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Bookmarked Blog

Christina Lauren is the pen name of not one incredible #1 international bestselling author, but two! Lauren Billings and Christina Hobbs have written 18 books together under their co-author moniker and have just released Something Wilder.

Read on and discover more about their writing collaboration, TikTok fame and some must-read romance recommendations.

In a nutshell, how does the process work for you both collaborating on your novels?

CL: Writing with four hands probably sounds foreign to people who’ve only ever done it solo, but for the two of us, collaborating is how we learned how to write books! Ever since we first collaborated for a fanfiction contest back in 2009, our process has been mostly the same! We outline in person—since we live in different places, we get together at one of our houses and then spend a few days talking about the book, the characters, the voice. Once we have an outline, we go to our separate spaces and draft. Usually this means we write alternating chapters, but sometimes we just write freely and pick up whatever there is to do next when each of us finishes drafting a chapter. We upload into a shared document when we’ve finished each chapter, and then once we have a draft, we edit, edit, edit! Our drafting process is really fluid, because we spend most of our time revising and making sure the books read very smoothly.

Travel! Hiking! Wilderness! What could possibly go wrong? Do you love the outdoors yourselves? 

CL: Ha, right! Well, in the case of Something Wilder, so many things can (and do) go wrong but we are lucky to be along for the ride with Lily Wilder, who is an impressively capable guide in the Canyonlands, and Leo Grady, a city boy who also happens to be an Eagle Scout and knows his way around a wilderness emergency. As for the two of us . . . well, let’s say that we love being outdoors as long as there is somewhere comfortable to sleep and toilets somewhere within walking distance.

Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren, photo by Brystan Studios

Your novels such as The Unhoneymooners (which is a New York Times bestseller) has been a hit on TikTok. What are your thoughts on the BookTok phenomenon?

CL: It’s been wild. The Unhoneymooners was a bestseller when it came out in 2019, but as is true for every book, it had its blockbuster days and then settled into a steady—albeit mellower—sales pattern for the next year or two. And then 2021 hit and a few TikToks featuring the book went viral and The Unhoneymooners spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times list. So, obviously, we owe a lot to the BookTok community. We love the creativity and humor and passion to be found on the platform. Do we make TikToks ourselves? Uh, no one needs to see us making videos, trust us, but we absolutely love seeing our books (and our friends’ books!) on there. It’s such a fun and impressive place to play.

We have an insatiable appetite for romance books right now – any books or authors you would recommend?

CL: Yes! There are so many amazing books out right now, here are some to read this instant, and some to preorder!

Book Lover

Book Lovers
Emily Henry

There are very few romance readers out there who haven’t yet picked up one of Henry’s books, but we think this one is her best, by far. Funny, poignant, and full of that delicious yearning we all love in a good, absorbing read. This one will be an absolute smash, and it’s well deserved.

You Make a Fool of Death with Your Beauty

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty
Akwaeke Emezi

This book is honestly so beautiful, the prose stopped me in my tracks more than once. Part love story, part self-discovery, this sensual book is a must have for all literary romance fans (and that cover! is! amazing!)

A Caribbean Heiress in Paris

A Caribbean Heiress in Paris
Adriana Herrera
Available June 28, 2022

This book was a blast! There is action, and swoon, and setting (my God, the setting), and is written with such a deft, readable pen. I adore Herrera’s books and this one is my absolute favourite so far.

A Hundred Other Girls

A Hundred Other Girls
Iman Hariri-Kia
Available July 26, 2022

If this one feels to you like a fun and modern riff on The Devil Wears Prada, you’re not wrong. Noora is a blogger in New York who gets a job at the iconic magazine/website Vinyl, reporting to the famously unhinged Loretta James. It is hilarious, wry, voicy, and romantic. One of my 2022 favourites.

Love on the Brain

Love on the Brain
Ali Hazelwood
Available August 23, 2022

Listen, if we never shut up about Ali we won’t apologize for it. Her writing is THE MOST FUN. It is playful and whip-smart; her mastery of romance tropes is unmatched in modern romance. If you loved The Love Hypothesis, 2021’s smash romance hit, you will absolutely ADORE this one.

Something Wilder is available online and at your local Dymocks store.

Something Wilder
Christina Lauren

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