Robin Alexander is here today.
She’s giving away seven e-copies of Kellen’s Moment to seven lucky winners. More details are below.
Please welcome Robin Alexander.
Before we begin, thanks so much for stopping by today for a chat.
Thank you for inviting me, TB! I’m thrilled with this opportunity to connect with the wonderful people who read my books.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now? How has the area influenced your writing?
I grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I live in the small town of Walker, just outside of Baton Rouge. I’ve always enjoyed exploring my home state, especially the small towns near the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike the rest of the states along the Gulf, Louisiana doesn’t have a typical coast; the majority of it is swamp. The towns in swampland tend to be smaller, and most are tied to the fishing and shrimping industry. I love anything to do with the water, so these places are particularly interesting to me, and they all have their own unique character. I purposely make the small towns I include in some of my stories fictional because they are a conglomeration of the things I admired most about the places I’ve visited in south Louisiana.
Most of my stories take place in Louisiana because I want to give a different view of life here for those who have probably heard negative things about my home state. Since we’re in the South, some assume we’re all racist, and that simply isn’t true. We do have our fair share of bigots, though, just like every other part of the globe. We also have a lot of wonderful, open-minded people, and their personalities and quirks are added to the characters I create. The other day while stopped at a red light in the middle of town, I watched two men pull a huge snapping turtle out of a ditch. I’m pretty sure that snapper was destined for dinner. That’s something you don’t see in Connecticut. LOL!
Before penning your lesfic novel, were you an avid lesbian fiction reader? If yes, which lesfic authors influenced you the most?
I didn’t know lesbian fiction existed until I happened to find Blayne Cooper’s Cobb Island on the Athenaeum website years ago. I fell in love with that story, then I started reading everything I could find. The first lesbian fiction book I bought was Meridio’s Daughter by LJ Maas, and now, I have a pretty decent library of lesfic books in my office. I admire many lesfic authors, and they’ve all influenced me in one way or another, either with their writing or their kind words of support for mine.
What propelled you to write your first novel?
When I was in second grade, my teacher would read My Side of the Mountain to us at the end of the day. I was so enthralled by the story I tried to write one of my own. I had the attention span of a gnat, so I ended up with a poorly written paragraph about the frogs I liked to catch. I decided it was more fun to read, and I devoured every book that interested me in my school library. I tried my hand at writing again in my early twenties and was extremely frustrated when what I saw in my head didn’t match what was coming out on the computer screen, and like a fool, I let frustration win, and I gave up. It wasn’t until I discovered the world of lesbian fiction and the online community of writers and readers that I decided to try again. Feedback from readers and other writers gave me the courage to keep on trying, and I finally managed to write my first book Gloria’s Inn.
How have you grown as a writer from your first to your latest release?
I learn something new during the edits of every book I write. Tara Young, who has edited every book I’ve written with the exception of one, may say otherwise. LOL! The mechanics of writing come easier now, so I’m able to devote more attention to crafting the story. After writing nearly thirty books, I still feel I have a long way to go with my writing skills. I’ve never been completely happy with anything I’ve produced. When I read the books I’ve written, I cringe and think I could’ve done a better job. If I had the time to go over a book and perfect it, I’d probably not release another one because I would endlessly pick it to pieces.
Speaking of Kellen’s Moment, can you tell us about it and what inspired you to craft this story?
I’ve gotten hooked on a British TV series called Midsomer Murders. When I sit down to eat, I turn that show on, and one of the episodes was about two families that had been at war for generations. I was reminded of the Hatfields and McCoys, and I thought that would be fodder for comedy with a lesbian romance spin with a touch of crazy Cajun flair.
How would you describe your writing style?
I love this question. As an adult, I still have the attention span of a gnat. I become more engaged in a story when the writer gives me just enough of a description of a locale or a character that allows my imagination to fill in the blanks. I try to do the same. I like to keep the flow of the story moving at a decent pace, so the information I give is either pertinent to the story or the development of a character. In short, I’d describe my writing style as a brisk jog in the park; it’ll move fast, but you’ll have enough time to see all the sights.
What do you like to do for fun?
Since I spend the majority of my time sitting in front of a computer, I like to be outside when I can. I love working in my yard and planting things. Lately, it’s been blueberries. When the weather is nice, I take the top and doors off my Jeep and explore small Louisiana towns for book ideas. The beach is always calling me, so I go as often as I can.
What are your top three bucket list items?
Explore every tropical island on the planet with my daughter.
Go on an archaeological dig.
This one is last because human history has taught me it’s probably impossible, but I wish I could find a way to convince humanity that the differences between us are good, and we’d all be happier if we could accept that.
Finally, before we go, what advice would you give to someone who wants to take the leap into writing?
Start small, write a story on any topic you choose, and give yourself a three thousand-word limit. Have someone read it who won’t just tell you what you want to hear. Ask him or her to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Capitalize on the strengths, and work to overcome your weaknesses. I’ll admit that I still have many that I’m working on. Accept that writing is a continual growth process, and there is always room for improvement. Check into the Golden Crown Literary Society, which has a program to assist new writers in their craft.
Find your niche. For example, angst is a huge element in romances. I realized that I am absolutely horrible at writing angst, and I wanted to write romance. My work-around for that weakness is humor. That’s my niche. Figure out what you excel at in writing and capitalize on it.
Finally, if writing is a passion, don’t give up. If you’re working on something and it becomes frustrating, sit back and consider another angle. Your subconscious may be telling you that you’re going at it the wrong way. Open a new page and start over. Most of my books are comprised of parts of stories that I began, but the flow just wasn’t there. Kellen’s Moment is comprised of three different stories that I could not get to work on their own, but when I merged them, the flow picked right up.
Thanks so much for chatting today.
TB, thank you so much for reaching out to me. I truly appreciate the medium you’ve created for authors to connect with the people who support them.
Release date: February 25, 2018
Kellen McLin has been waiting for her moment for a long time. She says when two people who are meant to be together find each other, they know it instantly. Kellen believes her moment girl has finally arrived, but there’s one big problem—she’s a Sealy. The McLins and the Sealys are south Louisiana’s version of the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Stevie Sealy left Louisiana for college and didn’t return except for holiday visits with her family. After a breakup with her boyfriend, she decides to move back to the town of Sealy temporarily. She never really understood or wanted to be involved in the family feud with the McLins, but she finds herself right in the middle of it when Kellen McLin walks into her life and changes everything.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Robin Alexander is the author of the Goldie Award-winning Gloria’s Secret and many other novels for Intaglio Publications, including Gloria’s Inn, Gift of Time, The Taking of Eden, Love’s Someday, Pitifully Ugly, Undeniable, A Devil in Disguise, Half to Death, Gloria’s Legacy, A Kiss Doesn’t Lie, The Secret of St. Claire, Magnetic, The Lure of White Oak Lake, The Summer of Our Discontent, Just Jorie, Scaredy Cat, The Magic of White Oak Lake, Always Alex, The Fall, Ticket 1207, Next Time, The Trip, Rusty Logic, Dear Me, The Last of the Loudens, Patty’s Potent Potion, Fearless, and Kellen’s Moment.
CONNECT WITH ROBIN ALEXANDER
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Thanks so much for stopping by today.
Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway.