Interview with Alexandra McBrayer

What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is For the Love of Diamonds and the idea actually came to me in a dream. I wrote a short story based on the idea that was complete erotica, and just set in a jewelry store. I walked away from it after that but realized that I wanted to know more about the character of Lucy. Her grandmother began to dominate the story and I began to ask myself, "How do you get from being a Lucy to being a sexy older woman who is confident in herself so much that she doesn't care about societies rules?"
That led to this book.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first book, still unpublished, was sent to a lot of agents and publishers. Finally I got a reply back that they loved it. But what went from happiness soon turned to despair. They "loved" my book but they wanted to change it. I tried to explain to them that if I changed it then the whole story would change.
I'm not one of those writers that won't listen to constructive criticism but if I changed the things they wanted me to change then it wouldn't be true to my main character.
I then found another publisher who was good with it the way it was...and then the financial crisis happened and they closed shop. When I wrote my next book-I'll Love you Forever-I liked the idea of being in control.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Everything. These characters become a part of my life and the joy of getting to share them with others is almost like having a child. When a reader tells me that they loved my character I feel proud. I enjoy the process itself, it's very therapeutic. I learn more about myself everyday from writing.
What do your fans mean to you?
A tremendous amount. If someone tells me that they liked my book, that it made them laugh or cry, or that they stayed up all night to read it because they couldn't put it down, I feel a connection. It is almost a justification. They like what you like, they care about what you care about. It's like finding a new friend who has the same interests.
What are you working on next?
Two things. One is a follow up to I'll Love you Forever-in a way. It's about Mike and what happens to him after Miles and Katie's story. So far it's funny. Some people have said that they loved him best, but I personally found him hard to like. He had his moments but overall he was a hard man. Now in this book-his book-I'm learning to like him and he's actually a funny guy when he lets himself go.
The other book is paranormal but it's more Young Adult. It's about a sixteen year old girl who has spent her life moving because of her dad's job. She's struggled and has no idea who she is. It's about that loss of identity and her struggle to find herself.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jack Kerouac is my all-time favorite. I read On the Road while on a road trip and that was the book that led me to write my first book. There is a sense of rawness and need and angst in his books that called to me.My second favorite book would be A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I cried so hard, which I like to cry when I read, I love this book so much.
As far as other reading, I love romance and A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux is my all-time favorite romance. A great book that also makes me cry and a male character that I completely fell in love with as a teenager.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was about a seagull and how he ventured out into the world each night as the sun was going down because he loved to see the sunset.
What is your writing process?
I just sit down and write. I don't have an outline, I don't do research, I sit and write and as I need to research things I do. I think of it more as writing from the heart.
I always remember the saying, and sorry I can't remember who said it, "Write the books you would love to read."
What are your five favorite books, and why?
On the Road-filled with energy, angst and desire
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn-filled with a sense of becoming
My Secret Garden-the best lesson on life I think
Singled Out-a book on the women of the 1st WW. Powerful.
The Diaries of Anais Nin. A role model in feelings.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything. I always have to be reading something.
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.