Interview with A.K. Alexander, Author of Daddy's Home
I started writing when I was nine-years-old. I used to write short stories on my dad’s notepads. One day he read one and he said to me, “You are a writer.” It stuck. My dad is still my biggest supporter and he is also my mentor in many ways. I went to college at The University of Southern California. My parents though didn’t think that “creative writing” at USC was a major that would likely be lucrative in the long run, so I figured I would be logical and look at writing in the journalistic field. God (the Universe), etc. had a different plan for me. Soon after I graduated from USC I gave birth to my first son. He was six weeks premature and he had some health issues, which caused me to decide that going into a career at that time would not benefit my son. So, I stayed home with him and I wrote my first book. That first book is tucked away in a box somewhere because it’s pretty darn bad, but it gave me the confidence I needed to know that I could start, write, and finish a book. From that point on, it took me twelve years to become a published author and several manuscripts. It has been a wonderful and amazing process, and although many challenges have presented themselves along the way, I have never quit writing. It is my passion!
My other passion is Horses. These amazing animals are very dear to my heart and I have been known to take in “strays.” My daughter and I are very active in the horse world. My daughter is involved in pony club and three day eventing.
I enjoy work with other writers when I can , especially kids. I designed a program for young writers to help them learn how to write short stories and picture books to writing complete novellas for older kids. I have mentored several students now and it’s a joyful experience to see young writers and their creative minds at work. It is something I am working on expanding with some local teachers in my area.
Family and friends are extremely important to me. I am the proud mother of three amazing kids who have always supported me and are just great, awesome human beings (yes, I know I sound like every mother in the world about their kids, but I really mean it). My husband is my best friend and a very patient man, which is a real positive—he is married to a writer after all. We also have three dogs, a kitty, and eight horses.
When not writing, riding, or being a taxi-cab driver for my youngest, I try to find time to do a little yoga, meditate or cooking. I love cookbooks and cooking!
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I’ve now written 18 novels in various genres. I am a mom of three ranging in ages from 11-20. I love to cook. I am a passionate horse woman and have 9 horses who I adore. When not writing or taking care of my family, you will find me out with the horses or playing with our dogs. I have always brought home stray dogs and I seem to keep doing it. We are up to 4.
Where did you grow up?
In San Diego County.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
When I was nine and my dad brought home a yearling filly for me named Dandy. I loved that horse!
When did you begin writing?
I can’t remember when I wasn’t writing. I started as a kid and wrote my first novel at 12 in a notebook—about sixty pages. Of course horses were involved!
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I typically write during the day until the late afternoon when my family arrives home. My daughter and I ride up to five days a week so many afternoons are spent with the horses.
What is this book about?
The book is about a really bad man who wants a perfect family. He has his psychotic reasons as he stalks single mothers and their kids. He abducts them and when things don’t go so perfectly he gets rid of them.
What inspired you to write it?
I had been a single parent and I was out on a soccer field with one of my sons when a creepy guy kept watching me. He finally said something so inappropriate to me and scared the heck out of me that I couldn’t wait for the game to finish and get out of there.
Who is your biggest supporter?
My parents, my husband and my kids. I think my Mom is the biggest one though.
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
Not any longer. I actually work with an editor and my very good friend and bestselling author Jessica Park is my “go to girl” for critique.
Who is your favorite author?
Too many to even pick one. I love all genres so I have various favorites within the different genres.
Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?
I have had a few agents over the years, but now I only work with a foreign rights agent and a TV/Film Management team. I manage my own career at this stage of the game and happy to be doing so.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
Bumpy as all hell. It took me twelve years, a couple of hundred rejections. Then after finally publishing (9 mysteries) with Penguin both series were dropped. I went out on my own at that time two years ago and it has been a completely positive and wonderful experience with nearly all of my books hitting bestseller lists including The Wall Street Journal. If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have listened to my entertainment attorney and not signed so many of my rights away on my Wine Lover’s Mysteries!
What is the best investment you have made in promoting our book?
Pump Up Your Book and AuthorBuzz.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Sit on your butt and write. The writing is the key to all of this. Write, write, write with the intention of entertaining readers.
What is up next for you?
I have a new release out in April titled The Grey Tier: A Dead Celeb Mystery. That book is a Michele Scott book. My next A.K. Alexander thriller will be out this summer and it is a sequel to Daddy's Home, so readers will have another chance to read about Holly Jennings.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I just want to say that I am grateful for my readers. They are the reason I do this. I love hearing from them and writing for them. They are an extension of this experience and it has been wonderful to develop a readership of great people.