Out Now! – Between You and I by Beth D. Carter (@bethdcarter)
Thank you so much for having me here today! I’ve often had people ask why do I write erotica romance? Do I really have to use those words? Well, yes. Yes, I do. And I’ve had it all. The raised eyebrows, the nose in the air, even the rolled eyes. Everything that screams disapproval. All because I say I write erotica romance. People can’t seem to get past the ‘erotica’ part of that statement.
But I can’t NOT write. I might explode if I’m not at my laptop trying to find a synonym for the words ‘gazed into his eyes’. And why erotica romance? Because it’s real. The sex is graphic because the love is intense. My stories are not about people like the Cleavers, or the Brady Bunch. My stories are about people with problems…about an ex-soldier fighting PTSD, women kidnapped for a human trafficking ring, a man who was inappropriately touched as a child, a woman who has survived alone in a wasteland for years. These characters are raw. Their emotions are encased in ice. These people are helpless, hopeless…until love finds them.
In my latest book, Between You and I, the heroine, Madeline, is scared about feeling again after the man she loves walks away from her. She hides behind a plethora of interesting friends, keeping herself busy so she’s not lonely. Or at least, she tries to convince herself she isn’t lonely. When she meets Hunter, who is a little younger than her, she suddenly is confronted by the prospect of the numbness she’s wound herself in melting away.
I’m not sure what other writers do, but I often use my writing as a way of dealing with my issues. It’s very cathartic. I’m very proud to have written about a woman who has gone through the same emotional turmoil I went through. I hope Madeline’s story helps others who might be struggling with the same type of uncertainties.
This book was inspired by my own battle with endometriosis. I was diagnosed in my twenties and suffered with pain, depression, and insomnia for over twenty years. It’s still a medical condition most people don’t know anything about. I finally made the decision to have a hysterectomy last year and while lying in the hospital bed, I came up with Madeline. For a few years I’d been toying with the idea of a book, but it was that moment, right after surgery, that Madeline became a real person to me.
Tell us about the heroine, Madeline, in Between You and I:
Externally, she’s tough. She covers up her pain with a “no worries” attitude. But internally, she’s lonely. She wishes for someone to hold her and take care of her for a moment. In that respect, she’s a personification of what I went through. Writing, for me, is a very cathartic way of dealing with issues.
Was there as specific part of the story that you absolutely loved writing as well as not enjoyed writing?
I loved finding her balance with the hero, Hunter. He’s younger than her so having her get past her mental block on that was fun exploring. My least favorite part in writing this story was figuring out the ending. The one that the book ended up with was my second ending. It was hard figuring out the believable way to write their happy ever after.
Please tell a little about Between You and I without giving too much of a spoiler away.
This book was inspired by my own battle with endometriosis. For a few years I’d been toying with the idea of a book about a heroine who had it, but it was the moment right after my hysterectomy surgery, that Madeline became a real person to me. The hero, Hunter, had to be a right balance of understanding, hunky, and confused, otherwise, he’s too one dimensional. I think I hit that balance, and I consider this book one of my best.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
Mostly my characters develop as I write them, but in this case, Madeline was planned out extensively, mainly because a lot of her is me. I used my own struggle with endometriosis as her emotional platform to find love with a younger man.
What is your favorite line in Between You and I? Why?
“Tell me, right now, what’s standing between you and I that makes you scared of that word,” he demanded. “Why are you so afraid of love?”
I love that line! It was the first line I thought of when I began to think of Madeline’s story and it’s where I got the title. I know it’s not grammatically correct but it sounds more dramatic than “between you and me”.
A broken engagement left Madeline Shawl feeling like a shattered woman. When she meets Hunter Caligari, he seems to be the perfect man for some friends-with-benefits action. But when the easy affair turns into something more, it threatens her comfortable grief.
The passion of the younger man nearly infects her until Hunter tries to articulate it with the three words she refuses to hear. When she pushes him away, wounding his heart, she finds her own broken all over again.