Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Interview: Helena S. Paige, Authors of 'A Girl Walks into a Bar'

by Joyce Lamb)

A Girl Walks into a Bar and gets to choose her own erotic adventure. Helena S. Paige, authors of the new choose-your-own-erotic-destiny novel, visit with HEA to talk about writing the novel and what's next for Helena S. Paige.

Joyce: Welcome to HEA, three authors who make up Helena S. Paige! Who are you all?

Sarah Lotz: I'm a pulp-fiction novelist, recovering screenwriter and I'm also probably responsible for 80% of the world's coffee consumption.

Helen Moffett: I'm a recovering academic. Also a poet, editor, activist and flamenco fan. I am easily bored.

Paige Nick: I am an author, ad copywriter, Sunday Times columnist and general curator of crazy.

Joyce: How did the three of you get together for A Girl Walks into a Bar, a reader-run erotic adventure? And whose idea was it?

Sarah: Although I had the initial concept — combining the choose-your-own format with erotica — I could never in a million years have written it without Paige and Helen, who are superb erotica writers.

Paige: The idea for the book came from Sarah. We all went for lunch one day in November 2012 to celebrate a book deal Sarah signed for a novel called The Three. We really wanted to collaborate on something, and as soon as Sarah said it, we loved the idea.

Joyce: How exactly does this pick-your-own-destiny novel work?

Helen: The reader is the heroine of each book, and they're all written in the second person, so YOU decide what you want to do, with whom, when and where. You really are in charge!

Paige: Each book works differently, but in the first one, A Girl Walks into a Bar, you head out for a night on the town with your best friend — but she stands you up. Then you meet a series of interesting characters, and you get to choose who you want to spend time with. So if you decide to go home with the sexy young barman, turn to page 69, for example. If you want to hang out with the rock star, turn to a different page. There's an option for everyone …

Joyce: Page 69. Heh.

How did the collaboration work with three of you? I can imagine two authors teaming up, but three sounds dangerously close to "too many naked cooks in the kitchen."

Sarah: No nudity was involved in the process (as far as I can remember, anyway). We've all collaborated on other projects before, and it helped that we'd internalized the first rule of collaborating: There's no room for ego when you're working as a team.

Paige: Three works much better than two when it comes to making decisions. Majority rules.

Helen: The best things always come in threes.

Joyce: Please complete this sentence:

A girl walks into a bar and …

Helen: Says "ouch" (sorry, that's lame, but I couldn't resist).

Joyce: LOL. I was thinking "the next time ducks."

Paige: Then she walks into a wedding, and then she walks into a blind date (the next two books in the series).

Joyce: What can readers expect next from Helena S. Paige? (What happens if readers want to decide what's next from you?)

Sarah: We'd love it if readers would like to get in touch with us with ideas. Follow us on Twitter (@GirlWalksIn) or come find us on Facebook.

Paige: If we're lucky, hopefully more books. One can never have too much sex, right?

Helen: Readers are coming up with great suggestions all the time — we always enjoy hearing them. Although it's unlikely that we'll be writing A Girl Walks into a Zoo anytime soon.

Joyce: Is there anything you'd like to add?

The girls: We'd like to thank you very much for hosting our threesome.

Joyce: My first! :)

You can connect with the authors on Twitter (@GirlWalksIn) and Facebook.

HEA curator Joyce Lamb has 25 years of journalism experience and eight published romantic suspense novels, three of which have been RITA finalists. You can reach her at and follow her on Twitter (@JoyceLamb). You can also follow HEA on Twitter (@HEAusatoday).