For those of you that haven’t figured it out, I’m (Suzanne) a true die hard Mafia fan. I became hooked on Mafia stories after watching The Godfather for the first time. I was captivated by the familial bonds of La Cosa Nostra, the power, the honor and the danger. Earlier this year, I discovered this aaahh-mazing author, Bethany-Kris, when I read a GR friend’s review for the first book in her The Filthy Marcellos series. Bethany-Kris is super talented and knows how to create these magnetic, seductive, sexy and yet dangerous Mafia men and strong, intelligent heroines. I was thrilled to sit down with Bethany. I quickly realized that she’s not only sweet and kind but also funny and super cryptic about her stories. Believe me, I've tried to get a crumb or two out of her and let me tell you, the girl is a tease! Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Bethany ~ When I was twenty and a new mother to my first son, I had severe postpartum depression. Writing was the only thing that felt normal to me. It allowed me to feel sane. It saved me in a lot of ways. Once the depression waned, I continued to write. Five years later, I'm still writing. Only now I do it as a professional author and not a personal thing like before.
Suzanne ~Wow! For the first few weeks after my first child, I was extremely emotional, any little thing brought me to tears and I was so overwhelmed. I hated every minute of it. I can only imagine what you went through and I’m sure it’s nowhere what you experienced.
On the topic of motherhood, as a mother and wife, so far removed from the violence and drama of the mob world, what got you interested in the Mafia genre?
Bethany ~ Haha!
You're assuming I'm removed from it. I am ... now. For the first 13 years of my life, I was surrounded by a lifestyle that my mother lived which was very similar to the ones I write about. Not mafia, but a similar one. I know my topic, I guess you could say. I know the dirty side of it and the bad things. My interest has just grown over the years and I fell back into it in a way with my writing.
Suzanne ~Now that totally surprises me! Just goes to show you that one shouldn’t make assumptions. Ha!
Switching gears a bit here, what is it about bad-boys/ anti-heroes that has readers intrigued and despite all the red flags, falling for them?
Bethany ~ Because despite being bad, I think everyone is drawn to the sides of these men that say they'll do whatever it takes to protect and keep what's theirs. The danger is magnetic. It pulls you in whether you're ready for it or not.
Personal experience says you're never ready for it but you can find yourself wanting to get out of it once you're in.
Suzanne ~Yeah, it IS that magnetic pull! MY favourite mafia from your books, who just pulls me in is Dante Marcello. Who's your favourite? Or let's put it this way, suspend all reality, and if you were stuck on a deserted island and had to choose only one male companion from your books, who would you pick and why?
Bethany ~Theo DeLuca from Scarless & Sacred. He's the anti-hero in the third Chicago War series. I'm sorry that you all haven't been properly introduced yet, haha. I guess he's my favorite because he spoke so strongly to me and it's the first time I've had a character come out like he did since Anton Avdonin from my Russian Guns.
Theo and I also share a very similar past. I can't say much more than that. You'll have to pick up on it when you read his story with Eve.
Suzanne ~Damn girl! There you go teasing me again! Now I REALLY want to meet Theo *naughty grin*
You just released Reckless & Ruined, the second book in the Chicago War series – freakin’ F’n LOVE this series - and you have two more to go, what’s next after that?
After the War I am going to Canada. Jokes ... kind of. I already live in Canada. But from the Filthy series and in the War you see the Guzzi family mentioned in Canada. Cara Rossi, the twin that survived in Deathless, is the main heroine in the Guzzi series with her guy Gian.
After that ... I have I couple of standalones I'm working on and the Legacy series which happens to be the Marcellos next generation. *winks*
My year is booked solid for writing.
Suzanne ~ *Squeee* there’s so much you just shared there that’s got me ecstatic! *jumps up and down*
OMG, coming to Canada, love it! That’s my home too and I do remember that Cara and Lea where at school in Toronto – can’t wait! And the next generation of Marcellos, Hallelujah! That’s going to be good. *rubs hands together*
Um, where was I? *checks notes* Bethany, you've got me so excited that I can’t concentrate! Okay, in Reckless & Ruined, Adriano and Alessa has a few public sexual encounters that were off the charts *fans myself*, the whole thrill of not getting caught just adds to the intensity *winks*
What was your most fun sex or love scene to write and why?
Bethany ~ I would have to say for Adriano and Alessa, the Ferris Wheel scene. Just because I'd probably be the one who would do that if given the chance.
If you're talking out of all my books? Probably the car scene between Giovanni and Kim.
Suzanne ~ Ooooh ya, that one was HAWT!!!
Molly and I had a few dates ourselves. Sorry, not entirely sorry. Haha!
Suzanne ~ Oh yes, Molly! For those of you not familiar with the term or haven’t read Kim and Gio’s story, Molly is the drug that Gio and Kim indulged in and then the car scene followed. People typically say they're having a date with Molly.
Another huge favourite character of mine is Cat, the 'Queen' herself, from Dante's book. She's one kickass heroine. She's confident, sexy, smart and dominating in a man's world - seriously adore her! Who's your inspiration for Cat?
Bethany ~Lana Del Rey was my main inspiration for Cat from the way she dressed to the way she looked and often spoke and even some of her outlooks on men and life. She is also my favorite heroine for sure. There is also a little bit of a younger version of someone I know in my real life who is mixed up in Cat's character ... like say her professional choices maybe.
Suzanne ~*claps hands* Lana, you say? She was my casting choice for Cat – awesome!
As readers and writers, we usually have at least one book that’s a favourite and holds a special place in our hearts. What’s the one book that fits that bill? That influenced you in some way?
Bethany ~Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews. It has stayed with me for years and will always stay with me. It certainly influenced my reading tastes as a teenager and got me into books.
Suzanne ~ Great book! I remember that story vividly! And loved VC Andrews’ books.
Well Bethany, thanks so much for chatting with me! I’m glad I got to know you better and damn girl, I’m now more anxious than ever for your fabulous books! Right now, I’m gearing up for Theo! *claps hands*
Bethany ~ Thanks so much for having me! This was lots of fun. xo