couple apart. TIABM was one where we wrote it the first time, it didn’t work, and so we went back to their time in London and thought—how can we have these two reconnect after Sam does a truly hurtful thing? Trying to figure out the way these two returned to each other was fun and sweet.
4. Was there a particular reason you all wanted to move away from your traditional humorous writing style on the “Twice in a Blue Moon” project?
We are lucky that we get to write whatever story is in our head, and sometimes that means that we have a book that lends itself well to comedy, and other times the tone comes out more sincere. Our more natural voice leans comedy so it’s sometimes nice to switch it up and flex other muscles.
5. What are some of your favorite romantic comedy movies that have inspired some of your past work, as well as “Twice in a Blue Moon”?
So many! Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, While You Were Sleeping, The Proposal—the list goes on and on. We’ll also fight anyone who doesn’t agree that Disney’s Tangled is a romcom. As we said above, Twice in a Blue Moon was loosely inspired by the 1985 movie A Room With a View.
6. What all did you learn about yourselves while writing this book?
That falling in love isn’t just about the other person, it’s about you and where you are in life. Sometimes YOU aren’t ready. Also, that it’s important to be in charge of your own story.
7. It is widely agreed by readers of your books that you are exceptional at capturing the essence of falling in love. What writing techniques do you use to display this emotion?
Sometimes we come up with the heroine first, sometimes it’s the hero, or sometimes it’s the premise we can’t get out of our head. But something that’s always true is that we don’t just write two random people, we figure out exactly who this person would fall in love with. What is it about them specifically that makes them perfect for each other? And then what journey do they each need to go through in order to be ready.
8. How much of yourselves do you see in the main characters, Sam and Tate?
In this case, we relate more to Sam and his connection to his family, which is at the root of why he did what he did. Tate was a bit of a mystery to us, honestly, but that made her more fun to write. She was a puzzle, but we had to find our way in order to write from her POV.
9. Falling in love as a teenager is tough given life’s challenges and transitions, but what makes these types of love stories so alluring and appealing to write?
I think it’s the breathless excitement that comes from so many firsts, and the way falling in and out of love changes you and how you see the world.
10. What’s the best book you all have read in 2020?
11. What’s your best advice for getting over writer’s block?
Read and constantly expose yourself to storytelling. Brains aren’t machines, and you have to actively work to refill the creative well. You can’t be a writer if you’re too busy to read.
12. What’s the best advice you have ever received on happiness?
Invest in the things that bring you joy, and don’t worry about what other people think.
13. Do you plan on writing more books in the future?
Places To Find More From These Authors:
Twitter (Lauren): @lolashoes
Twitter (Christina): @seeCwrite
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