Behind the Books (RWA Edition) – An Interview with Lauren Stewart

by Maryse on September 6, 2012 · 11 comments

in Behind The Books

Author Lauren Stewart

Oh look!! I found one more interview from Caroline Hanson’s recent trip to the Romance Writers of America Convention. It is with author Lauren Stewart who has just recently released Hyde, an Urban Fantasy and here she is to tell us more about it (and herself).

Here’s how she described her book to me, and I must say, I’m intrigued!! (look below, you’ll see why ;) There are some important “key words” there!)

“… It is dark UF with strong romantic elements and dry humor, inspired by R.L. Stevenson’s original novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

But unlike Stevenson, who probably didn’t find fictional bad boys as attractive as I do, what I tried to do with my book is to examine the theme of good and evil within the relationship between a heroine and her anti-hero. An anti-hero who can be just as cruel and abrasive as Jericho Barrons from KMM’s Fever series, who has the wit and sarcasm of Vishous from Ward’s BDB series, and who is as incredibly hot as both of them. I hope you’ll agree.”

Quick synopsis of Hyde:

To survive, they must embrace what they most despise . . . in themselves and each other.

Mitch Turner is everything women want most in a man—charismatic, successful, drop-dead gorgeous. Except he’s not a man—he’s a monster.

The only way Mitch can protect others from his monstrous side is to stop them from getting too close…that and a 7×7 foot cage. Isolated by his genetic curse, he spends his life hurting people emotionally, driving them away before Hyde can harm them physically. But, after a night of the best sex Mitch has ever had, he realizes that might be impossible. Except the woman he wakes up with claims she doesn’t remember any of it.

Eden Colfax is everything men want most, men other than Mitch, that is. She’s kind, honest to a fault and sickeningly sweet. To rid herself of the monsters that haunted her broken childhood, Eden doesn’t lie, doesn’t curse, and definitely never wakes up naked in strangers’ beds…until the day she does.

Then the flashbacks start—places she’s never been, people she’s never met, blood she’s never spilled. She discovers she’s split into two parts—the woman she thought she knew and another who is capable of anything. And the only person with any answers is the one man she never wants to see again.

What neither of them know is that someone is watching them both, manipulating them, determined to see just how evil the two of them really are. And when the truth begins to seep through the cracks, leaving them nowhere to turn but each other, they will be forced into a partnership neither had expected.


1. My dream cast for Hyde, an Urban Fantasy

I’ve long had an unnatural obsession with Bradley Cooper. In my head, he is my hero, Mitch. He’s gorgeous, incredibly masculine, and has an innate ability to be charming, sarcastic, and tortured all at the same time. As for my heroine, Eden, I’m not sure. She has a distinctive look, but I can’t seem to find exactly the right actress to play her. But I am open to suggestions. Eden is a good girl, full of hope and kindness, but she also has an inner bad-girl who is all about instant gratification and living on the edge.

2. A secret about my upcoming project

My next project is a comedic mystery called: No Experience Required (NERF for short. I’m not telling anyone what the ‘F’ stands for so feel free to pick your own ‘F’ word). It’s about a woman straight off the hippie commune who gets into a whole lot of trouble in the big city of San Francisco. Hmm…a big secret about it? The killer is… Just kidding, I can’t tell you that!

I’m also currently working on book two of the Hyde series and my poor, damaged characters will definitely still be dealing with betrayal and confinement. Oh, here’s a good secret. It’s so good, even I don’t know it—the name of the book.

3. Do I listen to music while writing?

I listen to music all the time…except while I work. You can usually find me writing at my local coffee shop. Since they don’t seem to appreciate my singing voice, I’ve had to learn to write in silence, with only my character’s voices in my head.

4. Surprises from characters or story

My characters are always surprising me. I start each book with a well-developed synopsis, but scenes tend to appear in my head without warning, usually at very inappropriate times. But the biggest surprise thus far was the ending of Hyde. From the very beginning, I knew it would be a series because I both love and hate authors that make me pine for their next book (JR Ward and Karen Marie Moning are two of my favorites). I was sure Hyde’s ending was going to go one way, but I ended up having no say in how it turned out. The characters weren’t ready for the ending I’d planned, and that kind of thing is impossible to force.

5. What am I writing now?

Like I said earlier, I’m just finishing up a comedic-mystery, No Experience Required, that will be out by the end of summer. But, because inspiration is a funny thing, I am also intermittently working on the second book of Hyde and a bunch of short stories that I plan on releasing as freebies.

6. My favorite book that I’ve written

All of them? That’s a boring answer, but it’s true. Each book has its own magic and personality. They are kind of like my kids—I love each of them equally and uniquely. I love Mitch, the bad boy of Hyde. I love the universal theme of Hyde and its darkness. And I love the silly humor and joie de vivre of No Experience Required’s heroine, Summer.

7. My favorite book written by someone else

Just one? Another impossible thing to answer. I will go with…dang, this is tough. Okay, I will go with the urban fantasy series that inspired me to start writing seriously: Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. Yes, I just cheated because it’s actually five books with more to come, but I couldn’t help it. Barrons is amazing. The world building is fantastic. KMM’s writing is incredible. And those books introduced me to a genre that crosses boundaries and genre lines and has something for everyone. KMM taught me that it was possible and that there is an audience for that type of story.

