Guest Author Interview: Kate Hawthorne & E.M. Denning

Cover by Samantha Santana at AMAI Designs

I am super excited because Kate Hawthorne and E.M. Denning’s are here to chat about their brand new novel, Future Ex Enemy, and I have been DYING to read this since they announced it! Enemies to lovers, there’s only one bed and florists in one book? Get on my Kindle right now! And you can download Future Ex Enemy right now too.

1. What’s your process of co-writing? Do you each take a POV, or do you both write different chapters, or is it more of a blend? Do you Skype or work on a collab document?  
Kate Hawthorne [K]: It’s all terribly scientific. I write one character and she writes another. We write in Google Docs so we go back and forth that way, one chapter at a time. Once we’re done writing, we both take a look over it and make small changes to each others chapters, mostly with phrasing and stuff to mold our styles together a little more cohesively.
E.M. Denning [E]: What she said. And it’s just the way we work. We didn’t really have to plan a strategy, or go through a lot of failed attempts to find what worked for us. It just happened naturally. 

2. What inspired you to write Future Ex Enemy?
E: Kate inspired it actually. She’s wanted to write an enemies to lovers for a long time (because hate sex). The idea for their characters came out of a desire to write two people who didn’t get along well, and I forget who it was, but one of us (probably Kate) came up with the idea for florists. We spent a few weeks hashing out ideas before we actually got going on this one.  
K: I freaking have been waiting FOREVER to write hate sex. I’m so glad Luis and David obliged. The whole reason they’re florists was because one of us (probably EM) spouted off an idea about spanking someone with a long stem, thorny rose. We didn’t get that on this cut, but maybe a bonus scene 😉
E: OMG can we?!?! Luis needs a spanking. 😀 David has been DYING to spank his adorable ass.

3. What came first: the plot or the characters? 
K: With this one, it was definitely the characters. We had a lot of fun writing the first one and we left Ryan with this very ambiguous conversation in the end of Future Fake Husband and were like, let’s see this through. At first, we were going to do them as dueling NYE freebies. We wrote the same chapter from differing points of view, but then we had so much fun with Ryan and Darian we decided they deserved their own book.
E: The trope came first. LOL Then the characters. The plot sort of fell into place after that. 
K: That’s actually more right. Haha. We knew we wanted it to be enemies to lovers, so we birthed Luis and David into the world, full of rage and spite and improperly tied bow ties.
E: I effing love the bow ties.

4. What’s your favourite thing about the enemies to lovers trope?
E: I love the banter and the hate sex. I love that, because it’s a romance, you know they’re going to end up together eventually. And I just love the animosity and the sexual tension. 
K: The potential for angry wall sex, mostly.

5. Apart from the enemies to lovers trope, do you have another favourite trope or kink that you’ve been able to write about in this book?
K: One thing that’s a lot of fun about this series at Mallory Vineyard is we really write them all TO the tropes. So Future Ex Enemy is enemies to lovers, forced proximity, and there’s definitely only one bed. There’s only one bed is quickly becoming one of my new favorites. We used it in Future Fake Husband, too.
E: I love there’s only one bed.

6. What behind-the-scene tidbit (about the characters, plot or writing process) would probably surprise your readers the most?
E: Because Kate and I have a very similar writing style, sometimes I get confused about who wrote what when I see a line out of context.
K: We don’t plot. Even when we collab. We sort of loosely talk out how things get started and we just go from there. We both always kind of have the same vision for the story arc, so we can predict what the other is going to write in their chapter and work the story through total pantser style.

7. If you have to describe David and Luis in three words each, what would they be? 
K: Luis is proud, stubborn, and self assured
I think David is traditional, soft, and proud.
So, two proud men does much conflict make. Hehe.

8. What was your favourite thing about writing together?
E: I just love Kate to pieces. I adore talking to her and brainstorming ideas with her. It’s great to have her as a partner because whenever I’m stuck she always has a solution. We always have the best time, it’s just a lot of fun, from start to finish. Even when the books are done and out in the world, we still have this great connection through our boys. 
K: I love me to pieces too. I mean, EM. I love being able to tell stories with her. I think EM is super talented, and even though we’re both very involved in each other’s solo projects, I love being able to make something WITH her.

9. Do you have any advice to other authors about writing collaboratively? 
K: I think it’s important to write with someone who thinks a lot like you do. EM and I have a lot of the same ideas, even though (and no one will believe this) she comes up with way more screwed up things than me, so it’s one thing I don’t need to worry about when we’re writing. If you’re writing with someone who doesn’t align as closely as her and I do, I’d definitely suggest plotting. Also, on a boring technical side, make sure you understand the financial and legal implications associated with doing a collab project and work with someone you trust.
E: Trust is a huge factor. I can trust Kate with my brain and my pocketbook. I can trust her to be honest with me and tell me when something is brilliant or terrible. We had a great relationship before we started writing together and collaborating has only improved it.
On that note, I’d probably recommend working with someone you want to collaborate with on the level of alpha readers before you jump into co-writing. It was because Kate and I had worked closely on our own projects that we knew we’d probably work very well together on a book. We read each other’s work, chapter by chapter and offered input, ideas, and feedback. I feel that the ease with which we moved into a collaboration was fostered by that existing dynamic.

10. It’s been amazing to see you work together, will you be collaborating again?
E: Try and stop us! Hahhaaha
K: Never. Just kidding, I mean, who says we aren’t right now??

Thank you for dropping in and answering all my questions! Safe to say I can’t wait to see what you two create next.
You can download Future Ex Enemy right now.

Born and raised in Southern California, Kate Hawthorne woke up one day and realized she had stories worth sharing. Now existing on a steady diet of wine and coffee, Kate writes stories about complicated men in love that are sometimes dirty, but always sweet. She enjoys crafting hard-fought and well deserved happy endings with just the right amount of angst and kink. From estate sale shopping to shoe worship, there’s something in at least one of her books that’ll tickle your fancy.
You can find her on her website, Facebook and Amazon.

E. M. Denning is a writer from British Columbia. She loves her family and animals, and anything cute and fuzzy. She writes romance for the 18+ plus crowd because she’s both a hopeless romantic and a dirty old woman.
You can find her on Amazon, Facebook or join her Facebook Group, Denning’s Darlings.