This week’s featured author is Alyssa Drake
I’m so pleased to spotlight Alyssa Drake on my blog this week as a featured author. Before we get to the interview, let’s learn a little bit more about Alyssa.
Author Alyssa Drake has been creating stories since she could read, preferring to construct her own bedtime tales instead of reading the titles in her bookshelves. Enraptured with all types of writing, Alyssa has tried her hand at short stories, collaborations and poetry. However, her first love has always been books. She thoroughly enjoys strong heroines and often laughs aloud when visualizing conversations between her characters.
Alyssa graduated from the University of the Pacific, with a B.S. in business and a concentration in French literature. Currently she resides in Northern California with her blended family, where she works full-time at a chocolate factory.
She believes everyone is motivated by love of someone or something. One of her favorite diversions is fabricating stories about strangers surrounding her on public transportation. Alyssa can often be found madly scribbling notes on a train or daydreaming out the window as the scenery whips past.
A Perfect Plan is Alyssa’s first full-length novel. Her sophomore novel, An Imperfect Engagement, is awaiting its release date.
Tell us about your latest release?
I am between releases. My first novel, A Perfect Plan was released May 20, 2016. It is the story of Samantha, the headstrong sister of the deceased Earl of Hastings. She wants no man to run her life, especially not Lord Benjamin Westwood, her brother’s best friend and her supposed guardian. With a long season of eager suitors waiting, Samantha dreams of escape. Unable to fight his growing attraction, Benjamin proposes a marriage of convenience, allowing him to woo Samantha without distraction. When they discover the Earl’s disappearance was due to foul play, Samantha is in grave danger and Benjamin is running out of time to save the one woman he truly loves.
My second novel, An Imperfect Engagement is currently with my publisher, pending its release date. Its blurb is below.
Kidnapped by the man who murdered her father, nearly beaten to death and severely poisoned. So far, Samantha Hastings’ engagement to Lord Benjamin Westwood has been rocky at best.
When the killer revels his venomous revenge plot had assistance, the Hastings and Westwood families must band together to defend themselves against a new threat. Samantha develops a risky plan to drawn the accomplice out of hiding, but this scheme may cost her more than she is willing to sacrifice.
The masked ball approaching and Samantha may not survive until her wedding day because – by the end of the evening – at least one person will die…
Are you a plotter or pantser?
I am a plotter. I planned out the bones of all three books and have been allowing the characters to lead me through the story.
What was the most difficult part of the publishing process for you?
The most difficult part for me is the self-promotion aspect. Silly me, I thought all you had to do was write the book. That is not true. Selling a book is the hardest part.
How about the most fun?
I love writing the conversations between characters. Some of them are so amusing I cannot help laughing aloud – which tends to draw looks on the train.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I have been writing ever since I was a child; more like a hobby. However, my scribbling became more concentrated when I moved to the opposite side of the bay. With the increase in my commute I needed a way to entertain myself while riding on the train. Mirroring the Amtrak Author Residency program, I began writing during my commute.
Do you have any writing rituals? (Time of day to write, must have beverages? Etc?)
My best writing occurs in the morning when I am on the train and everything is written by hand. This helps to submerge my imagination in the story; music and coffee are necessities to nurture my creative side. During lunch, I type everything into the computer, using that first opportunity for an edit and re-write. Then I print everything out. Using the printed copies, I make notes, changes, edits and other thoughts along the margins.
Who is your go-to author, the one you know you can always count on to deliver a great story?
Actually one of the best story-tellers is Stephan King. I always know when I pick up one of his books that I am in for a wild ride with unforgettable characters. That man is pure magic when it comes to writing.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to read! Shocking, not really. I love spending time with my children, going for walks, swimming, playing games – they keep me young.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story has a strong, believable plot, well-developed characters and detailed description of the setting without detracting from the overall direction of the book.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actress. I took several acting classes when I was younger, but experienced a soul-ripping, portrayal of a character from which I was unable to detach. I decided ripping my heart out on a nightly basis was not a future career choice.
11) What projects are you working on at the present?
I am working on the third book in the Wiltshire Chronicles series, A Perfect Deception.
12) What do your plans for future projects include?
I would like to branch into other types of romance, specifically paranormal, but I continue to get drawn back into Wiltshire; some day perhaps. In the meantime, the Flannery family (mentioned in the 2nd and 3rd books), may be due for their own Wiltshire series.
THIS OR THAT
- Breakfast or no breakfast? Breakfast
- Eggs or pancakes? Pancakes, unless I’m pregnant, then eggs
- Pork Bacon or Turkey Bacon? Turkey Bacon
- Scrambled or Over Easy Eggs? Over Medium (not a choice, but my favorite)
- White or Wheat Bread? Wheat bread
- Macaroni Salad or Potato Salad? Potato Salad
- Mashed Potatoes or Baked Potatoes? Baked
- Hot Dogs or Hamburgers? Hamburgers
- Cookie Dough or Cookies from Scratch? Cookie from Scratch
- Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie? Pumpkin
- Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt? Fro Yo
- Taco Bell or McDonalds? McD
- Carrabba’s or Olive Garden? Olive Garden
- Sweet or Sour? Sweet
- Sushi or Smoked Fish? Sushi
- Chicken Nuggets or Chicken Fingers? Fingers
- French Fries or Salad? French Fries
- Pringles or Lays? Pringles
- Salt and Vinegar or Sour Cream and Onion? Sour Cream & Onion
- Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
- Surge Soda or Mellow Yellow? – never heard of either one
- Black Coffee or Cream and Sugar? Cream & Sugar
- Gatorade or Powerade? Gatorade
Buy links For Alyssa Drake’s Books
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/612831
“This needs to be a TV series or something! Dark, sexy, mystery, romance. Oh Lordy, Ms. Drake can write some books! This book is a must read, even for someone who doesn’t particularly read romance novels. If you enjoy a good read with some mystery, read this one.”
Angeli – The Romance Reviews
“Reading this book made me realize just how much I used to love historical romances…Amanda Quick, Johanna Lindsey, Lisa Kleypas…I absolutely loved this book! Alyssa Drake did such a wonderful job weaving in an exciting mystery and love story with A Perfect Plan.”
J.L. Leslie author of the Zane series and the Morgan Family series
“This book is Pride & Prejudice with sizzle and shock! Alyssa Drake mastered the era with so much grace! The way she incorporated the period into the plot was fantastic! This was up there with Jane Austin in that classic sense, but with snap and saucy spice! So well written I don’t know where to start!”
Historical romance author, Nicole Strycharz