Oh, me hearties, you’re in for a treat. Captain Jack netted a very fine catch on board ship today. Join him as he interviews Author Alexandra Christian for a very rousing good time.
Jack: “Ahoy, Lady Alexandra! What a pleasure it is to have ye aboard. Imagine me surprise to learn ye enjoy ‘love monkeys’.” Shivers and aims pistol at movement in the rigging. “I’ve got one shot that won’t work on an undead monkey. Darn thing keeps pilferin’ me effects. Which brings me to me first question. Every pirate what’s ever been born steered their life by a compass. When ye were born, where did yer compass point to, eh?”
Alexandra: “Those curls at the base of Benedict Cumberbatch’s skull.”
Jack: Stares blankly. “Are ye talkin’ about betrayers or vegetable patches?” Blinks. “Or do I detect innuendo? ’Spect ye’ve been to Tortuga, eh? No?” Scratches head.” Well, if ye had, ye’d know about a pirate’s cache. Pieces of eight, luv. Significant treasure, to be sure. If ye could have eight pieces with ye at all times, what would they be?
Alexandrea: “My kindle, a notebook and pen, a bottle of Merlot, my eyelash curler, an iPod loaded with David Bowie, Lana del Rey, and Nine Inch nails, a pair of flip flops, and an unlimited credit card.”
Jack: Spits out rum. “Why do those things not seem to go together, eh? Nine Inch Nails and flip flops? Is that some sort of self-defense devise? Merlot makes me shiver. I prefer rum, as ye can see.” Takes a swig and sighs. “But even with pieces of eight to assure security, the wind is nigh unpredictable. Has there ever been a time when the wind took hold of yer sails?”
Alexandra: “I come from a family of writers (my sister is novelist Lucy Blue), so it didn’t take me long to get the bug. I’ve been writing stories for myself since I was able to hold the pencil. Then I wrote fanfiction in college (yes, I admit it).”
Jack: “Wait, what? Fiction about fans? Is that a thing? Don’t ye just hold one in yer hands and preen for yer fellows?” Shakes head along with Alexandra. “No? Life is dictated by choices, mate. ’Splain that one, if ye please.”
Alexandra: “That was probably when I first began to think that I could write stories that other people would want to read. I didn’t start writing professionally until 2010 when I published my first novel, Hellsong.”
Jack: “I know that song well. Them what sail with Davy Jones sing it whilst callin’ up the Kraken. While ye wrote fiction about fans, were there times the Kraken tried to pull ye down to the Locker? If so, how’d ye escape?” Clears throat. “Here’s a helpful hint. If ye’re every sailin’ with Elizabeth Swan, don’t let her kiss ye.”
Alexandra: “I think every author has a story of a harsh critique or one-star review. But rejection is part of being an artist.”
Jack: Nods. “Or an underappreciated pirate.” 😉
Alexandra: “Some people just aren’t part of your tribe and therefore they won’t get it. All you can do is listen to the feedback, decide how much value you’re going to place on it, and hopefully use it to make yourself a better writer.”
Jack: “Or a better pirate, luv. Aye, there are things to be learned from bein’ fed to the Kraken by a beautiful pirate.” Saunters over to rum cask. Dips tankard in for another round. “Forgive me indulgence, luv. Broadsides of the female persuasion leave me bereft.” Guzzles the contents. Hiccup! “Speakin’ of broadsides, what do ye do to mend yer sails?
Alexandra: “When I’m having a bout of writers’ block, I’ve always found it helpful to go out and soak up other people’s awesome.”
Jack: “Soak up other people’s awesome? Is that like sailin’ under a jolly roger or beddin’ down in Tortuga with several wenches all by me onesies?” Smiles broadly and twirls braided beard. “Now why didn’t I think of that, eh?”
Alexandra: “Read some great books.”
Jack: “I prefer rum and wenches, luv.” Preens. “But if it makes ye happy, do it, I say.”
