March 8, 2023

Giggling over sixes and nines with Erin La Rosa

Giggling over sixes and nines with Erin La Rosa

Erin La Rosa is on the Steam Seat and this is a fun one! This episode is all about one number and it starts with a 6, and ends with a 9. And yes, feel free to giggle! Erin and I talked about why she left what she thought would be a dream job in publishing, how her work in the pop culture trenches inform her writing, and I read a naughty bit from her punny rom-com For Butter or Worse. Plug in your earbuds – fun episode ahead!


Interested in pre-ordering an anthology that features my short story The Devil’s Tattoo? Grab your copy of Reckless Deck’s anthology Tabula Rasa.


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Elle 0:00
Erin LaRosa has written many highly engaging tweets as a social media manager, but on her way to writing romance. She's also published two humorous nonfiction books, woman skills and the big red head book. Guess what? Spoiler alert. She's redhead. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three daughters, one human to felines. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at Aaron LaRosa. Lit and on Tik Tok at Aaron LaRosa writes, welcome Aaron to steam scenes and congratulations. Thank you so much just had a book come out. Yeah, my

Erin 0:34
book came out a few days ago. And it was kind of a blur the day of but I have been having so much fun. And it's just been wonderful to hear from readers who are connecting with the book and are excited to be reading it. So thank you.

Elle 0:50
So cool. So this is your very first romance book, and it was picked up by Harlequin, which is also congratulations.

Erin 0:57
I was so excited. Because my you know, my, my parents when I told them that I had a book deal. My parents were like, Oh my gosh, we know Harlequin like we know what that is. And I have parents who are like in medicine, they they have no insider knowledge of publishing, but it is one of those publishers where you're like, I know what Harlequin is I'm very familiar with who they are. And they've been such a wonderful team to work with.

Elle 1:22
So burning question when you told your parents like, did they know that there were going to be naughty bits in this book?

Erin 1:29
So the first question I ever got from around that was that my mom was visiting. And it was after I'd had the book deal and had been working on rewrites. And she said to me, she was like, you know, I was out to dinner with Susan. And she said to me, you know that since it's a romance book, there are going to be sex scenes in it. And I told her, I didn't know if that was true. And then she looked at me and she was like, so are there going to be sex scenes in it. And you know, I grew up in a very Catholic family. My mom, I think that was the first time my mom had ever said the word sex to me. So I was so floored. But you know, I looked at her and I just said, I was like, yeah, there's sex scenes in it. I was like, you can tell your friends that surprise. I know how to have sex. And I wrote about it.

Elle 2:17
Oh, so your mom was like, oh,

Erin 2:21
you know, my mom's a pretty good sport. And so she started kind of like nervously laughing and hasn't brought it up since. But I'm very curious if she's ever going to read it because she's a little more on the conservative side. And my my dad loves like, vampire books. So I know that he's like, found some that probably have a lot of sex in them. And so he read my book in a day, like cover to cover. And, you know, he didn't bring up the sex scenes at all. He just was like, that was a really great book, my job. You know, I kept looking over at him and being like, What page are you on? Kind of like what you're reading it. I was in the room, he visited me and he grabbed it because I finally got an advance Reader Copy. And he was like, Oh, your book? And I was like, Yeah, and so he just was on my couch in the living room. And I would check in like, periodically, it'd be like, are you okay? Awkward. It was so awkward. But I was like, Well, I have to like, except that this is going to happen. And I guess it's happening in front of me. That is a really fast reader. So the only thing I can hope is that he just like skimmed through them. That is my own. Yeah, he

Elle 3:36
was just like flip, flip, flip. So I Okay. I mean, you might not be able to answer this because sometimes, you know, I sort of asked this question and people were like, I don't know, how many how many scenes are how many notice scenes are there?

Erin 3:48
So I think there are four total. That's a good amount. Actually. It's a good amount. It's a good amount. And yeah, I think there are four total. So I, you know, my next book that I'm writing, which is going to come out next summer has even more feels dirtier to me like you were talking about, you know, you just got back from a massage before interview. Like there is a naughty massage and my book, there's role playing. Yeah, there. It's it's much Knottier of a book and I'm kind of like, I think I have to actually tell my parents not to read my next book, because I will just be like to humiliated

Elle 4:33
Oh, my God. Well, okay, first, my listeners before you think I'm all bougie I did get a massage, but it was work.

Erin 4:41
I'm actually I just sorry, I totally called. It was related. But I want a massage. I mean, that's something to celebrate.

Elle 4:49
I get massages this week. I highly recommend everybody get a massage. Although the poor therapist I was like, Okay, so I'm gonna delete, record and leave my phone on the whole time and record. So everything you say to me is going to be. And then I was like asking him questions through the whole thing. I was like, So what do you do now? What does that do? And I didn't know. Like, he had no idea that this was for magazine coverage. I was just gonna be a client. So I was like, anyway. So did you get like a multiple book deal with Harlequin when you signed? Or did you just

Erin 5:23
Yeah. So I, I know I was. So I'm so lucky. I got a two book deal. And I kind of sold it as you know, this would be a Hollywood series, because my first book is about to host of a celebrity cooking show who have to fake date in order to save their careers. I'm an LA Girl. And so, you know, when I was talking to the editor at Harlequin, I was like, you know, I feel like this could really be a whole Hollywood series. And it can take place in different parts of LA and every book has, like, they're part of LA and they're part of fame. And so anyways, they gave me a two book deal. And I'm writing a spin off book right now. So I'm, I'm in revision mode on that with my editor. And that'll come out next year. But I you know, it was so nice to, to know, like, oh, okay, this won't be the end of the journey for these characters. I get to write another book for them, and hopefully, more.

Elle 6:16
So now, the characters that are in your next book, did they show up in this one? Are these are these?

Erin 6:21
They did? Yeah. So the next book is about Sophie, and she is Nina's sister. And so we see her in book one. And then we get her story. In Book Two, we get to see some of our old friends from book one and book two. So it's a little bit of a universe thing, but kind of like, you know, the first series I read, like, that was Jasmine calories. The proposal series, and I read those books out of order. And it was a real pleasure to kind of like, go back to the first one and be like, Oh, I remember that character, because I saw them in the third book, or whatever I started with. And I'm trying to make my books kind of feel like that way too. So you don't have to start in order, you can just kind of pick one up and enjoy it.

Elle 7:04
Oh, you know, that's so funny. Because I mean, gosh, I feel like we've got so much in common. I have a series set in LA it is about celebrity i It sounds like you're doing value different celebrities, though mine is just really musicians. But it sounds like you're doing like reality TV and like, like all sorts of different, whatever different kinds of

Erin 7:23
thing. But you know, here's the thing is like, I could read romance books that in LA all day, I love reading about celebrity culture and listening to podcasts about celebrities that I just like, there aren't that many romance books set in LA. And so I am so excited to hear that I have to check that out. Because that sounds delightful. Like it was five books la Rock Star Series.

Elle 7:47
But you know, to your point about, you know, sort of like getting into a series midway. I'm so glad that you said that because I've written all these standalones. And you can enter at any point, but obviously, the whole experience may you know, it's a different it's a different experience. If you read them in order it blah, blah, blah. But I kind of love the idea of starting later with a series and then going, oh, I want to read these other. And then you start at the beginning and you go through and you almost like enjoy the reread all of you know what I mean? Even more than Yeah,

Erin 8:23
it was really fun. I mean, I don't know. I don't know how Jasmine would would prefer her books to be read. But I really enjoyed being able to, to kind of read them out of order and it didn't feel like it took away from anything for me. So yeah, I love them. Cool. So,

Elle 8:42
you know, I mean, we all have our reasons, but like, why LA and why celebrity culture just because you're obsessed with it? Or is there something?

