Welcome, Alaina Drake.
How would you describe your writing style in only three words?
Alaina: Driven by characters.
If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?
Alaina: I would like to have a friendship with Hannah, my heroine in Forbidden Touch. When I set out to write this book, I wanted to create a female character that women would like. In so much of contemporary romance, I find the heroines to be difficult to relate to. Either they have hard edges with not enough compassion or self-actualization, or they are waifs who are led around by their lust. All women can point to their favorite “book-boyfriends,” the guys of romance novels that grace the covers with their rock-hard abs and those delicious jeans that hang from those narrow hips. We’ve all read them; we’ve all loved them to a certain degree. But when I ask fellow women readers to name their favorite heroine, they stumble. Why is that? Are women more inherently critical of other women? Do we read romances only for the heroes or do we truly value the transformation of a strong yet vulnerable woman? Why is it that so many women have trouble relating to romance heroines? Is it a problem if we don’t? I wanted to explore those questions, and as I wrote Hannah in Forbidden Touch, I fell in love with her for her strength, her ability to laugh, her courage late in the book (something that really surprised me when it happened), and so much more. She was a heroine that I could see as a friend of mine, and that’s what spurred me to write a four book series that centers around Hannah and her friendship with three other women.
If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?
Alaina: In Forbidden Touch, there is a scene where Hannah and Beckett meet for the first time. I would really like to see the look in his eyes as Hannah comes onto him. I want to see her confidence as she approaches him, something that rarely happens in contemporary romances. I find the electricity of the first meeting to be the most difficult to write because I struggle with the words to communicate the attraction between them. I would love to be a “fly on the wall” in that room when they first meet if only to say “yep, that’s what I thought it looked like.”
Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?
Alaina: I’m going to show my English Professor roots here. My master’s degree is in nineteenth-century literature, so I would probably invite Jane Austen for her wit and dialogue, Walt Whitman for his lyricism, Mark Twain for his humor, and Kate Chopin for her symbolism. Hmmm…I just noticed I invited two men and two women…I truly am a romance writer at heart! I would serve pizza from a local pizza place because I’m a terrible cook. But, I could pair an amazing wine with the pizza—let’s say a crisp Riesling to start us out!
If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?
Alaina: I would love to write a play someday. I studied Shakespeare extensively, and although I would never claim to have a fraction of his genius, he made me fall in love with plays. I love the idea that I’d get to write the spoken word—that people would interact with my writing in a much different way than flipping through the pages of a book. I would love to see how the actors and actresses interpreted the writing, and I would love to get away with no more dialogue tags! Hooray!
What do you dislike the most about being an author?
Alaina: This is my first novel, so the process of querying and finding the right match is still fresh in my mind. I am a sensitive person who needed to get a tougher skin for this business, and I had to develop it quickly. I was shocked by the lack of personal responses, the lack of responses at all sometimes, but I’m forever grateful that my editor at Accent Press saw the potential in a new author. The payoff so far has been worth all the heartache of querying.
Favourite word? Alaina: Apolmb—the world doesn’t have enough of it.
Alaina Drake was in the naughty chair, author of: Forbidden Touch; releasing September 25th 2015.
Published by Accent Press.
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