Alexandra: “Go see a movie or ten. Listen to music that inspires you. And if you’re a romance novelist, cozy up with your significant other.”
Jack: “And here’s the part where the wenches come in, eh? I was waitin’ for them to appear!” Wiggles rings and straightens effects. “Once the course for that coveted horizon had been charted, how long did it take ye to make port?
Alexandra: “As I said before, I’ve been writing stories since childhood. I hit SUBMIT on my very first fanfiction at age 19 in my college computer lab. It took me until I was 33 years old to publish my first novel with an indie press.”
Jack: “Ye’re compass has certainly pointed to what ye want most, Lady Alexandra. I’m impressed! Steerin’ a ship takes savvy and courage, especially keepin’ a vessel on course. Speakin’ of courses, pirates have codes, more like guidelines. What’s yer code?
Alexandra: “My process is all over the place. I’ve started moving from strict pantser to a hybrid of outlining and pantsing.”
Jack: “Pantsing… never heard of it. Is that when ye try to take off yer trousers to get to yer goods and ye pant cause ye can’t get ‘em off fast enough?” Mimics Alexandra. Shakes head. “No?”
Alexandra: “The more complicated the magic system or world building is, the more I’m finding that I need to at least have in my head where the chapter is going. I try to write between 1 and 2,000 words every day, but it doesn’t always happen. I’m terribly slow because I’m not one of those people that can just vomit out their first draft without thinking.”
Jack: Bursts out laughing. “Ah, that be the difference between ye and a pirate, luv. I can vomit without thinkin’ any day of the week.”
Alexandra: “So… I find myself reworking passages as I’m writing. There must be music. There must be a drink nearby (preferably coffee). There must be a photo of Benedict Cumberbatch somewhere in my line of vision.”
Jack: Eyes widen. “Are we back to discussin’ betrayers and vegetable patches again? Before we digress, luv… I’d like to ask ye the most important question of all. Who is yer all-time FAVorite pirate, eh?” Preens.
Alexandra: “Silly thing—Jack Sparrow of course. But if we’re talking “real” pirates, then I have to go with Anne Bonny and Calico Jack Rackham.”
Jack: Takes a gallant bow. “Yer too kind, m’lady.” Bows again. “Mysterious Anne and her cohort Rackham.” Dabs eyes. “Aye, Black Sails. How I miss it.”
Every tar what sets foot on a ship has a story. What story do you have to tell, Lady Alexandra?
Following a brutal act of vengeance, MI:6 agent Macijah St. John is left grieving for his slaughtered family and agrees to participate in a secret government experiment that gives him a magnificent and terrible power. Now he’s a mercenary spy that solves problems for the right price. His latest job puts him in the path of the greatest catastrophe yet—a librarian.
Phoebe Addison’s life is a disaster. Crippling debt, a non-existent social life, and being the town librarian is hardly the glamorous existence she’d always dreamed of. But when her sister Jessica, an interplanetary archeologist, gets herself involved with a psychotic billionaire bent on world domination, Phoe is about to get more excitement than she bargained for.
Alexandra Christian is an author of mostly romance with a speculative slant. Her love of Stephen King and sweet tea has flavored her fiction with a Southern Gothic sensibility that reeks of Spanish moss and deep fried eccentricity. As one-half of the writing team at Little Red Hen Romance, she’s committed to bringing exciting stories and sapiosexual love monkeys to intelligent readers everywhere. Lexx also likes to keep her fingers in lots of different pies having written everything from sci-fi and horror to Sherlock Holmes adventures. Her alter-ego, A.C. Thompson, is also the editor of the highly successful Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series of anthologies.
A self-proclaimed “Southern Belle from Hell,” Lexx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and her husband, author Tally Johnson. Her long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Broad Universe—an organization that supports female authors of speculative fiction. Questions, comments and complaints are most welcome at her website.
Ports of call:
Thanks for sailing into port today, Lady Alexandra! Wishing you the greatest success with Naked: Pheonix Rising! Happy sales!!!