Beth Kery loves romance, and the more emotionally laden and sexy the romance the better. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Because You Are Mine, When I’m With You, and Exposed to You. Her books have been translated into over eleven languages.
The following are Q&A from interviews conducted by Smexy Books and Romance Novel News in 2012, with upcoming projects updated by the author
1. Who is Beth Kery? Give us the low down.
I’m a reader who just thought—for some random reason—I could write romance novels. I’m a longtime urbanite, and love the city, museums, the theatre and diversity. I really do love art, which is why you see artists popping up in my books a lot. I’m living vicariously, as even my stick figures are indecipherable. I also grew up a small town girl, however, so you often get a blend of city and small town in my books. I have over thirty novels and short stories under my belt at this point. Probably the most fun I ever had writing a book was the Because You Are Mine serial. I’m not just saying that, either. It was so invigorating to be thrown into a whole new writing process. Publishing is often considered to be staid and predictable, but writing Because You Are Mine felt like anything but.
2. BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE, a serial romance that will be released in 8 weekly installments. Can you give our readers some background about this story?
Because You Are Mine is a love story that begins as a sexual obsession between a billionaire entrepreneur and an artist/graduate student. He commissions her to do the centerpiece painting for his new headquarters, but there are threads that connect this couple even farther back in history than before their first meeting. Because of those threads—what I would call ‘soul threads’—what seems to be a sexual obsession in reality is just the beginning of a relationship between a couple that was destined to be together. Although, there’s no real evidence for that at first, as personal histories and insecurities are hurdled and finally shared.
I would describe this story as a little bit Cinderella, Pretty Woman, Harlequin Presents, Fifty Shades, and a lot Beth Kery rolled into one. Even though I wanted this book to have that dark, obsessional sexual edge, I also wanted the lighter, magical moments of first falling in love—an outdoor lunch at a Parisian café, an impromptu summer concert on the lawn, the perfect gift given at the perfect moment…
Because You Are Mine contains elements of BDSM and D/s. For Francesca, the heroine, getting involved with complicated, enigmatic, controlling Ian Noble is a risk, but the excitement of it—the thrill of being with him and taking everything he has to offer her—is too great to resist. He’s the type of man that can whisk you away to Paris in a private jet for a romantic getaway and open up whole new territories of experience, both in the bedroom and out. For Ian, he can’t keep away from Francesca despite her innocence. What seems like a solely sexual obsession becomes the beginning path on the journey toward healing. Both Ian and Francesca have inner demons, but they really aren’t of the highly dysfunctional variety. They are both healable. I love how we get to see them grow as they both teach each other valuable, needed lessons and thrive in each other’s presence.
3. What is it about an older, extremely wealthy hero and a younger, more innocent heroine that is so attractive to audiences right now? Is it that she can bring out his vulnerabilities?
I do think that’s a big part of it. The saying that opposites attract has some validity. The hero, who is sort of dark and scarred, naturally is drawn to innocence. The heroine’s light transforms him, and he can’t resist that opportunity to be more whole. It’s an ancient motif, popping up in everything from Jane Eyre to Harlequin Presents to vampire romances. In regard to an older (although not necessarily even middle-aged) hero, I think that newer readers, like the surge of twenty-somethings who were turned on by things like Fifty Shades and their high tech reading devices, want to have a heroine approximately their age. The lure of a sophisticated, wealthy man isn’t just about monetary goods; it’s about his experience and what he could teach the heroine. It’s fun to live that fantasy vicariously.
4. Why publish BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE as a serial?
It was the publisher’s decision to do it as a serial. I don’t know their specific reasoning, but I have some ideas. Plus, with this whole process, I’ve really thought about the serialization a lot. I think the popularity of fanfic is relevant—the idea of anticipating the next installment, although BECAUSE is a bit different than fanfic, because it will be consistent in its publication every Tuesday. Reader technology and social media provide new and exciting ways to share a book. Time is controlled, so readers are often consuming the book at the same pace and can share via social media outlets.
Many people don’t realize that in the traditional publishing format, a book isn’t published until nine to eighteen months after it’s written. In the case of BECAUSE, I literally just finished it, and readers are already starting to experience it. It makes for a much more invigorating and fresh experience, in my opinion. If BECAUSE had been done traditionally, readers would not lay eyes to it until spring next year. (Which is precisely when the print/complete edition did come out). It’s an additional reader choice to read the book this way. However, for readers who must consume all at once, there’s always the option of waiting. All eight parts will be out in September, which is still much, much earlier than it would have been out in the traditional publishing format. The publisher, my editor, myself and so many other people worked our tails off to get the book out with this format and offer readers an additional choice. Tons of work, but tons of fun, too.
5. Did you write BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE knowing it would be released in installments? Or did you write it as a full-length novel that was then broken up into distinct segments?
I wrote it knowing it would be in installments. It was very challenging. We came up with titles first, then rough synopses, and then went to writing. Sometimes blurbs had to be altered as plot threads changed in the story. I was totally submersed in this intensive writing/editing/feedback process. I’ve never experienced anything like it as an author. It was nerve wracking at times, but also so rich in regard to creativity. I lived, breathed and dreamed BECAUSE for months on end. I still am, for that matter.
6. Is it more difficult to publish something in serial format? It seems like it would be more complicated because each segment has its own cover, title and blurb.
Yes, it was very challenging. As I’ve said, the staff at Berkley really put in intensive effort on this one, as I did. Constant feedback was necessary between all departments and myself to pull this off. We all had to step up our game, and in my opinion, it came off brilliantly. There were so many places it could have gone wrong, but by some miracle, it didn’t. I really have to tip my hat to the Berkley staff for their masterful planning on this. It was nice to bring the book to readers so quickly. This format allows for a much shorter publishing process than a traditional book.
7. What is up next for Beth Kery?
(Updated on 7/31/13).
On August 6th, Addicted to You, the first novel in the One Night of Passion series will be re-released in mass market paperback, giving new readers an opportunity to enter this series. On September 3, my second serial novel When I’m With You will go to print/complete format. I’m excited that Target has decided to do a special edition of When I’m With You, Book 2 of the BYAM series, which will include a bonus novella—Captured By You from the One Night of Passion series. On November 5, Because We Belong, Book 3 in the Because You Are Mine series, makes its debut. For me, this was a very emotional book to write—a tearjerker, super sexy, intensely passionate, full of longing and with a soulful, satisfying ending to this special couple’s romance. In December of this year, Sweet Restraint will be re-released in mass market paperback format. So I have a busy end to 2013.
Next year brings Kam’s and Lin’s story from the Because You Are Mine series—Since I Saw You. These are two characters I just love—so different than one another, and yet so perfectly matched. 2014 will also bring a brand new, smoking hot serial in the fall, as well as Seth’s novel in the One Night of Passion series in the winter. It should be fun!