The Wedding Dare Series
Gere: Contemporary romance & Humor
Books currently in the series: 5
“These stories share a setting and characters, but can be read as stand-alones. But why would you want to miss a single minute of crazy sexy hotness? Get them all!” ~Laura Kaye
Title: Dare to Resist (Prequel)
“Dare to Resist, was well “all that and a bag of chips” haha! I have read Laura Kaye books before and I always adore her writing style and the depth to which she takes her characters. When reading her books I can’t help but feel like apart of the story and Dare to Resist was no different.” ~Becca
“I couldn’t get enough of these two! Their chemistry is palpable and addicting!” ~Becca
“The dialog was addictive and humorous without taking away from the deep meaning and romance of the story.” ~Becca
“This book was amazingly humorous, filled with romance, and so easy to read and fall in love with!” ~Becca
“…how sweet is Logan! Finding a way to help Sophie realize that she is beautiful! Just…AAAWWWEEE!! I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Logan at that exact moment!
How did you guys meet?
Samanthe: I don’t want to spill too many details, but let’s just say, if you ever end up in a Turkish prison, there are no finer ladies to share a cell with than Diane, Katee, Laura and Tessa.
Diane: Yep, we all write for Entangled, and Laura I’ve known for even longer! Tessa lives close enough that we try to get together a few times a year, and the rest I see at conventions! After this year’s Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans, we all finally got to meet in person, and they’re all the best!
Laura: We’ve all written for Entangled for a while, so we were online friends first, and then got to meet each other at various conferences – which is one of my favorite things about writers’ conferences!
Katee: Laura and I interviewed each other way back in 2012 for books we had coming out with Entangled. I got to meet Diane and Sam in person in 2013, and had a blast with Tessa this year in NOLA. Thank God for writer’s conferences or I’d never get to meet anyone outside the internet!
Tessa: Apart from Diane, who I met one afternoon when she trekked down to NYC for a matinee of Phantom, I met all these lovely ladies for the first time in person at RT this year. Prior to that, our acquaintance had been online only.
How did you story board and manage to keep the plot line running so smoothly?
Samanthe: We used Google Docs, Excel and Jack Daniels Single Barrel (as needed) to keep all the characters and timelines straight.
Diane: Google Docs saves lives, people. Without that, it would have been impossible to keep it all straight. That, and wine. Lots of wine.
Laura: Since my story occurred before the other four, I had to do less plot planning. What they did to coordinate their concurrent stories was truly amazing, though! I mostly had to work on keeping backstories the same, etc.
Katee: Yeah, we used a truly intense amount of communication, and then all of us read through every book to check for facts. We didn’t really think about how much work it’d be when we got started, but it was totally worth it!
Tessa: Yes, lots of email threads, Google docs, Excel spreadsheets and prayers 😉
How do you develop your plot and characters?
Samanthe: The Wedding Dare series was an unusual process for me, because the setting, time frame and a lot of the story events and logistics came as part of the overall concept. We outlined our characters’ main traits to be sure we presented distinct personalities in each story.
My hero, Logan, already existed as part of my McCade Brothers series, and he just kind of fit the bill, best man-wise. He’s the golden boy, (although he’s been stuck in an all-work-and-no-play rut for so long, he’s feeling like his life is missing some shine).
My heroine, Sophie, was a total construct of the continuity. She’s Colton’s, (the groom’s), shy, insecure little sis, and she’s also the outsider because the bride, Kady, and all the other bridesmaids were sorority sisters.
Me: OOOOO You have another series that involves Logan?!? I am so on this! hehe Goodreads y’all…Goodreads!
Diane: The editor of the series had a huge hand in giving us the characters she thought we’d do best with. For me, it was Tyler, the bride’s big brother, and her best friend, Christine. The fact that they had a past made my story all the much more fun to write, honestly. I loved their push and pull!
Laura: My hero and heroine already existed before I joined the project to write them (the bride and groom, Kady and Colton). Since I knew my story was a quick forced-proximity story (they get trapped sharing a hotel room during a storm), I had to create a backstory for them where they already knew and were attracted to one another. And find a fun catalyst that could lead to explosive smexy times fairly quickly. So much fun!