Erin 8:51
Yeah, you know, I think for me, LA has felt like one big kind of love story because kind of the moment I moved here, it felt like LA just opened up a lot of new worlds for me like I made so many new friends here. I came from New York, like New York City. I had been in upstate New York City I am I had lived there for so I grew up in Florida. I went to school in Boston, and then I moved to New York actually to work at Random House is like a assistant there. So I let the I know. I really saw how the sausage gets made and I was there for a year to the day because I just kind of knew six months into working in publishing I was like you know, I want to be the one writing the books. I don't want to be the one making them and so I left Random House and I I moved back home to Florida for a couple of months while I like figured out what I was going to do and then eventually landed out in LA but I just felt like when I moved out here everything kind of clicked for me and started working out and said Let me on the path that I am on now. So I love Los Angeles, I think it's such a sprawling fun city with so many different neighborhoods. And I like exploring those and writing. So there's that part. And then with celebrity culture, I am obsessed with that I find a lot of I feel like I kind of do deep dives into Hollywood families in particular, like those families that have like kind of dynasties of people like Drew Barrymore, these people who come from Hollywood backgrounds and how they kind of continue to stay in there. But yeah, I think celebrities are really fascinating. And whether they like it or not, I

Elle 10:45
am obsessed with LA has such a mystique to me. Like, I have such a love hate with it. I used to go out there a lot for work. never lived out there. I lived in New York. And I would like it just was always like, maybe I should move here. Maybe I should move. But then I had to get in the car and drive. And then I was like, I could never

Erin 11:04
live. Yeah. I know. I know. I know. I mean, I you know, when I was in New York, I obviously had the pleasure of taking like public transit everywhere, which was so great. And then I think because I had been living in Boston and then New York and had not had a car for so many years. For some reason. Like once I got a car back, I was like, oh my god, I forgot, like some of the, the joys of having a car like being able to go on a road trip, or like being stuck in traffic and kind of like listening to a great podcast or whatever it was. So I think like I had, I had, I don't know, it just had like, a unique experience with the car too. And obviously now like, there are moments where I'm in my car, and I'm like, This is not great. I don't want to be driving right now.

Elle 11:50
I mean, I and I still sort of like sitting here my mind is working over the joy of sitting in traffic, like what do you

Erin 11:58
what I'm talking about? What I'm talking about? Yeah, here's what I'm talking about. For example, I was actually going to say this is like, I'm gonna sound like that SNL skit where they're like, you take the five and you get off at llibre and then you get on the one time, but I was going from Silverlake to Culver City to the robotics to go to a reading their friends book. And while I was in traffic, I had been trying to figure out the plot for book three and I had been so stuck on it and I turned on some music and by the way, I'm I'm so excited to read your rock star series because I am terrible with music. And so I love when people are actually good about like talking about it and know what they're saying. But I don't know that I was listening. Well I was listening to legit Justin Bieber music so that tells you how good I am at music. And I just had like a breakthrough with my my book three idea where I was like, Oh, I figured it out. But it was only because I was stuck in the car by myself for like 45 minutes listening to music that was kind of for whatever reason, I usually break plot while listening to music. But again, it's not it's not like esteemed music it is pop pop music but anyways, I so anyways, that's that's kind of for me, like those are my moments where I get time to myself, because I have also like a toddler at home. So like just being stuck in a car. Sometimes it's like actually like, Oh, this is a break.

Elle 13:34
These traffic pile up? Well, I'm curious when you say you have these aha moments, particularly when you're in a car, you're listening to music, like, yeah, here's my struggle, right? Like, I'll get them in the shower, or I'll get them when I'm like, or something like that. What do you do? Do you do do? Do you just remember it? Like how do you how do you handle this?

Erin 13:55
So when I'm in the car, like the thing I did was like I kind of kept talking to myself out loud. So probably people driving next to me were like, oh, cool, like, this lady is unhinged. But I will like say whatever is in my head out loud so that I try to make it stick and then as soon as I parked my car, I did pull out my notes app. And I did yeah, like notes about what I had said. And I just kind of kept repeating it in my head to myself to kind of keep it there. But I have the same problem where like, again, I'll get great ideas like in the middle of the night when I'm sleeping like I'll wake up and be like, Oh, I was just like dreaming about my book idea and figuring it out and now I'm going to but I don't sleep with my phone next to my head because I get I get like really distracted by it. So then I try to like those are the ones the times when I really lose an idea where I'm like well this is gonna be gone forever and I'm so sorry idea that I just have

Elle 14:48
I like the idea of saying it out loud. Blimey, I've been trying to use my Voice Memo app more like especially if I'm like out walking the neighborhood or something you know, and I'll be like, right

Erin 14:56
like you sit on a run like that's a great time to get ideas. adds like.

Elle 15:03
Yeah. And so I'll just be like walking out and I'm chattering chatter and chattering to myself. And like if somebody walks by me or they're outside or whatever, and they like, look at me, like they think I'm talking to them. And I'm like, no, really having a conversation myself. All good. So you said book three? Yeah. So you've got a two book deal, but you're working on Book Three. Now? How many? Do you think you're gonna have in this series? Or is it like, I'm kind of

Erin 15:30
when I pitched it to my editor? Yeah, when I pitched it to my editor, I was

Elle 15:33
like, endless it will be.

Erin 15:37
But, but I have no idea. You know, I basically what we're doing now is like, because I'm now an author of harlequins, what I can try to do is like, write the first three chapters of a book plus a detailed outline, and sell a book off of that. So it's really dependent on this book three, like, outline and chapters, which was what I'm working on now. But like, you know, we'll try to sell that this year and see if that goes. And if it doesn't, then, you know, I would kind of go back to the drawing board and think, like, Okay, do I want to do this story's at a different publisher? Or do I want to like, come up with a new idea and send it to Harlequin again, and see if they like a new idea. So I'm in I'm in the stage of like, my second book, I've written it, where I'm getting notes back from my editor soon on that, but also, you know, you as an author, you have to keep trying to sell more and more if they just keep working on the next one, too. So I've got multiple stories in my head right now.

Elle 16:35
Well, yeah. So here, I'm kind of I mean, this is like a little bit inside baseball and kind of logistical. But if you have a series started with Harlequin, and let's say they pass on Book Three, right? Can you continue the series with a different publisher? Or do they own the rights to the series? Do you know what I mean? Yeah,

Erin 16:54
so I think, yeah, I think you technically can continue it with a different publisher. But I don't know, I don't really insights of how that works. And probably like, say they, they didn't like my idea for Book Three, I might like kind of reconfigure it so that it feels like a standalone book, and doesn't bring in any of the other characters from the outside universe. So I'm just kind of like, re configuring that a little bit, which I think would be totally fine.

Elle 17:21
Okay. That's super cool. I want to sort of tumble back a little bit, because you said something that really struck me when you were working at Random House, and you had that, you know, moment of, I want to be the one writing the books, not making Yeah, yeah. When you before you came to New York, when you were going through school, and all that, were you like, on the track to be a writer, and you just were like, well, this is what writers do. They go be editors, or they go work in publishing.

