425 Madison, Aubree Valentine, BlueSeal, Boyfriend Maintenance, Flawless Foundations, Forever Write PR, Interview, Lauren Helms
Lauren, you have been very involved in the 425 Madison Series both as a contributing author, Boyfriend Maintenance in Season One and Flawless Foundations in Season Two, but also co-founder of Forever Write PR, the publishing company promoting the series. Let me begin by saying “congratulations”! Season One of 425 Madison was a HUGE hit and based on the author line up of Season Two and the books that have already been released, I expect it to be a hit as well.
Tell us about how the concept of 425 Madison was born.
I had been pondering a series where multiple authors contributed for a couple of weeks. I couldn’t really put my thumb on what would set this series apart. At the time, these multi-author series weren’t really a thing. Sure, anthologies have been around forever, but not these kinds of collaboration projects. I reached out to my good pal Allie York and talked to her about my ideas. She immediately said yes, that she didn’t care what it was, she wanted to be a part of it. So I went to one of my favorite author groups, and said: “Hey, I have an idea for a multi-author series, who’s in?” To my surprise, a group formed pretty quickly. They loved the apartment idea. From there, we built this world that you all know now as 425 Madison Ave.
How did you go about developing the setting for this series?
Really, at this point, it was a group decision. We’d come up with ideas and put them to a vote. We agreed on a location, an inspiration building, and just started letting our imaginations go. I’m extremely organized, so I kept track of everything. I mean EVERYTHING.
How were the authors chosen and long was the planning process for Season One?
So we started with about 12 or so authors who were interested. Due to scheduling factors, we came out to nine of us, which turns out was perfect. We started planning the first set of books about a year before they started releasing.
Was there always a plan for Season Two or did it evolve based on how successful Season One was? Will there be a Season Three?
Right from our first planning session, we all agreed we wanted to do multiple seasons. We all had so many ideas we didn’t know how to contain ourselves. Again due to scheduling and other projects, some of our season one authors had to step away from season two. But…. that doesn’t mean you won’t see them again. I might have just given away a secret. Whoops.
What challenges did you face working with so many contributing authors?
Mostly, we agreed on a lot of things. Everyone understood that this was a team effort and we all worked very hard to make sure we were all happy. I have to say that season one was so much more successful that I had ever imagined, and that’s because our team had so much support for each other. It was crazy how much of a tribe we became.
What is the strangest thing that you have had to do during this process?
Oh man, I’m not sure.
honestly, asking my bestie what she would bring to help me hide a body.
The book covers are amazing! Who is the designer?
Our designer is Megan from Designed by Grace. She came highly recommended and she was absolutely amazing to work with. She really jumped on board with our vision and hasn’t disappointed us yet. Honestly, she’s our go-to gal now.
How have you balanced the demands of writing with your other responsibilities?
It’s hard. It’s so hard. I’m a work from home mom. I have a nine-year-old, five-year-old, and a three-year-old. Two of them are still home with me every day. I also co-own Forever Write PR with my book bestie Aubree Valentine. Which, shout out to her, because there would not have been a season two of 425 Madison if she hadn’t stepped up and helped me with it all.
Back to your question, really, my writing time is minimal. It’s always been a stressful area for me. My writing time happens at night after the kids are in bed. But more than half the time, I really don’t want to spend my night at my desk. I want to binge Netflix, catch up on Outlander, and read. I’m an obsessive reader, so it’s a struggle sometimes to be motivated to write.
If you could be one of the characters in the 425 Madison Series for one day, who would you be?
Becca for sure. She’s got money but doesn’t flaunt it. She knows how to mix a damn fine drink, which I don’t know the first thing about it. She also has a skee-ball machine in her apartment. She’s a blogger and has the money and time to put all her effort into her passion. Oh, and one word… Levi. She has Levi.
Finally, if you needed help hiding a body, who would you choose to help?
She’d show up with plastic wrap, duck tape, cinderblocks, and chains before I even have a chance to call her. She’d also bring a bottle of alcohol because she knows I’d need something to relieve some of the stress.
Lauren, I know that your schedule is slammed so I am extremely honored that you took the time for this interview! Also, thanks for humoring me with the “hiding of a body” question. It’s one that I ask in every interview because…it’s just fun! BlueSeal 🙂
Be sure to come back on the 9th for my review of Flawless Foundations
but go ahead add it to your Goodreads list!
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In case you missed it, here is the link to my review of Boyfriend Maintenance as well as the purchase link! You don’t want to miss this book!
BlueSeal’s Review of Boyfriend Maintenance
Lauren Helms has forever been an avid reader from the beginning. After starting a book review website, that catapulted her fully into the book world, she knew that something was missing. Lauren decided to take the plunge and write her first novel. While working for a video game strategy guide publisher, she decided to mix what she knew best–video games and romance. She decided to take the plunge and joined NaNoWrimo and a month later, she had her first draft.
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About the 425 Madison Series
Welcome to 425 Madison Ave the perfect place to fall in love. Nine delicious romances set in fast-paced & sexy NYC just waiting for you to read.
This season will feature some new authors as well as some of season one’s favs. Back for season two is Allie York, Leigh Lennon, MK Moore, Aubree Valentine, Lauren Helms, and Katy Ames. Plus a warm welcome to KC Enders, and Marcie Shumway!
Not only do we have a sexy mix of new and returning authors, prepare for pages packed with new romances, characters, and tropes all from the same well-loved high-rise apartment building in NYC.
Make sure to follow the 425 Madison Avenue Facebook page for more on release dates, cover reveals and author spotlights. For exclusive excerpts, giveaways, and news subscribe to our 425 Madison newsletter!
Check out the Season One and get caught up today! You can read all nine books for FREE with Kindle Unlimited ➝ 425 Madison Season One
This series and all promotional events are brought to you by Forever Write PR – Forever your source for all your writing needs. https://www.facebook.com/ForeverWritePR/