The first thing I’d like you’d to know about me? I love romance, bacon, high heels, hot baths, yoga and naps. That’s me, boiled down to the basics!
ER: Your series tagline is great: An elite group of spies prowl the ballrooms of the ton and the alleyways of London. They are well-trained, dangerous, and deadly. What happens when they fall in love? What inspired you to write a series about spies?
I have always loved suspense and spy stories. As much as I love romance, I love to pair it with danger because I believe that when the going gets tough, a person’s true nature comes out. What better way to bring to people two people together than facing adversity? Plus, spies are just…sneaky fun.
ER: Romance readers love their heroes. Tell us a little about the hero of IN BED WITH A SPY.
Angel is gorgeous, golden, and troubled—and he has a vulnerable side that only comes out in his music. It’s an aspect of him I hadn’t planned on writing when I started the book, but then one day as I was going over his backstory, that part of his character just clicked. He has the soul of a musician.
I like to write to music. Typically, each book has its own playlist. As soon as I pop those headphones in my creative muse starts to whisper in my ear. I’ve found that if I use the same writing trigger every day, it becomes a habit. My brain simply falls into the habit and I can write more easily.
ER: Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?
I’m a pantser, to my everlasting regret. I love the epiphanies and subconscious connections that happen when I pants my way through a manuscript, but I think I end up deleting and rewriting a lot because of it. Still, that’s my method and it works for me, so I’m not going to knock it!
ER: Because you write historicals, a lot of research is obviously involved. Is that something you enjoy? Do you get sidetracked by the research?
I love research, and yes, I absolutely get sidetracked. I cannot tell you how often I’ve left my manuscript to research a small detail and then don’t return for an hour—maybe two. That’s not an efficient way to write, however, so I’ve devised a method that keeps me from being too distracted. Unless it is integral to the plot, I don’t research while I’m writing. I place a comment box in the manuscript that says “verify”. Then, during the editing process, I look up whatever fact I need to verify. Whether I had the detail correct or need to edit it, I’ll mark the date I looked it up and the web or book reference, including page number. That way I know I’ve completed the research, but I don’t distract myself on something like gorgeous evening gowns from 1811 or what herbs are a natural cough suppressant.
ER: We would love to hear about your road to publication. Was it a long, winding one, or something along the lines of a walk in the park?
It was a little of each, actually. I’ve wanted to write since I was in elementary school. I even dabbled with my first full length novel (still unfinished) in middle school. But I didn’t start seriously pursuing writing until I was older. Once I made a serious commitment, which was in 2008, the road was twisting and winding with as many ups and downs as there were straightaways. There were rejections and rewrites and more rejections, and then finally THE CALL. But I’m very lucky to have supportive critique partners and an amazing husband to help me navigate those ups and downs.
Of course, I couldn’t get Mr. Alexander on the phone on the day I sold, so by the time I reached him a couple of hours later, I was almost hysterical with pent-up excitement. He’ll never live that down—but he did come home with a bottle of wine and an awesome pair of leather boots as a First Sale present, so I suppose he’s forgiven.
ER: What’s next for Alyssa Alexander? Will you continue writing historicals or something different?
Definitely historicals for awhile! I have more stories to tell in the A Spy In The Ton series, and more ideas after that. I love the time period between 1780 to 1825, so I intend to stay there for awhile. After that, who knows!
Without giving it any thought, Alyssa, answer the Fast Five Questions with one word.
- Favorite animal? Cat
- Favorite vacation spot? A tropical resort
- Favorite food? Bacon
- Least favorite food? Raw broccoli *shudder*
- Favorite holiday? Patrick’s Day! First, I’m Irish (though my family ancestry is of the orange variety). Plus, leprechauns visit our house and leave green presents. Sometimes they leave green food, too, so it’s lots of fun!
And since we left off on holidays, tell me, Dear Reader, what is your favorite holiday, and why!
Bio: Alyssa Alexander is the author of THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK, which garnered 4.5 Stars and Top Pick from Romantic Times and has been nominated for 2014 Best First Historical by Romantic Times. Her second book, IN BED WITH A SPY, releases December 2, and received 4.5 Stars and Top Pick from Romantic Times as well as a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly. She is a Google-Fu aficionado, lives with entirely too many cats, and is grateful every day for the wonderful Mr. Alexander and her small boy-child, Biscuit, who often wears a knight-in-shining-armor costume. Connect with Alyssa ~ Facebook | Twitter | Website
“You’re very good, my dear. I almost believed you. But it’s not a kiss that will bring you to my townhouse.” He bared his teeth in a semblance of a grin. “It’s murder.”
Her eyes went wide. Her lips fell open on a puff of air. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“I think you do.” He captured her wrists. With one swift jerk he turned her around and twisted her arms behind her.
“Stop it. Let me free.” She bucked, but he held her wrists tight.
He pressed forward, crowding her, so that his chest touched her back. The vulnerable nape of her neck was in front of him, and though the need to taste her skin was an intense craving, he denied himself the pleasure. In seconds he’d pulled a fine, tightly woven cord from beneath his coat—an easy item to conceal if one knew how. In another few seconds, she was satisfactorily bound.
He spun her around. With her arms bound behind her, a pair of ripe breasts were pushed forward. That gorgeous flesh swelled high and proud above her gown. Damn if he didn’t want her. Still.
“We have some business to attend to this evening.” He reached into his pocket, then lifted his cupped palm. The medallion lay in the center.
Her lashes swept up toward his face, then down to his palm again.
He knew he had her.
“Where did you find it?” She surged forward, stumbled, righted herself. “Let me go.”
“No. I was quite taken in by your charms the other night, my dear. But then I found the medallion and suddenly your charms were not quite as appealing.” He dropped the medallion back into his pocket. Her eyes followed the movement. “I’ve already arranged for a message to be delivered to your family that you’ve been taken ill and returned to Fairchild House—”
He didn’t expect her foot to hit his bollocks full force.
He fell to his knees, then propped himself on one shaking arm. “Son of a—” He coughed. Swallowed. Incapacitated by the crushing ache, he struggled against the urge to retch. His arm gave way and he hit the floor shoulder first. A groan erupted from his throat.
Then she was on the floor beside him, twisting, wriggling that erotic body over him. Her bound hands fluttered around his sides, found his pockets. Fingers groped for the medallion, limited in their movements by the cord, but no less crafty.
He should have seen that tactic coming. Instead, he was lying on the carpet and trying desperately not to vomit. Fighting nausea, he rolled away and onto his hands and knees. He was still faster than a bound assassin, thank the fates.
“Bloody hell, woman.” He was lucky she hadn’t found his knife.
She isn’t running, his mind whispered. She’s fighting.
He expected nothing less of an assassin.
If you’re playing ‘Romantic Pursuit’ your question:
What did Alyssa’s husband buy her to celebrate her first sale?
But don’t forget to answer Alyssa’s Question in the comments below: What is your favorite holiday and why?