Erin 17:49
Yeah, so I had an interesting journey. Because, you know, I grew up in Florida, my parents were all in medicine. And so it was my extended family. And so I think everyone kind of thought I would go into medicine, my brother went into medicine. But, and being writer had not even occurred to me until I was in high school. And I had a teacher who wrote a comment on a paper of mine, and she said, you know, you're a really good writer, and you should think about doing that as a career. And then it I just sort of, you know, maybe it sounds silly that I had never thought that that could be a career for me, but I didn't see it anywhere around me. Like, I didn't have examples of people who were creative and making a living and, and doing that around me. So I kind of took a risk. And I applied to a lot of kind of art schools, and I got into Emerson College, and I studied writing literature and publishing there, which is a really long major, but worded major, I mean, but they they had, like, you know, a whole department dedicated to like, the business of books and journalism and things like that. And so, you know, as I was going through school, I did a lot of internships in publishing, because my parents kept kind of asking me like, how are you going to make money? Like, what are you going to do? Your degree? And I didn't have an answer, you know, like, because it can, I didn't, I did not have examples of people that I could point to and be like, I'm going to be like this person, even though I loved reading books. And I did a lot of creative writing classes and would write stories and like, think about books a lot and start book projects, but I just kind of then became focused on like, well, I'll work at a publisher. That's how I'll make money at this because that's an actual job that I can like, say, I have a nine to five job and I'll make I'll make money that way. And so, you know, I really did everything I could to get a job at Random House. That was my goal, because I was like, that's the biggest publisher in the world. If I get that It'll show my parents like, I accomplished this big thing, and I can make money at it. But then, once I was there, I was sort of like, Oh, I just felt like that creative itch that I was able to scratch when I was at school through writing there was then totally snuffed out, like, there was no creativity that I could tap into. I was working all the time. And it just did not feel right. And I'm someone who, even though my parents, you know, kept asking questions about money, my mom also used to encourage me to take risks and to trust myself. And so I just said, like, this doesn't feel good. And I think I am going to be really sad if I'm not writing. And so then I went back home. And as you know, I started the process of applying to grad schools for writing, because I thought I would buy myself more time. But, you know, like, to be honest, I kind of did everything I could to avoid becoming a writer because I did not think I would be able to make money by it. And so

Elle 21:07
that's actually that totally makes Yeah, yeah.

Erin 21:11
And I think probably like, you know, I then got jobs writing for websites like that was kind of a way that I paid my helped pay my way through college because I had a scholarship for grad school and then needed more money just to live and started doing like, articles for like $5 a pop for like vegan times, or whatever random website I could find that would hire me. But then I then I started getting bigger jobs, like I started running, writing for Funny or Die. And I got my first full time job, working at EA online and specifically writing for the Kardashians.

Elle 21:53
You're doing the Kardashian coverage?

Erin 21:56
Yes, I did all of their keeping up with the Kardashian website. And everything, like the social posting articles to the website. That was all me

Elle 22:07
and banana. How long did you even do that for?

Erin 22:13
So I think I did that for about a year. And then I had a friend who I was a huge fan of, of BuzzFeed. And this was like, early days BuzzFeed at the time, like people did not know about it. It was only you know, only if you were cool. Did you know about BuzzFeed? So I had a friend that was like, you know, they're opening an LA office. Would you be interested? So

Elle 22:33
you were one of the LA people like the first la people? Yeah,

Erin 22:36
yeah, I was. I was employee number five in LA when they opened in LA off

Elle 22:42
the tri guys. Yes.

Erin 22:47
Yes, I do the Try Guys. Yeah, they're great. And I like my kid goes to school with Ned's kid. So it's, it's like such a small world in LA because I see Ned now. And we like talk about live post buzz. It was held to work there. Yeah. And you know, Keith, actually was the cameraman for me. I did like a red carpet video at the Oscars. And he was our little cameraman because he was like an intern at the time and. And Eugene, I was just like, always obsessed with because he is such like, an a genius. He is so wonderful. And so, you know, I was there in those super early days. And that was a real dream job for me because I did feel super creative. And that's when I wrote my two nonfiction books when I was there. And but, you know, I just liked writing books more than I liked writing, writing for websites. So

Elle 23:46
I feel like okay, first of all the E gigs. It's feels like that is like a high burnout job.

Erin 23:53
Yeah, that was a job where I was working from, like, 8am to like 8pm because we had to do I had to do like live coverage with the shows on and then we were also dealing with like the Kardashians lawyers and getting feedback on you know, I had to send anything I wrote to the Kardashians lawyer and

Elle 24:17
everybody sign off on it. And every bit yeah, yeah. And I imagine it was wild, because they haven't they have like, like an iron clamp around their brand.

Erin 24:28
Yeah, and I think that is why they're so successful. And I really did learn to respect Chris in a lot of ways because I was like, Oh, this woman is no joke. Like, you are not going to fuck with her and her kids like she understands how to how to run a business.

Elle 24:47
Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, it's, it's, I'm still in awe of like, how all of that happened, you know, and like the sort of like celebrity microcosm that you know, I've been You spent 20 years doing entertainment PR. So, you know, I in New York and so I've been in that world, and it's sort of and I don't know, and I was there when the Kardashians started and I was just kind of like, what is going on? You know, because they're I mean, you know, there was a lot of ballyhoo around them for really like, what did they do besides be with?

Erin 25:24
It feels like, you know, it was, it was interesting to me because I because I had to watch them 24/7 And the Kardashians was not a show that I had watched before my job there, so I had to kind of like, catch up with the Kardashians. Not keep up, catch up, and then keep up. So, you know, it felt to me like they were, you know, being famous kind of is a full time job in so many ways. And I think we all probably can acknowledge even begrudgingly that they work really hard to get all the money they have, but like that question of like, are these the people that get all the money like that's, you know, that's a looming?

Elle 26:04
So, okay, so this turned into, you know, your, your website work and all that turned into these two nonfiction books with women's skills and the big red head book, and obviously, they are nonfiction. Comedic? Yeah, sort of satirical ish. Yeah. Yeah. Which I was like, that's so cool. But I'm kind of like, where do you how do you go from these nonfiction books? To romance?

Erin 26:30
Yeah. So you know, it's interesting, because the fiction that I would write, and I would say, like, writing nonfiction, was not my goal. It's just sort of something I kind of fell into. But writing fiction was something I did in high school, all throughout college. You know, I was I was one of those kids who had, like, fanfiction websites, all throughout middle and high schools, I was writing a lot of fanfic stories, which feel like romance to me. Like if you go back, they're just really kissing stories. You know? And in college, in my creative writing classes, I actually, like did write some what would probably be called erotica. And you were writing. Yeah, and my teacher, my poor teacher was like, Are you sure you want to submit those for critique? Because this was like, a critique? Kind of class? And that was like, so confident. I was like, Yep, let's do it and just got, like, ripped apart in these critique classes. But

Elle 27:35
okay, wait, hold on, hold on, raising my hand raising both hands. You can't see me? Um, what were they ripping you apart? What was it because they didn't understand. Okay, so I hate taking writing classes.

Erin 27:50
I absolutely do to spies. I know, I think I think the good thing about these like schools is, you know, from for someone like me, who had zero connections in books, or publishing or writing, like, it introduced me to people, it kind of gave me a sense of the landscape. And that was important, because, like, part of part of publishing and writing is it can be like, who do you know, like, I wouldn't have gotten my BuzzFeed job if a friend didn't like loop me in and say, you know, hey, like, I want to tell you about this new job. So but yeah, I agree, like critique classes are so discouraging. I've never had one where I was like, This is great. And it's helping me.

Elle 28:34
I mean, I have a very good friend who runs the English department at a major state college major university. And she's always kind of arguing with me about this. She's like, but you get so much out of it. You know, it's almost more important about how you critique, that's where you learn with your critique, none of us are, because my thing is, I want the teacher to critique my work, because I'm looking at the instructor as somebody who knows more than me. Exactly. About the person sitting next to me. And the thing is, you know, maybe I feel like maybe if it was like a group of people that all wrote romance, right? That would be one thing, but when you're a genre writer, and you go into a writing room with people who are not genre writers, like they're doing, lit fic, or they're doing, you know, whatever it is, and, um, you know, this could be me, but my experience with these classes is that it's always people that are doing what Feck and not doing that was

Erin 29:30
my experience.

Elle 29:33
Like, there is just a real lack of understanding and you know, let's face it, they're kind of like a little bit of like a snootiness there

Erin 29:39
about what that was also my experience your experience,

Elle 29:43
so I can't even imagine what the hell are they saying?

