Hildred Billings - The Contract

Reader 1: It’s book club time! How’s everybody doing today?

Reader 2: Ok out here in the PNW!

Reader 3: Pretty good

Hildred: it’s a good day for leftover chinese food for lunch

Reader 1: I’ve been having leftover Indian for the last few days

Hildred: I’ve been mostly eating crackers, oatmeal, and campbell’s soup this week so im basically crying tears of joy that not only am I eating something as convoluted as chinese food, but i could heat it up myself. It’s the little things in life.

Reader 1: That’s the worst kind of sick, when you don’t even want to/can’t eat

I’m glad you’re feeling at least a little better! And thanks for coming to chat with us either way!

Reader 3: Sorry that you have been sick

Hildred: I had such bad nausea the past couple of days but my hunger pangs had turned back on and wow. Do not recommend!

Reader 4: Being sick is definitely no fun!

Reader 1: On that note – For anyone who hasn’t been to buck club before, welcome! It’s a one-hour Q&A so feel free to ask Hildred anything about The Contract or her writing in general

Reader 4: So this book??? Wow!

Reader 1: Aaaandgo.

Reader 3: It was spicy

Hildred: it was a bit on the sexy end, huh

Reader 4: Not one complaint about that!!!

Reader 3: It was really good though but wohhoo spicy

Reader 4: I loved the concept! Had me thinking about what all we’d be willing to do for the right price.

Reader 1: Are we complaining about the spice level? lol

Reader 4: No!!!

Reader 3: Never

Reader 2: I liked the use of the strap on@!

Hildred: that spice level pays bills yo

Reader 2:Keep up with the good work!

Reader 1: For those who may be new to your books, can you explain your Cynthia pen name? Does that imply a spicier book than a “just Hildred” book?

Hildred: Cynthia Dane is my OG billionaire penname when I only wrote m/f. After I started writing f/f in the same universe, I co-billed it as CD+HB for branding purposes. All the CD brand really means is they’re set in the same universe, and very sexy to some extent (not all are bdsm focused but they are erotic)

Reader 4: Here I was thinking it was 2 authors co-writing lol

Hildred: It’s a common misconception! CD is my only pen name like that though. Since some people think I’m other authors as well (like I have time…)

Reader 4: Can we say we hated a character?! lol Jacqueline!!

Hildred: think you’re good hating the villain

Reader 3: yes grrrrr

Reader 2: Hated is right

Reader 2:How did you come up with the idea of a contract?

Hildred: oh jeez, it would’ve been all the way back in 2014. I think I was just doing the very standard 50-shades but make it rom com knockoff that was popular at the time. The Billion Dollar Contract (the original The Contract) was my very first billionaire series.

Hilariously, it’s still one of my favorite ones.

Reader 2: I never encountered a book that included that detail. Thanks for giving me the chance to it..

Reader 1: So the standard question is “who would you cas in the movie version of this book. Instead, who would you want to play YOU in a bio-pic?

Hildred: uh… I don’t know actors, lol.

Hildred: MYSELF.

Reader 1: Fair enough! It will be more of a documentary then

Hildred: single camera, no soundtrack

Hildred: Nothing but gratuitous shots of my cats sleeping

Reader 2: That is always a winner

Reader 1: really can’t go wrong with cat videos - it’s the foundation that the internet is built upon after all

Reader 1:I very much enjoyed the “omg,I forgot I have a cat” scene. Very relatable in a new relationship, but poor Barbarossa

Hildred: it’s very relatable as an author as well “OH BLOODY HELL I forgot she has a cat!”

Reader 2: I have also done it to my dog

Reader 1: Did you come home to rampant destruction [Reader 2]?

Reader 1: Who’s got questions? Don’t be shy guys

Reader 3: Etta, what was the inspiration behind her? She’s quite the character

Hildred: Etta is an almost word-for-word transliteration of theOG character Ethan Cole. I changed her as little as possible besides what was necessary for physiology + tweaks to the story because I wanted to see how it worked in F/F if everything else was exactly the same. Ethan is one of my favorite billionaire heroes over the years and I still enjoy writing him, so I figured I’d enjoy his alternate-dimension female version as well

Hildred: God, I hope they never meet…

Reader 3: That’s super cool

Reader 1: And this book has been massively popular so I’d say it worked well! Has the reception of The Contract influenced how you plan to write your female billionaires going forward?

Hildred: Not really. I can’t write the same kind of lead over and over ad nauseum without going nutso so I’m sure there will be another Etta type eventually, but I don’t go out of my way to create them (usually.)

Reader 2: The copier room was pretty exciting

Hildred: the OG was my first ever copy room scene I think. I’ve done a few since then! But the one I remember best is from Menage a Trois

Reader 4: I personally love that in the end the money didn’t matter. Like for me, some of my favorite stories are the hey we didn’t plan for this type. The whole this wasn’t part of the agreement was done very well. To me that’s life. You can’t anticipate when feelings will enter the picture.

Hildred: or kittens

Reader 2: I loved the ending. Talk about strong angst in a book

Reader 3: The cat on the leash at the end was too cute…we used to do that to my cat simba

Reader 1: Takes a special kitty personality to tolerate that lol

Reader 3: Facts

Reader2: I have tried but ended up with her lying on her side and me just dragging her along.

Reader 3: That’s how pumbaa is so we stopped trying

Reader 2: Not for very far and we were on grass.

