This week’s featured author didn’t choose a place to be interviewed. On those rare instances it’s up to m. I’ve always wanted to visit the Des Moin Farmer’s Market. So, here I am in the midst of the crowd, facing the courthouse. I’m surrounded by people and produce and crafts…and an author to interview…
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
I don’t think I’m fascinating at all, which may be why I write books!
I’m an appellate lawyer by day (told yah—boring!), and a writer by night. I write in two genres, paranormal romance and fantasy, and I love both! I can sing and act, but can’t dance worth a toot. I’m a good cook, and I am addicted to Netflix. I can’t stand sad movies—once I turn on the faucet, I can’t stop crying. I’m divorced, and the mother of two fabulous daughters. Thing One is about to sail off to California for film school. She wants to be an editor. Thing Two is finishing up her sophomore year at the University of Alabama—my alma mater—Roll Tide!—and is a musical theatre major. I’ve always been a dog person, but my Dachshund, Boo Lily, died in 2013, and my Lab, Bama Louise, died in 2015. Right now, I have two cats, a Balinese named Sabrina Lynn, and a Siberian called Samson Leonardo. They completely and totally rule the roost. They are both still young, and run the Nascat 500 in my bed at night. If the races go on for too long, I boot them into the living room and shut the door. Mama needs her shuteye!
2. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I have what is called Resting Bitch Face, meaning I come across as reserved and . . . er . . . bitchy, but I’m not, I promise. When people get to know me, they are surprised to find I have a sense of humor, and that I’m quite bawdy. Guess the real me it doesn’t go with the reserved face.
3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else, such as a rock star?
I was raised in the country in a rural neighborhood, the third of four kids, but my older sister and brother were thirteen and eleven years older, so we didn’t interact much. There weren’t any other children in my neighborhood, so books were my companions. I grew up loving the written word, and escaping into other worlds and boredom through books. Oh, yeah, and my mom was a high school English teacher. I wanted to be a storyteller like the writers I read and loved. Books were—and still are—my escape and safety place.
4. Writers are readers. With which authors would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
Oh, so many! Too many to name, in fact. I would love to meet George R. R. Martin. Whether you like him or hate him, his world building is phenomenal. I think Julia Spencer-Fleming would be lovely in person, and I would totally fan girl over Loretta Chase, Julia Quinn, or J.R. Ward. I belong to a local writer’s group, and I adore getting together with them once a month. And I belong to my local RWA chapters, and I love hanging out with my writing peeps there, too. Writers are, in some ways, strange animals that only other writers can understand. It’s nice to be with the herd!
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four-hour layover at the airport, why would your books be great company?
Because I would make you laugh! (I hope—eek!) My books are filled with interesting and zany secondary characters. And my demon hunters are majorly yummy alpha males who are stern and no-nonsense. It’s great fun to watch them twist in the wind when they fall in love for the first time, totally bewildered by the new emotions they are feeling. My aim, when I write, is to help you forget your troubles and escape.
5. Share your process of writing.
Writers generally come in two flavors: plotters and pantsers. A plotter has everything nailed down before they start writing. A pantser throws herself into the story and writes by the seat of her pants. I am somewhere in the middle, and call myself a plotser, because I do both. Generally, the characters and the title come first, and then I try to hammer down the story’s hook. Take Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb. The hook for that book is it’s a fish out of water story. Sassy, the heroine, a pampered, privileged young woman from money, comes to town to sell the family timber mill, meets Grim, the demon hunter, and gets fairyfied. That’s what I had to work with when I started. I filled in the details as I wrote.
As for my “process,” I am a linear writer. I start at the beginning and work straight through, like a stubborn mule plowing to the end of the row. Some writers write several drafts, rewriting as they go. Others write scenes and then quilt them together. I can’t do that. I have to tunnel my way through, with a lot of hair pulling in between. Though I write one draft, I tweak each chapter a squillion times along the way. When the whole thing is done (hallelujah!) I walk away from it a few days and let it get cold. Then I reread it again, tweaking it one last time. Because I write as I go, the process is slow and my word count in any given day may be low, but when I reach the end, I’m done. I try to write every day, but sometimes work and life interfere, but I find if I don’t write regularly, my writing muscles grow flabby. I use Mr. Google for EVERYTHING. I am constantly looking something up on the internet, from fashion to cars and catfish and their mating habits. True story.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?