Erin 29:49
I think there was a lot of I feel like there were a lot of like nervous giggles it was a lot of like, you know, people just like now I'm not even knowing what to say. And I think my teacher did a good job of trying to guide the conversation. And she, she said this thing that was, I think, very, very generous of her. But she said something along the lines of like, you know, Aaron has done something very elevated, where she's told a story within a story, you know, on the surface, it reads, you know, kind of like, like a romance but really deep, deep within it is this story about a broken woman, and you know, all of this, whatever, like, no. Yeah, I thought it was so sweet of her to do that. I was like, Thank you for trying to, like put me because because it was all people who were studying literature with a capital L. And we're, you know, not I feel like I went into a blackout state after that, where I just like, didn't hear anything, like I just heard kind of the white hum of like, in my head. And so but you know, like the the stories that I've heard in that class were either funny stories, like I wrote a story about a blueberry who had a personality, talk about like, being trapped in, you know, his little carton and had to, he had to escape. And it like, it was just like a dark, funny story. And then my other stories, were these SEC stories. So you know, like, college was not for me in that in that sense, like, because I was not going to be the next, you know, literature with a capital L person. So

Elle 31:27
love that you didn't try to adapt your writing. Like, I feel like I would have been like, Oh, that's not what this class is. Let me try being literature. Well,

Erin 31:35
to be to be clear, when I went to grad school, I did do a story. But I tried to do literature heavy and my friend liked to call it the cancer baby story. It was

Elle 31:53
that funny.

Erin 31:55
Oh, why would anybody? Why would cancer baby be funny? It was like, it was a story that where I was like, Okay, I'm gonna pick two very serious things like, Yeah, talk about them in one short story. And obviously, that was very well received. I'm kidding. It was not.

Elle 32:16
I mean, all, like, all of a sudden, like your voice changes, right? Like, all of

Erin 32:21
a sudden, you're trying you're trying to mimic someone that someone else and who you're not. And I think people can see right through that.

Elle 32:28
Yeah, yeah. So how did you get through grad school?

Erin 32:32
Oh, man, I, you know, grad school, I think the maybe the best part of grad school was just that it bought me time. And the fact that I didn't have to pay for it, because I did get a scholarship. And I had writing teachers from undergrad who were very clear with me and they said, you know, if you're going to go to grad school, for writing, try everything you can not to pay for it, because you may never be able to repay it. Especially if you want to be a writer, it's so it's so expensive to go to grad school. And so it bought me time. And in that time, like when I was in grad school, that's when I started writing for websites, that's when I started writing for Funny or Die. And so it kind of was this gig where like I taught as part of my scholarship, so they paid for my school, and then gave me money to teach and so it allowed me to live very simply, mind you, I was eating a lot of just like Trader Joe's canned beans and like PB J's, but whatever I was, I was so happy to be writing again. Right?

Elle 33:33
So this was really about buying the time. I'm just sort of like doing the work though. Because you still have to like show up and do the do the work and go to the totally,

Erin 33:41
and I did you know, I took I took classes that were luckily it wasn't all fiction writing. So I actually took like a playwriting course I took script writing so I was able to do comedy in those okay, and that is sort of what I infused my books with too is a lot of comedy. And I think because of grad school, I learned a lot about dialogue and, and you know, my other gig that I do on top of books now is I write made for TV movies. So grad school gave me that Yeah.

Elle 34:15
Wait, wait, wait, okay, this wasn't in your bio.

Erin 34:19
That's true. It's not in my bio.

Elle 34:21
Oh my god, like we're talking like, are we talking like lifetime Hallmark?

Erin 34:26
Yes, we are. So like, I had one that just filmed and it's called, I guess I'm hooked on pun titles, but it's called time for love. And it's th y me and it's about a landscape architect and a paleontologist that just filled

Elle 34:43
with oh, wait, because I'm like, wait, what? This sounds wicked familiar. And you can tell actually, from the New England Eric's I'm like wicked, wicked familiar. And I know you know that Boston. And I feel like I might have seen a a promo for this. But if it just finished, there's no way

Erin 35:02
Oh, yeah. But yeah, so you wouldn't have seen it and, and it's not clear like if it will come out because the company I work with, it's like they'll film movies, and then they try to sell them to different places that play me and for us, but yeah, so like grad school gave me you know the tools to do things like that as well.

Elle 35:24
Wow. So here's the question because of your work in the industry. And you know, when you're writing your novels, are you writing them with an eye towards some sort of adaptation?

Erin 35:39
Well, I think was, for better or worse, I didn't. And I think because the pitch I did for it was very catchy, like if Mary, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood had to fake date in order to save their careers. Like I did get a lot of interest from film agent. So I have a film agent, we haven't sold the rights. But with Book Two, you know, it's interesting, like, basically, when I come up with pitches now for books I do, I do frame it as like the comp titles are movie adjacent, where it'll be like, it's this meets this. And I do, I do think now I am skewing more that way where I think about it a little bit cinematically, where I'm like, Okay, what's the, like, something I've learned from from writing for movies is like, what is the hook? Like? What is the thing? What is the actual story about? And I do like to be able to say what it's about very clearly. And if I can't, then I start to worry, like, Oh, is there a plot there? Right. I do think a lot about plot. And I think a lot of writers approach novels from the point of view of character first, but actually, I do approach it with with plot for so

Elle 36:56
that's really interesting, because I do I'm a character first person, I'm guessing if you Yes, you must outline.

Erin 37:03
I do I outline heavily. And so I'm like a plotter versus, you know, what they what they call pantser, where you're just kind of seeing where it goes. But yeah, I plot out and I go first by plot, then figure out the characters.

Elle 37:18
Oh, wow. That's Yeah, cuz I work on a completely different, like, I like completely No, yeah,

Erin 37:23
I think most writers go character first. And I, for whatever reason, do plot?

Elle 37:29
I mean, honestly, I think that it's probably smart. Right? Because you right, like people say, Well, what's your book about? And I'm always like, Well, yeah, I mean, I know. It's about like, it's trophy. But I guess I also sort of struggle with the well, it's sort of enemies to lovers, but it's kind of more.

Erin 37:47
Yeah, yeah, I feel, you know, I mean, like, I don't think there's a right or a wrong way. It's just everyone's brain is so different. And it works. So different. And I actually did an event in LA this week with this author, JC Lee, who I love, and she was saying, you know, she's character first. And they like, talk to her in her head. And she like, she writes her books within like, I think she said, like, six weeks, and I was like, Oh, my God, I was like, how do you do it? But she just said they pour out of her. And, you know, for me, it takes me a while because I outline first and I have to figure that out first,

Elle 38:23
right? I do. But I mean, my character work always comes first. Then I do a bit of outlining. But I do cancel a big part of it. I'm a plant, sir. So I live like in that liminal space.

Erin 38:33
Never heard that before. That's so funny. Yeah, like, I'll

Elle 38:37
write an outline. And then I'll just ignore it. Like, that's my favorite thing to do. Which is gets really frustrating because it does take a long time to write an outline. And then when you like, just discard it. Because you're like, Yeah, I just go and all of a sudden, I'm on chapter 17. And I'm like, Oh, we let me pick up the outline. And I'm like, what, right at the end up here?

Erin 38:56
Yes, yeah, I know what you mean. I mean, with for better or worse? I did not the first draft I did. I did not plot and I ended up literally having to rewrite the entire book. And so I think that scarred me so much. I had been changed tactics there. So

Elle 39:18
all of the all of the writing work that you're doing, I mean, apart from writing erotica. Awesome. I mean, I guess that is like, you probably had no, there was no prot like no hesitation with writing the sex scenes in the romance.

