Monday, March 9, 2015

Inside the Lines by Ally Bishop

What happens in love might destroy you... 

Or remake you all together. 

I make a living offering men and women their ultimate fantasies…as submissives of the mysterious Mistress Hathaway. 

I've never surrendered to anyone. That's not the way it works. Or rather, not the way I operate. 

But when the gorgeous Fin MacKenzie shows up in my life, he throws everything out of balance. 

Now I'm not sure who I am anymore, and I'm questioning everything. 

What woman can turn away from a gorgeous Scotsman, especially when he sets her body on fire and her heart ablaze? 

I have to stop it…us. I can't keep going like this. It will ruin everything I've worked so hard to build. 

Who am I if I surrender to him? Worse yet, who am I if I don't?

How did you come up with the title? 

I’m usually a terrible person for titles, but for Lux, who draws such tight boundaries around herself and then fights breaking them (or breaks them and hates herself for it), this book was easy to name. Usually, titles come to me in that weird hour of the morning when I’m awake, but not willing to admit it.

What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?

I’m pretty familiar with the BDSM lifestyle, so with the exception of a few quick Google searches, I went off my previous experience meeting people who are active in the lifestyle. For Scottish accents, though, I did ask a few lovely women for help, and they were great. I also watched Scottish made movies, where the main characters were modern day Scots, which also helped inform the dialogue.

There’s one horse-training scene in the book, and for that, I asked a horse trainer to read the section to make sure I nailed “round-pen” training. I used to ride and help train horses, but I never did round-pen training on my own.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

The theme of my writing always focuses on our need for freedom juxtaposed against our need for structure. ☺

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

The hardest part of this book was [spoiler alert!] hurting Fin. I loved Lux from the beginning, but Fin’s character wasn’t complete in my head when I started. But the more I wrote Fin, the more I understood who he was and why he was enthralled with Lux. And hurting him was hard.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The humor. Lux cracks me up, and Fin is so unexpectedly funny.

Do you have a specific writing style? 

I like to say I’m very commercial, but with a broad vocabulary! I like to use words that pack punch.

What are your current projects?

The next book in the Without a Trace series is Crossing the Line, which is Ella and Ian’s story, and I’m finishing that up now. It will go to my editor this month (yikes!). Then I’ll be working on Tracing the Line (Zi’s story) next.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

I think there’s a tendency in romance novels to downplay how they affect our lives. While I have no illusions that my book will make any grand statements that will bring about world peace, I hope seeing that even someone as in-charge and dominant as Lux can have a vulnerable side and that it doesn’t make us less because we admit it, will allow others to embrace there own. That’s Lux’s struggle, and for many of us, it’s the balancing act we play in our heads. So I hope every reader will not only enjoy watching two people fall for each other, complete with bumps and boo-boos, but also will feel more empowered to allow their brokenness to show. We all have those poorly mended corners, and we deserve to be loved because of them, not in spite of them.

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