Neither Samanthe Beck or Robin Bielman are newbie writers. Both are USA Today bestsellers with a combined 30+ novels under their belts. But they are newbie co-writers. Writing and editing a book on your own is one thing, but writing with a partner? That’s different. In their own words, they tell us about their experience writing Promise Me, out April 15th.
Sam, what was it really like writing with Robin?
Writing with Robin was a privilege and a gift. She’s smart. She’s talented. She’s kind, but also dedicated to the story and not afraid to do the hard work to keep it on the very best track. Likewise, she’s a tireless cheerleader when we’re rolling like thunder! Plus she’s reliable and accountable. If she says she’ll have the next chapter to you by Friday, be ready to read a next chapter by Friday. And it will be freaking awesome!
Robin, what was it really like writing with Sam?
It was really great. Sam is quick-witted, funny, super supportive, and patient. She always has the answer—seriously, I would have flailed without her—and was willing to talk through scenes and ideas and characters until they finally took shape in my head. I was safe with her. She had my back, and talk about a tireless cheerleader? Her encouragement and love for our story and characters lit a fire under me anytime I doubted myself.
Sam: Robin’s funny as hell, but she cold plays it. There’s a scene in Promise Me where our heroine, Kendall, gets sucked into a Disney dress-up party hosted by a little girl who lives across the street, and it’s so cute and sharp at the same time, because Kendall absolutely knows what she’s getting herself into, but goes there anyway. And then, of course, our hero Vaughn comes by and catches Kendall playing princess. Being a twenty-something guy, he’s not quite sure what to make of it, but he musters up some prince-charming moves! The whole interaction is adorable and lighthearted, and I could never have come up with it in a million years.
Robin: Sam is by far funnier than I am! I *think* I’m funny, but usually only crack myself up. There’s a scene in Promise Me where Vaughn and Kendall are in the shower together and they’re teasing each other (with more than words, wink wink) and Vaughn wants Kendall to admit he’s the best neighbor ever. It’s lighthearted and playful and Kendall comes back with a zinger of a line that had not only me laughing, but our editor and our copyeditor. Sam’s humor is always spot-on, and she layers funny with sexy so seamlessly.
Who’s more disciplined?
Sam: Robin, for sure. She’s a wife, a mom, and she works a day job, yet she cranks out these amazing words on a tight schedule. Robin should hold time management workshops. I’d pay to attend!
Robin: Ha! Thanks, Sam, but I’ll throw it right back at you. My boys are grown, where Sam’s son recently hit double digits, so her mom duties are a full-time job, and yet she cranks out the word count, too. (FYI, she is an amazing mom.) The awesome thing about writing together, though, was that we were accountable to each other and we didn’t want to let each other down, so that made us more disciplined. And also more understanding on those days when the words didn’t flow.
Who writes better sex scenes?
Sam: Robin’s not as sweet and innocent as she looks! Y’all are going to read Promise Me and attribute the filthy shower ass-slapping to me, but it was totally HER idea! I just went along. Seriously. Maybe I added a blowjob here and there, as one does. But honestly, Robin was the one putting these two crazy kids through the Kama Sutra. I was taking notes. I learned things!
Robin: I’m not? LOL Yes, I often talk like a sailor. And yes, I like the sexy times. But hands down, Sam is the queen of sex scenes. She added more than a blowjob here and there, people. She knows just how to get our H/H hot and bothered and then prolong the foreplay until we’re begging for it as much as our main characters are.
Who writes better tear-jerker scenes?
Sam: You know what? I’m going to spread credit here. Kendall has a tough and tragic backstory, and that’s something we both devised, but there’s a chapter toward the end where she confronts her past, and I really wallowed in that moment. I got choked up as we planned and discussed the dialogue. The scene is wrenching, but necessary.
Robin: I’m with Sam, here, but I’d also like to add that Sam is really great at digging deep and going beyond the surface of our characters’ thoughts and emotions. I often wrote something and then Sam would go in and add those extra layers I mentioned earlier. We both worked hard to make Kendall multi-dimensional and someone our readers could laugh and cry with.
Where did you write?
Sam: For this Bielman-Beck Joint, we wrote at the Trancas Starbucks in Malibu–except not really. We talked, we drank our mochas and lattes, we people watched. I think most of the actual writing happened separately, at our lonely little desks at our respective homes.
Robin: Those were the best days!! True, we didn’t get a lot of actual writing done, but we brainstormed and researched and then we talked about life and drank yummy beverages and that made it easier to go home to write.
People watching in Malibu? Who did you see?!!
Soooo many stars! Cindy Crawford, (gorgeous as ever, truly banging bod), Shia LaBeouf, all bearded up, looking like he was caffeinating in order to work on his manifesto. Kevin Dillon, in casual Entourage mode. Kate Hudson, Rick Springfield…There were others, but we can’t think of them all.
Would you do it again?
Sam and Robin: YES! Anytime! Cue up every word of The Golden Girls theme song here. 😉
About the Authors:
When not attached to her laptop, USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman can almost always be found with her nose in a book. A California girl, the beach is her favorite place for fun and inspiration. Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts all of her story ideas. She is a 2014 RITA Finalist, loves to frequent coffee shops, and plays a mean game of sock tug of war with her cute, but sometimes naughty dog, Harry. She cherishes her family and friends and loves to connect with readers.
You can find her on the web and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Samanthe Beck lives in Malibu, California with her husband, their young son, a furry ninja named Kitty, and Bebe the trash talkin’ Chihuahua. When not writing fun, contemporary, melt-your-Kindle sexy romances for Entangled Publishing’s Brazen imprint, she searches for the perfect cabernet to pair with Ambien.
About Promise Me:
Instead of soaking up the SoCal sunshine while house-sitting for my aunt, I’m dealing with a Pomeranian who thinks she’s a pit bull, two half sisters who would happily prune me off the family tree, and him. Vaughn Shaughnessy. Hot model about to go nuclear, dangerously sexy flirt whose perceptive green eyes promise he’s more than just a pretty face. He’s the kind of walking, talking temptation I should avoid, but that’s impossible because he also happens to be my extremely lickable—I mean likable—neighbor.
He’s turning me into a hot mess.
Thing is, I can’t handle more messes in my life. I’m still trying to come to terms with the monumental ones in my past, and getting involved with Vaughn—even for temporary summer fun—is guaranteed to get messy. I don’t dare risk it, but I’m not sure I can resist…