Erin 39:39
I mean, I love writing sex scenes and actually from for Book Two I wrote six scenes forgot before anything. So I don't know if it's because I was raised in such a strict like, conservative Catholic upbringing, but now it's just like, I'm like, I don't I don't give a fuck. I'm gonna write about sex and I'm gonna write about it. unapologetically but I like part of why I love romance is the sex scenes like, you know, I love I love a good closed door romance too. But like, I buy books and like remember specific authors where I'm just like, oh, they write amazing sex scenes like Olivia David writes incredible sex scenes. I like messaged her on Twitter once and she doesn't know me. But I just reached out and I was like, I need you to know that these sex scenes are incredible. And I love that. And then she wrote back and she was like, thank you. They're my favorite thing to write. And I was like, I can tell that you're enjoying yourself.

Elle 40:36
So incredible for you like what what is it about reading them?

Erin 40:40
I think for with Olivia's she does a really great job of building and building and building. So that by the time you reach her sex scenes, you're just like, your own pants are flying off. You're like, Okay, where is the vibrator? I need to I need to buckle up for the, um, but you know, like, I think what she does is she really draws out for sex scenes, like I mean, pages and pages long. And so you really like she doesn't rush through anything. There's a lot of connection between the characters. It's not just kind of like you knowing that they're, they're having sex, it's like they are really becoming more of a couple and more connected through it. And I think that's really wonderful.

Elle 41:28
Do you find though with writing the succeeds, because this happens to me, I got really tired after I write them. Like, it's a very draining thing to write.

Erin 41:37
I think they're so hard to write. And I think maybe that's what you're tapping into, too. Like I find them to be. It's hard to describe people have exact sometimes where you're like, I don't know, like, Do I sound like I know, like, I've even had some, you know what I mean? Like where you're writing and you're like, Have I had? I don't know, like, so yeah, I totally understand what you're saying where it's like, you feel I feel like I have to put in more work to the sex scenes. Because for me, like, that's also not just their bodies connecting, but like, what are they thinking? Like? How are they getting on the same page and giving each other pleasure? And I do remember like, for, for better or worse, I got this really amazing note back from my editor. And she was like, could we not use the word burrow in the scene? Because she was like, that's like a mole like burrowing in a hole. And I was like, Oh, my God, because I do remember, like, have like, I went on like for Soros or something. And I was like, What's another word for? For like? Yeah.

Elle 42:45
I think that is sort of what kind of stymies to like, how can I make this? You know, because I know like, the emotions are different. And also, the the reason for having sex is going to be different for every scene, right? Like there's going to be there is going to be a different emotion attached, there's going to be a different reason for doing it. There's going to be because we're at different points in the story. Yeah, but, but I'm always like, we wasn't at missionary position the last time. You know, do you know what I mean? Like, there's, there's all stuff but like, you're, you've got to kind of think about and like, is the spicy enough? Is this? Yes, I see it. You know what I mean? Well,

Erin 43:31
I'm really curious. Just based off of that comment, like the feedback I'm gonna get on my book, too, because I, you know, for better or worse, I had the same, like, everything you're describing, I felt like I was like, a little bit like, Oh, does this read really? Like, am I using enough? Like, is this hot enough, like, I will anyone give it a shot, or they're gonna, like laugh at these sex scenes, because it's so awkward. And then for Book Two, I just kind of tried to get out of my head. And I was like, what's just like, some fun sex to have because I felt like I knew my characters were going to be a little more like, silly. And so I just had way more fun because I just kind of wrote what I would want to read. And I was sort of like, I don't care if the notes I get back from my editor are like, we need to cut this entire scene because you have like end scenes or whatever it is. But yeah, I felt like for Book Two, I'm a little more out of my head, worrying about it. And I don't know if that's gonna be the same for book three or if it's gonna be harder. Not sure.

Elle 44:35
Well, it's funny that you're like, is this hot enough? Because you know, now I noticed I've actually noticed on Instagram like some reviews for book are starting to roll out like I'm seeing them you know, so just I just know like, and I love the reviews that give you like the chili peppers as like the spice level, you know, and I'm like, I'll get like this great review and I'll be like three chili peppers and I'm like, Oh, is it not? Like oh, five raw I can't I don't want to be erotica. So maybe it's like, what? Is it okay to be three? Does that mean that I'm medium spice? Like, am I Sporty Spice?

Erin 45:12
Right? I don't know.

Elle 45:17
I think that that's hilarious that you're like, is this hot enough? Because they think

Erin 45:21
I want it to be really hot. Yeah, I don't know what to say about it. I think I am bordering on erotica for my second book, and I have a feel like my editors gonna be like, You need to really stop. Please paper bag, but we'll see.

Elle 45:37
Ya, and I guess, you know, obviously, it's like, well, how many sex scenes do you you know, I have enough for the story let right like that sort of like I have what way with the story, but there are definitely times where I'm like, Oh, I only have two in this book. Maybe I should do more. And you know, because it's also you want to make sure the reader gets what they came for. And, you know, and I guess, spending too much time on spicy talk or something? I don't know, it seems like they're really there for the heat. And that's about it. I

Erin 46:08
know, I know, I'm wondering when that's going to change or shift a little bit. You know, I feel like books are so interesting. Because by the time that your book is ready to publish, then a new trend will come out with where they'll be like, I hate this thing. And you're like, well, that's in my book, and I can't change it. So enjoy. But you know, like, I do listen to what people are saying, and to readers, and I look at reviews, the good and the bad. And, you know, I tried to kind of like, absorb those in a way that is helpful versus destructive. But you know, I do like hearing what people like versus not so that I can kind of like, not, or not avoid them necessarily. But you know, like, I think about that with the other books where I'm like, Oh, that was a good point. Or oh, I can see why that would be kind of annoying to read or whatever it

Elle 47:07
is. Yeah, it's funny. I, you know, because obviously, I've read my I know, not all writers reviews, I read them as well. And I know some you know, a lot of authors are like, You're crazy. And it's like, no, I legit want to know, I mean, I just had just had a writer, a reviewer, give me a three star and yeah, I love her review, like her review

Erin 47:28
was so funny. And I was I know some things that happened. And I reached out to her. And I was like,

Elle 47:33
You're absolutely on the money with this, you know, it was the first book in the series, it was with a publisher that I got the rights back. And I wrote it to their specifications, and I was not happy with it. And I tried to, you know, fix it on the second go, but it still wasn't 100% What I wanted to write and, and the carry on, I wasn't in love with the, you know, with some characteristics of the male character or the male main character. And she and she pulled it out. And I was like, fairpoint Absolutely. I think you'll like my second router here. Let me send it to you. You know, oh, that's

Erin 48:09
cool. That's really cool that you did that. And she

Elle 48:11
was and she was like, it was great. It was really great feedback. And it was constructive. And I think that that's, you know, I don't know if any reviewers ever listen to this. But you know, if you're going to be reviewing like, say what you say what you like, say what you don't like, you know, I think where it's hard are the ones where they it really feels like an attack. Like why did I just waste my whole day on this?

Erin 48:36
Yeah, where it's just kind of Yeah, and you're like, Well, okay, like, I can't, I can't help you. I can't do anything about that. But yeah, I've seen those two words. Just mean, and it feels like you're being bullied or something.

Elle 48:47
Yeah, cuz I didn't read the book you wanted to read? And I'm sorry about that. Right. You know, that doesn't mean that I should be, you know, burned at the stake here.

Erin 48:57
But totally,

Elle 48:58
but you know, but it was such a constructive review. And I was like, Okay, thank you for this.

Erin 49:03
Yeah, I love those too. And I I'm so glad that you said that. Because I feel like everyone is always like, don't read the reviews. But for me, and maybe maybe it's because of my BuzzFeed days, but I used to I used to read comments, people would leave on my articles so that I could get better. You know, if they were kind of like, oh, like, you know, people would leave thoughtful feedback on articles, but also not many, but I would find the ones that you know, like, kind of true.

Elle 49:32
That's the one thing I would always tell clients when we started you know, when online became a thing I was like, you read the article, but don't read the comments section. Okay, promise me won't read the comments.

