[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to have author BB Easton guest posting on the site today! Take it away, BB!]
When I was approached to write this article, the assignment was supposed to be super-easy. “Just talk about your top five favorite dystopian romance novels. You know, books like your new release, The Rain Trilogy,” my publicist’s email had said.
I think I snorted out loud. Luckily, she couldn’t hear me through the computer. But that’s when I realized that I’ve never even read an apocalyptic/dystopian romance. I’ve read plenty of dystopian YA. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth consumed me. They were so well told. The layered storylines, the building of suspense, the gritty settings and sexual tension—it was all just delicious. But whenever I’d get to the end, I’d always walk away feeling the tiniest bit unsatisfied. Because deep down, I really just want everything to be a love story.
When I look back at my very favorite stories as a kid, I realize that this is a common theme for me. I didn’t particularly care for Disney princesses (other than that boy-crazy badass, Ariel). Turtles who live in the sewer and fight crime didn’t do it for me. Bears who shoot rainbows out of their stomachs? Pssh, please. If anyone needed me, they could find me parked in front of the TV watching The Princess Bride for the hundred-thousandth time. Or Little Shop of Horrors, or Gremlins, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or The Fifth Element. To this day, if you start a sentence with the word, “Suddenly,” be prepared for me to tune out everything to you say for the next two and a half minutes as I wistfully smile and watch Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene belt out the lyrics to “Suddenly Symour” in a crumbling alleyway in my mind.
Those are the stories that left me completely and utterly satisfied. Tales of young couples in love who have to fight the forces of evil together in order to win their happily ever afters. Sure, they wanted to save the world/defeat Prince Humperdinck/eradicate their town’s nasty vampire/Gremlin/talking plant from outerspace problem, but what they were really fighting for—and what really had me biting my nails to the quick as I sat wide-eyed on my parents’ faux-leather couch—was simply the chance to be together. By the time the final credits rolled, I’d walk away from the TV with a smile on my face, a flutter in my heart, and a karate kick in my step.
Miles Dale, the Academy Award Winning producer of The Shape of Water—another magnificent story about a couple battling the forces of evil for a chance to live happily ever after—once told me that I am “a woman who wants it all.” And honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been more accurately described. I am a woman who wants it all. I think we all are. We want to have the adventure, we want to defeat the insurmountable challenge, AND we want to get the guy. Is that so much to ask?
To pay tribute to the stories that made me believe that I, too, could grow up to be a combat-boots-under-my-ball-gown kind of badass, I named my hero in The Rain Trilogy Wes, after Cary Elwes’s character in The Princess Bride. And then, just to be extra, I gave him a big-ass gun and a blue Hawaiian shirt, a la Leonardo DiCaprio from Romeo + Juliet. I wanted to write a dark, gritty, dystopian romance that made me feel the way these movies did. I wanted dangers and obstacles around every corner. I wanted a colorful, motley crew of allies and enemies. I wanted a castle to storm, an evil ruler to defeat, and heroine who transforms from a wilted wall flower into a Venus flytrap before your very eyes. But more than anything, I wanted it to be a passionate, emotional, sweeping love story. Insert dreamy sigh here.
Speaking of binge-watching inspiring content, now that The Rain Trilogy is done, I can finally do something I’ve been denying myself the pleasure of for months … binge-watch MasterClass! I’m a former school psychologist, so learning is one of my absolute favorite things—both to do and to study—but when you pair it with wine, mood lighting, and intense, direct eye-contact—which I’ve surmised is the genius of MasterClass—it’s just downright sexy. I’m convinced that the producers of MasterClass must have read Kellerman, Lewis, and Laird’s 1989 study that found that as little as two minutes of direct eye contact with a stranger was enough to produce feelings of passion for the other person. If two minutes is enough to make you fall in love, then two hours spent gazing into Neil Gaiman eyes as he serenades you about the art of storytelling might just be enough to get you pregnant.
That’s my nighttime binge. My daytime binge, in the event that my kids leave me alone long enough to get one, is Queer Eye on Netflix. Oh my god, I love it even more than Fixer Upper, and I didn’t think anything would make my heart soar like watching Chip and Joanna Gaines crack open a dilapidated farm house and find a treasure trove of shiplap at their disposal. Queer Eye is like Fixer Upper if Chip and Joanna had smartass, sassy attitudes and the house itself cried and said thank you at the end. It’s like that.
But the binge of all binges, which will be equal parts scary and surreal for me, will definitely, without a doubt, be Sex/Life on Netflix. My first book, a sexy, funny, slightly evil memoir called 44 Chapters About 4 Men, is the inspiration for this salacious dramedy series, and I cannot WAIT to see the masterpiece that producer J. Miles Dale, showrunner Stacy Rukeyser, and the entire team at Netflix create. The series (which starts filming in March and will be released in late 2020 or early 2021) is about the complicated, messy, and downright kinky consequences that come along with being a woman who wants it all. Somebody pass the popcorn!
About the Author:
BB Easton lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, with her long-suffering husband, Ken, and two adorable children. She recently quit her job as a school psychologist to write books about her punk rock past and deviant sexual history full-time. Ken is suuuper excited about that. The Rain Trilogy, which will conclude with Dying for Rain’s release on January 30, is her first work of fiction.
Find Her Here:
Dying for Rain, out now!
The post-April 23 world is a lawless, senseless, ruthless place, but it’s not loveless. At least, not for Rain and Wes.
But when the government begins holding daily televised executions as a demonstration of their power, that love is put to the ultimate test:
Sacrifice one life to save the many?
Or sacrifice many to save the one?