Interview with Christina & Love


The next collab I'd like to feature is the dynamic duo that is Christina C. Jones and Love Belvin. These beautiful ladies are cranking out hits individually, but decided to work together on a sports romance series that is loaded with sex, fun, drama, and love. These two powerhouses boast an impressive back list, but decided to come together in order to introduce us to the world of the Connecticut Kings. Make sure you pick these books up now!!


Connecticut Kings Series:


  1. How did this collaboration come to be?

Love: We’ve been friends for years and agreed to do a collaboration at some point. There were a couple of years of bouncing concepts back and forth, a few ‘No’s’ before we agreed on what is now known as Connecticut Kings. It was Christina’s idea and when she pitched it, I was able to jump right on in and weave together the foundation of its brand with her.


  1. What inspired this particular storyline?

CCJ:  At the time we started, there was a pretty serious lack of Black men loving on Black women in the “sports” subgenre of romance. A dearth of Black faces, period, which was ridiculous considering the racial dynamics of the real world of professional sports. We saw a space, and decided to fill it.


  1. What message is your series trying to convey?

CCJ: None. Which is the beauty of it. Everything that comes from the pen of Black authors doesn’t need a “message”, to exemplify Black pain or suffering or overcoming or perfection etc etc etc to be of value. It’s okay for it to be entertainment - entertainment that maybe inspires, or makes you feel a little less alone because you can relate, or helps you momentarily escape the harsh realities of the world. It’s the telling of the love stories between these characters, plain and simple.


  1. What was the hardest part of writing collaboratively?

Love: For me, it’s seamless. When you’re creating with a natural born creator, it’s easy to yield to their vision and to even add substance to it. Christina and I talk every day and often it’s about work. So when it comes to Connecticut Kings (CK), it’s natural for us to share what our characters are giving us. Christina’s fictional universe is so vivid, it has been extremely easy to build a bridge and step into it.


  1. How has the experience brought you closer?

Love: To be honest, I’m not sure if collaborating has brought us closer. As crazy as it sounds, I don’t see it. Though unintentionally on my part, Christina and I have grown to be legit friends. Again, we speak every day. Sprinkled in those conversations about work are those things even closer to our hearts like family, health, and women’s issues. Writing is a shared passion of ours, and the business of it has helped with our bond, but the fabric that weaves our friendship has been in place long before the CK brand. I hope, with all of these words I’m using (LOL!), I’m conveying our relationship transcends CK. In fact, if she decides to be done with it after CK3, I wouldn’t blink.


  1. What advice do you have for others looking to collaborate?

Love: Figure out why you want to do it. It doesn’t always make financial or branding sense to collaborate. I’m not sure this series has provided a significant crossover in terms of our respective readerships, or if it has simply been a journey of merging our creativity (just polishing our craft). I’ve seen more lucrative collaborations for a certain tier author than what I believe of where Christina and I are in our careers.


In terms of our brand, I believe this collaboration has been equally lateral. So decide on your end goal. What are you saying, Love? I’m saying as friends, Christina and I do this for fun, not for gain from each other. It’s not for strategic reasons. LOL! We’re equally and independently successful, tier-wise. The next best option would be to collaborate with someone to lift you a tier or two, if that makes sense. Hopefully, you authors can exchange equally beneficial rewards of partnering on said project.


Agree on the end date/point of the collaboration. Luckily for Christina and I, if we decide to end it, our relationship wouldn’t change. If we weren’t friends, it may be an awkward situation when one loses inspiration while the other is looking forward to the next installation. I often jokingly say, in this relationship, she’s the wife. She calls many of the shots and I color in between the lines. However, if your motives are purely business, layout your goals and visions from start to finish with your collaborator(s). Be sure it makes financial and branding sense for all parties.


  1. If you had to create a name for your duo, what would it be?

CCJ: Luckily, this one requires no thought, because a lovely peer of ours has already branded us “Love Jones”, and I see no need to attempt to improve upon perfection.


  1. Are you football fans? If so, what's your favorite NFL team?

Love: I’m a pseudo-fan, thanks to the CK brand. I’ve not committed myself to watching like I did back in CK1 days (2016), but I was sure to pay attention when my lover’s team played and won the 2017 Super Bowl. E-A-G-L-E-S!    


  1. Of all the characters in the Connecticut Kings Series, who are you most like?

Love: Hmmmmm… If I had to choose, probably Cole (though Mel Richardson is more my speed). I’ve always been super focused on whatever my goal is, even if it’s at the confusion of others around me. I made a ‘to do’ list in high school and carried it out until it was complete, in terms of my life goals. Then when that was exhausted, I created a shorter, bonus list and I’ve been working on that. My resolve has been strong. On the outside, some (in my personal world) may view me as put together and a beast in terms of creating and maintaining my world, but deep down inside I’m a woman like any other with many of the same needs.


Aside from that, Jade’s commitment to her husband is goals for me. Relationships are work, having a decided heart and mind carries you through the journey. I love that woman because of her determined decidedness! 


  1. Is there another collaborative project in the future?

Love: I’ve pitched to Christina and have been given a soft no. That’s honestly not a big deal between us. It’s happened so many times before. LOL! Then when we get to that right project, it’s an easy yes and, “let’s add this to it!” The next thing you know, we’re bridging our fictional universes again.


  1. What can you briefly tell the readers about your series?

CCJ: The Connecticut Kings series is a sports romance collective that is… heavier on the romance than the sports. The books dig behind the scenes to get to the heart of the real people, in their real lives, with the very real intimacy, failures, and triumphs of real relationships.


  1. Lastly, which Danielle Allen novel would you recommend?

CCJ: Back to Life/Back to Reality.


Thank you so much ladies!! 

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