The weekend is almost upon us, so you know what that means. Time for another interview with an awesome romance author! Friday's Featured Author is Alexandra O'Hurley. Please welcome Alexandra to the blog, and check out the fabulous giveaway at the end of our interview!
Tell us a little about yourself:
A single mom to a teenage daughter, I started writing erotic fiction several years ago, after blogging and poetry were no longer enough to keep my mind occupied. Born in rural Maryland, my family moved to Virginia when I was young. Being the new kid sucked – so books became my friend….and have been ever since.
Tell us a little about your story:
The Lottery is a futuristic erotic romance, published December 21, 2010 (my birthday – Evernight gave me a great present!)
What is The Lottery about?
Set 100 years in the future, in a world where men are in limited supply. Only the richest and most powerful women can “own” a male in this female dominated world. The only chance some women have is buying a Lottery ticket – the chance to spend a year with a hunky man.
Ethan was blackballed from the male companion trade just before learning his sister was dying. With no other means – he enters himself into the Lottery to save her life. Angry with the way he has been treated by women his entire life – he doesn’t look forward to a new forced companionship.
Karlyn isn’t the typical power driven woman – she is a starving artist – trying to make it in the art world, much to her family’s chagrin. Her best friend buys her a Lottery ticket for her birthday, which she doesn’t want – but loves her friend too much to say no.
A knock on the door a few days later and both of their lives are changed forever.
How long have you been writing? Have you been at this for a while, or is this a new journey?
This is my fourth novel – the first with Evernight Publishing. I’ve been writing my whole life, but started writing erotic fiction about five years ago. I read one that was horrid…the grammar, the storyline, the flat characters – it was indeed a wallbanger. After tossing it aside, I thought to myself – I can do better. And instead of talking the talk – I decided to walk the walk.
What inspired you to write The Lottery?
A lot of my stories come to me as dreams and daydreams. This one evolved at work on a particularly slow day about four years ago. I set it aside until I completed my other WIPs and then dove in. I will have to say it is my favorite story thus far.
What tools have you used in your journey to improve your writing?
I took a creative writing class at the local community college, did some time in the local bookstore reading what other people thought of the writing process, and a ton of online surfing. I can’t say that I could necessarily say one thing in particular helped any more than the others. The editing process from The Lottery was a huge impact – my editor was awesome and taught me a lot. Also, I think just being an avid reader – and seeing how my favorite authors weave a story is a huge impact as well.
Are you a solitary writer, or do you utilize critique groups?
My second novel Resurrection’s heroine, Corrine, is named after one of the best creatively smutty minds I know. She has read every single novel first – throughout the process – giving her perspective, insight, and she can find plot holes in a second! And I just recently acquired a grammar nazi to proof.
How much of yourself is present in your writing? Do you look back and find that characters possess a little of your own self in them?
Oh! Every single heroine has been a part of me – in one form or another. I put myself into the character’s shoes, as if I was an actress – envisioning the story in my head as I type.
Tell us a little about you, the reader. What authors/genres do you love and why?
Do you have a week so I can reallllly answer that question? No way could I ever do it justice in a minute or two.
Stephen King – because he is so good at crafting dialogue – and capturing how people relate to one another. Plus I love scary movies – too bad the movies are never as good as his books. I love Lora Leigh – basically because she gets my pulse racing. The Nauti series – HOT! Katie McAlister – she makes me laugh out loud. Barking crickets in London? Love it! I love that her characters are perfectly imperfect, and revel in it too. Shannon McKenna – just because she was one of the first erotic romance authors I ever read and she blew my socks off – and still does.
Who is your literary idol and why?
JK Rowling. Don’t laugh – I think she has an incredible gift at creating a vision within the reader’s mind – I don’t know about you, but I was astonished with how much the first movie looked just like how I had envisioned it in my head. So is that a good director or is it that she put the same vision in his head that was in mine?
And as a struggling single mother, I have to respect her rags to riches story – and the fact she never gave up. I can only hope for a smidgeon of that success.
Name one character in any book that you would like to share a cup of coffee with. What would you discuss?
Tough choice. I think it would have to be Novalee Nation from Where the Heart is. I saw a lot of me in that story – I think we would be great friends. And probably talk about kids, photography, books, men, and how the simple pleasures are often the ones that make us happiest.
Lots of romance authors are working moms, wives, etc. How do you balance your writing life and your personal life? Do you have any time-management tricks to share with those of us who haven't quite learned how to juggle our multiple responsibilities?
Wow - what a question. You sure did open a can of worms on that one! I am a single mother to one 15 year old teen-aged girl. I work 60 hours a week, go to school part-time, and try to fit writing in wherever there are spaces - which tends to not be as often as I would like.
Fortunately, I have a WONDERFUL and SUPPORTIVE mother who refuses to read my smut, but is proud of it nonetheless. She helps cook a few meals each week, washes clothes on the weekends, and takes the kiddo here, there, and everywhere - generally, the work that I absolutely have no time for. Without her, I don't know what I would do. Personal life? What is that?? But I will have to add, I was able to sneak in a date this past Friday night. First one in months!
As far as time management when it comes to writing, I really can't answer that - as I only write when I find the time. I wish I was able to commit to it more. But, I DO try to touch a piece of writing every single day - even if it is only to write or edit one paragraph. I think it is all about habits. If you get into a routine, you will do the things you need to do.
What has your epublishing experience been like?
There have been highs and lows - such is life. But even the things you may look back on as being mistakes can be considered learning experiences. I think you have to make mistakes to grow from them, and oh, boy have I grown in the last two years! But truthfully, there have been many more highs and I am think I am still awestruck with the fact I am a multi-published author. I figure it means I don't write total crap! Partial, maybe, but not total...
Can you give a little advice to aspiring authors-something you wish you'd known at the start of your own writing life, perhaps?
Successes are small and sometimes take longer than your patience level allows. It takes time to build a fan base. You have to keep on trudging along, doing the best work you can do, and hopefully you will eventually find an audience. And while you are waiting, develop a really thick skin. Art is subjective, and our art, the written word, will never be loved by everyone.
Want to learn more about Alexandra and her writing? Please visit her official website at www.alexandraohurley.com, and check out her blog at http://alexohurley.blogspot.
The Lottery is available for purchase here.
Alexandra has generously offered to gift an e-copy of her novel, The Lottery, to a random commenter on this post. Winner will be chosen Sunday!