Like many of you out there that have read the Up In The Air Series by R.K. Lilley, I was sucked in from the very beginning. They were gifted to me from a friend who just could not stop talking about Bianca, her best friend Stephan and Mr. Beautiful himself - James Cavendish. So I started reading In Flight and did not stop until a day later with the last words of Mile High. I was addicted! R.K. Lilley's third book in the trilogy, Grounded, will be released February 12th and I am so happy to welcome her to my blog!
B: Welcome to the Blog R.K.! Where did you get the inspiration for this series?
R.K.: I’ve been planning to write a sexy flight attendant novel for years. The inspiration for the story comes from several different places. Some of the darker aspects of the story were inspired by some real events in my family. The BDSM is a personal fascination of mine. I’ve had some very close friends who have lived that lifestyle, and I was always avidly curious about what would wire a person that way, and what specific needs it fulfills. I think it’s beautiful when two damaged people can find love.
B: Sometimes it’s hard to picture James, even with an in-depth description of him. Did you have someone in mind when writing him, is he a mix of different people you came across or just your imagination?
R.K: He’s definitely a mix of people for me. I just don’t pin a picture on my wall when I’m writing. He’s all in my head, though the list of fun possibilities for James Cavendish is growing daily on Pinterest :)
B: Why do you think so many women are drawn to men like James Cavendish?
R.K.: There is nothing sexier than a confident man that knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s volatile and passionate, and hell yes, dominant, but he’s also unabashedly loving. What’s not to love?
B: The story line between Stephan and Bianca, I feel, is just as important of a story as the one between James and Bianca. Are you surprised at how popular Stephan has become? Did you plan on Stephan being such a big part of the master plan or did his character just grow as you began writing? Will we see more of him in Grounded?
R.K.: You’re absolutely right about that. The relationship between Stephan and Bianca is its own love story. I was very happy at Stephan’s popularity, but I wasn’t shocked. I ADORE this character. He was always a key figure in the story for me. Stephan is such a crucial friend to both Bianca and James. Bianca is the girl who hates to depend on anyone, but she’s made an exception for Stephan. She wouldn’t have survived without him. Literally. And if she had, she certainly wouldn’t have been capable of trusting another human being if he hadn’t come along. And James has a possessive streak that is off the charts crazy, but because of Stephan, he has to learn to share Bianca from day one of their relationship. Stephan is like walking therapy for both of them, and a very necessary component in their character development.
You will be seeing quite a bit more of Stephan in Grounded. There are even a few chapters told from his POV :)
B: Bianca isn’t your typical heroine either. She seems a little tough yet pliable too. Why is that?
R.K.: She’s a complicated girl. She’s full of contradictions that may only begin to make sense as you study her closely. At the beginning of the series, she was a jaded virgin. That had nothing to do with a moral hangup, and it certainly wasn’t because she wasn’t bright enough to figure out sex. She had a deeply ingrained preference for things that she knew would be bad for her, things that warred with her sense of self-preservation. She shocks herself when she gives in to James so quickly, and then falls for him to boot. I think people were a little frustrated with her in book 2, because she has such a hard time seeing how sincere he is, but for me, it couldn’t be any other way. She’s a strong character, but learning to trust other people is definitely her weakness. If she had just fallen into his arms, she would have been a different character, a character that couldn’t have survived the things that she has. She’s had to be strong, and I think she’s held up well, all things considered, but in a relationship full of baggage, she’s clearly bringing more than her share to the table.
B: Are you surprised by the way the series has really taken off?
R.K.: Absolutely. I’m still surprised that people even found the books. I’m self-published, and I did almost no promoting. Some wonderful ladies got ahold of the book, and just spread the word. The readers have been so enthusiastic. I’m still reeling at the attention the books have gotten, and I’ll be eternally grateful to all of the people who have really gotten behind the series.
B: As a first class flight attendant, did you ever catch passengers attempting to join the Mile High Club?
R.K.: Lol! Yes. That happens more often than you’d think. I worked a lot of red-eyes, and it is especially prevalent in first class. Most of the people attempting to join the Mile High Club will take it to the restroom. If we got any of those, we would just leave them alone. Every airline is different, but our policy was to let them be, as long as they weren’t pretty much exposing themselves :)
B: You write in both Urban Fantasy and Erotic Romance, any plans of venturing into other genres? Besides Grounded, do you have any other projects coming up?
R.K.: I’d never rule anything out. I’m always making notes, plotting my epic dark fantasy trilogy :) But I love love love Erotic Romance, and the majority of my projects will be focused there for the foreseeable future. Grounded will be released on February 12, and about a month after that, I will be releasing a novella about the character, Lana. After that I will be working on another Erotic Romance series, tentatively titled, Bad Things. The characters for this will be introduced in Grounded. I can’t wait to see if readers will spot them right away! Later in the year, hopefully late summer, will be the second book in my Urban Fantasy series, Heretic Daughters. You will be seeing a lot more from me :)
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Make sure to stop by the blog again tomorrow
for Book Trailers and a Playlist for the
Up In the Air Series plus a giveaway!!