Erin 49:41
I know, I know. I always read and you know what it's like, whatever. Some people will read it, some people won't. But I I tried to stop reading it when I was writing a little bit for Book Two just because I was like, I don't want it to be so um are like so influencing my writing that then I'm just writing to what other people want. Because I was like, I still need to write a book that I am happy about. So yeah, I don't. Yeah, there's a balance. Yeah, there's

Elle 50:13
definitely a balance. But, you know, like I said, I do love the constructive, you know, the constructive review you to me too. I mean, I guess Yeah, it probably has to do with the, the jobs. You know, I think that that gives us a little bit of a perspective on what a review is, and what and what's useful and how to discard the non useful bits. I mean, not to say that the bad reviews on her like they certainly can. But but you know, to also look at it as I don't know, a tool, right to help like

Erin 50:45
one that's, that's what I do. Yeah, I tried to so yeah, but like you said, like, some of them definitely hurt. And you're like, Okay, I've gotta like, log off of Goodreads now and go get myself a cookie or whatever. Those

Elle 50:55
don't read good reads.

Erin 50:58
Yeah, good. Reads is tough. Good. Reads is really like a place where you're like, Oh, now that's that's where you start feeling like you're getting bullied. Yeah,

Elle 51:05
yeah, Goodreads is really hard. And I like won't go to Goodreads. I'll look at Amazon. You know, if I get tagged and review, I will look at that, although like, yeah, you know, I'm hoping they don't tag me in a bad review.

Erin 51:18
I know, I do get tagged in a lot of just like mad reviews, where they're like, it was fun. And I'm like, Okay, I don't want to be tagged them. I'm not gonna reshare it. Like, I don't know why you

Elle 51:32
have I have like I have squirreled away somewhere. I don't know, I think it was like a Fast Company article that I need to read about, like, about how people are like tagging people on with bad reviews or something. I think it was Fast Company, I don't know. And I was just and it's just about like a how you can how you shouldn't be doing that. It's like, you know, buried in my things to read list. That's right. So we should get to your in your steamy scene. I'm so excited to Alright, so we have a little bit of a setup. He gave us a little bit of a setup earlier. But can you set up the scene for us?

Erin 52:08
So yeah, this scene is after Nina and Leah and I lead have just then they had they had a night together where Leo pleasures, Nina. And the next morning, they are awaiting for a car to be sent over because they're celebrities. So of course, they get car service everywhere, including morning after walks of shame car service. And they have a little time. And so they start fooling around again, and they end up in Leo's bed. And Leo suggests a very numerical position for them to get into. So

Elle 52:57
spend money. So now the night before when they spent the night together? Well, first of all, there's still fake dating. So people like when when someone sends you the car, I know that there was like this whole, like, you need to kiss when you get out there. So the photographers will see it. And, you know, so nobody knows that they're actually I mean, nobody on the team, like the their team knows that they're faking it. But nobody else that does like the world thinks, oh, look, they're in this relationship.

Erin 53:21
Yes. So no one in either of their lives at this point knows that they are together that they've been intimate together. They this is definitely a turning point in their relationship where it's going from fake to real. And the night before is a surprise to both of them but a happy surprise and is equally steamy. But this one that we're going to be talking about today, I think is just kind of fun because it involves both of them a little bit more and also involves a position we don't see that often.

Elle 53:58
Whatever reason we do not so now just to clarify, had they had sex the night before or he just pleasured her.

Erin 54:06
He goes down on her the night before so they still have they still had not had on the deep penetrating.

Elle 54:11
Got it. Okay, cool. Okay, so this is the next morning they've woken up. I'm starting kind of mid chapter. So here we go. Thomas sending a car you'll walk me out will kiss she said hesitantly, it'll be another 20 minutes before the car is here. She said a little too quickly. Any ideas of how we can fill the time She lowered her lips to the straw in her smoothie, keeping her eyes locked on him as she sucked on the straw. Then her gaze flick to his deck which was alert. Holy sexercise. Nina wasn't just flirting with him. She was laying it on thick as syrup. Are you he hadn't had enough coffee to finish that sentence. Nina put down her smoothie. Am I As she took a few shots you took a few short steps to him to close the distance between them. She put her hands on his shoulders and walked him backward to the leather chair in his living room. She sat him down and stood over him. Are you okay? If I touch you? her fingertips left his shoulders and trailed their way down his arms over his forearms and down toward the sweat pants he tugged on. She hovered above his cock and looked at him for confirmation. His lips opened and closed. You had to make sure she wanted this just as much as he did. Um, okay, if you are, she nodded. She took her hands and tugged down his pants and he moved slightly to help. She pulled at the corners of his boxers and he used his thumbs to help slide them off. His cock popped out at full attention and just the right height for her mouth, which opened slightly as she looked at him. She ran her nails up and threw the hair on his thighs, guiding her hands toward his waiting deck. When she reached him. She started with one hand gently running over the tip. Then down his shaft, he sucked in a breath as she tightened her grip around him. When her hand reached for the base of him, she opened her mouth and her tongue flicked over his head, over and over while she slowly worked to shaft with her hand. Then she ran her tongue along the underside of his shaft, licking him in one smooth motion. When she trailed her tongue back up, she stopped at his tip and popped it into her mouth, sucking him into her with tight pressure. His hands went for her hair, gripping her as she brought her mouth down the length of him sucking firmly as she went up and down as caulk. He needed her. He needed more of her, he reached down and brought her up releasing her mouse hold on his deck, we're going in the bedroom, he said, I need to taste you. I kind of like really liked how you break. I really liked how you stop the action to move it to a different room. And so I'm kind of curious, like, why not just do it? They're like, what is it like that says something about him where he's like, we're going to the bedroom, because that's where you go when you do things.

Erin 57:01
Yeah, I, that's, that's a really good observation. Do you know, I think I was, I think when I had originally written it, they actually stayed in the living room and did something else that wasn't a 69 scene and that alert 6969 And then I think I was like, I was like, I just I was like, I don't know, I was like, I think I want them to be on the bed so that it's like, actually fun and comfortable. And I was like, He's gonna just move them. He's gonna move them into a bedroom. It's got going. But he is I think also like, a cinnamon roll hero. He, you know, like, is very sweet. And I think would want this meeting to be comfortable while they get

Elle 57:57
because like, when I got there, I was like, wait, wait, because I obviously I haven't had time to read the whole book. Which, by the way, thank you for sending it to me. Yes, because I really enjoyed this scene. And I was like, oh my god, this is really great. I can't wait to read. I absolutely love the I don't think I said this, for better or worse. Like the title is fantastic. It was really fun. But you know, I was like, wait, wait a minute, they're moving because I was like, why not just do it on the floor. But I was like, Wow, that really says something about him that he's like, Wait, stop. Let's go in the bedroom.

Erin 58:31
Hold up. We need the right time. We need the right place the right location for what I'm about to do to you girl, right.

Elle 58:37
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. That's like super. There was super. I was like, Oh my God, they're moving.

Erin 58:47
Oh, yeah, they're moving girl and they're getting ready. Also, it's funny to hear you read it because like, my cousin narrated the audiobook, she's like a narrator so I asked her to narrate it. But I haven't gotten to that scene in the audio book yet. I'm listening to it. And I'm like, it's gonna be so weird to hear someone read that scene out loud. But you did a great job. Thank you practice as a side

Elle 59:17
practice now. You know, it's it's funny because I had the audiobook done from two of my books. And I still haven't listened to the second one. And so it's obviously not out yet. But like I but it is hard for me to listen, it's hard for me to like, it's hard for me to read the books when they're done. It's hard for me to hear it. It's hard like so I appreciate it when authors let me do this because I know how hard it is to hear your work again after it's out like because I just I just picked myself apart so much. I'm like you could have done that better. Maybe better. Oh, you should have used a different word. You know. So like, I like I completely like appreciate that. That authors like let me do this because I totally understand how hard this is.

