I’m delighted to be hosting Hanleigh Bradley in my hot seat today chatting about her contemporary romance/NA novels, The Rules Series. Find out about Hanleigh’s inspiration, characters and more.
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novels?
I love reading more than anything (except writing) and I read a lot of books that as much as I enjoyed them sort of annoyed me. It’s not that I disagree with BDSM. I don’t. It’s not for me – I’m about as submissive as a bull. But that wasn’t what annoyed me. It was the way so many books about submission seemed to make the woman seem weak. I hated that. They underestimated how much trusting someone enough to offer them your control costs. So I wanted to write a book about two people who both wanted to be in control, two people with their own set of rules and expectations, so that I could show my readers just how incredible it can be when you learn to give and take control. For Aurora and Landon it’s an equal exchange but that doesn’t mean they don’t both take control at different times throughout the series. They both have to learn to lose control as well, as their rules go down the drain. Mostly I just wanted people to know that as much as having rules and that need for control is a completely natural part of who we are, some people are worth breaking the rules and losing control.
Please tell us about the characters.
Aurora Stone is training to become a teacher. She’s a little bit perfect – or at least that’s what everyone else says. She comes from a wealthy family with pretty high expectations. She’s never broken the rules that her family have given her so when she meets Landon Peters she takes him for the opportunity he is, a chance to break all those rules that she thinks are holding her back. Landon is different. His rules are self imposed. He’s the CEO of an Advertising Agency and he has a rule for everything. He’s always been a bit of a manwhore but after he lost someone important in his life, his rules became even more pronounced. However, when he meets Aurora, the rules are very easily forgotten, making him feel out of control. He’s hot too!
Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your books were optioned for a movie?
When I write I like to have a photograph of what I think my characters look like and of course, those photos are celebrities. Landon is definitely Theo James in my mind because that boy has moody and hot down. Aurora is totally Rachel McAdams. Although, if I’m honest I wouldn’t make it a movie. The Rules Series is only a small part of the world in my books and so for me it would probably have to be a TV Series so it can just go on and on.
Do you have a theme for your book covers Hanleigh? Who designs them?
I actually design all my own covers. Mostly all my book covers are themed around London. All my books are based in London so I try to make that evident in my covers. The Rules Series back cover is the London skyline. In The History Series covers are all of the main character for that series, Clara, in the middle of the London Underground and The Intimacy Series has Tallulah, that series protagonist, stood in front of a red telephone box.
How do your characters come into existence?
Do they have a bio?
Most of my characters already exist – birthdays and all – in my series bible. I have to try and stay organised otherwise I will lose it all and get seriously confused. I have enough characters for over twenty series already and I can’t wait to write their stories.
You mention previously you have enough characters for over twenty series, what’s in the future?
So The Rules Series consists of three books, Broken Rules, Enforced Rules and Revised Rules and they all follow Landon and Aurora. After them, there’s a lot more to come. Tallulah – most of my readers’ favourite character – will have her story told too. In fact, that’s the series I’m working on right now.
Do you have a book trailer?
I do. I have a few.
What do you think book trailers achieve Hanleigh?
I’m not sure that they achieve anything. I get them made more for the fun than anything else.
Finally, can you share with us what you’re currently working on?
I’m currently working on the second book in The Intimacy Series, Entangled Intimacy. It’s all about Tallulah Conway and Jarrod Thorpe and how they overcome some of the serious stuff. Tallulah has returned to London after something traumatic happens, I won’t give away any spoilers but let’s just say she has a lot to overcome. Intimacy, sex, trust – none of it’s easy anymore and she cringes away from all of them.
Thank you for being my guest today.
Peoples’ expectations can make you or break you. Aurora Stone knows what it’s like to be raised under heavy expectations. From an early age, her parents’ laid the law down and she’d never strayed off the path that they had laid before her. She kept every rule they ever gave her and for every rule she broke, she felt immense guilt whilst her little sister made it her life’s mission to break the rules.
When Landon offers to help her break the rules, he doesn’t expect her to break his rules too.
Aurora Stone knows what it means to keep the rules. She’s lived with the expectations of the people around her. The only person whose expectations aren’t met? Hers. On the spur of the moment, Aurora decides to break the rules. Only the list seems endless and Aurora is a little overwhelmed by it. When she sees Landon sat at the bar watching her, she makes a split second decision that might just change her life, one broken rule at a time. The list of broken rules quickly exceeds the number of rules they keep as they embark on this whirl wind adventure of control and chaos.
Landon doesn’t understand how a girl he barely knows could possibly get under his skin when he’s managed to keep all the rest at arms lengths. His world seems to be unravelling and fast; what with his mother’s revelations over lunch and his father’s insistence that he take over the family business.
Landon is at a loss what to do about any of it.
Her ability to make his rules seem completely irrelevant terrifies him, especially when he rashly invites her to his parents’ house for dinner and he accidentally allows her to see more than he would like. He doesn’t do vulnerable and that’s exactly what she makes him; weak and completely at her mercy.
With control out of his reach though he might just push to enforce the rules between himself and Aurora in a desperate attempt to reclaim the control he craves. After all, he told Aurora he would help her break her rules but he hadn’t planned on it being at the expense of his own. But will his need for control prove too much for Aurora.
Landon and Aurora continue to make and break the rules in the third and final part of the Rules Series. Now that they are together they try to put their rules behind them but it might be easier said than done. Living together so early on in their relationship seemed like a great idea when Aurora first moved in, but a few weeks in they are beginning to realise that they both have flaws. Aurora still hasn’t told her parents that she is living with Landon, much to his irritation and Landon is distracted with the running of his father’s company. So when life gets even more complicated and neither one of them feels in control of what’s happening around them. Together, they learn that control is often fleeting but those moments of control can be hot and extremely intense, especially when the person you love is giving you that control, and losing control can be even more exhilarating when you lose it together. Who will come out on top in their fight for control?
Hanleigh is a British author. She was born in Scotland but has lived near enough her whole life in the South of England. Hanleigh loves reading books more than nearly anything in the world; whether it’s reading them or writing them, Hanleigh just can’t get enough. She relishes in the way authors can create whole worlds with the words they put in their books. She wishes that being an author really was magic, just like in Once upon A Time. Hanleigh absolutely adores Romantic fiction. She first fell in love with literature as a small child reading Dr Zeus. She then fell in love with romance as a genre when she first read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. She checks every five-pound note for Austen’s face but has yet to find her £50,000 five-pound note. Shame. Hanleigh is about as English as it’s possible to be, which is highly ironic as she isn’t English at all. She sometimes wishes she could live inside the world that she can create inside her mind, but since that isn’t possible she puts pen to paper and shares that world with this world instead.
Connect with Hanleigh Bradley
Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hanleighsstreetteam/
Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/1/+HanleighBradley