This interview originally appeared in Issue 30 of Redhot Romance
When I had the idea that I wanted to do an issue that showcased my favorite Erotica authors, I knew that I needed to get in touch with my favorite’s in this genre. So I was utterly ecstatic when I secured Alexa Riley for an exclusive interview. Their brand of writing is taking the romance community by storm, and their ability to publish so often is mind boggling – but also means that fans don’t have to wait long to get their fix.
For this interview, I teamed up with the amazing Aubrey Bondurant, to get the nitty gritty of this writing duo powerhouse. This fantastic interview touches on the amazing writing/life balance of these two, their thoughts on publishing and what goes on behind the scenes when they are writing.
Hi I’m Aubrey Bondurant, working mom, newbie author and like most of you an avid reader/fan of romance novels. I’m so pleased to be taking part in Redhot Romance’s Author spotlight where new authors have the opportunity to interview established authors with incredible talent and ask them not only about their books, but their journey around writing/publishing.
It’s an absolute pleasure today to welcome USA Today Bestselling writing duo Alexa Riley who was kind enough to take time out from their busy writing schedule to answer my questions.
Aubrey: Tell us about your new book in the Alexa Riley Promises Series, Blackmailing the Virgin. Are there more books planned for the Alexa Riley Promises series?
Alexa Riley: Our new book Blackmailing the Virgin is fun, and sexy. This whole series is a homage to old school romance so this is along those lines. A man falls for his business partners daughter and then blackmails her into being with him.
We have a lot of books planned for this series, because we love the ridiculous sweet, over the top, completely unbelievable story lines of the old romances.
Aubrey: What’s your secret to juggling all your roles of mother, wife, friend and writer?
Alexa Riley: Melissa actually has a full time job on top of being a wife, mom, and writer. So for each of us I think it comes down to being organized as much as possible. We each know the other person is counting on us to finish our words on time, and keep up with our pace. It makes it easier when we know our writing schedule is predictable.
And, we both try really hard to not work on weekends. That’s time we set aside for our families and relaxing. So working crazy hard a few days a week allows us to kick back on those free days, and recharge.
Aubrey: It seems at first you really separated your personal lives from your penname, but now with doing signings and having more of a public persona. How did you break out of that shell? Are you ever taken off-guard in a personal situation to have people recognize you?
Alexa Riley: At first, this was just for fun and we didn’t want to mix in our personal lives. But after the success of Alexa Riley we had a lot of people asking for us to do signings so we realized we would have to open ourselves up a bit. Melissa is more open about being Alexa Riley, and talking with readers. Lea is still pretty closed up about it because most of her family isn’t aware that she writes.
Neither of us has EVER been recognized away from an event. As big as people think our romance world is, Alexa Riley is still a very small name in a very large pond. There are women who have been doing this for decades on top of decades that are far greater than us. We are just thankful when someone reaches out and says they enjoyed our books.
Aubrey: What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to research for your books?
Alexa Riley: We had a discussion about hymens once, and Googled for a while. But most of the ‘research’ we do is watching porn. We both enjoy a good dirty video so it’s no hardship.
Aubrey: You make no apologies for the types of books that you write (which we LOVE) and have built a very loyal following. How do you deal with the people who may not get your “brand” of writing?
Alexa Riley: I don’t think anyone has ever said it to us directly that they didn’t like what we wrote. We’ve heard rumors, but I don’t think there’s one romance book out there that is for everyone. There’s not one singular book that can please every person, so it’s expected that not everyone will like what we write.
We write the books we want to read, and sometimes that’s a very specific market. If you don’t like it, that’s okay because there’s something out there for you. But if you DO like it, then pull up a chair because we got a fat backlist to throw at you!
Aubrey: Do you believe instalove can occur in real life?
Alexa Riley: Absolutely! We often joke about our own relationships, and how sometimes they emulate our books. Insta-love is magical, and we believe in magic.
Aubrey: Being that there are two of you: How do you write? Do you collaborate on every book together or do you each write separately and share ideas for certain scenes/characters?
Alexa Riley: Our process has pretty much been the same since we started writing together in the summer of 2014.
Together we come up with an idea, and talk it out. We just throw out what we want and then do a basic outline. After that we take turns. One of us writes one chapter, then the next person goes. We make notes along the way, but it helps both of us stay on track.
It works for us, and helps keep the words flowing.
Aubrey: If you were to do anything differently in your publishing/writing journey what would it be? What advice would you give to other authors just out?
Alexa Riley: I don’t know that we would do anything differently than the way we did when we started out.
As we’ve moved forward and written more books, we’ve learned things along the way, but I don’t know that we would go back and change our process at all.
The best advice we could give to someone starting out is to write… write, write, write, write. You can’t just write one book and sit back, you’ve got to keep going. If you want to do what we’ve done, then you’ve got to keep putting words on the paper.
Don’t listen to what people say, don’t read the negative reviews – just keep writing.
You can’t sell a book you haven’t written and if people like what you’ve got, they’ll want more. We struggled with people telling us our books were shit, but thankfully we didn’t listen to them.
If there’s an aspiring author out there reading this; get off your ass and do it!
About Alexa Riley
Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.
They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read.
If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!
Alexa Riley Books
Taking The Fall Series
Forced Submission Series
The Ghost Riders MC Series
Alexa Riley Promises Series
Fairytale Shifter Series
About Aubrey Bondurant
Hi, my name is Aubrey and I’m a working mom who loves to read, write and travel.
If you were to describe my writing style, I’d say it’s “Adult Contemporary Erotic Romantic Comedy”.
How’s that for a mouthful? Picture chick-lit with the sex scenes or “smutty chick lit” and there you have it! 🙂
When I’m not working full time, or spending time with my family I’m on my keyboard typing away on my next story. I only wish there were more hours of the day!
I’m a former member of the military and passionate about veteran charities as well as giving back to the community. I love a big drooly dog, a fantastic margarita, and football.
The “Something Series” will consist of five books. The first one, Tell Me Something came out in June 2015. The second book, Ask Me Something came out in November 2015. Bet Me Something will be out in 2016.