Erin 59:58
Yeah, it is. It is a weird thing to I mean, the thing about books is like you could change your book a million different ways for the rest of your life. That's why Yeah, like sometimes the advice I give people is like, just stop rewriting and just like submitted or figure it out, because I was like he, you know, you could just keep rewriting indefinitely. Yeah, could

Elle 1:00:19
I mean, you know, yeah, could it's not fun. But you could do that. Because the thing with a book, and I think that like, it is never done, period. Like, that's how I feel about the book. My books are never done. They're just done enough where I can put them out into the world. Totally, you know, otherwise, I wouldn't release anything. I wouldn't. I wouldn't. I wouldn't do anything. I'd still be working on my urban fantasy. My first like, I wouldn't do anything with the books if I didn't go, you know, right. Yeah. All right. We're going to the bad. Hold on. Her dress was tight. By the way, her dress. She must have been wearing this last night because it's waka shame, right. Her dress was tight, but he smoothly lifted the dress up her thighs and around her hips until he could see her panties. He pulled them down and she was wet and hot for him. He moved on to the bed lying on his back then motion for her to join. As she crawled toward him. He said, turn around. I want you to come in my mouth. Are we talking? Are we about 269? Nina asked. Just I love this. He hasn't dated before replying. Like it's 2069 Oh my god. Just great. And like, No, we never see this. And we never talked about it. And I remember when I was like a kid like in high school. I really, cuz you're 69 giggle giggle so, like, it's just so funny. Because like, it's one of those things that we don't talk about as adults, you know?

Erin 1:01:54
No, no. And I think like, probably when it happens, you don't really even acknowledge it. But I was like, Lee Leo is like a dad humor kind of guy. So it's like, he's gonna make a joke about who's gonna make

Elle 1:02:07
like, maybe if like, like, like, something pops up, like, you know, six to $9 or at the store like my elbow me. Like, that's because like, in his head, he's a 12 year old boy. You know, what

Erin 1:02:21
has been a total and absolute pleasure is like, everyone loves this and talks about it a lot. But, like, just having people just be overjoyed to talk about it. Like put even just type the numbers out, like in reviews or whatever. Like I saw someone posted a review and they used like, a funny GIF that were someone was saying 69. And I was like, Yeah, this is great. Like, I'm so glad it brought joy.

Elle 1:02:55
I mean, like, honestly, I never even thought about it. And my books and it's hilarious. And like a push. Everybody should think about this for their books, because it's just one of those positions. That is like I don't think about because like I said, like we it was like, we talked about it when we were kids, but not I don't know, where did that and it's it's like there's a playfulness here that I think is super fun. And like, when did we lose that?

Erin 1:03:18
Like when Yeah, and I I'm glad you said that. Yeah, because I tried to be playful in my sex scenes and have it be fun and joyful and just kind of like, you know, you can you can like appreciate the sex scene for what it is. But there's also probably going to be laughter where, you know, we're making jokes and talking and just kind of like being together that way too.

Elle 1:03:42
Okay, it would be cute. Little interruption. Okay, she left them positioned herself over him the wisps of her hair, teasing him before he could taste her. He felt her mouth meat, his cock again. His hips arch to her, and she took in the full length of him until he was buried deep in her mouth. That's so fucking good, he said, but he didn't linger long he had to taste her. He reached his hands up to grab her ass and he gently pressed down until her pussy was directly over his mouth, his tongue reach for her clit and he drew her blood in he nibbled at the tip of it and felt her Buck against him. He could tell she liked the pressure. So we took her in again and again rolling his tongue over and around her clit and playful circles while sucking her into his mouth. Her hips began to rock as she bobbed her mouth up and down it's caulk and wrote his mouth with her pussy. He squeezed her ass as he focused on her clip not releasing her or letting up on the pressure. He could tell she was responding to Leo I'm so close, she said. Then returned her mouth to his cock he squeezed her as hot as harder and sucked her into his mouth again. He rolled his tongue as he slept more on her clip. She spilled over him, her legs tightened. Fuck Oh, fuck, she choked out. He held her still so he could continue to pleasure her as she moaned and finished on him. With his free hand he reached down and rub the shaft of his throbbing cock. As he felt her calm, he tightened as well. He pointed his cock away, letting his load come on the top of his sheets. They stayed like that. The only sound there heavy breathing until Nina's phone pinged she reached for it then said, cars here, in one swift move, she saw her leg around him and was off the bed. He sat up on his elbow and watched your wiper with herself with a Kleenex pull her panties back on and smooth out her dress

this is so funny. Word on here, that's my Nina and all business. That's right. A little bit. So now she's like, she's out of there. And he's got like scramble after her right? Like, so they go out to the car. And he's in his head, like, this was so cool. So there's like, he's having this running conversation is had that we're in his head. So we're privy to? And he's talking about like, she's got this ex boyfriend? And are they going to get back together? And you know, he kind of feels like, maybe I don't know, like, he feels like the ex has like one up on him. So it seems like you know what I mean? So she is going to go back and maybe this is not going to work out. And like, he is such a great cinnamon roll hero like he really is. And that's I think I love my cinnamon rolls. Like I love the beta hero. And, and I just like having him like being in his head and having all of these insecurities for him. While he's sort of like getting dressed. And she and she's already like, got through it. She's like, I'm out. I'm out cars here. Gotta go. You know what I mean? Oh, my God.

Erin 1:06:50
I know, I know. I love Leo so much. And you know, at the beginning of the book, like you almost wouldn't recognize the guy he we see toward the end of the book, because he starts off as like, you might start reading the book and think he's an alpha male. And then by the end, you're like, oh, no, that's not what's going on here at All

Elle 1:07:11
right? So I'm guessing his journey was to sort of see like the truth of who he was.

Erin 1:07:17
Yes. Yeah, I think I think a lot of people put on, you know, especially Leo deals with mental health issues. So he has anxiety and panic attacks. And so I think a lot of people, myself included, who suffer from those will kind of project a different persona, to protect themselves. And then, you know, deep down, you kind of get to know who they are. If you're one of the one of the people becomes close to them. So that's that's who Leo is.

Elle 1:07:47
Okay, I just I want to read this because I feel like this wraps up this sort of moment that they just had their at the car. So when he leaned down to kiss her, he let his true emotions escape through his lips, he pulled her into their bodies were flush. If this was goodbye, he wanted her last memory of him to be a good one. His hands found their way through her hair, she wrapped her arms around his back, and he felt the familiar tug of her nails digging into him. When he pulled away her cheeks were flush, she showed him a small grin. And that gave him a renewed sense that he could get through the loss of her. Because even if he'd managed to make her happy, just this once, that could be enough to carry him the rest of the way through their arrangement. For Leo, also kind of love that. Like he wanted her last memory of him to be a good one. Like, they just had like, kind of raunchy oral sex. They both came. That's a good memory. But to him, the good memory is that kiss. And I was like, Oh,

Erin 1:08:55
that's a really good point. Yeah, I you know, I think he is someone who has had to do a lot of learning when it comes to Nina because he really hurt her in the beginning of the book. So you know, like for him to kind of he's basically constantly trying to make up for his past actions. And I think this is one of those times to Oh, wow,

Elle 1:09:20
this is like a great book. super fun, super funny, but obviously it's got like some serious depth going on here. So you know, for better or worse, I should add like we're recording this when it's right July 26 was the release date I record batch record so this might not be out until like mid to late fall. So but yeah, it's going to be out and I'm guessing audio will be out by then too.

Erin 1:09:47
If audio is not out. Yeah, audios out now. It's, it's crazy, like Yeah.

Elle 1:09:51
And you're well on the way with the second book, which will be next summer. So this is awesome.

