Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Alexis Woods – An avid reader and colorful dreamer, it was only a matter of time before taking pen to paper, literally. Notebooks are filling.
Thanks so much, Alexis, for joining me!
Alexis is giving away an ebook copy of Lion’s Hero, but if reader has already read and reviewed Lion’s Hero, she will provide Hammer’s Thief or another of her books.
Comment on this post below for a chance to win.
J. Scott Coatsworth: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
Alexis Woods: I never wanted to write, I sort of fell into it. I’d been looking for free romance reads and came across Finn Marlowe’s Not Hiss Kiss to Take. I’d never read such an erotic MM story like that before. I followed her link to Goodreads (GR) and discovered the MM Romance (MMR) Group. After gorging on their free stories, I wondered if I could write a story from a prompt or photo. I picked a theme, baseball, and proceeded to write what became Opening Day. GR has a beta reading program, and I luckily hooked up with (soon to be) author Jonathan Penn who gave me plenty of assurance that I was good enough. So I picked up a “lost” prompt on MMR’s Don’t Read in the Closet event.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
AW: The “lost” prompt story I mentioned above is my first un-officially published story. Starlight and Constellation: Gemini is a contemporary twincest story that was deemed too “erotic” to publish because it contained underage sex, but is available to be read on the website if you are a member of the group.
My first officially published story is Lion’s Hero. Hero was written for a Holiday call by Beaten Track Publishing. The story revolves around a warrior angel for whom God has picked out his mate from among the humans of Atlantic City, New Jersey. One small snag… the angel only has the eight nights of Chanukah to get the human to fall in love with him. It’s urban fantasy with fated mate thrown in. I loved mixing the contemporary with my religion and creating a new world for my characters.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
AW: I’ve no set preference for writing style or genre. I’ve written first and third person stories. I’ve written from one POV and alternating POVs. There’s a whole set of contemporary works in my Southern Jersey Shores series. MOONDRAKE is a mashup of sci-fi and paranormal/shape shifter. Metamorphic Heart (w/KC Faelan) is urban fantasy, a Greek warrior who time travels, with plenty of meddling gods thrown in. My Chosen Angels series is also urban fantasy, angel/human pairings.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
AW: Hahahaha. Process? Right. Yeah, no. I’m a pantser for the most part. I have an idea of what I where I want the story to go and then I write it. I’ve tried a couple of methods of plotting the story, but I usually end up changing much along the way. Still, they always seem to come back to where I want them to end.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
AW: I’ve got several projects in the works. Currently writing an older couple, contemporary short story, which will be part of my Southern Jersey Shores series. I expect late fall publication. KC Faelan and I are editing Metamorphic Heart for full publication in late August, complete with paperback version. There’s also a secret project, that I can’t give any information on just yet.
But, so much I want to do. MOONDRAKE requires expansion from single POV to tri-POV and a sequel, and there will be at least two more books in the Chosen Angels series.
JSC: Were you a voracious reader as a child?
AW: Voracious is putting it mildly. I devoured books. Late nights under my covers with a flashlight. Too many trips to the library to count. I read constantly now, even more than I used to. I barely watch TV anymore since I started writing. The programs cannot hold a candle to the way the written word brings a story alive.
JSC: Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
AW: I actually prefer to handwrite when I can. 90% of my newest release, Hammer’s Thief, was handwritten inside of several one subject notebooks. Many authors talk about just typing and not worrying about mistakes, so not me. I have to fix each spelling error and tense. However, when I handwrite I don’t worry about those mistakes. Once I type it all into my computer, I make the changes there, giving my words their first edit.
JSC: Would you visit the future or the past, and why?
AW: This is a no-brainer question for me. I am an active participant in the Society for Creative Anachronism. I attend events throughout the year (though it’s been infrequent the last few) where I get to indulge in living history of the medieval time period. I’m a huge fan of Robin Hood and King Arthur, so feel free to drop me there anytime.
JSC: What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?
AW: Since I love the medieval ages, it should come as no surprise that the Forgotten Realms would be my preferred fantasy world to live in. I loved those high fantasy books: the elves, druids, halflings, thieves, fighters and my favorite, the archers.
JSC: Tell me one thing hardly anyone knows about you.
AW: I’ve recently been given the title of Mominatrix. It’s amazingly perfect. I have a tendency (as authors I beta for will probably confirm) to mother/smother others. I want everyone to succeed, but perhaps I like to push a little too hard.
And now for Alexis’s new book: Hammer’s Thief:
Eight nights to fall in love.
Running away from his foster home at eighteen, Locke struggles to survive the brutal winter streets in Atlantic City. Trust is a fickle thing, and Locke hasn’t had much of it. He’s worked hard for everything he has. When a helpful security guard takes him in during a Code Blue, Locke discovers that some things are more than they seem. His fantasy becomes reality, but sometimes reality is too good to be true.
Graced by God, Judah Maccabee has dwelt in Yahweh’s kingdom for nigh on two thousand years, rising through His ranks to become a leader among the warrior angels. A blessing bestowed, Yahweh has found the one for him. Now Judah has only the eight nights of Chanukah to fall in love with the one who will complete him. The only catch – his other half must love him in return if he is to stay earthbound. But expecting Locke to fall just as hard and fast as he does rebounds in a devastating way.
When egos rule and demons lurk, can these two men pull together, trust in family and faith, and earn love? And can they do it in a single week?
“Let’s go in here.”
Locke looked into the shop’s window. Sneakers were displayed among boxes wrapped in Christmas paper, and there were winter boots on shelves covered in fake snow. He ran his tongue over his front teeth and pressed his lips together.
“I don’t have money for new shoes, so what’s the point?” Locke knew he sounded pissy, but really?
Judah moved to stand next to the door and placed his hand on the bar, ready to push it open. “Who said anything about you paying? You need a pair of boots, and mine won’t fit you. Allow me to get them as a present. It is Chanukah.”
“Chanukah? You’re Jewish?”
Judah pushed on the door, and Locke entered, surprising himself that he didn’t put up more resistance.
“What size are you?”
“Ten and a half, and you didn’t answer my question.”
“The answer…” Judah shrugged and then turned to search for the correct aisle. He stopped in front of the wall of right-sized footwear, where he disregarded the dress shoes and slippers and focused on the sneakers and boots. He fingered a pair of hiking boots then moved on to a pair of fleece-lined snow boots before facing Locke.
“There is no correct answer to your question, Locke. I respect each religion on its own merits, and I haven’t practiced any in a long time. But there is only one true God, and yes, I was a son of Avraham, Yizkak and Yakov, before I was more.”
“You couldn’t have just said yes?” Locke snorted, wondering about the “more.”
Judah’s huge smile was stunning; heat flooded Locke’s belly. Damn, but Judah was gorgeous. Wonder what those lips would feel like on mine? Silly, Locke, don’t go there. The guy is way too old for you, and probably straight. Although there was that appraising look last—
“Fine. Yes, I’m Jewish. Now, which do you like?” Judah interrupted Locke’s contemplation.
“The black ones look warm.”
“They do.” Judah pulled the box down. “Here. Try them on.”
Locke took the offered shoebox and sat on a nearby bench while Judah went back to perusing the shelves. A bottle-red, older woman, with her nametag lanyard around her neck, strode into the aisle, glaring at him.
She stopped several feet away. “You can’t be here.”
Judah spun to face her, and her jaw dropped. “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t see you there.”
Judah crossed his arms. “I’m buying the young man some boots.”
She backed away. “Okay. I’ll just…” she trailed off, escaping around the corner. Locke snickered at her hasty retreat.
“Be nice,” Judah admonished him quietly.
“Yes, sir,” Locke replied cheekily, the corner of his mouth quirking up.
Judah harrumphed. “Such insolence.”
His playful tone had Locke daring to tease his guardian angel further. “Shall I be punished then, sir? Perhaps a spanking is in order.”
Judah stared at Locke, his cheeks turning crimson. His mouth closed with an audible click, followed by an exasperated huff. His lips twitched up into a grin— “Just try on the boots, Locke.” —and then he turned back to the rows of footwear.
An avid reader and colorful dreamer, it was only a matter of time before taking pen to paper, literally. Notebooks are filling.
She sings under her breath, off tune, taps her toes and swings her hips, much to the delight of her family, coworkers and friends. A firm believer in every song tells a story and every story has a song, each story she writes has a song or theme, oftentimes both, behind it.
She freely admits that becoming a romance author is the best mid-life crisis a girl could ever have.