Everyone please help me in welcoming Annie Alvarez to XtraOrdinary Romance.
Annie is a relative newcomer to the scene but I find her stories utterly fascinating and I hope you will as well.
At what age did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I've always fiddled around with writing but it wasn’t until I turned the ripe age of 40 that I started getting serious about it. Call it my mid-life crisis.
What has been your biggest influence on becoming a writer?
Giving something to the lesbian community. Let’s face it the straight world has a ton of wonderful movies, books and what-not’s but lesbian really don’t have a role model, per se. Bella’s got Edward, Sookie has Bill, and now Izzy has Tamara.
How did you feel when you got your first publishing contract?
Oh my god, I just about fell out of my chair! I couldn’t believe it when I got the email from eXtasy’s EIC saying they would take my book.
How many novellas/novels have you published to date? When did you have your first sale?
To date, I have 3, For the Love of Blood, Cheating Death and Dying to Live.
My first book, For the Love of Blood was published on April fool’s day 2009. Pretty cool isn’t it?
Tell me about your latest release. Please include if it is part of a series or a stand alone book.
Well, my latest release is, Dying to Live, book 3 of the Hightower series and it’s all about Izzy helping Tamara deal with becoming human again. And no, it’s not that simple, you see, in becoming human, Tamara is dying and Izzy must find a way to save her while dealing with the vixen, Celeste. Lustful Torment, book 4 is all in Tamara’s point-of-view so we get to see things from a different angle on that on. What was your inspiration for this book?
To give our community a vampire heroine to call their own. Kim Harrison has Rachael and Ivy. Jasmine Galenorn has Menolly. Underworld has Selena. Now we have Izzy and Tamara.
How do you categorize yourself: pantser or plotter?
Definitely the pantser! I get an idea and run with it. I run hard too, letting nothing get in my way of the ultimate goal- a fantastic story! If I start the whole planning process, I get too involved with the what-ifs and never get around to writing my stories.
How do you handle the editing/revision process?
I love it! Tex is a wonderful editor and makes the whole editing/revision process painless. He always has wonderful suggestions and is a charm to work with. I couldn’t ask for a better editor!
You’re received some fantastic reviews...how do you feel about them and why?
I couldn’t be happier. I think they hit dead-on considering that I’m still technically a new writer. I’m hoping that as time goes by and I get better that my reviews will get better too. It takes time and patience to get where I want to be, but it will happen.
Did anything odd happen while you were researching this story?
Funny you should ask that. Let me start by saying that my life is odd to begin with but yeah, things have gotten even stranger. I’ve had a few strangers randomly ask me if I believe that vampires exist or mention that erotica is a hot subject right now and carry on full conversations at the checkout line about this. Strange…
Do your characters take over the story?
Absolutely! I basically let my character have full reign and they’re not shy, they take it believe me. Sometimes, it’s Izzy screaming the loudest in my head, sometimes it’s Tamara that takes over and before I know it, I’m writing out a scene for her that should have been Izzy’s.
How much of yourself can we find in one of these books? Do you every make yourself a character?
My partner once said that there is a little bit of me in all my characters but that I resemble Tamara the best. Maybe it’s my charming personality or my sinister sarcasm. Either way, Tamara and I do have a lot in common, for instance, we both love black biker boots. :-)
Is humor important in today’s women’s fiction?
Of course. Let’s face it, life is too serious as it is and just because someone writes an erotica or a romance book doesn’t mean that you can’t be real about it. People say funny things, we think funny things, hell, sometimes we even do funny things in the middle of a crisis. I once heard about a friend having a major argument with her husband and she dropped her pants and told him to talk to her cheeks. That’s funny! So yes, humor is very important. :-)
Are love scenes difficult or easy for you to write? Why?
Both. The basic premise of a love scene is always the same, person A meets person B, and sparks fly. What’s difficult is writing it in such a way to entice the reader. What if person B, has other plans for person A? What if, it’s not as simple as sparks fly when they meet? Now you’ve got something different to offer the reader.
What is the biggest piece of your advice you can give a beginning writer?
Don’t ever, ever give up! I sent my first book out to a plethora of publishing houses and when I did get a response back, it was the standard, no thank you. I did this for 2 years, finally got tired of the rejection and packed everything up. Yes, I gave up on it. One day, while surfing the internet, I found this one publishing house I had never heard of and guess what? They took my story and ran with it. Now I have three published eBooks, and I’m working on my fourth. So again I say, don’t ever give up. If one publisher doesn’t like your book, try another, have faith in yourself.
Annie’s Bio: I live in Texas with my partner of 12 years. I never really understood why biographies are so serious, after all, it is about getting to know the author better, isn’t it?
I started writing a few years ago, and have had all of my friends read everything I write. Some stories are good, and some deserved what I call the file 13 (a really big Texas size shredder!) I finally found a niche that I do well in…erotica. I figured this out when I would send copies of a rough draft home with friends, and they would return it with missing pages. Yes, it took me a while to get it- my girlfriend says I'm a little dense.
I have two published books, For The Love Of Blood and Cheating Death, both are part of The Hightower Series I'm working on and Sessions is at the publishers waiting for its debut. I’m hoping that you like my style enough to keep reading. I love writing lesbian erotica because I am a lesbian, and because my mind has its own way of working, I occasionally write about… straight sex. And yes, I need to seek outside help when I write about guys. Yeah, yeah, it’s been that long and don’t give me the, it’s like riding a bike. Bike’s have a nice cushy seat on them!!
I hope to see more of you at the bookstore.
You can find Annie at:
Thank you, Lynn! It’s been fun. We’ll have to do this again soon.
You are so very welcome, Annie! I really enjoyed it!
Readers, don't forget to get your name in the hat for a free ebook from Annie by commenting. One winner will be announced next week.
Have a great week everyone!