Fun Facts and Secrets from All The Kissing Founders

All The Kissing Founders

Welcome to All The Kissing! We’re a group of tight-knit romance writers who want to give back to our community by sharing the knowledge we’ve accumulated on our writing journeys. You can find the straightforward details about each of us on our About Us page, but if you want to learn a little bit more about the All The Kissing founders, then look no further. Here are five not-so-public questions we all agreed to answer—for better or worse.

1. What is your all-time favorite romance book?

Alexa Martin: Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley. It was the first Kristen Ashley book I read, and it is my go to book when I am stuck in a book rut. It has everything: a kick-ass heroine, a super hot alpha male, great friendships, better kissing, and so many twists! I still devour the book in a day.

Gwynne Jackson: Mine’s a little atypical, but I’m a sucker for Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I know most people don’t think of it as a romance novel first, but it is.

Helen Hoang: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. This story never gets boring for me.

Maxym M. Martineau: Ah! Alexa, I didn’t know you were a KA fan, too. See? We’re still unearthing fun facts among the founders, too. Let’s see…To be honest, I didn’t start reading traditional romance novels until a couple years ago, so I feel like I’m way behind when it comes to the classic tales. But, the book that I’m hooked on right now is A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. Fantasy romance always wins in my book.

Shannon Caldwell: Voyager (the third installment in the Outlander series) has everything I want in a book. Longing, searching, waiting, finding, wanting. Jamie and Claire reunited, then pulled apart, then reunited again. Diana Gabaldon twisted the knife so many times in this book.

Tricia Lynne: Ah, well, I’m going old school with Much Ado About Nothing. Hero and Claudio, Beatrice and Benedick––be still my heart. “I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes…” (insert melty girl sigh here).

2. Tell us about your first kiss.

All The Kissing Founders First Kiss

Alexa: Goodness. I was a freshman in high school and we were at a movie. It was not good. Too much tongue, too much lip. Just…no. My first kiss with my husband, though, that was good. I was 15, we went to a park after a movie (dollar theater!) and sat at a picnic table talking for like an hour, then he leaned over and kissed me. The best.

Gwynne: It was nothing. A brush of lips, no more. I was thirteen, so that brush of lips was everything.

Helen: Well, if we’re going all the way back, I think I was skipping on the rocks once, collided faces with a boy, and accidentally kissed him. Neither of us wanted to talk about it afterward. I think I was seven.

Maxym: I think I was five. Does that count? I was a bit of a tomboy growing up and made friends with all the boys in the neighborhood (not a lot of girls running around at the time, I guess). One of the neighborhood kids, who I’m still friends with, kissed me and gave me a frog bracelet for Valentine’s Day. I remember coming home and intentionally speaking loudly about the event so my mom could overhear, haha. If we’re talking later-in-life, legit kiss, then I think I was 15. Someone from my swim team. Chapped lips and chlorine, and it was very sweet.

Shannon: There was a kiss on the cheek sometime in 6th grade I think. In the summer between 7th and 8th grade, I had my first boyfriend. He was probably the person I had my real first kiss with—lips, tongues, awkwardness, figuring it out together. {Cough} And probably some other stuff, too.

Tricia: I was 13, at a friend’s house party. We were in the dark family room, slow-dancing, where another couple was making out. And he just went for it––all tongue and lips and sloppy slobbering all over the damn place like he was trying to swallow my face. No skill or finesse, whatsoever. I went with it, thought, Seriously, is all kissing like this? But I learned a year later that even at 13, dude had no idea what he was doing. There were, in fact, 14-year-old boys who knew how to kiss. 😉

3. You’re stranded on a deserted island: which romance hero/heroine do you bring with you?

Alexa: Hawk Delgado. Did I already mention that Mystery Man is my favorite? Hawk is an expert in all things, including getting me the eff off of a deserted island.

Gwynne: I’m bringing my first book boyfriend, Aragorn. He’s quiet and understated, but he can kick ass AND speak Elvish.

Helen: For purely practical reasons (survival and efficiency), I’d have to go with a hero who teleports. Hands down, Kaleb Krychek from Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series.

