To celebrate the release of RUSH (have you picked up your copy yet?), I did an interview with Maya Banks, NY Times and USA Today Bestseller. I’m splitting this interview into 2 parts – the first part will be a NON-SPOILER interview for those of you who haven’t read the book yet and then in a week or so I’ll post the second part which addresses things that happen in the book! Let’s get right into the questions…

*NOTE: THERE ARE NO SPOILERS IN THIS INTERVIEW – IT’S SAFE TO READ EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK YET!*

You are being compared to authors like E.L. James and Sylvia Day and I’m sure “Rush” will be compared to Fifty Shades of Grey. I immediately saw the differences, but for those that haven’t read it, what makes “Rush” different from these types of books that are already out?

I can’t really speak with any authority about similarities OR differences. I haven’t read 50 Shades or the Crossfire trilogy even though Sylvia is a good friend of mine. I don’t typically read books written in first person so it’s just a personal preference of mine. But as for comparisons, I can only compare the Breathless trilogy to my own previous books and series. It’s a blend of my Sweet Series and my Harlequin Desires. I do prefer to write a LOT in the hero’s point of view. I love getting inside both the hero and heroine’s heads and letting READERS see inside their minds. So all of my books are written in third person and will have a lot of the male point of view in the stories.

You are already a successful author and have written many books. Is it still nerve-wracking to wait for your book release? Are you nervous about “Rush” being released?

Absolutely. That fear never goes away even after 50 plus books. I always worry about letting readers down and I never want to disappoint them. I try to make every single story the absolute best it can be and stay true to the story that I have in my head. Sometimes that works well for readers. Sometimes it doesn’t. But no one is going to love every single book an author ever writes. It’s not possible. So if I can make them happy the majority of the time then I’m good with that 🙂

Did you have a particular person (actor/model/etc) in mind when writing the characters of Gabe, Mia, Jace, Ash, etc?

I actually never picture celebrities when I form my characters. For me I envision certain features and then try to describe it on the page. I’m not actually very knowledgeable in pop culture. I rarely watch tv! And I can’t even tell you the last movie I watched. So I never write a character and base them on celebrities or even an actual real life person.

Do you write to music? Did you have a music playlist you listened to while writing? If so, what was on it?

I don’t listen to music when I’m writing. Sometimes I listen to certain songs right BEFORE I began writing. With RUSH, I listened to Glitter in the Air by Pink quite a bit and for FEVER, Titanium was very appropriate for the heroine of that story and I listened to it frequently.

I loved Mia, the female lead in “Rush”. She comes off as sweet and innocent at first, but as you get to know her, you see she really is strong-willed and sassy. What was your thought process in making her this way?

I wanted someone young but not completely inexperienced. It was important to me not to have her too naive and I wanted her to have had sexual relationships before Gabe so that there wasn’t a huge inequality in their relationship. Though Mia ceded power to Gabe and he was concerned that he was “too much” for her, I thought she handled their relationship better than he did. He was the more unsettled of the two while Mia was content and secure in their relationship.

Erotic romance novels are becoming increasing popular. You’ve been writing books like this for years. Why do you think this genre of books has increased in popularity? As an author, does this put more pressure on you since there are so many more people writing these types of stories?

I don’t feel any pressure because for me it’s a matter of continuing to write the same stories I’ve been telling for the past 6-7 years. All I can do is write the best book I can every time and then hope that my readers are happy with the end result. No matter what everyone else is doing, I can’t let that affect what I write and how I write. I can only be the author I am, and it’s pointless to try to be anything else.

I loved how this story was written from a 3rd person POV so that you knew what was going on in both Mia and Gabe’s head. What made you decide to write this way?

I touched on this above, but for me, I don’t prefer stories written in first person. I like to get multiple points of view so that I’m never having to guess how a character thinks or feels. I love knowing how unsettled the hero is or how he’s thinking about the heroine and I love watching the slow progression of his feelings through his point of view and the eventuality of him falling in love. It feels more real to me that way instead of not knowing until the very end when the hero SAYS “I love you”  I like knowing it even he hasn’t acknowledged it yet 🙂

What are you reading now?

Right now I’m not getting in much reading for pleasure simply because I’m so busy writing and have so many upcoming deadlines. I have an ARC of Lisa Marie Rice’s next book and I can’t wait to be able to read it, so when I DO get time to read, that will be the next book for me.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 OF THE INTERVIEW WHERE MAYA GIVES SOME INSIGHT INTO RUSH AND DISHES MORE ON GABE & MIA

Connect with Maya Banks on Facebook >> https://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorMayaBanks?fref=ts

CLICK HERE TO READ MY NON-SPOILER REVIEW OF RUSH

CLICK TO PURCHASE “RUSH” (THE BREATHLESS TRILOGY) ON AMAZON

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