Katee: I was on the phone with our editor when the offer to do the continuity came in from Diane. She got excited and basically laid out the four main stories she wanted, and she already knew that she wanted Diane to write a certain one and Tessa to write a certain one. Sam and I cage-fought for the last two 😉
Tessa: Our editor had a hand in divvying up the character types and I think she played to our strong suits as best as possible. Thus, I was given the broody, law enforcement officer, which is right up there with chocolate on my Favorite Things list. Conversely, I was given a sunshiney, people pleaser as a heroine, which was more of a challenge, but I ended up loving her to pieces.
Why did you choose to write this story?
Samanthe: I was definitely going to write Logan’s story in some form or another, and then Diane contacted me, and was like, “Katee, Tessa and I were wondering if you would—” and I was like, “YES!” Her question could have ended with, “walk our dogs.” I didn’t care. I was in for whatever these ladies wanted from me. Then, just when I didn’t think it could get any better, Laura signed on to write the prequel!
Diane: This was my first reunited lovers/enemies to lovers story I’ve ever written, and it was so much fun to tackle. Too much fun!
Laura: I thought it would be fun to work with the other authors! Plus I love writing sexy contemporaries!
Katee: In a word — Regan. She’s a very polarizing heroine, but being able to take the gloves off, so to speak, and run with her was something that made me deliriously happy. Also Brock and his damn laugh lines. Basically the story was a playboy and a driven headhunter and I practically tackled the idea.
Tessa: I was thrilled to write an opposites attract story. I think they might be my favorite because finding common ground between two vastly different characters is a fun challenge.
Is it hard to write in a group? Would you do it again?
Samanthe: I was such a dumbass at the outset I didn’t appreciate how hard it would be. Working with Diane, Katee, Laura and Tessa was a pleasure, though. They never made me feel bad for lacking good writing processes, not keeping my timeline updated, not paying close enough attention to their timelines, hijacking their characters to be in my scenes when they were clearly committed to being somewhere else, (and effing up the Google docs several times…although I’m not sure they noticed because I tried really hard to eliminate the evidence of those mishaps).
I would totally do it again! (They will need convincing to take me on a second time).
Me: Haha, this all seems like my side of things! I effed up our Google Doc for this interview how many times?? I always try to be organized and have spreadsheets and plans…but sometime my excitement gets away from me and I totally forget about all of the places I’m supposed to write things down
Diane: With these ladies? Hell yeah! I did it before with two other friends of mine, too, and the key is working with people who are willing to work together and work hard. Without that, it would be a hot mess. Literally.
Laura: I’m co-authoring another project, so this is my second experience. Communication and flexibility are key, and as long as you know the folks you’re working with are EASY to work with, it can be a great deal of fun. I’d do it again.
Katee: I’d definitely do it again. I think we had an amazing group and everyone worked so freaking hard to make this series a success. It took a healthy dose of insanity to pull it off, but it was a ton of fun, too!
Me: After reading all of the books, I would definitely say that this series is a HUGE success! I highly recommend all of them to everyone…well everyone over 18! lol
Tessa: I would do it again, but only if these four ladies were involved. If they weren’t talented, hard-working and considerate, I think a project of this magnitude would have been very difficult. We made it as easy as possible for one another and I would absolutely do it again with them
Did you ever want to take the story in a different direction than the others? How did you make sure that the stories didn’t contradict each other?
Samanthe: We each wrote and shared a fairly detailed story synopsis before we got started, so we had the big picture ironed out ahead of time. There were little things like, “Um, Sam, in this scene you have my hero in the lobby talking to Sophie, but he is actually up in my heroine’s room, being used like a personal toy. Please don’t make him come down to hold Sophie’s hand. He will not be happy.” Honestly, everyone was really flexible and generous, and we got good about contacting each other ahead of time and asking, “How badly does it screw up your life if I…”? Laura maybe had the biggest challenge, even though her timeline didn’t overlap, because her existing deadlines dictated she write her story later, after four other authors had used her characters in whatever way we needed.
Me: Oh wow! It does sound as if Laura had her work cut out for her! Hehe, I totally know the scene you are talking about and yeah…I think he would have been slightly pissed if his “boy toy” status had been taken away at that moment! Hell, I would have been pissed! hehe
Diane: I think it went pretty smoothly because we had the timeline all worked out ahead of time. That’s the biggest factor in how easy the actual timeline went for us all, I think.
Laura: I had less of an issue with this, with one exception. My story was initially a lot hotter/darker/edgier. But there was a sense that in being that way it didn’t well set up the feel for the series as a whole, so I had to tone it down some.
