HELLO FRIENDS, BOY HAVE I GOT A TREAT FOR YOU TODAY! I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO ASK ALEXA LAND SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT HER AWESOME SERIES, FIRSTS AND FOREVER! WE HAVE 12 QUESTIONS, BOOK INFO ON HER LATEST RELEASE, #11 IN THE SERIES, THE DISTANCE, AND EVEN AN AUTHOR BIO AND SOCIAL LINK! STAY TUNED AT THE END OF THE POST FOR INFO ON HOW TO WIN A $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD AND AN EBOOK COPY OF THE DISTANCE! LET'S GET TO IT!!
THANKS ALEXA, FOR JOINING ME TODAY! THIS IS GONNA BE A BLAST! LET'S GET RIGHT TO THE QUESTIONS SHALL WE?
1. When you started Jamie's book did you know you were going to make a huge series out of it? How many books did you have in mind at first?
Oh gosh, I didn’t have a clue when I wrote Way Off Plan! I was a total novice at the time, and I just had this character – Jamie – and wanted to tell his story. It caught me by surprise when his book took off! I’d had the vague idea of writing Charlie’s book after that and had set it up in the first novel, but I had no idea it would turn into a huge series!
Bec- Lucky for us you are sticking with it and every book has been a testament to what a great writer you are!
2. Does fan input determine in part who the next book is about?
To some extent. When I write a new character, I usually already know whether or not he’ll get his own book down the road. But I absolutely do listen when a large number of readers all start clamoring for a particular character’s story!
Bec- (Or one reader who won't leave you alone about a certain someone) Sorry not sorry! LOL, in all seriousness, the way you interact and listen to your fans is another one of the reasons your books are so loved, as are you!
3. Who has been your most challenging character to write to date?
You know, I’m pretty lucky with that, because they’ve all flowed. I think that’s partly because I get to know each main character before I write his book, so I never have to question how to bring him to life. If a character was difficult to write, I’d actually probably put off writing his story, because that would mean I didn’t really understand him and wasn’t ready to tell his tale.
Bec- Ohhhh, nice! I totally get that and it must be a big weight off not to have to feel like you have to force a story, there is always someone waiting in the wings who would like their story told then :P!
4. Who is the character you feel is most like yourself?
Every main character has a bit of me in them, but the ones I really identify with are the quiet introverts. Joshie is so much like me at that age! Trevor is a lot like me too, and so is Nico. It’s funny, after I published All I Believe, which is Nico’s story, a reader in Australia who’s also a good friend (hugs, Kylee!) messaged me and said, “I kept trying to think who Nico reminded me of when I was reading his book. Then I realized it was you!” So yup, quiet introverts all the way! ☺
Bec- Same here, I identify with those guys too, and I love how you make all of your characters strong and yet vulnerable in their own way, it makes them much easier to identify with!
5. Nana is such a fun character, do you find writing her antics is a stress reliever for you?
Funnily enough, no. Just the opposite. Her scenes are the ones I think about the longest and really worry about, because I need them to be hilarious, and there’s a lot of pressure to deliver. Once I finally figure out each Nana scene, then it’s a blast to write and I’ll often be laughing as it’s unfolding on the screen (I’m a total dork, I know)! But writing comedy is kind of a tricky thing, and there’s always that worry – just because I find something funny, will anyone else? Thank goodness the answer is usually yes!
Bec- When you put it that way I can see how that would be stressful! You do such a good job with her though, it is fun to see all the ways she can make us laugh!
6. I love how you have past characters in all your books, do you find it hard to fit them in, or is it easy?
They’re really easy to fit in, but as the series has continued to grow, I’ve realized I don’t need to bring every past character into each book. Some are what I think of as reunion books, like The Distance – I brought almost everyone together for Nana’s wedding. But others, like Zachary’s upcoming book, will only feature a handful of the characters, just the ones who fit into the story organically. Zachary has been on the periphery, so it would feel forced to try to fit all my past couples into his book, aside from the ones he’s actually friends with.
Bec- This is true, and I love seeing guys who aren't in every book, it is like catching up with old friends, it keeps you excited about them, like "Oh! There you are, I have missed you friend!"
7. Do you find it easier to write the lighter books, or the dark ones such as Christopher, Christian and Chance (huh all C's :P), I would think the dark ones would take an emotional toll.
