Today’s Q and A is with Lachesis Publishing author Alexis D. Craig. Alexis writes sultry and funny contemporary romances (Give Me Shelter and Imminent Danger) featuring the brave men and women in law enforcement. She also writes super hot erotica featuring sexy cops (Undercover Seduction). By day Alexis is a police dispatcher so she knows her cops!
When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer and why?
It wasn’t a realization so much as something I just did. I enjoyed telling stories, always have. I didn’t really start writing them down consistently until high school. It made it easier to keep track of them. Once I cleared the space out of my head, I made room for more stories. It seemed like a good fit for me.
Describe your favourite place to write?
I actually really like my writing set up now. Super comfy chair, my laptop elevated on a TV tray, facing the muted TV (a habit I picked up in dispatch, I function better if the TV is on but I’m not listening to it), my music playing, my keyboard in my lap, and a dog or three snoring around me. It’s very peaceful.
What would I find on your desk at this very moment?
Lord, it’s a hot mess. I have my laptop, my detached DVR burner, my wireless mouse and keyboard, a red plastic cup, and a pen or two. My mp3 player, charging cords for it and my phone, a few hairbands, and my Lego cheerleader that my husband gave me to keep me going.
What is your tea/coffee beverage of choice when you’re writing?
Normally I’m drinking water with caffeinated cherry Mio in it. I tend to run on caffeine. My other choices are iced tea or diet cherry coke.
What do you love to read?
I’m a romance aficionado from way back. I picked up the bug in middle school and never looked back. I started with contemporary and though I occasionally ventured into historicals, one or two paranormals, I always circled back to contemporaries. Mostly romantic suspense, the spicier the better, if there’s sex and a stack of bodies, I’m definitely there.
What is some good advice you can give to an emerging writer?
Believe in yourself and keep trying, especially in the face of rejection. It’s not personal, regardless of how it feels in the moment. Give yourself a day to be pissed about it, maybe less, then carry on. I might even go so far as to say “plan for rejection.” If Plan A doesn’t work, you need to be able to pull the trigger on Plan B as soon as you can. It helps to know what Plan B is before you need it.
What do you do after you finish a book? Do you celebrate or take a nap?
Usually I celebrate a little bit. Usually it’s the middle of the night and I’m the only creature awake in the house, so I have to celebrate quietly and then I go to bed (I keep junkie hours when I’m working on a story). Next day I start at the beginning and commence the first round of clean up.
You’ve written a few books for Lachesis Publishing – two romantic suspenses and one erotica anthology. Tell us about them?
Imminent Danger, my debut novel, came out of me being injured. I was angry and hobbled, on a cane and unhappy about it. That’s how I got the idea for the opening of the book. The story was entirely fictional and my first attempt at plotting vs pantsing. It worked out well, but I learned that a hybrid method works the best for me. I get too detail oriented sometimes, and that can unnecessarily hinder the process.
Give Me Shelter was done with a more ‘seat of your pants’ approach to plotting. It was definitely a departure from my normal MO, with three time frames and storylines woven together. I’m very proud of the way it finally came together. Eli, Bex, Violet, Zoe, and AR are definitely close to my heart.
Undercover Seduction was a collection of stories and snippets that really didn’t lend themselves to anything longer. They were quick scenes of hot encounters, including my first menage on paper. The title of Rule Number Seven came from a Christian Kane song lyric, “rule number seven says ‘don’t touch the women, but they can grab whatever they want to.'” That pretty much encompassed the whole vibe of that story.
You clearly love writing sexy stuff. Other than the obvious – what do you like about writing hot reads?
It’s something I love to read, and when it’s done well, it definitely adds to the story overall. It’s never just sex for the sake of sex, it has to be germane to the story, because otherwise it’s just porn. I don’t write with the sex scenes in mind, I just let them run wild when they blossom within the story.
What are you working on next?
I have a set of books coming out next year, The Ex File in early February, and its companion piece, Dead and Disorderly in late May. Both are set in Indianapolis, like Imminent Danger,, and based around fictional members of IMPD.
Additionally, I have written a follow up to Give Me Shelter, called Bulletproof Princess. Its focus is a side character from GMS, U.S. Marshal Mack Jefferson. Eli refers to him as a ‘ginger git from Mesa’. He gets more than he bargained for when he’s pulled into a protection detail of country megastar Cassie Witt. She witnesses a murder and goes on the run from a highly skilled assassin, but how do you hide celebrity? That was the first of several problems as their precarious situation serves as the backdrop for their growing passions.