Erin 1:09:58
Yeah. Thank you for Reading that so well and bringing back some memories for me because I like you like I haven't really reread it I'm listening to the audio right now but some of these little moments with my I love Leo so much with Leo's

Elle 1:10:15
like, just from like the chapter right that I read like, he is a really great character. He's really good.

Erin 1:10:21
Yeah, I love him. I love him. I think about him a lot. I need to stop thinking about him so much, but yeah, I love So,

Elle 1:10:32
where do you hang out online? Where's the best place to find you?

Erin 1:10:35
Okay, so you can find me on Instagram and Twitter at Aaron LaRosa. Lit and then I love Tik Tok. I'm on Tik Tok at Aaron LaRosa writes, and I do a lot of investigative videos into the Great British Bake Off. So if you're into that kind of thing, give me a five. Okay,

Elle 1:10:52
I have to go follow you. I am on Tik Tok. I'm just trying to figure it out. I'm a hot mess. I don't know what I'm doing.

Erin 1:10:58
I think that's most people. I mean, I've been on it for a while is the only reason why I've kind of figured out something that I liked doing.

Elle 1:11:07
It took me literally three days to figure out how to do a fucking Page Flip video. I was like I did it wrong. Oh my god. Like I was just a page of it. Because I'm like looking at it. I'm like, that's easy. Let me flip some pages. And then I'm like, three fucking days. I'm like, I can't do this. Yeah, it was kind of horrendous. And you taught like, obviously, do you like talk? Like you're on camera? Because I feel so awkward like I do. I can do this podcast, no problem. But as soon as just like me and me. Just me. I can't do it. Like even doing like solo podcast I really struggle with like, I can't like I need somebody there with me to like,

Erin 1:11:50
I know, I have found more and more than I'm talking to camera. But I think the only reason it works. And maybe this will, like resonate with you too. And we're for you is like just finding something that you feel really good about talking about that isn't actually your own thing. Because talking about myself I find to be a really bit of a hard thing when it's just me. But like even you could probably like, do something because obviously you care about these sex scenes. Like even if you're just like dissecting someone else's sex scene for like a minute video or showing the best part that might be like,

Elle 1:12:27
Oh my God, that's genius.

Erin 1:12:29
This approach

Elle 1:12:30
your social media manager? Oh, my God, that's that's a great idea. Because I have to tell you every time I show up and do like a little snippet from the show, like I got no, and I think I'm probably being shadow banned because of like the dirty words. Right? So that's the other Oh, yeah.

Erin 1:12:46
Like, yeah, you can you can kind of this is like a whole other conversation. So I'm sorry if it's veering off topic, but like, you can change the words like if you do captions, like I never hashtag with any explicit stuff. Because then yeah, they will, like ban you and blocking. But like,

Elle 1:13:07
but but so I know what it's like, I do change the captions. But I was wondering if you can, if it was the actual audio was on the audio, would that be a problem? Or like, I'm wondering if they picked it up in the audio? Um,

Erin 1:13:21
I don't think so. Because I know that I've said some bad words. And I don't think but it's like I you know, I try not to call attention to them in any way. But who knows? I mean, tick tock is a mystery to everyone. And I have friends who work there and they're like, I don't know, it just is what it is like, that's hilarious. I had like a Great British Bake Off video that I did. That was like removed for 24 hours because someone had reported it as bullying, because I was talking about how Paul Hollywood cheated on his ex wives or on his ex wife. And I was like, I don't know and I fought it and they reinstated my video, but I was like, I can't believe I was just like, I had a video removed for bullying for like, just stating facts about Paul Hollywood having cheated on his wife.

Elle 1:14:13
Oh my god. Apparently facts are bad. Facts are bad. Well, thank you for this the tip like that's, that's awesome. I'm like, yay.

Erin 1:14:28
I hope it works. I will watch I just followed you on Tik Tok. You've got a new follower.

Elle 1:14:34
I'll go back and follow you back as soon as we're done. Aaron, this was so fun. Thank you so much for doing this. Yeah, I

Erin 1:14:41
had a blast talking to you. Now I want to be friends with you in real life. And I don't know how to make it happen. But I'm gonna I'm gonna figure out why I like to go

Elle 1:14:48
to LA I was just there last summer and actually, yeah, over the weekend. I got fed like one of those like, a year ago on my phone. And there was the picture I took of the Hollywood sign and I was like, oh my LA I need to go back Like, like, like, and you know, my kid was gonna go to college there for like a hot minute. That's why I was out we're looking at schools and I connected with like, one of my best author friends lives out there. And so like we hung out and oh my god mothers out there. So I got to go see her and like, and I was just like, I love it. And then I was like, oh, but the traffic, and the traffic is so much worse than like the late 90s When I was like really there for work like late 90s, early aughts. Like when I was going every like three months, I'd go to LA, and, and it and I was like, I don't remember the geography in this.

Erin 1:15:37
I know. It's terrible. I don't know what to say about it. The only thing I can tell you is like, the thing that I do and probably most people in LA would agree with is like you, you figure out the neighborhood, you're gonna be in there and you just stay. That's right. Yeah, you just stay there. Because

Elle 1:15:52
I was like, you know, what if I could live like in Venice or Mosa beach or right, like on like Santa Monica. But maybe even like, a little bit south because I don't even know that I want to be in Santa Monica proper. I would just never leave the neighborhood and I would just be so happy. Yes, that's just like that's a that's a that's where I want it. Yeah,

Erin 1:16:14
I know I'm in Silverlake, which is like the opposite end. But I we really don't leave this neighborhood. Unless there's like something urgent we have to go to. But like, you've just figured out what you like in your neighborhood and you stick with it, because then you're not like driving everywhere. Like we walk most places. We're lucky that way. Because we're kind of like in the middle of things here. But yeah,

Elle 1:16:37
oh my god, that meant so when I went out, a friend of mine who worked for variety, moved from the New York office to the LA office, and I hadn't and I went out to LA for, for something I don't even remember what it was. And I think it was a client had a show opening at the Frank Marshall theater. In the valley. I think that was that was this trip. And I saw him for the first time it'd been years, you know, so I was like, Let's go hang out. So he was like, he came to like the hotel for some reason that we just had drinks at the hotel. And then I was like, Okay, well, I'm gonna go to the newsstand. Because this is what back when newsstands were thing. And you have like those big huge newsstands on the street that I loved. And I like, and I'm just gonna go the newsstand. And he was like, Oh, I'll drop you off. I'm like, it's literally up the block. Like, it's no big deal. And he's like, how you gonna get back? I'm like, I'm gonna walk. And he's like, You do realize only crazy people walk in LA. And I was like, Well, I guess I'm crazy, because I'm a New Yorker. So I'm gonna walk like, and he was just like, flabbergasted. And he came from New York. And he's flabbergasted. But I was gonna walk. He's like, are you insane? I'm like, the neighbor. I'm in West Hollywood. The neighborhood is fine. No, it's fine. Like, I'll walk. And he was just like, so called that I'm walking. And I was like, no,

Erin 1:17:51
yeah. I have in book to one of my characters only uses public transit in LA. And so that that is a thing, because I wanted to encourage more of it because I actually used to take the subway to get to work when I was at Amazon Prime Video, and so I would take the subway from Silver Lake all the way to Culver City every day.

Elle 1:18:12
Yes, yes. Yes, listeners. Los Angeles has a subway.

Erin 1:18:16
Yes, we do. Yes. Redo edits. Great, which I've never taken. It's great. I really loved it. There. I definitely saw some like people who were stone cold weirdos. I was pregnant at the time. And someone was like, Can I touch your belly and I was like, I'm had to move like across the car. But

Elle 1:18:36
it was great. It was like being back in New York really? felt just like Aaron, thank you so so much for doing this. Please come back when your next book comes out.

Erin 1:18:48
I absolutely will. And I'm so excited to start your series. I'm literally going to download it as soon as we're done. Can't wait for friends. Yes, that's right.

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