Maxym: Can I plead the fifth? How on earth am I supposed to choose? I have like, three swimming in the forefront of my mind right now, and each one has their merits. Griffin, Curan, Rhysand … Rhysand, Curan, Griffin … If you couldn’t tell, this fantasy romance writer likes her heroes with a dash of magic. I’m head-over-heels for self-assured alphas (even more of a sucker for the women who tame them) who use sarcasm and wit to charm the panties right off their love interests. But in the case of deserted island and need for endless distraction/possible saving … Rhysand.

Shannon: Is this a trick question? Jamie Fraser. (See my answer from favorite romance book.) He can hunt, fish, save me from drowning (in more than one way), build a shelter, start a fire, or keep me warm himself.

Tricia: I second Shannon. Jamie Fraser because of everything she said. Though, I worry about his ginger complexion, being on an island and all. And I’m not sharing my sunscreen, which is on my person at all times. He better weave a hat or something. Plus, that tartan is going to get awfully hot…not necessarily a bad thing because, FINALLY, full-frontal Jamie. 😉

4. Who is your celebrity crush and why?

Alexa: This is so hard for me! While I really want to pick Mindy Kaling, I’m gonna go with Charlie Hunnam. If he is listed on a movie, I will see it.

Gwynne: Lin-Manuel Miranda. He’s amazing, talented, conscientious, and musical. I’m content to fangirl from afar.

Helen: ELON MUSK. In case you don’t know who this is, I am more than happy to educate you. He is the extremely dorky, self-made billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and founder of SolarCity and PayPal. His mission statement: To save the world. He inspires me.

Maxym: Jensen Ackles. I’m rewatching Supernatural (again), and I’m still drooling over this man. It makes my heart burst knowing that he’s a family man, too. Killing monsters and taking care of his loved ones.

Shannon: Tom Hardy. Tom-freaking-hot-Hard-y. Has anyone seen him in This Means War with Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine? O.M.G. {Goes off to stream movie again.}

Tricia: Jason Momoa hands down. All that hawtness in one man is criminal. The scar, the eyes, the hair and he’s just so big! I like big…Plus, he’s a Guinness-drinker. When does Aquaman come out again?

5. Describe your life in ten #hashtags or less.

Alexa: #MomLife #CoffeeIsLife #SoIsWine #AmWriting #WhatIsSleep #RealHousewivesOfAnywhere

Gwynne: #bringmetotheocean #scorpio #pets #iloverock&roll #pacificnorthwest #reiki

Helen: #romance4lyfe #writermommy #elonmuskfangirl #nerdsarehawt #nerdswhodoMartialArtsarehawter #actuallyautistic #weneeddiversebooks

Maxym: #donttalktomebeforecoffee #gameratheart #mydogsaremybabies #fantasyromancegeek #sportsjunkie #alliswritten #deanislife #ravenclaw

Shannon: #notamorningperson #chillAF #HPforever #iwasyogawhenyogawasntcool #INFP #romanceforever #ithinkimanerd

Tricia: #whiskEyforlife #sportsbraswereinventedbymasochists #youshouldheartheshitidontsay #flamingpantywritersclub #onceabadass…

6. What romantic comedy (or not) really guts you?

Alexa: I don’t know if it’s technically a romance, but My Life with Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman turns me into a sobbing mess.

Gwynne: Truly Madly Deeply. I know better than to watch it without a box of tissues at hand.

Helen: Romantic comedy, you said? What is this about gutting? Does Love, Actually count?

Maxym: Basically anything Nicholas Sparks. For the sake of picking one, which is difficult because I cry during a lot of movies (much to my displeasure), probably P.S. I Love You. Moment of silence for Gerard Butler.

Shannon: Not romantic comedy. The Joy Luck Club. Sobs.

Tricia: You people are stealing my answers! P.S. I Love You. And P.S. I love you, Maxym.

All The Kissing Founders—Wrap it Up

Thanks for taking the time to read about your founders. As you can see, we’re a group of not-so-secret romantics who stand as proof that romance in life, books, movies, and dreams is as varied and diverse as it could possibly be. If you’d like to share your own answers to these questions, leave them in comments below, and be sure to follow All The Kissing on Twitter!

Maxym M. Martineau
Maxym M. Martineau is a staff writer and editor by day, and a fantasy romance author by night. When she’s not getting heated over broken hearts, she enjoys playing video games, sipping a well-made margarita, binge-watching television shows, competing in just about any sport, and of course, reading.

Following her passion, Maxym earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. She is represented by Cate Hart of Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. Her debut, Kingdom of Exiles, is out now.
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