Hildred: I wanted to leash train my outdoors-obsessed cat Clara… then she got very sick. I still feel bad.

Reader 3: Yea same with my Simba we finally got him fully trained n then bam he was sick

Reader 2: How long have you been writing?

Hildred: Technically, since I can remember. Professionally, 11 years this past Sept 28th

Reader 1: One of the OG self publishers

Hildred: GIRL, I saw things.

Hildred: I was there when Kboards was called Kindle Boards

Hildred: I once knew this sci-fi writer working on a serial and he wouldn’t ever stop talking about it. Hugh howey or something? I hear he did okay!

Reader 2: I may be too old to know what OG means

Reader 4: Well on behalf of newcomers, thanks for paving the way!!!

Reader 2: Kboards in my generation were Kick boards used in the swimming pool.

Hildred: OG is a ways of saying original as in someone who was originally “there”

Hildred: (literally stands for “original gangsta,” lol)

Reader 2: Thanks not up on my gangster speak.

Reader 3: What was ur favorite scene to write in this one?

Hildred: Probably where Etta tells Jamie what’s going on and she thinks she’s on a TV prank show

Reader 3: that was a good one

Reader 2: That was a good one

Reader 4: I loved how you made me think. Like, when she was pretty much done, I was asking myself, if I had gone that long would I be like screw you, I’m toughing it out and getting paid? Or would I bounce? I couldn’t decide so that’s always a good thing! lol Kept me questioning!!

Reader 1: Agreed - it’s extra complicated when there’s both love and money involved

HIldred: That’s sweet! But yeah, part of Jamie’s character is that she’s very impulsive and true to her feelings. So she can be fun like that. And infuriating when I need her to act a certain way, ha.

Reader 4: I loved it!!

Reader 1: I do love the “sub who will not be submissive” characters

Hildred: those are made to star in rom coms

Hildred: but yeah I’d stick that shit OUT ahahaha

Reader 4: That’s the conclusion I came to as well lol

Reader 2: I don’t know wether I would or not There were so many moving parts and who could you trust. I did love the ripping up the check at the end, though

Reader 5: Hi everyone! As I was reading these where my leads. Made it even spicier. Gemma Chan as Etta and DeWanda Wise as Jamie.

Hildred: just a tangent, but gemma’s character astrid in CRA is where I got the idea to name another character Astrid

Hildred: so yeah, she could play an icy billionaire!

Reader 5: My spouse got me to read the book just for book club.

Reader 4: Good for you! Reading together is awesome!

Reader 1: Nice, that’s a great couple activity

Reader 6: Hi. If Etta had been older, I kinda picture her as Jennifer Beals

Reader 7: What’s your fave book you’ve written?

Hildred: I have 110+ books at this point, so I can’t really answer on any given day. But I wish more people read my fantasy

Reader 1: Here’s book 1 for anyone who’s interested - gotta make sure that link gets in the transcript! https://www.amazon.com/CROSS-Rebirth-Hildred-M-Billings-ebook/dp/B0B8RXKS7N

Reader 7: I always try to make my way through an authors back catalogue. I do tend to start with an author’s fave, but I’ll see how long it takes me to get through yours. Into The Fire is my fave so far.

Reader 5: have you written any sci-fi books?

Hildred: Not sci-fi specifically, but I write contemp and space-based fantasy asHildredM. Billings

Reader 3: Ohhhp well Lilith is up gotta go, thanks Hildred for answering my questions ,it was epic

Hildred: Nice seeing you!

Reader 1: Say hi to Lilith for us

Reader 3: Will do lol

Reader 4: I have to bounce… planning on eating my body weight in BBQ later lol Thanks for taking time to chat with us, Hildred!

Reader 1: Yum, enjoy!

Hildred: See you!

Reader 5: If we are going to pick another book of yours to read next what would you recommend? You said you want more of your fantasy base stories to be read. Where should we start?

Hildred: If you want to read romance, I think fans of The Contract would like other CD+HB books like Vows That Bind, Everything She Needs, and Into the Fire

Hildred: My fantasy series is called CROSS// and is under the name Hildred M. Billings. It’s got lesbians, but it’s also got some gays and straights. A real menagerie of the kinsey scale.

Reader 5: Thank you all. This has been great! Off to start celebrating my birthday.

Reader 1: Happy birthday!

Reader 5: Thank you!

Hildred: happy birthday! mine’s in two weeks!

Reader 6: Happy early Birthday!

Reader 5: Happy early birthday fellow Libra!

Reader 6: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us!

Reader 1: Yes, thank you - hopefully you can get some rest and get back to 100% soon, Hildred

Reader 2: Thanks much for taking time to talk with us!

Hildred: well my neighbors are blasting bass through the wall so we’ll see about that I guess.

Reader 1: Ung, neighbors

Hildred: I’m actually off to my Sunday meetup and I am STOKED because I haven’t left the house in a week except to go to urgent care.

Hildred: and also stoked to get away from the thumping 2pm on a Sunday bass

Reader 1: Awesome, have fun!

Reader 7: Have a great time. Feel better soon and thanks for continuing to write awesome books and share them with us!

Reader 2: Good luck on your recovery and I also hate thumping bass through the wall.

Hildred: It’s what I do!

Reader 6: Feel better! I hope you have a good time!

Hildred: Thanks for having me everyone