Hi guys, so it's very rare that I do interviews because I don't like the idea of asking questions that the author has been asked a thousand times before and the answers are all over the internet but once I knew I had the opportunity to interview Bethany Kris, especially when she'd changed the nature of her books (hello cliffhangers!) I knew it was a chance I couldn't miss.
Thank you to Indie Sage PR for organizing this blog tour, and here is the interview:
Hi, thank you for taking part in this interview. Firstly, what is it about the mafia lifestyle that intrigues you?
Hey there! Thank you for having me. I’m not sure it’s the lifestyle, so much as it is the culture. It’s more than just people involved in organized crime—each syndicate has their own world and rules that are so integral to the unit. It is a culture of people—wives, men, children. It is more than making money and having a proper rank. And that is what I want to show.
I’ve read and loved Filthy Marcellos and The Chicago War, how early on did you know that you wanted this to be an entire universe that will focus on all five families and then end with the next generation?
It’s actually more than five families in this world. There are the New York families which are: Marcello, Calabrese, and Donati. There are the Chicago families: DeLuca, Conti, Trentini, and Rossi. And there is the Vegas family, the Sorrento. And finally, my Canadian family, which I’ll be writing next, the Guzzi.
I knew probably at Giovanni’s book that I was going to continue on in the world, and I knew in Dante that the War would be next. I never intended to write the next Generation, and instead, just show them in Epilogues and things, but I feel like it’s better to “close” this world out with the Legacy of these people.
Where do you find inspiration for your books? Is it a case of knowing the characters then developing the story, the opposite or something completely different?
The characters always come to me first, and then they tell me the story. I just put it to paper for them, so to speak. Inspiration comes from a lot of different things, stuff I’ve been through, or sort of a “shout out” to people in the lifestyle from long ago. That sort of thing.
All the other books in the FM/TCW don’t end on cliffhangers, what made you decide to do so with this series?
Ha, well … I didn’t intend for this to be a cliffhanger with the Donati Bloodlines Trilogy. I actually wanted only one book and then I got to 59k or thereabouts with writing and realized this would end up being 170k book, and that’s just not going to sell like that, for one thing. And for another thing, it literally takes place over the period of 2-3 years. I thought that was too long of a timeline for one book.
And so, it got broken into three pieces for readability.
Your characters are all so distinctly different, even if they want the same things, is that something you have to actively work on or does it happen naturally?
I think it happens pretty naturally for me. But the thing is, I focus on this genre. While I might occasionally write a contemporary with no organized crime elements, 95% of my books are in this genre. And it would get terribly boring if I just wrote the same people over and over again. So while the character’s personalities are all distinct to them and different from other characters in my books, I do make an effort to have them be different, as well.
Obviously there are certain things I like—arranged marriages, for one. I have to make sure when I’m using that trope, that it’s not the same as the last time I used it, or the time before. So that’s where my effort comes in.
The characters’ personalities all come from them, haha.
Do you already have an idea of what the final scene of this universe looks like?
I do. And I think it’ll be nostalgic and happy. A goodbye, so to speak, because there’s no ‘see you later’ after I close out this world. I’ll be moving on to a new world.
Which book have you enjoyed writing the most?
Hmm … It’s hard to say. In this world, it’d be probably between Dante, Breathless, or Thin Lies. I really can’t decide.
When collaborating with other authors, do you feel any additional pressure or does it help having someone else being a part of it as well?
I have two co-authors, and I can say almost for certain that I won’t pick up another one as it is a lot of work—but shout out to London and Erin, because I love them. It is just a lot of work to add onto the pile I already have with my own work by scheduling in time to work on my projects with co-authors.
I don’t think there’s much pressure on me when writing with co-authors. I kind of go into it the same way I do with my own stuff—I want to know what the plan is from the jump, and how it’s going to end. Once I know that, the rest is like breathing.
You’ve managed to give us fans a good idea of when to expect all of your upcoming releases. Do you find that keeps you on track or does it ever increase the pressure?
Um, I need my schedules more than I can explain. I am the mother of 3 young sons, and my life is chaos in motion. And so, having a timetable that I can follow and making deadlines for myself that I need to meet keeps me on track. Sometimes I don’t always hit my deadlines, but I am not very far off them.
This is also my full-time job, so I depend on this entirely. And I like to have a few months’ worth of books backed up in case something happens—whether it be I get sick, or my hubby has to take time off work. It’s literally a safeguard for me to have stuff ahead. And that’s a big part of it for me.
Quick Fire Questions:
Book: So Much Pretty
Movie: Hard Candy
TV Show: Vikings or Grey’s Anatomy
Song: Million Dollar Man
Singer: Lana Del Rey
Band: Theory of a Deadman
Character that you didn’t write: Cathy from Flowers in the Attic
Character that you did write: Anton from my Russian Guns series
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