Q&A with Lauren Layne

Posted by Goodreads on May 14, 2018
Lauren Layne
Don't you just hate it when your job requires you to match wits with smart, sexy, and successful bad boys who will do anything to win your love? No, not quite relatable? Then prepare to indulge in your new fantasy: the wild world of Wall Street, as only Lauren Layne can deliver.

The author of Blurred Lines and Broken brings her "weakness for a playboy in a suit" to New York City in 21 Wall Street, her brand-new series about lust, longing, and a little dash of white-collar crime. The first book, Hot Asset, focuses on ambitious SEC agent Lara McKenzie, who's one bust away from realizing her lifelong dream of joining the FBI. As she digs for dirt on cocky businessman Ian Bradley, she begins to suspect the electric tension between them could be more about a real connection than insider trading. On Wall Street, it can sometimes be so hard to tell…

Layne answers your questions about how she tackled her first frenemies-to-lovers story, who she'd want to play Lara and Ian in a Hot Asset movie, and what romance novels she'll be devouring this summer.




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Maggie: Hooray! A brand-new series from my favorite author! What are you most excited about introducing your 21 Wall Street books to readers?

Lauren Layne: My number-one hope is always that I can deliver that elusive "stomach-flip moment" that comes from the hero doing or saying something that readers experience right down to their toes.

That said, I'm also really excited about the cast of characters in this series! The 21 Wall Street crew is a tight-knit group with plenty of banter, and I loved writing the scenes among the various friendships almost as much as the romantic relationships. (Almost—I said almost!)

Heather: If Hot Asset got a big Hollywood adaptation, who would you want to play Ian and Lara?

LL: So I knew the answer for this question straight away for Lara: Emily Bett Rickards. Her portrayal of Felicity in Arrow was a huge inspiration for Lara's character, right down to the long blond ponytail and glasses. As for Ian, I never did quite find the exact right actor to fit the image in my mind! Maybe a young, cocky George Clooney. But with blue eyes!


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Sam: A business bad boy and badass FBI lady? Sign. Me. Up. When did you first get the idea for this Wall Street-set series?

LL: I'm so glad I'm not the only one for a weakness for a playboy in a suit, and my inspiration was really exactly that. I live in Manhattan, where suit-wearing, power-lunching men are everywhere. I set my Oxford series (more hot guys in suits!) in the midtown/uptown part of the city, but I wanted to try something a little different…so I went downtown to the Financial District (Wall Street!) and created a whole new cast, starring—you guessed it—playboy bachelors who look really good in their expensive suits. I came up with the heroes first and then created female characters who could come turn their bachelor lifestyles upside down!

Laura: What was the first romance story you ever wrote about? Did it get published, or do you keep it in a drawer somewhere at home?

LL: The first book I wrote was a manuscript called Whatever Happened to Romance, though I can't technically call it my first book because I didn't finish it. I wrote everything except the final couple of chapters! I sometimes have visions of releasing it as a freebie for my newsletter subscribers, but I think I'm too afraid to have it judged. That book, more than any other, is my baby!

I did sell my first finished manuscript! I still think of it by its working title, Accidentally in Love, but readers know it as Only With You!

Rachel: Your fans have favorite characters of yours! But do you? When you look back at your books, what are the stories and the couples that stand out?

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LL: Oh gosh. I feel like I probably should say that I love them all equally, but…yeah, some stand out. My favorite hero of mine is Mitchell from After the Kiss. And Josh from For Better or Worse will always have a little sliver of my heart. Isn't She Lovely and Walk of Shame stand out as the books that feel most quintessentially like me, as though I were writing exactly what I'm meant to be writing. And I love Blurred Lines because it came to me so easily and was written in under two weeks; I always say it was the book that seemed to write itself!

If I had to pick just one all-time favorite of my books, I'd probably go with The Trouble with Love. (Walk of Shame is a really close second.)

Diane: I'm such a big fan of your books! I love that on your website it says you're an "opinionated advocate for a lovelier life with just a touch of fancy." I could definitely use a little fancy in my life! What would you recommend to get people started?

LL: I'm so glad that resonated with someone! I'm a huge fan of the Audrey Hepburn/Marilyn Monroe era, where elegance was for every day, not just special occasions. One of my first recommendations to get started is to "purge" your belongings, getting rid of anything you don't use or that you don't love. It doesn't have to be full-on minimalism, but it's hard to feel fancy when there's too much stuff in your closet, makeup bag, kitchen, living room, etc.

Beyond that, I also love the idea of having a signature thing: perfume, earrings, lipstick color, clothing style, unique beverage choice—anything that makes you feel most like yourself. Elegance and "fancy" start with confidence, and we're most confident when we feel like us.

Catherine: What are the books you're looking forward to reading this summer?

LL: I'm a huge Regency romance fan. Huge. I can't get enough of them! Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James is on my list, and I've put serious thought into how I can possibly sweet-talk Sarah MacLean into letting me read Wicked and the Wallflower early because there's no way I can wait until June!

Amy: What kind of romance heroine would you be?
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LL: Well, as mentioned above, I love me some Regency romance. I have very real visions of being a plucky duchess…until I remember the lack of modern appliances I'd have to deal with. So instead I'll say that I'd love to be a Nora Roberts heroine. No one writes heroines like she does—every single female character is strong, but she shows strength in nuanced ways. I'm always a little in awe of her skill.

Danielle: What was the first book that hooked you on romance?

LL: My memory's a little vague on which came first, but I'd say Nora Roberts' The Reef (plucked from my mom's Costco haul) and Janelle Taylor's Midnight Secrets. I read both of those books before I really knew that the romance genre was "a thing"—back then, I read anything and everything that crossed my path!—and I was just riveted.

The book that absolutely changed my destiny as a forever romance reader came a couple years later. It remains one of my top-ten favorites of all time: Judith McNaught's Perfect.

Jessie: I'm already dying to read the next 21 Wall Street book! Can you give us a tease of what to expect?

LL: I'm so glad someone else is as excited about Matt and Sabrina as me. So here's something about them that caught me by surprise: When I introduced the characters in Hot Asset, I thought their romance would be an enemies-to-lovers story. So imagine my surprise when I started to actually write Hard Sell and realized that Matt and Sabrina were…friends?! Don't get me wrong, they're still definitely enemies; they've got some stuff in their past that has them determined to keep the other at a distance. However, beneath their antagonism, I realized that these two characters really cared about each other, even from the very start of the story. So it was definitely a fun challenge to write my first frenemies-to-lovers story. The result was rewarding, and their book is one of my favorite things I've ever written.

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Cayla (new)

Cayla Love Lauren Layne! I devour anything and everything she writes from her books, to her newsletters. She's wonderful!


D.raghavendrarao Very interesting review of the books.
DRVRao


message 3: by Jan (new)

Jan Barron I AM NEW TO LAUREN LAYNE, LOOKING FORWARD TO READING HER NOVEL OF HOT ASSETS: Sounds like it will be really HOT...Can't wait... kEEP UP THE GOOD
WRITING


message 4: by Toby (last edited Jun 06, 2018 05:52AM) (new)

Toby Wells I am new to this genre but I surely can say I am in love with this author and her writing style. I myself write novels, and I am inspired by the bright and light storylines she support throughout plot. Cannot wait to read a frenemies-to-lovers story, this tease gets me. Probably, I will need other fans to discuss this book!


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