I am thrilled to bring you an interview will Alicia Dean, a multi-published author of six published novels and five published short stories. When I lived in Kansas City and was member of HeRa, Alicia was a member too, only a distance one. We didn’t know each other except by the occasional post on the membership loop. In May, I had the privilege of meeting her at the OWFI conference in Oklahoma. We hit it off right from the start, and I am honored to call her my friend. You can visit her at http://www.aliciadean.com I hope you will enjoy the insights she shares below. AND today, Alicia will be online to answer questions and respond to comments through my blog. She’s standing by, so don’t be shy, join in the dialog!
Alicia Dean writes paranormal and romantic suspense. She lives in Edmond, Oklahoma and is the mother of three grown children. Alicia loves creating spine-chilling stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats. She’s a huge Elvis Presley fan, and loves MLB and the NFL. If you look closely, you’ll see a reference to one or all three in pretty much everything she writes. If she could, she would divide all her time between writing, watching her favorite television shows-such as Dexter, Vampire Diaries, Justified, and True Blood-and reading her favorite authors…Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Lisa Gardner to name a few.
She spent her entire life fighting death. Now she’s falling in love with him. . . .
Audra Grayson became a nurse in order to help save lives. But one night after a brutal beating, she almost loses her own. The near-death experience opens a door between the world of the living and the world beyond. Two Grim Reapers invade her life. One is charming, with the angelic blonde looks of a saint and the black soul of a psychopath. The other is dark, dangerously attractive and, in spite of her distaste for his reaper duties, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him.
When Audra’s patients begin to die unexpectedly and her loved ones are threatened, she will risk her life—even her soul—to save them. But can she risk her heart to an inhuman being whose very purpose is to take those she is trying to save?
LJ: Alicia, what draws you to paranormal romantic suspense over other genres of fiction?
Alicia: I also love suspense, but what draws me to paranormal is the fantastic worlds you can create as an author, and the ability to stretch your creativity to the limits. I love the challenge of staying true to the rules of the world you’ve created so that your story is logical, within an illogical realm. And, did I mention hot guys? I mean, vampires, werewolves, grim reapers? What red-blooded American woman wouldn’t want the opportunity to tame wild men like that?
LJ: How long did it take you to write Soul Seducer?
Alicia: It took me approximately six months to write Soul Seducer, I believe. This is always a difficult question, because my writing process has so many steps, and I often start the next book before I’ve finished the current one. I’m often in revisions on one novel when I begin the next, so I always take breaks to go back and forth between the two. I work full time and I’m also an editor, so the writing process is sometimes a little slow for me, not to mention hard to pin down to a time frame. Of all my books, A Knight Before Christmas is the only one I can say for a certainty how long it took me to write. That’s because I wrote it in two months, and that’s a record I’m sure I’ll never break.
LJ: How many drafts of a novel until your final product?
Alicia: That’s also a tricky question. My books are never really finished. I will make changes every time I go over them until I finally just have to make myself stop. But, basically, it’s four drafts before I consider that I’ve ‘finished’ a story.
LJ: How has your writing practice changed since your first book?
Alicia: I’m more confident and can finish a book more quickly. Not to say I don’t still struggle with each one. I most definitely do, but I can more easily reign in my self-doubt and push through until I reach that sweet spot in the novel where the words seem to flow. (But inevitably, before I type ‘The End,’ I run into obstacles, I struggle again, and there are times when I feel like I’m writing a big pile of crap. The sweet spots don’t come often enough or last nearly long enough)
LJ: Would you share your method or approach for picking your character’s names in Soul Seducer?
Alicia: I would be happy to, but I’m afraid I can’t. I don’t have a method or approach for picking character names in any of my stories. I really just think about the character, picture them, and run names through my mind until something sticks. Sometimes it takes longer than others, but eventually, the characters have a name. The hard part is discarding names of people I know. That limits my choices a great deal, but I don’t want anyone to think my stories are about them.
LJ: I’ll be looking for the “where’s Waldo” in Soul Seducer. Will you give me and your other reading fans a clue – is there one, two or three references to your personal passions?
Alicia: LOL. Let’s say there are at least three references. Probably closer to half a dozen, but who’s counting? Oh, wait. You are.
LJ: Have you ever considered writing an Elvis-type character who plays MLB and meets his heroine at a NFL game?
Alicia: Haha. You’re cracking me up. That really hadn’t occurred to me. My first story ever was an Elvis-type character, and I don’t want to repeat the same type of hero. What self-respecting author would steal a hero from a story they wrote when they were eleven? I could, however, see myself writing an MLB player as a hero. Have you seen how many hot baseball players there are out there?
LJ:When you finish a book, how does it feel? Are you elated? Worried? Or some combination of both? Why?
Alicia: Definitely a combination of both. I’m elated in that I feel a sense of accomplishment. I’m excited to see if the book will sell, how it will be received, and I’m also elated that I can now start on my next project. I’m also worried sick, because I know no one will like it.
Favorite Elvis song: Can’t pick just one, but “Suspicious Minds” and “Love Me” are at the top of the list, as far as his well-known songs. There are some less popular songs that I love, such as “How the Web was Woven” and “Power of My Love.” Some of my favorites that he did by other artists are “Release Me,” “Bitter they are, Harder they Fall” and “Funny How Time Slips Away.”
Sorry. Hasn’t anyone ever warned you against asking a question like that of an Elvis fan?
Favorite MLB team colors: Red, black and white.
Favorite NFL stadium to watch football: I’ve never been to an NFL stadium but the one I’d love to go to most is Lambeau Field.
What author would you most like to meet: Stephen King.
What paranormal power do you wish to have: I would LOVE to be a Vampire.
I hope you have enjoyed meeting Alicia. She and I are hanging around today to chat, so join in the conversation!