Learn more about New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy! Alexandra answers questions about her career, her inspiration and even some tips for future authors out there. So read on for some behind the scenes info exclusive to Military Spouse!
1. What was your path to a writing career? Was there one specific moment that inspired you or was it something you always wanted to do?
I came to writing from my love for theatre. I’ve always been a huge reader, but when I was younger I hoped to work on stage as an actress. After taking a playwriting class in college I realized I actually preferred to create my own characters rather than mimicking someone else’s. I still get inspiration from the great playwrights such as Noel Coward and Oscar Wilde, but I put away my half finished play and decided to concentrate on writing fiction.
2. What was your first published book?
Lord Carlton’s Courtship, a short regency.
3. You’ve written in many different genres from historical to paranormal to romantic suspense. Do you approach each genre differently? Do you have a favorite one to write about?
I do approach the suspense books differently. Since it’s important to have a number of suspects with legitimate reasons to want my victim (or victims) dead, I start my plotting at the end of the book and work my way backwards. It can be a confusing mess at times. My favorite genre will always be historical. I fell in love with Pride and Prejudice when I was in high school and it has a special place in my heart.
4. Where did the idea for WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? come from?
I was reading a number of true crime books before writing my first suspense books. As I was doing my research, it occurred to me that it could inspire a potential killer to recreate the famous murders. Then I started to wonder how the author would react if they realized that they’d inspired a monster.
5. The copycat killer is especially gruesome and creepy in this book. Do you find it difficult grapple with that subject matter?
I’ve been lucky in having a theatre background. I approach the killer in the books like I did when I was creating a character for the stage, trying to find deep motivation and their own personal truth. And to be honest, it’s always a lot more fun to play the villain than the hero. Of course when I’m done with the book, I do like to take a few days to clear my head.
6. True Crime is very popular right now and the heroine, Carmen Jacobs, is a successful true crime writer. Do you have any favorite true crime podcasts or TV guilty pleasures?
I love ID network! Dt. Joe Kenda is my favorite, but for a while I glommed a show called Wives With Knifes. My husband claimed he was sleeping with one eye open.
7. You’re well-known for your wonderful alpha male characters. How do you achieve the balance of writing a character who is strong and protective (and sexy of course) but not overly domineering and off-putting?
I love male characters who are protective, but it’s easy to tip over into dictatorial, which always sets my teeth on edge. I want my men to be capable of showing a side that’s tender, and vulnerable, and capable of nurturing. Nothing is more sexy to me than a man who loves babies and dogs!
8. How is this book related to PRETEND YOU’RE SAFE, the first book in the Agency series?
Griff Archer is the business partner and best friend of Rafe, who is the hero in book one. They own a computer security business together.
9. What’s the next book in the series about?
The next book will introduce a new character, Nate Mercer and his brothers who are all in law enforcement.
10. As a former military spouse yourself, do you have any tips for aspiring authors in the military spouse community?
My greatest asset while my husband served was the network of friends that I formed. When you’re away from your family and trying to raise children, it’s vital to have people you can trust to help with the kids when you need a few hours of peace to write, or just to come over for a cup of coffee to bounce around ideas. My first books would never have been written without the assistance of my support system!
For more information on this month’s Book Club Pick – What Are You Afraid Of? by Alexandra Ivy – click here!