It all starts with that gateway book that hooks you from the start. #amreading #amwriting
I’m a romance reader from way back. Like back in middle school, I was sneaking my reading during homeroom. Harlequin Temptation (and later Blaze), Avon and Zebra Historicals (Cassie Edwards and Johanna Lindsey), Jackie Collins (Lucky, Chances, Hollywood Wives) you name it, back in the day I was eyeball deep in it. My parents were never restrictive of what I read, being voracious fiction consumers themselves.
It was summer, I was in high school and this random book on the grocery store shelf caught my eye. Unassuming cover in blues and greens, the back blurb intrigued me, and then I read the first couple pages. It was set in a place I’d never been but wanted to, the characters were immediately relatable, and the hero . . . well, Jack Boudreaux will always be my first bona fide book boyfriend. I bought it and read it that day into the night. Then I read it all over again the next day. I was completely taken and immersed by this world she’d created. It was my gateway drug.
The first thought I had—as a young and definitely naïve high schooler—was ‘I could do this’, followed closely by ‘It’s putting words on a page, how hard could this be?’ Trust me when I say that the negative karma accrued by uttering those two statements alone has long since come and snatched me up. I finished my first romantic mystery the summer between my sophomore and junior years. It was 200 pages of ‘nope’.
My next attempt at writing happened not long after that, and lasted for 700 pages of family saga from my junior year in high school to the middle of my freshman year of college (’93-’94). It was a brooding vampire/demons/undead pnr/family saga (with liberal doses of lgbt) thrown in as well. I still have it, though it, too, will never see the light of day again beyond my computer screen on occasional bouts of nostalgia.
In this time, around my schoolwork, I was still supremely devoted to contemporary romantic suspense. I have shelves and shelves of books from that period in my life and I discovered many other authors that I love to this day, but the whole time I kept writing. Mostly small fanfiction stuff (X-Philes and others), and in the meantime, I got a job working for the staple of the romantic suspense genre, the police.
I spent 11 years in communications, doing everything from 911 calls (for six months when I got there) to radio dispatch and control (the officer’s control room for whole sections of the city). I loved it and knew I had to find a way to write about the sublimely funny/smart/scary/crazy/brave/sexy officers and situations that I was privy to daily.
I started no less than four different novels, with four different approaches, and none of them were exactly what I wanted. Finding a way to encompass what I wanted was definitely a trial and error process. Finally I came to rest on Imminent Danger.
Because of the job, I have reasonably unfettered access to the minds of the guys who find the bodies, investigate the homicides, and eventually put people in jail. It’s a researcher’s dream. Plus, it certainly doesn’t hurt when you’re interviewing guys hot enough to be in the department calendar. Eye candy is the unspoken bonus.
I remain a devoted reader of crime fiction, romantic suspense, and romance in general. When I’m not working, I’m usually catching up with my hubby of 18 years, playing with my heathen brood (4 dogs, 3 cats, all geriatric), or working on my next novel.
Lachesis Publishing author Alexis D. Craig writes sultry and funny romantic suspense (Give Me Shelter and Imminent Danger) featuring the brave men and women in law enforcement. She also writes super hot erotica featuring sexy cops (Undercover Seduction). By day Alexis is a police dispatcher so she knows her cops!
You can get Alexis's romantic suspense Give Me Shelter at Lachesis Publishing and on amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble and Kobo.