Thanks so much, Rachel, for interviewing me on your blog today.
I am really excited to have you here as I have to admit, i am yet to read any cowboy erotic romances but it is high on my 'to do' list! There is something super sexy about a cowboy and I really need to correct my mistake of not picking up a couple of stories before now.
Let's get started, I'm looking forward to hearing about your releases!
1) What is your writing routine?
I'm a stay-at-home writer, so I jump into writing as soon as I get my hubby off to work in the morning. I also like to write in the evenings, after he's hooked on TV or deep in a good book. I don't do much writing on weekends, mostly social networking and finding creative-but-free ways to market my books.
I usually outline longer books and do extensive backstories for the characters, but for shorter books, I will keep the outline and backstories in my head while I'm writing. I like to write the first draft fast, and I can shoot out up to 4,000 words a day. When I finish the first draft, I set it aside for a week then come back to it to revise with all those wonderful layers that make a book interesting.
2) Which author/s inspire you to write?
I love reading Nora Roberts' romances. She's always been an inspiration. And if you haven't read the Bride Quartet novels, I encourage you to do so. I think they're her best work yet. When I'm writing an edgier novel, I immerse myself in JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood to get that snappy flavor.
3) Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?
I like to read contemporary in spicy romance and erotic romance. For sheer pleasure, I love Lisa Kleypas' historicals. They relax me and send me back in time when the world wasn't so complicated. I'm a contemporary writer. I've tried historical (and I was boring) and I've tried paranormal (and I was just laughable.) So I'll stick to what I do best.
4) How do you deal with criticism/rejection?
Red wine and dark chocolate. And the knowledge that I'll never fail if I never stop trying. I just have to hit the right editor or agent with the right manuscript. But that means submitting like crazy, and receiving more rejections than contracts. But the contracts will come, and I am always thinking positive thoughts.
5) What do you expect from an editor?
My editor at The Wild Rose Press (Hi Trish!) is amazing. She sent back my first submission with suggestions for a rewrite to better align my manuscript with the Cowboy Kink line. You could say she 'whipped me into line.' After my contract was signed, she edited the book carefully, giving suggestions for adding emotion and strengthening my plot points. I've truly learned a great deal from her.
6) Tell me about your latest release
I'll let my blurb tell the story. Country music superstar/actor Chase Tanner has yet to be denied anything–and he’s never wanted anything or anyone more than gorgeous screenplay writer Reno Linden. So when the film they are working on is finally finished, Chase decides to turn up the volume on seducing Reno.
Reno Linden lived a quiet, rural life until she was thrust into the Hollywood scene when her book was adapted to film. Chase Tanner is larger than life, sinfully sexy and hell-bent on getting her into bed. Skittish after a failed wedding engagement, Reno risks the plunge into Chase’s arms, and is surprised that her good girl self can keep up with bad boy Chase.
Though Chase returns to his cowboy roots often, and Reno cherishes the time spent with him on his ranch, the two find their careers pulling them in different directions. Will their attraction survive the glitz and stress of fame?
7) Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt
EXCERPT: Over 18 only
Chase grabbed Reno’s arm and rushed her out of the building. As the door closed behind him, he said, “I get damn uncomfortable when women cry.”
Reno kept her head down and wiped the tears from her cheeks.
He stopped and bent to look at her face. “Aw, not you, too!”
She giggled. “It was just so touching.”
“Baby, you’re a sensitive soul.”
“Me?” She smiled. “I’m sensitive? You’re the one who did all this.” She gestured to the bar. “Singing and giving the hat off your head to people you don’t know—”
He shook his head and started walking. “It’s the least I could do. It was nothing.”
She jogged to catch up. Was he embarrassed to be caught doing something nice? He did a lot for others. She read a story about him, way back when they were casting the movie, that talked about the domestic shelters Chase sponsored. Hundreds of them in cities across the US, in honor of his mother. Lacing her fingers into his, she said, “I was proud to be with you tonight.”
He ran his hand through his hair and looked at her. “I’m glad you came with. People treat me different mostly, and it gets old.”
He unlaced their fingers and put his arm around her. “Yeah.” Helping her into the truck, he kissed her fingers. “But not anymore.” Their gazes fused, and Reno felt her chest expanding, as if her soul linked with his.
As he closed the door and walked around the hood, she whispered, “And never again, Chase.”
8) Which is your favorite character in the book? Why?
Chase has to be my favorite, but just by a nose. Reno's a great, strong character, as well, but I just can't help loving Chase. He's got everything: looks, money, a voice, fame, and the smarts to manage his own career. But he's still not convinced he's good enough for a woman like Reno. And a lifetime of feeling unworthy is difficult to overcome.
9) What are you working on right now?
I'm working on another manuscript for the Cowboy Kink line. About a bull rider and a nanny. It's set on Florida's beautiful Sanibel Island, and I just might have to take a working vacation there to soak up the atmosphere. Woot!
10) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?
Learn as much as you can about the craft of writing. Having a good knowledge base is so important. There are so many things that make a manuscript marketable, and understanding how to build a solid book is imperative. Oh, and you don't have to do it alone. Find a critique group or partners to help you. One of my critique partners just received her first book contract this week, so finding the right support network is helpful.
11) Where can readers find you?
You can buy Chase and Seduction at The Wild Rose Press Wilder Roses
To celebrate the release of Chase and Seduction, I'm giving away, to one lucky *commenter, an e-copy of my novella Her Cowboy Stud. Just leave a comment today and we'll choose a winner tomorrow. *Commenter must be 18 years of age or older to win.
I'm also giving away a cowgirl hat to one subscriber to my newsletter. For more details, and to sign up for this contest, please go to my website, RandiAlexander.com And while you're there, you can read the first chapter of Chase and Seduction.
Good luck, and thank you!
LOL! We could be identical people, Randi! You write in the exact same way as me (quick first draft and then layering afterwards) and Nora Roberts is my romance writing idol. The only difference between us is I'd swap the red wine for white and the dark chocolate to milk. I have yet to read the Bride quartet but now you've mentioned it, I am rushing out to buy it...just don't tell my husband! ; )
Randi is waiting for your comments & questions!