Heh! My next ‘dark’ book is Zachary’s, so I’ve broken my C trend! ☺ It’s fun to write the lighter books, like The Distance, but it’s actually even more rewarding to write the darker ones. There’s something so cathartic about the ‘box of tissues’ books, the ones where I’m crying my eyes out writing them, and I think my readers experience that as well. It’s incredibly emotionally satisfying to get deep into a character’s problems, to cry with them, to feel their struggle, and then to join them as they triumph and overcome huge obstacles.
Bec- That right there is why you as an author and this series as a whole and book by book is so successful, you feel what your characters feel and it shows in the depth of your work!
8. Every one of your fans has a character that is so close to their heart and they identify with, I know you love them all, but is there one you lean toward most?
You know, each of my main characters feel like family. But I always think something magical happened with Christopher Robin. As I said, I was a very new writer when I began the series. The first two books were fun and I loved writing them, but during In Pieces, which is the third book and Christopher Robin’s story, something just clicked for me. His character was so fragile, so layered, and trying to do him justice took my writing to the next level. From that book on, all my stories became longer and far more in-depth. For that reason, and just because I flat-out love him, Christopher Robin will always hold a special place in my heart.
Bec- I thought it might be Christopher! It is no big secret, or a secret at all, but Trevor is my guy, that combo of innocence and strength just got me! I love that everyone has a favorite, and for different reasons, your guys are so well written they have many facets we all can enjoy!
9. Is there an idea you have totally scraped mid book in this series? If so what was it?
Fortunately, no. I usually have a clear idea about where I want a story to go, and rarely remove more than a scene or two (usually just when I feel they’re not moving the story forward).
Bec- That is awesome, and I know it is a big relief to you that you don't have to scrape tons of work, one less thing to stress about! :D
10. I, and I know so many other fans are so excited that this series seems to be open ended, do you plan to just keep on going as long as you feel it is being well received?
Absolutely. Amazingly, every book in the series has done just as well or even better than the ones before it. Since the series shows no signs of declining, there’s no reason to wrap it up. There are still so many characters in need of their HEA, with new ones being introduced all the time. Most importantly, my readers keep asking for more, so there’s no way I’m ending this any time soon!
Bec- Whew! Thank goodness for that! I love that each time we meet a character, I always think, man I need his story! You may never be able to end this series!! :P
11. I was so happy for Jessie to find love, was that a goal for you when you introduced him books ago?
Love is always the goal. ☺ And yeah, I introduced Jessie with the thought of giving him his own book someday. I’m so glad he finally got his HEA in The Distance!
Bec- Jessie is such a fun, sweet guy, I know we all are happy he got his HEA, and from somewhere he never expected to find it too!
12. Zachary is next, can you tell us what the vibe for that story will be, and do you have a rough timeline?
It generally takes me about four months to write a book, so that puts Zachary’s story somewhere around July of this year. It won’t be as light and upbeat as Jessie’s was, because I don’t just want to tell one kind of story. Zachary is a character with secrets and real problems, so his book will go a bit darker. But that means his HEA will feel so incredibly sweet after we follow him through his struggles! ☺
Bec- You know I can't wait for this one! I knew you were gonna keep us grabbing tissues one way or another, be it from laughing or crying! Thanks for answering my questions Alexa, how fun was this! Come back anytime!
HOW GREAT WERE THOSE ANSWERS! BOY WAS THAT FUN! NOW FOR SOME INFO ABOUT THE DISTANCE, IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T GRABBED YOUR COPY YET, AS WELL AS INFO AND THE BLOG LINK FOR ALEXA!
Book Series and Volume: Firsts and Forever Series #11
Author: Alexa Land
About the Author: Alexa Land is an independent author of gay fiction and romance. Her character-driven books include the best-selling Firsts and Forever Series, set in present-day San Francisco, which is currently at eleven volumes and counting. She was born in Southern California and has been on a gradual northern migration ever since, having lived in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and now Oregon.
Publisher: independently published
Genres: Gay, M/M, Gay Romance
Publication date: April 8, 2016
Pages: Approximately 250 (100,000 words)
Content warning: Contains adult language and graphic sex. For adult readers only.MAN THIS HAS BEEN FUN! CLICK BELOW AND LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT THE POST OR BOOK BELOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THE $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD AND AN EBOOK COPY OF THE DISTANCE! THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED TUESDAY, SO GOOD LUCK GUYS, AND COMMENT AWAY!