believe it’s October already and yet the temps here in Alabama are still in the
mid-90s! I’m ready for some cooler weather! Halloween and Thanksgiving are just
around the corner so I’m starting to crave soup and hot cider… But I digress!
Today I have
a treat for you. I’d like to introduce you all to Christina Alexandra! She’s a
new-to-me author of historical romance which sound delightful. Let’s find out
more about her and her stories, shall we?
Alexandra is a romance writer from Southern California. Always on the lookout
for an adventure, she has worked many different jobs including both medical and
veterinary offices, music teacher, law enforcement instructor, service dog
puppy raiser, emergency grief counselor, coroner’s assistant and, currently, an
emergency services operator.
writes stories set in Georgian and Regency England and credits her varied
experiences as the foundation from which she builds true-to-life characters and
emotional stories with a unique twist on modern issues. When not researching,
writing or working, Christina spends her spare time travelling, cooking –
oftentimes with a historical flare – and connecting with fans and friends on
trivia junkie, she is constantly on the lookout for random facts in the hopes
that it will help her in her never ending quest for a spot on “Jeopardy!”
can connect with Christina online at her website
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
Christina: I currently have one flash fiction
piece published in an anthology, and my debut book comes out later this autumn.
It was a last minute addition to my Reluctant Lords series so I actually had
book 2 drafted and book 3 plotted before I started this one.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Christina: I write historical romance set in the
Georgian and Regency eras of England, so the late 18th century and early 19th
century. When I first started reading romance, Regencies were what I started
with. So when I started writing romance, I gravitated towards the Regencies.
The more I researched the time period, the more I fell in love with it. The
wealth of the upper class juxtaposed with the poverty of the lower class. The
advancements in science and technology leading to industrialization and modern
farming, and the detractors who fought to keep things the way they were. The
long war with France. It’s not much different from today, when you think about
it. It gives me a way to relate to the modern world when the modern world
becomes too much to handle.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release
and why were they important to your story?
Worth of a Viscount is book #1 in the Reluctant Lords series. It’s about
five friends, ordinary men content with their lot in life, who suddenly and
unexpectedly find themselves granted peerage titles.
accident that the book is called The
Worth of a Viscount. Adam, the Hero, is trying to prove to himself and
others that he is worthy of both the title and the upper class he is worthy of
his title and to marry the woman he loves. Maxine, the Heroine, is trying to
prove she is worthy of being wanted and loved for more than her outward
appearance. They both have to come to terms and face their own insecurities to
get their Happy Ever After. Their story and growth resonates with many people
and the hashtag #KnowYourWorth is relevant to them as well as the readers.
This is also
a story of second chances. Adam and Maxine were childhood friends and
sweethearts before society came between them. As Maxine grasps at a second
chance to discover herself, and Adam gets a second chance to make something of
himself, they get an unexpected second chance at love.
Forced by her
family to hide her high-spirited nature, Lady Maxine Pearson has spent years
cultivating the facade of docile, boring perfection. After four seasons without
a single offer of marriage, she realizes perfection is decidedly overrated.
With her cousin’s wedding fast approaching, Maxine seizes the opportunity to
travel to the event scandalously alone.
always knew Lady Maxine would one day be his wife, even though an earl’s
daughter was far beyond his reach. Six years after the message was beaten into
him, Adam has returned. But he is more than a mere knight’s son, now he has the
wealth, influence, and the title to prove his worth.
act of rebellion leaves her stranded, she has no choice but to accept help from
the man who broke her heart, and gives Adam the perfect opportunity to win it
back. As passion flares, they find themselves caught between obligation and
desire. If they aren’t careful, they may be forced to give up everything to
fight for their second chance at love.
available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Coming soon to iBooks
Amazon Barnes & Noble
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
Christina: I tend to write anywhere and
everywhere outside of the house. Between two needy cats, and all the chores
required in caring for a sixty-year-old house, I find writing at home too
distracting. Normally, I am a coffee shop writer, but I have been known to
write on planes, trains, automobiles (lol). I even wrote my first published
short fiction story on my mobile phone while standing in line at Legoland when
my sister and her family came to visit. I need some activity and noise around
me or else my mind goes to other places other than writing and I lose focus.
have to do on paper, so wherever I go, there has to be a table for me to write
on. I have a lot of downtime at the Day Job, so I tend to do a lot of editing
and note taking there where I know I’ll get a solid chunk of time.
Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you
have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?
Christina: I don’t really have any rituals,
other than copious amounts of coffee and snacks. I can’t drink alcohol while
writing as it puts me to sleep. I do have playlists for writing, mostly
classical music, and movie or video game soundtracks. I’ve recently started
making playlists of songs with words that inspire scenes in the story.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A
mentor or organization or something else?
Christina: I’ve been a member of Romance Writers
of America and the local chapters for several years. I’ve made amazing friends
who are encouraging (and pushy!) when it comes to making sure we all stay on
track to pursue our writing goals and dreams. The support from my friends,
family, and coworkers has been instrumental in giving me the confidence boost
to go from unpublished to published author.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your
Christina: Ooh, tough one… I have to say it’s a
tie between description and emotion.