Katee: We had things totally figured out beforehand with this massive Big Mama master timeline and detail synopsises. But there were still hilarious little snafus. Like both Sam’s heroine and mine were in the gym at the same time and we didn’t figure it out until the books were completely written. The scene we worked on together ended up being one of my favorites in the book.
Me: I know that scene! I actually caught myself looking back at the other book going…wait does this match up! Hehe, you guys did a great job!
Tessa: There were a few times I wanted to hop over and write Regan and Brock’s story! (from Seducing the Bridesmaid) LOL. Katee created some really rich, interesting characters that jumped off the page. Plus, I love a New Yorker with an attitude.
What was the hardest part of writing this book for you?
Samanthe: Sophie! She’s like so many of us. She looks in the mirror and sees ALL her flaws, and NONE of her assets. But she’s also a woman in the midst of a physical and emotional transformation, and I had so much fun making Logan an integral part of her journey to view herself in a more accurate and positive way. Still, I worried about her coming across too angsty and self-conscious. There’s a lot of Sam Beck on her worst day in Sophie. :}
Me: Out of all of the characters, I did find myself bonding and relating to Sophie the most. I feel like most women have the same thoughts and feelings and the way that Logan “helped” her realize her beauty was epic! Definitely a drool worthy moment!
Diane: Tyler. He came across kind of…asshole-ish/whiney at first. I kinda had to rewrite the whole story. LOL!
Laura: This one came out really fast for me. Sometimes they’re like that.
Katee: Regan. Always Regan. She’s so damn forceful, that I had to fight to rein her in even a little bit. The woman knew what she wanted and she could care less about being likeable.
Me: It sounds like you are a passenger in this book lol I know that in my book right now I am so not the driver! I will have a plan for a scene to go a certain way and then BAM…that’s just not happening anymore! lol
Tessa: The hardest part of writing this story was the dark moment. I wanted so badly for Reed to do the right thing when they had their blow up fight, but he wasn’t ready. He needed to see what it would be like without Julie before he groveled. God, I love a good grovel
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Samanthe: It’s hard to choose! Personally, I loved the scene where Sophie…ahem…disciplines Logan. She’s such a passive-leaning passive aggressive, and Logan’s so dominant, the incongruity of the interaction appealed to me. Plus the potential to write something funny, and hawt, and make it work while staying true to their characters. Does it work? You’ll have to be the judge.
Me: Oh it definitely worked! That scene was … just… MMMMM OH EMMM GGGEEE!! Lol I was drooling and in need of a cold shower after that one!
Diane: Hmm….maybe the forest scene? I don’t know!!! It might be when he dances with her, carrying her like a real hero.
Laura: My favorite part is what happens after Colton finds a book Kady brought with her… In particular, the conversation that follows is one of the hottest non-sex scenes I’ve ever written!
Katee: The scene in the bar where Brock buys Regan a drink. She’s so ready to dismiss him out of hand and it just rolls off him. Their banter was so much fun and that kind of conversational spark leads into the OTHER kind of spark wonderfully.
Tessa: Definitely the strip tease scene. Reed and Julie make a bet that ends with them in Reed’s hotel room and a slow removal of clothing. I think I wrote it with a fan blowing directly on my face.
Me: Girl, I can imagine! I needed a fan to read it! I haven’t written my first sex scene in my book yet…I’m a bit nervous about it’s arrival…I can feel that it is close and I just don’t know where it is going to lead! Again, I’m such a passenger to this story that until it is on paper I have not one single clue how it will end!
How did you decide who wrote what characters?
Samanthe: Jello wrestling. Or, um, I’m going to say our editor, Heather Howland, Diane and Katee came up with the archetypes. Logan fit the golden boy/best man type, and it made sense to pair this confident, outgoing guy up with his introverted, insecure opposite, because we all know, in fiction at least, opposites attract!
Diane: Yep, it was a joint effort. That was the first thing that was assigned, then we all took off from there!
Laura: In part, we all wrote to our character strengths, or certain authors wove in a character related to an existing series. I write military heroes, so Colton is ex-military.
Katee: The characters were all part of the initial planning when they were divvied out. Our editor had worked with all of us before and she had specific ideas over who she thought should write what.
Tessa: As Sam said, our editor, Katee and Diane mostly came up with the character types and definitely played to our strengths. We had to be excited to dive into a project this big and I think this helped a lot. Getting to sink our teeth into characters we loved.
Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed my interview with The Wedding Dare crew as much as I did!