MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ERICA ALEXANDER!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
I’m Erica Alexander and I write YA/NA contemporary romance. But I have plans to also write PRN/Fantasy, as it’s one of my favorite genres.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Story ideas come to me in so many different ways. I’m inspired by songs, by stuff I see in the news, by movies, even by something someone says.
Seventeen Wishes came to me in a dream. An entire story, characters names, the plot. It was all there already. I see the story in my mind like a movie and I try to capture those scenes into words.
Because of Logan and Because of Liam is the story of twin sisters who are nothing alike, in personality or looks. It’s inspired by myself, and my brother.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
It’s my favorite genre to read. I love YA and NA romance. I love the whole aspect of self-discovery, of growing and finding one-self.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Logan is a cop and Liam is a corpsman in the Marines. I did a ton of research actually. Talked to many police officers and veterans. Asked tons of questions. Studied the police codes for Vermont, where the story takes place. Learned a lot. It was fun.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Riggins U series is named after the fictional town of Riggins and Riggins University, located in Vermont. The central theme of the series is one of hope, learning to trust, and love. All the characters are flawed and have some deep personal issues to overcome. Their stories are filled with heartaches, but also a heavy dose of humor.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Oh, gosh. Don’t make me pick. The stories are different from each other, even though it has all the same characters. I love each book for a different reason.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes. I have 4 books planned for this series. But who knows? A new character might show up, and ask for his own book.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I try to write at least a few times a week. Try being the keyword here. It doesn’t always happen. I don’t have a routine. I like to write late at night, it’s when I feel most creative. I have a small desk in my kitchen and that’s where I write. I don’t set a daily goal.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I have several, but no names yet. Two more in the Riggins U series, which I’m writing now, and several other unrelated ones, in various states to writing, anywhere for a few thousand words to 50K words.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Names are very important. They have to fit the character. For Seventeen Wishes, the characters told me their names. I know it sounds cray-cray, but it’s true. Characters will tell their names.
Same for Because of Logan and Because of Liam. The names are also a reflection of their personalities. For Logan for example, it means hollow and if you read the book, you will understand why. Liam is a shortened version for William, and it means protector. Liam is a Marine.
Skye is quiet and goes unnoticed until something draws attention to her, much like the sky above.
River, now River is a force on her own and cannot be contained. Nothing and no one is quite the same once River has passed through.
Now the funny thing is that, they told me their names first. Then I looked up the meanings and it fit.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. Music, movies, videos on YouTube, conversations.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I want to write an epic paranormal/fantasy series. It’s in the works. I have some 30K words down. Just need to write 700K more, LOL.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Two parts: One the translating the movies in my head into words fast enough so I don’t lose them.
Two: the editing and rewriting. By the time a book is ready to go live, I have read and rewritten it at least a dozen times.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I love them, but I’m not sure that most people do. I created a movie trailer for Because of Logan.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
As a writer? These two books, Logan and Liam. I love them. But what I love most is having people tell me how much of themselves they saw in a character and how connected they felt. That right there, that connection is my goal for every story.
Someone posted a review for Seventeen Wishes recently, and she said that the story motivated her to become an organ donor. For me, that’s the biggest honor, knowing that a book I wrote touched someone in such a way that she decided to make a change that has the potential of saving lives.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
That procrastination looks like work? LOL. Joking.
The best part is creating connections through words. Touching a person’s heart and giving them a happy ever after, even if it’s just while they’re reading.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully still writing, telling stories and creating connections.
Have you always liked to write?
I have always been a writer. As far back as I can remember I was writing. If not with pen and paper or a computer, I was day dreaming stories in my head.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t worry about the how’s. Concentrate on the do’s. Never mind the how you’ll write or how you’ll pay for the expenses of writing or how you’ll publish.
Just do. Do write. Do read. Do take classes and workshops and lean more about the craft.
Do put your heart and soul into the stories. But then, set them free. Once a book is finished it’s no longer yours, it belongs to the world. Let it go.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Graphic design. I love playing in Photoshop. It would have to be something creative for sure.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes, I read them all. I know a lot of authors say you shouldn’t, but I do. I don’t respond to bad reviews. I have thanked readers for a review when it particularly touches my heart, but I don’t usually respond to them.
Bad reviews don’t really bother me. What I said before? Once the book is published, it’s no longer yours. I truly believe that. We all love different things. If someone doesn’t like one or all of my books, that’s fine too. All it means is that we are not on the same wavelength. And that’s perfectly fine.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
The marketing part. The, hey buy my book part. I don’t know any author who likes that. He or she might be out there, but I have never heard of anyone who does.
What are you working on now?
Book 3 in the Riggins U series.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Hmmm, not really. It’s very early in the process.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
It’s my favorite to read. Not yet, but I want to.
Where did your love of books come from?
I was born a book lover. I read everything and anything I could put my hands on. Books, magazines, newspapers, the back of cereal boxes. Reading is my crack, my meditation, my escape.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Yes! Colleen Hoover and Jennifer L. Armentrout are at the top of my list. I’ve read every single one of their books.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Probably River. Because she makes no apologies for who she is and how she acts. When I wrote her, I knew that some people would not like her, maybe even hate her, and that was evident in some of the reviews. But then, they get to know her better, and she too becomes a favorite. Even in book one (Because of Logan), where River is not the main character, just about every review mentioned her.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
A little of both, depending on the day and where in the writing process I am.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Noise. Distractions. People. I work best with an empty house.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Neither. I write what makes me happy and work some of my own issues through the characters. There’s a little bit of me in all of them. And even some real life situations and conversations I’ve had, sprinkled throughout.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Too many, so I’ll name just one. I started this writing journey at the same time as Kata Čuić. We have been friends for a few years now and she has been a great help thru all of it. She’s usually the first to see what I write and give me great feedback.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
I asked this question to my husband and he said: From Meow to Eternity. LOL. Side note, Meow was my nickname in college. Even the professors called me that. I plan to tell that story in a future book. I think I might call my life book… Words are my Home.
Where can your fans find you and follow?
In all the Social Media places, but I’m mostly on Facebook.
Here’s a link to all the places you can find me:
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview.
Thank you for having me. This was fun.