Author Christina Lauren visits Topeka Public Library

Dynamic Duo: Authors Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings meet fans and sign copies of their books. Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library hosted the free, public Q&A event on May 15.

Yue Li

On May 15, author Christina Lauren visited Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and launched their band new book, “Unhoneymooners.”

Christina Lauren, the combined pen name of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, is the New York Times bestselling romance author. Christina and Lauren read each other’s stories online. Then, in 2009, they met each other in person for the first time and decided to write stories together. This August will be their 10-year writing anniversary.

“So we’ve met writing fanfiction (online fanfiction), the most amazing thing, and we both had stories, and we were like reading and writing each other’s stories. This was in 2009. And then, Lo (Lauren) organizes a panel at San Diego Comic Con for fan works. So she invited me to come out there. And that was our first time meeting ever. And we just got along so well.” said Christina.

“We were writing fanfiction, and we didn’t really have any plans to make it into a career. But, we both really liked it. And we were reading each other’s stories and just kind of enjoying having fun and reading other people’s stories. And then, we did a collaboration… And it was super fun. We just decided to write together.” Lauren explained.

Lauren has been writing in her entire life, and Christina started writing in her thirties.

“I have never written anything for fun until I read Twilight. And then, I started writing fanfiction. That was the first time I wrote just for fun.” said Christina.

“In the last ten years, we wrote all different kinds of stories. We’ve written romances for adults. We’ve written YA (young adult) stories and coming of age stories. So, I think we kind of get inspiration from everywhere, just talking to people and meeting people and traveling.” stated Lauren.

The audiences were coming from various places, like Topeka, Lawrence, Wichita, and Missouri. 

Jessica Torres and Olivia Banzet traveled to Topeka to attend the authors’ signing event. 

“I thought that was really great. This is really exciting for me because this is my favorite author.” Torres said, “I read them way back when their first book came out and just discovered them randomly me and my best friend (Banzet)… Since then, I’ve read every single one of their book.”

Regarding the Q&A session, Banzet enjoyed hearing about the authors’ journey and writing.

“I actually liked when they were talking about the Hollywood scene and filming their book… I thought all the information they said about that was interesting.” said Banzet.

Both Torres and Banzet are currently graduate students at Emporia State University majoring in library science. Banzet is also an alumni of Washburn University.

“Our goal has always been to get better with every book. So, if we feel like we’re getting better over time, and we’re not just doing the same thing over and over, then, I think we feel like we are doing our job.” said Lauren.

About their goal, Christina added: “We had somebody said that for just that couple hours, I was able to disappear and forget about everything. And we always say that it’s our goal. If you get just a few hours break from reality, and you get to laugh, or cry, or swoon, or whatever, then, we are happy.”

Edited by Joelle Conway, Adam White