8. Favorite food

Ice cream. Hands down. Flavor? Anything that isn’t boring. I guess I like my ice cream like I like my books—the more stuff that’s crammed in there, the better.

9. Something fans don’t know about me

I was a massage therapist. And not the naughty kind. Perhaps that is why I have a tough time writing ‘happy endings’. ;-)

10. Who would make me feel like a fangirl?

A few months ago I went to the Romantic Times Convention. J.R. Ward was there. Not only did I realize that I want to be her BFF, when she wished me luck with my writing, I almost started to cry like a little girl. Thankfully, I ran away before it got ugly.

11. A dog or a cat person

Both, but don’t tell that to my cat, Luna. Yes, she’s named after Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books.

12. Favorite pizza topping

Pineapple. Jalapenos are a tight second.

13. Favorite TV show

That depends on my mood, but I will admit to always loving cooking shows. Top Chef, Chopped, etc. I’m also a fan of anything Nathan Fillion will ever be in and anything Joss Whedon will ever touch.

14. Favorite romantic movie

Someone recently reminded me of the Leonardo DiCaprio/Clare Danes “Romeo and Juliet”. That one was amazing. But I think “Princess Bride” is one of my all-time favorites, romantic or otherwise. That movie had everything going for it.

15. What if today was my last day?

I’d probably spend the entire day trying to get hold of Bradley Cooper so I could beg him to fulfill my dying wish and sleep with me. If that didn’t work, I would spend the day cuddling with my kids, friends, and family, letting them know how incredible they are. Because they really, really are.

16. My celebrity crush.

I’m pretty sure I answered that in the last response, but just in case anyone missed it: Bradley Cooper. I mean, seriously? Those eyes, that body, that ability to simultaneously be insanely hot and hysterically funny. Oh, not to mention that he speaks fluent French and reads for pleasure. Does anyone know how I could get him to read Hyde?

Thanks so much Lauren! I *squee’d* a bit when you mentioned your favorites. I must agree!! J.R. Ward and Karen Marie Moning’s books have absolutely rocked my world!

For those of you wanting to find out more about Lauren, check her out here:


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Roxanne September 6, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Nice list of favorites! I see now why I love your writing.
Hyde is such a wonderful book and I’m counting the days until the next. Until then…NERF!

Christina McKnight September 6, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Great interview! Who doesn’t adore Mr. Cooper, although MY Mitch is Ryan Phillippe! To each his own.

Rachelle Ayala September 6, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Well, I didn’t even know who Bradley Cooper was until I read this interview. Knowing you, he’ll have a copy of Hyde in his mailbox next week.

Wonderful interview!

Lauren Stewart September 6, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad you liked it!

Hmmm…Ryan Phillippe, huh? Highly attractive. Check. Slightly devious. Check. Sardonic air about him. Check. But does he speak French and have the bod Bradley did in The A-Team? Nope. Unparalleled. So I’m still on Team BC. ;)

Lauren Stewart September 6, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Maryse, I thought I heard your squee! ;) Thanks so much for having me on your blog!

KMM and Ward are my all-time faves, with only a few dozen more behind them. :) The badder the boy, the faster I read.

Maryse September 6, 2012 at 10:10 PM

I’m thrilled to have you here, Lauren! You ‘n me are on the same page about our bad boys. Anxious to meet yours… ;)

Mary Merrell September 6, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Lauren and Maryse, great interview. With every question, I wanted to add my answers. Bradly Cooper is very hunky, but I have to stick with my all time favorite, Johnny Depp. Those eyes, those lips, cheek bones to die for…sorry. If you like bad boys, Lauren, you’ll probably like my Frank from House Haunting. It’s not a romance, but there is some romance in it. He’s my not-so-nice-hero…apparently I have a thing for the bad boys too. I loved Mitch. Oops, Mitchell. I love to watch as the bad boy starts to fall a little. Can’t wait for the next one. Write, write, write. Mary

Barbara Elsborg September 7, 2012 at 12:24 AM

I didn’t know who Bradley Cooper was either. In fact I still don’t. Off to google…. oh no, leave a comment first. OOh but I want to see….. no, stay on track… fun interview Lauren! NOW I can go look.

Oh him, yes, I know who he is, I just didn’t know his name – er – not my type – so we’re not going to be fighting for him if that final day comes!! I bet that’s a relief.

Jennifer Comeaux September 7, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Great interview! I just finished Hyde and was blown away by its emotional complexity. It was a lot darker than most of the stuff I read, but it totally sucked me in. You’d better be finished with Book Two by now! :)

Paula Novack November 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Great interview! I loved Hyde. I can’t wait for book 2!

Lauren Stewart November 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Thanks, Paula! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

BTW, I will always adore Bradley, but I’m afraid he’s been usurped by someone else in the fantasy movie version of Hyde. Sorry, Bradley. :(

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