Interview with the Authors of Anyone But You

16 Feb 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, Anyone But You?

Anyone But You is a box set made up of 25 authors who have come together to raise money for a charity. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to End the Backlog.

End the Backlog is a non-profit organization that was created to help victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. Their main goal is to end the backlog of rape kits that sit in evidence lockers all around the United States waiting to be processed. You can find out more at

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Danielle Jacks: Book signings dominated my social calendar in 2019. I loved meeting authors and readers who were as passionate about books as I was. It inspired me to want a bigger part in the book world. The ironic thing is that it was R.L. Kenderson’s My Cover Model that led me to finding the book signings.

Aubree Valentine: My 11th grade English teacher who nurtured my need for creative writing, Nora Roberts and my blogger buddies who gave me the kick in the butt to do it.

Heather Lauren: my creative writing teacher in high school. It started with a poem about an ally cat and turned very steamy once I read “My favorite half night stand” by Christina Lauren. Believe it or not it was my first steamy read and I’ve never been the same.

 Hope Irving: As an introvert, fictional characters have always been my (imaginary) friends. Even as a kid, writing was my favorite pastime. A few decades later, my passion for calligraphy paired with a supportive husband to precipitate my debut work that I chose to write in English, although I’m a born and raised Parisian: an 8-book paranormal series!

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Aubree Valentine: Ooo this is such a tough question. The Jessica Brodie Diaries Trilogy by Willow Summers counts for three lol. OH! AND Nora Roberts McCade Brothers series. (That makes six, but I can’t cut even one!)

Danielle Jacks: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, Bully by Penelope Douglas, Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright, In the cards by Jamie Beck and Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

 Heather Lauren: Unraveling Him by Claire Kingsley, My Favorite Half Night Stand and Beautiful Stranger by Christina Laure, Every Breathe by Nicholas Sparks, and The Dare by Lauren Landish.

Hope Irving: The first book I ever read in English, which had a huge impact, was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Then: Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Deal by Elle Kennedy, and Him by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen (the book that popped my M/M cherry).

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? 

R.L. Kenderson: Suzanne Brockmann. She’s one of my favorite authors and she’s an inspiration.

Aubree Valentine: Nora Roberts, hands down (can you sense a pattern? Lol) because she’s my unicorn and then QUEEN.

Heather Lauren: Claire Kingsley. I love her plot twists.

Hope Irving: Erin Morgenstern. I love her world building skills and magical words.

What would you want to ask?

R.L. Kenderson: “Who is your favorite character that you’ve written?” or “What is your favorite book that you’ve written?”

Aubree Valentine: What is your best advice to staying focused? Who’s your favorite hero that you’ve written? Which heroine is most like you?

Heather Lauren: “If I were to ask about your current WIP what can you tell me?” Or “Which do you love writing more, romcom or your small town contemporary?”

Hope Irving: “What triggered the idea of this extraordinary circus and its star-crossed lovers?”

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

R.L. Kenderson: The freedom to create my own stories and work in the comfort of my own home.

Danielle Jacks: This is going to sound nuts but talking to my characters. By the end of a book, I’m invested and it’s like we are friends.

Aubree Valentine: That moment when everything clicks and the words literally start flowing, and I can get lost in my own head with the characters.

Kyra Lennon: I love being able to bring ideas to life. When I find my stride with a new story, it feels like magic!

Heather Lauren: writing a story with characters I love and when I read it back I actually love it…is it bad that it always surprises me?” Lol

Hope Irving: “What triggered the idea of this extraordinary circus and its star-crossed lovers?”

What is a typical day like for you?

Danielle Jacks: Life is crazy at the moment. Every day is different. I work part-time and I have a daughter. I’ve joined a writing group and I try to take one day at a time.

Aubree Valentine: I wish it were more glamorous than this but, right now my days consist of waking around 8am and getting my b/g twins ready for cyber school and tending to all the fur babies. Then I’m supervising school most of the day and cramming in writing and working with my PR clients wherever I can.

Heather Lauren: since debuting February 3 2021 I’ve not found enough time in my day. Usually a night owl writer I’ve taken to getting up early, drinking my weight in coffee, marketing, getting my wonderful 3 children out of bed, fed and started on class online. I do more marketing on my phone then when I get my laptop back the real magic happens…interrupted a million times but magic still happens lol.

Hope Irving: I get to write the stories I want to read and then share them with other people, provoking emotions that I’ve never dreamed of.

What scene in Anyone But You was your favorite to write?

R.L. Kenderson: My contribution to the box set is My Guy Problem. My favorite scene to write was after the first time my hero trains my heroine and helps her stretch her muscles. It’s a little sexy and a little funny.

Danielle Jacks: I loved writing Dirty Kisses and Conflicting Wishes. I’m a new author and so far my stories have been YA. This is a steamy box set and I wanted to rip the band-aid off quickly so my opening scene is a striptease. I had so much fun unwrapping Damien, my leading man.

Aubree Valentine: It’s def the scene in Hot Cop where Rhys is with his son and there is a complete blow out. That or the nightstand scene.

Heather Lauren: My novel is Un-Swipe and I absolutely LOVE these characters my favorite parts are when they are fighting and playing pranks on each other or the scene when my heroine goes after what she wants…in costume 😉

Hope Irving: I reserve some time each evening for reading, which helps to build my craft. As for writing, I learned to make time for it, since I still have a day job that pays the bills. I write whenever at home in Paris, France. No wonder the addition of French flare is irresistible to me! I usually write long hours during the weekend because I’m a painfully slow writer and that’s when I have the most time. The only requirement is music blasting through my noise-cancelling headphones, which is the most efficient way to create “my bubble” and set the mood for the chapter I’m writing.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

R.L. Kenderson: “In the Book of Life, The answers aren’t in the back.” ― Charles M. Schulz

Danielle Jacks: Live. love. Laugh.

Aubree Valentine: “Remember, hurting is feeling and feeling is living, and isn’t it good to be alive?” – Crashed, K. Bromber

Heather Lauren: “Fake it until you make it” no idea but as someone who is terribly shy sometimes I tell myself to pretend I can and then I get sh*t done even if it’s outside my comfort zone.

Hope Irving: My contribution to the anthology is This or That. Although I stepped out of my comfort zone with my first M/M, I thoroughly enjoyed writing this enemies-to-lovers story. The first encounter between my characters was a lot of fun to write. This very early scene starts with an unsolicited kiss, a haunting cowboy hat, and unprecedented sensations… followed by a punch!


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