Q&A With Alyssa Alexander

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Q&A With Alyssa Alexander 

Another Q&A this week is with USA Today Bestselling author of historical romance Alyssa Alexander. Alyssa’s novels are The Smuggler Wore Silk, In Bed With A Spy, A  Dance With Seduction, The Lady & Mr. Jones, Some Women Don’t Play By The Rules,  & her latest release Not Quite A Duchess.


Q: Alyssa what drew you into writing in the historical romance genre? 

A: I’ve always loved history! Whether it’s Greek, Roman, Native American, Eastern Cultures, African Cultures, Europe—all of it. When I started writing my first manuscript (at the ripe old age of 12), I fell into writing a historical romance circa 1800 featuring a murder mystery and ghost. Romance was always at the core of it for me, but I’d also had the opportunity to visit a number of Michigan towns with Queen Anne/Victorian gingerbread houses, and I was fascinated. Octagonal towers, carved porch decorations, pretty colors—from there, I was a goner. I might write Georgian/Regency suspense, but I will always contribute my love of historical romance to those pretty houses and wondering who built them and lived there. 

 Q: So Alyssa, when did you know in life that being an author was your calling? Who were your biggest supporters among your family and friends who encouraged you to go after your dream?


A: I knew in third grade I wanted to be a writer. We had something called Young Authors Night at our elementary school. Everyone wrote and hand-illustrated a book, it was bound and covered with (I think) wallpaper, and parents would come to read the offerings. For some reason, that year, I just knew. 

It makes sense, looking back. I’d always loved the process of creating a story. Dress-up was my “go to” at play time, but dress-up was never about the clothes. It was about the story. It didn’t matter what dress I put on, second-hand prom dress or an apron, there was always an elaborate backstory. 

As for who supported me—always my parents. Always. They encouraged me and let me sit at the old Apple 2e, hunting and pecking for keys. Also my Aunt Susie, who read my first handwritten manuscript on yellow legal pads, and encouraged me to keep going. She’s been my biggest fan for as long as I can remember! And, of course, my husband. He’s never read any of my published books, and I’m OK with that. He doesn’t need to. Mr. A does whatever it takes to give me the freedom to write, and that is a bigger gift. 


Q: What inspirational advice would you give to someone wanting to be an author?

A: Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. If you get to page 50 and don’t know what to do, remember most of us don’t. The trick is to keep going. If you give up and start another project, you’ll never finish. Because finishing a book is HARD. Like, really hard. Powering through is easier said than done, but if you write 5 scenes that don’t work, that’s OK. Cut and paste them into a new file, and try again. There’s nothing you can’t erase and nothing you can’t add back in. 


Plus, every edit makes a difference. You either realize it’s better the second way, or, nope, better the first way. But you need to experiment, listen to your characters, and follow their arcs. You’ll get there if you listen.


Q: Would you like to tell the readers of the blog a little bit about your new release  Not Quite A Duchess

A: Oh, this is a book of my heart! Tess Murray came into my head as a fully formed individual. I knew her inside and out, so it was a matter of putting her into a situation she wasn’t comfortable with. I also knew that she wouldn’t fall into a typical Regency storyline. 


Not Quite A Duchess is the first book in the Servants to Spies series. Tess is a British agent who falls in love with her primary suspect, the Duke of Northfield, while trying to stop someone running guns to support the French Revolution. But how do a duke and a spy find happiness together? Hint: they do. 🙂


Q: If you are writing any new books now are they standalone books, or the start of a series?

A: I’m currently working on Nothing Left To Lose, which is the second book in the Servants to Spies series. It’s a standalone book, although characters cross over from book to book in the series. I can’t wait for everyone to read Falcon and Moira’s love story!


Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? The entertainment industry really needs new material and books would make great content again. 


A: Not as of yet, but there’s always the future. I would love to see more historical romance movies!


Q: Do you have a favorite spot or spots where you sit down and plot, write and edit your work?

A: I often write in coffee shops or on my deck if the weather is nice. As long as there is caffeine, I’m good to go! But I’ve worked everywhere from my car in between kids sports, to hotel rooms, to doctor offices. Have laptop, will travel!