Kurt Vonnegut says, “Start as close to the end as possible,” and that’s what I try to do. By that, I don’t mean you have to start with an action scene. Rather, start with the change that drives your story. In Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb, the change for Sassy begins when she narrowly misses a demon deer. She’s so startled by Predator Bambi that she runs her stepfather’s prized Maserati in the creek. She is rescued from drowning by Grim, a demon hunter, and the story unfolds from there. I began as close to the end as possible by starting with the events that change everything for my characters.
Take craft classes, and write, write, write. It’s the only way to find your voice. Don’t expect to write the Great American novel your first time out, although I’m not saying you won’t. For most writers, though, writing is a craft learned by doing, and that takes time. Dissect your favorite books. What do you love about them? What draws you into the story? What is it you like about the author’s voice? What things do you hate in a book and make you throw it against the wall? These things will help you find your identity as a writer. As you begin to write, you’ll discover that you cannot read without tearing the work apart, deciphering what works and what doesn’t.
Write what you love, not what’s hot. If you don’t love the genre you write, readers will know. You’ll be shorting yourself and them. Writing is hard work. By golly, you should write what you like!
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
Be kind. Every person carries a load, though we don’t always see it. Your kindnesses, big and small, will ripple through the lives of the people you meet. The only real and lasting legacy we leave behind is how we treat others. Make your legacy one of kindness.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
I have started book five of the demon hunter series, Demon Hunting with a Sexy Ex. I’m less than one hundred pages in, and I’m still trying to feel my way through the story, but I think it’s going to be fun. This is the story of Duncan, a demon hunter, and Cassandra, a demonoid “witch.” Duncan and Cassie go way back, and their relationship is rocky. They reunite and sparks fly, but Cassie is gun shy, because Duncan broke her heart once before. They get embroiled in a werewolf war, and get close again, but Cassie’s mistrust lies between them. But, don’t worry. It’s a romance. They’ll work it out. I’m all about the happy endings.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
You can find me on my website: www.lexigeorge.com Drop me an email. I love to hear from readers!
Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb
Demon Hunting Series
Genre: paranormal romance
Date of Publication: May 24, 2016
Number of pages: 452
Word Count: 105,000
Cover Artist: Lyrical Press
Deep South legends. Deep fried curses. Deep dish revenge . . .
This Debutante Is Having A Ball!
Way down south in the land of cotton, one belle’s plans are soon forgotten–when Sassy Peterson drives her Maserati off the road to avoid a deer and lands smack-dab in the proverbial creek without a paddle. The Alabama heiress should have known something weird was going on when she saw the deer’s ginormous fangs. Hello, Predator Bambi!
But nothing can prepare her for the leather-clad, muscle-bound, golden-eyed sex god who rescues her. Who wears leather in May? That’s just the first of many questions Sassy has when her savior reveals he’s a demon hunter named Grim. Also: Why would a troop of fairies want to give her magical powers and rainbow hair? Why would a style-challenged beast called the Howling Hag want to hunt her down?
Most importantly, what’s a nice debutante like Sassy doing in a place like this anyway? Besides feeling Grim . . .
“Sugar,” Sassy murmured. She laid her head on Grim’s shoulder. “Fairies.”
With a drowsy sigh, she relaxed against him and went to sleep.
Grim stilled. A surge of lust hit him, hard and fierce. Sassy smelled delightful, a dizzying combination of summer roses and female. Curling tendrils of her hair lifted to caress his jaw, like flowers reaching for the sun.
I am her sword and shield. The vow rose unbidden in his mind. Here and now I vow to protect her, from anyone or anything that threatens her.
An admirable sentiment, I am sure, the Provider said, but hardly necessary. She leaves tomorrow, and you return to the hunt. That is good, is it not?
Yes, of course.
Then why the hollow ache in his chest?
About the Author:
Lexi George writes snarky, Southern-fried paranormal romance for Kensington. Her debut novel, Demon Hunting in Dixie, was released in 2011, and a novella and two more demon hunter books followed. Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar, the third book in the series, was nominated for a RITA in 2014. The fourth book, Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb, is due to be released May 24, 2016. Lexi enjoys reading and writing romance, but her first love is fantasy. A Meddle of Wizards is the story of Raine Stewart, a sheltered, sickly young woman who comes into her own when she’s transported to a magical world, discovers her burgeoning powers as an adept, and faces the evil wizard who killed her parents. Lexi’s day job as an appellate attorney requires reading transcripts filled with murder, mayhem, and worse. Perhaps this is why she enjoys stories filled with humor, action, adventure, and magical creatures. She has a violent aversion to sad movies, having been scarred by Old Yeller at the age of nine. She drinks tea, not coffee, and has never seen The Exorcist, because she is a world-class chicken. She is the third of four children, with all the attendant neuroses.
$50 Amazon gift card