posted on July 12, 2019 by candacehavens

Oh. My. Look What Happened…

My mom and dad read every book I write during the proofing stages. My dad is a great proofer, and I can judge from my mom’s reaction if the general population will like the book. I’ve written some pretty sexy books, but my parents are the best, and super cool.

I mean, I’ve sent them every book except the last one. “Bet Me to Stay,” which just came out, is the sexiest, dirtiest book I’ve ever written. (Yes, I know, sex is not dirty. But Liam has a dirty mouth and it’s SUPER hot.) And while I’m never embarrassed by what I write, asking my dad to proof a book that is 100 percent driven by the sex… well, that’s just weird. I’m laughing right now because my dad will read the book, but the difference is I didn’t ask him to.

So why is it the sexiest book I’ve ever written? These characters sort of demanded it. I write a variety of genres from sweet to YA to mystery to super sexy and paranormal. And in every one of those books, the characters dictate the tone of the story. Just turns out Liam and Cassie, their story is driven by the sex, even though they have a great romance.

I know what you’re thinking, Candy, you have control of the story. You are the writer. I wish that were true. Here’s what happens when I sit down to write a book. I usually have some vague idea of who the characters are and what they are supposed to do. Then, once I get into the writing, I’m in some sort of fugue state. For real. Like I go back and do revisions and I don’t even remember writing certain scenes. There’s one involving a desk in this one that I was shocked by when I was editing. I didn’t even know I knew those things. True. Story.

Part of it is my process, but I also hear characters talking in my head. The dialogue, and story, comes straight from the movie playing in my head. Liam is an Irishman who owns a pub, that happens to be the competition for Cassie’s parent’s pub across the street. But she needs him for sexy inspiration for her new book. That’s basically what I started with and I’m so happy where it went.

Liam is a bit of a fantasy. I’m the first to admit that. That Irish accent mixed with a man who likes curvy women, yes please. And Cassie, who first meets him looking like a cross between a woman with 96 cats and a bag lady, is pretty much every writer. Most people like to think writers sit around eating bonbons and writing for a few hours a day, and then going for long walks in the castle garden. Oh. Wait. Maybe that’s just me who wishes it was that way.

The truth is far less glamorous. I pretty much live in yoga pants and giant t-shirts, and I’m blessed that my hair only needs to be washed every seven days or so. When I’m writing, I lose time and reality. I’m living in that world so fully.

I hope you guys enjoy Liam and Cassie’s story. They are two of my favorites now.

Oh, look. My dad just called. He probably read my Bet Me to Stay today. I wonder what he’ll say…

And I want to hear about your favorite literary couples. Who took you on an unexpected journey that surprised you?

Here’s a link to an excerpt that comes with a warning: This is for adults only.

Bet Me to Stay

Candace Havens

Candace Havens

Bestselling author Candace Havens has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA's, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country. And she is the Editorial Director for the Covet, Edge and Select lines at Entangled Publishing. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2200 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Hawkeye & Dorsey on 96.3, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.

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