I’m a visual
person, and when I write I build the scene in my mind in layers starting from
the big picture to the most minute detail. I think it’s a by-product of my Day
Job—in the various jobs I’ve had, I always have to describe pertinent things
from the top down, outside to inside, big picture to tiny details. It just
flowed over into my writing.
told by my writing partner that I have an uncanny ability to get deep into the
head of my characters. I’m just a conduit and write what they think, see, and
feel. It’s ecstatic and overwhelming one minute, and the soul crushing pain of
love the next minute. It’s like taking a ride on a roller coaster of
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story:
setting, situation, characters?
Christina: Usually it’s the characters. While
they’re all clamoring about trying to be next, it’s the quiet one in back that
gets my attention. Occasionally, I get an idea that is so fun and so unusual
that I create an entire world and story around it before anything else. Oddly
enough, this usually results in a non-Regency, non-historical story.
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is it more
fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set
aside a block of time?
Christina: My writing is flexible. Between the
Day Job, family, and travel, I don’t have large chunks of time. I usually get a
couple of days a week where I can write in marathon sessions, but mostly it’s
short bursts of time on my mobile phone. Thank goodness for writing programs
that sync across devices!
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your
Christina: The dread of finishing. Once it’s
done and published, it’s out there for people to read, judge, and determine if
it’s (dare I say it?) worthy. That’s why I have to set hard deadlines or else
I’ll fiddle and tinker with it forever, and it’ll never get done.
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing
Month)? Why or why not?
Christina: I’ve tried NaNoWriMo several times
and have come to the conclusion it’s not for me. I just can’t write straight
through without editing. I end up with a mess of a document and get overwhelmed
trying to revise and edit it. I prefer to write slower, edit as I go, and end
up with a story that needs minimal revisions and edits.
Betty: What are you reading right now?
Christina: I’ve recently discovered Lisa Kleypas
and have been reading her entire backlist. But only when I meet a writing goal.
Otherwise I’d spend all day reading and get nothing done.
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Christina: I’m a sucker for historical romance.
I have to deal with enough drama and trauma of the contemporary world at work,
and I need the promise of the HEA to escape modern life.
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread
Christina: Oh gosh…my keeper books. For
romance, I think Sherry Thomas’s Ravishing
the Heiress is my #1 keeper, followed in no particular order by Elizabeth
Hoyt’s Lord of Darkness, Grace
Burrowes’s Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal,
Sarah MacLean’s Nine Rules to Break When
Romancing a Rake, Katharine Ashe’s The
Prince, and Lisa Kleypas’s Marrying
non-romance books it’s Michael Crichton’s Congo,
Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way
Comes, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The
Great Gatsby, Harper Lee’s To Kill A
Mockingbird, the Star Wars: X-Wing Series by Michael A. Stackpole, and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.
I reread them
whenever I need a little something comforting and familiar, but Congo and Something Wicked This Way Comes I read at least once a year. The
latter I read each October.
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your
work in progress or something else?
Christina: I do read the same genre because the
language and flow of prose in historical romance is so different than other
genres. No matter the story, the authors skilled at connecting readers to the time
period and characters do so through their writing. It’s essential for me to get
into the historical state of mind by reading other historical books.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
Christina: I do have a Day Job. I work as an
emergency services operator her for a busy police department in Southern
California. It’s a very technical, high-stress job that does not lend itself to
creative writing. Though, I will admit, after a weekend spent writing my calls
get a little…purple prosey. My dispatchers and officers can always tell when
I’ve spent time writing based on how I word my calls! Lol
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing
Christina: Don’t give up, and don’t settle for
the first thing that comes your way. There are so many options out there, so
many opportunities, there’s no reason to settle for “good enough”.
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
Christina: A screenwriting teacher gave me the
best advice once. I pass it on to every creative I meet: Get it out of your
head and onto the page.
Betty: Any hints of what your next writing project might be?
Christina: The Reluctant Lords is a five-book
series, so my focus is on finishing them right now. After that then I’ve got a
spin-off series dealing with some relatives if the Heroes. Then comes a long
anticipated project I’m calling the Scavenger Hunt for now. It’s this weird
mashup I can only describe as The Amazing Race (TV show) meets Jane Austen.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or
what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
Christina: I have a serial story I’d love to get
a start on. It’s a contemporary time-hop police procedural with a heavy dose of
mystery. But it’s rather in-depth and would take so much time researching that
I’m not sure when I’ll get around to it. The same with a speculative fiction
series that I have on the back burner that revolves around the idea of leap
I’d like to
try my hand at contemporary romance, and have a couple of stories plotted and
outlined. My trouble with writing this is my characters tend to shun technology
and speak like they lived in Regency England! lol. It’s like learning to write
in a different language.
I love that
your writing voice impacts your professional writing as well, Christina! That’s
an interesting carryover. And that you could write standing in line, too. I
also need some noise around me in order to concentrate after working in a busy
office environment for years. Good luck with your new release, too!
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