Jen: Please help me welcome Lex Valentine to Book Talk this weekend. Lex, will you please share a short bio with us?
Lex: I’ve been writing stories my whole life. A few years ago, I started writing in an online paranormal serial story. I posted tidbits on my blog and author Jennifer Leeland began telling me I needed to get published because she loved my bits about my characters. I live in Orange County, California with my long haired musician husband and my teenaged daughter. I love loud music, reading hot stories, visiting my friends’ blogs, and building my own computers. Oh, and I have this weird thing about having very vivid dreams about Nikki Sixx.
Jen: Tell us about Shifting Winds and Hot Water and where they are available.
Lex: Shifting Winds and Hot Water are Book One and Two of the Tales of the Darkworld. They were just released on March 5 by Pink Petal Books. I have another novella that came out February 22 at Noble Romance, Sunday’s Child-The Wise Guy, is part of the Child of the Week series and is set in the Darkworld as well, despite not being one of the Tales. It’s a story involving the Magia, the Darkworld immortals with magical powers.
The Tales are stories about the shifters and vampires of the Darkworld. The first two books are about siblings. The two black dragon siblings Declan and Eden Antaeus and the two Acerbian vampire siblings Elysia and Colin Granville. The Tales series also focuses on the death care industry in the Darkworld. Each of the subsequent books in the series involves either one of the Antaeus or Granvilles or someone connected to them.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Lex: I think I was 7 or 8 when I won a poetry contest in elementary school. I suppose that that was my wake up call although I didn’t realize it at the time. In my twenties I wrote a lot of song lyrics and poetry. I wrote my first novel long hand. UGH. I didn’t have a computer back then! It was a horrible story, and long since lost, but it had some excellent elements. My first real published work was The Wise Guy, even though Shifting Winds was my first contract. I actually have a short story coming out from Midnight Showcase in July that was written even before Shifting Winds.
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Lex: I fall in the middle of the plotter vs pantser thing. I have a plot, a loose guideline to follow, but I really let my characters flow and talk to me. They just need to hit my “mile markers” along the way in the story. Mile markers are key bits of the story.
Jen: Do you have a specific time or place that you write?
Lex: I always write at my desk at home, but I just bought an Acer Aspire One netbook so I could be writing more from bed now! No specific time other than the fact that I do have a demanding day job so I never write during the day unless it’s a weekend or a day off.
Jen: How many hours a day do you write?
Lex: I don’t write every day. I have so many other things I do that between them and the day job, it precludes being that disciplined. I mostly write on weekends. When I’m writing in Word Wars online with a group of other authors, I’ve been known to turn out 750 words in a half hour, especially if it’s a sex scene.
Jen: How do you shut out disruptions?
Lex: I shut my bedroom doors and lock the cats OUT. Sometimes I play a little music.
Jen: What did you do to celebrate the sale of your first book?
Lex: I threw a party on Amethyst Winters’ Yahoo group. My daughter and I ordered some food delivered. I bent my husband’s ear unmercifully on the phone about the book. (He was 500 miles away at the time.)
Jen: What five authors or people, from the past or present, have been important to you as an author? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
Lex: My sister Jeannette gave me her copy of Interview with the Vampire on my 17th birthday and told me I HAD to read it. It got me hooked on vamps even though that series petered out for me and I’m no longer a fan of Rice’s top heavy writing. That first book of hers was brilliant though! I got into romances because of a Regency called Leonara by Catherine Fellows. Getting addicted to romances is key to me being where I am today. Jennifer Leeland is who set me on this path to being published. Mary Winter has been teacher, editor, publisher, crit partner, and friend ever since she offered to look at my short story Silver Lining. Dee Carney asked me to join Word Wars and has been the best crit partner ever. No one shreds my work like Dee and I love it! Jen always says I give her way too much credit for me getting published, but the truth of the matter is, until she came along, no one ever told me I COULD do this. It was always, “Pfft. Nice dream.” Each of these five authors had a hand in placing me where I am today, but Jen stands out in my mind. She made me believe her when she said I was frickin brilliant. Until the day she first posted those words on my blog, I’d never realized this was doable… so I owe them all a HUGE thank you!
Jen: If you could date any male character from any of your books, who would it be and why?
Lex: If we’re talking about the books that are already out, it would have to be Declan Antaeus because dragon men have amazing… stamina. If it’s a book that isn’t out yet, it would be Weylyn Randall the werewolf in Book Four of the Tales. Weylyn is bi, hot, and just a tremendous amount of fun in and out of bed.
Jen: If your book was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Lex: If Shifting Winds was a movie, I guess I could see Victor Webster as Declan Antaeus and Naomi Watts as Elysia Granville. For Hot Water, I’d pick Paul Walker as Colin Granville and Famke Janssen as Eden Antaeus.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Lex: Free time? What’s that? LOL Actually, for over 5 years I’ve been immersed in a thoroughbred horse racing sim, DerbyFever.com. I trailers and do graphics. And I’m a submissions editor (not under the Lex Valentine name) for Freya’s Bower and Wild Child Publishing.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Lex: Next up is a short dark tale for the Weirdly anthology for Wild Child Publishing, Fire Season which is Book Three of the Tales for Pink Petal Books, and Rousing Caine, a M/M ghost story I’m subbing to MLR Press for possible inclusion in their ghost anthology. Those are the WIPs I’m currently working on. I have another Darkworld series plotted, Twisted Tales of the Darkworld, where every story is a twist on a fairy tale, nursery rhyme, folktale or legend. Book One of the Twisted’s was subbed to Cobblestone and I hope to hear back from them soon. I have a pair of paranormal erotic romances about twin werewolves that I’m sitting on, because one of the stories is in a contest at Freya’s. I think Weirdly’s out in the fall. Fire Season will be out July 9 if all goes well. And I have a short contemporary romance, Silver Lining, coming from Midnight Showcase in July.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Lex: My “official” author website = http://lexvalentine.com/.
My personal blog = http://sunlightsucks.com/.
The Darkworld = http://talesodthedarkworld.com/.
The Darkworld’s Yahoo group = http://groups.yahoo.com/group/talesofthedarkworld Facebook=Winter Heart, Twitter=lexvalentine and Winterheart, YIM=knacwinterheart, MySpace=cemeterywinter, You Tube=lexvalentineauthor, Goodreads= LexValentine, Manic Readers=Lex Valentine, Flickr=Cemetery Winter
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Lex: I love receiving feedback. If you’ve read my work, please send me an email, leave a comment on my blog, send me a tweet on Twitter… let me know what you liked and didn’t like.
Jen: Thank you Lex for being our guest this weekend. Readers, if you leave a comment on her interview or excerpt, you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of two prizes. Lex is giving away an e-bundle of Shifting Winds and Hot Water and a e-copy of The Wise Guy. Winners of the contest will be chosen on Sunday, March 15 around 5:00 pm.