Today I’m super excited and happy to welcome Nina Lane to Bookish Temptations. She’s one of my favorite Authors and I absolutely adore the Spiral of Bliss Series. I discovered her books a couple of months ago thanks to my friend Lena, and since then I haven’t stopped thinking about Dean West and Olivia Winter’s special love story.
So you can imagine my reaction when Nina Lane agreed to be interviewed by me. I think everyone heard me squeeing…;)
I had the chance to ask Nina a few questions about her book, her experience of being an Author, her future projects and more…
Elena: Thank you so much Nina for agreeing to do the interview. It’s a pleasure to have you here. What did inspire you to write Dean and Liv’s story?
Nina Lane: The book actually started as a short erotic story about a woman who is trying to get pregnant. Aside from that idea, I also had an image of a little downtown apartment with a wrought-iron balcony above a row of shops, and I knew that if I went with that story theme of pregnancy I would have plenty of room for lots of sex scenes!
But when I sat down to write, Liv walked right into my head and started telling me who she was and what she was doing, and she became a fully developed character very quickly. So the story started with her and kept evolving. I don’t know why, but Liv was incredibly easy for me to write. It’s like she was talking and I was just writing down what she said, though of course I did a lot of thinking about her character and why she is the way she is. I was really intrigued by her vulnerabilities and lack of self-assurance, wondering where that came from and what she and Dean had found in each other.
Although it took me longer to get a handle on Dean, once I had them figured out as a married couple who were deeply in love but had challenges to face, that was all the inspiration I needed to keep writing!
Elena: The Spiral of Bliss Series is unique in its genre because it talks about a couple that’s already married. Why did you make this particular choice?
Nina Lane: At first, the idea that Liv was married came about as part of her whole quest to have a baby. But once Dean started taking shape as a sexy, brilliant medieval history professor, I realized that as a married couple they had a dynamic and a history that I really wanted to explore further. As the more I wrote, the more I saw that it was a love story in and of itself – that Liv and Dean’s characters and their histories were the reason they’re so strong together, but also the reason the foundations of their marriage begin to crack.
Elena: Is there something of yourself in your characters?
Nina Lane: My instinctive reaction to this question is, “No” because I think of Liv and Dean as living, breathing human beings who exist wholly in their own right. However, if I really think about it, I’d have to admit that yes, because they’re characters I created, I surely had to put something of myself in them. I understand Dean’s need for control, his comfort zone in academia, his willingness to wear blinders to avoid seeing what he doesn’t want to see….and, oh yes, of course his brilliance! (hah!) And I fully understand Liv’s desire to be protected and nurtured, her longing to create a safe, idyllic home, and to a degree her uncertainty and attempts to find her own path.
Elena: Dean and Liv’s story really stays with the reader. One of the things that touched me the most is Liv and Dean’s strength and willingness to fight against anything and anyone that wanted to threaten their relationship. This is true love. While writing, was there a particular concept/theme you absolutely wanted to convey to your readers?
Nina Lane: That is it right there! The more I wrote, the more I knew I wanted to write about a be-all-end-all kind of love that can get Liv and Dean through anything at all. And it was critical that it came from both of them—although they have many doubts and weaknesses, never once does either of them completely give up. Even when they’re separated, they don’t consider ending their marriage or walking away from each other for good. The word divorce doesn’t cross their minds.
So that was the idea, really – that Liv and Dean not only love and want each other, they both just know that they will never give up on each other, even in their darkest moments.
Elena: Your books are highly erotic. The love scenes between Liv and Dean are sizzling and they perfectly convey the intensity and passion of their relationship. How was it for you to write this kind of sex scenes?
Nina Lane: I love writing a good sex scene! And I especially loved writing the Liv and Dean scenes because I knew that no matter how fraught or tense things might be between them, they always love each other to the core. And I knew they were always safe with each other, which I think is one of the main things that makes their sex life so explosive. That and, of course, the simple fact that they turn each other on! I do think that starting from the very premise that Liv and Dean are a couple deeply in love made the sex scenes very easy and natural to write.
Elena: When you started writing the Spiral of Bliss series, did you already have in mind the plot from beginning to end or you had to make some changes?
Nina Lane: I had the seeds of the plot from beginning to end, but it definitely changed along the way. I wrote all three books as novellas first, then went back and expanded the plots and characters to make them complete novels. I knew from the beginning that Liv was going to want a baby, that Dean had been keeping a huge secret from her, that his family was a disaster, and that they were eventually going to have a baby. Other elements of the plots developed along the way.
Elena: What do you love the most about Dean?
Nina Lane: I love how much he loves and wants to protect Liv. I love how every instinct he has centers around her, sometimes to the point where nothing and no one else exists for him.
Elena: What do you love the most about Liv?
Nina Lane: I love her goodness and courage. She is so kind and trusting, even with her difficult past. I love how strong she is at the core of her being.
Elena: If you had to choose a song to dedicate to Liv and Dean, what would it be and why?
Nina Lane: This question is so easy for me because the minute I heard this song, I knew it belonged to Liv and Dean. Every time I hear it, I picture them together, shutting the rest of the world out, not needing anything or anyone else, and immersed only in each other: Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GemKqzILV4w&feature=kp
I also always think of Liv and Dean when I hear Phillip Phillips’ Home, Pink’s Just Give Me a Reason, and Mumford & Sons’ I Will Wait. All of those songs convey the essence of what Liv and Dean are to each other and the struggles they go through to hold on to their love.
Elena: Is there a place where you like to write?
Nina Lane: I work at a desk in my living room. It’s small and messy, but my computer has a big monitor and it’s quiet when my kids are in school. I’m not one for writing in coffee-houses, as I like silence and solitude. I don’t even listen to music while I’m writing! Home is definitely where I love to write.
Elena: What is the best experience you made since you became an author?
Nina Lane: Knowing that readers love Liv and Dean’s story! That is the best thing that could happen to me as an author. I’m so grateful that people have been taking Liv and Dean’s story to heart, that they really feel the devotion Liv and Dean have for each other, and that they love Liv and Dean as much as I do.
Elena: Is there a motto you live by?
Nina Lane: I try to live by the motto “Just do it,” though some days I’m more successful at that than others. I do often remind myself of the quote: “I didn’t say it was going to be easy. I did say it would be worth it.”
Elena: What can you tell us about your future projects?
Nina Lane: I’m getting started writing Kelsey’s story, which is a Spiral of Bliss book, but hopefully it will work as a standalone novel. She has an interesting story to tell, and I’m quite certain Liv and Dean West will make an appearance. I can’t wait to see them again! I’ve missed them ever since I finished Awaken, so writing this book will be like paying a visit to dearly beloved friends.
Thanks so much again for this interview, Nina! I loved chatting with you! I hope you’ll stop by Bookish again soon!
If you haven’t read The Spiral of Bliss Series yet, make sure to add it to you TBR list. It’s one of my top series that I highly recommend.
You can purchase them here:
About Nina Lane:
USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances and spicy erotica. Originally from California, she loves traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Nina also spent many years in graduate school studying art history and library sciences.
Although she would go back for another degree if she could because she’s that much of a bookworm, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer. Nina’s novel The Erotic Dark hit #1 on Amazon’s Erotica Bestseller list, and she is currently working on the third book in the Spiral of Bliss series.
Connect with Nina Lane: