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Interview: A.K. Alexander, Author of Daddy’s Home

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A.K. Alexander started writing when she was nine-years-old. She used to write short stories in her dad’s notepads. One day he read one of her stories and said to her, “You are a writer.” These words quickly stuck. A.K. Alexander’s dad is still her biggest supporter, and he is also her mentor in many ways.

Ms. Alexander went to college at The University of Southern California, though her parents didn’t think that “creative writing” at USC was a major that would likely be lucrative in the long run.  This thinking led her to be logical and look at writing in the journalistic field. God (the Universe), etc. had a different plan for Ms. Alexander, however. Soon after she graduated from USC she gave birth to her first son. He was six weeks premature, and he had some health issues, which caused her to decide that going into a career at that time would not benefit her son. So, she stayed home with him and wrote her first book. That first book is tucked away in a box somewhere because it’s pretty darn bad, but it gave her the confidence she needed to know that she could start, write, and finish a book.

From that point on, it took A.K. Alexander twelve years to become a published author as well as several manuscripts. It has been a wonderful and amazing process, and although many challenges have presented themselves along the way, she has never quit writing. It is her passion!

Ms. Alexander’s other passion is horses. These amazing animals are very dear to her heart, and she has been known to take in “strays.” A.K Alexander and her daughter are very active in the horse world. Her daughter is involved in pony club and three day eventing.

She also enjoys working with other writers whenever she has the chance, especially kids. She 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. Ms. Alexander has also mentored several students and finds it to be a joyful experience to see young writers and their creative minds at work. It is something that she is working on expanding with some local teachers in her area.

Family and friends are extremely important to A.K. Alexander. She is the proud mother of three amazing kids who have always supported her and are “just great, awesome human beings” (Ms. Alexander confesses: “Yes, I know I sound like every mother in the world about their kids, but I really mean it.”). Ms. Alexander’s husband is her best friend and a very patient man, which is a real positive — he is married to a writer after all. They also have three dogs, a kitty, and eight horses.

When not writing, riding, or being a taxi-cab driver for her youngest, she tries to find time to do a little yoga, meditate or cooking. She also loves cookbooks and cooking!

A.K.’s recent release is Daddy’s Home.

You can visit her website at www.michelescott.com/books/ak-alexander.

Please tell us a bit about your book and what you hope readers take away from reading it.

The book is about a serial killer who stalks single moms and their kids. He abducts who he thinks will make up his ideal of a perfect family. When things don’t go as perfect as this sicko wants them to, he kills his victims. Holly Jennings is the investigator on the case and she is also a single mom, so these cases become personal to her. There is a little romance in the book as well as Holly develops feelings for Brendan O’ Neil. I want readers to be reminded that one can never be too trusting of others. I don’t mean to sound paranoid, but this book stemmed from an event that happened to me when I was a single parent. It wasn’t horrific like in the book, but it was creepy and scary, and it was the catalyst for writing the book.

Who are your favorite characters in the story?  

Holly Jennings is my favorite character because she is tough and gritty, and also kind and loving with her daughter. I also like Brendan because he is a good guy, and Holly deserves a good guy in her life.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?

The first excerpt and the last lines are probably my favorite. They show the reader exactly who Holly is. Once the reader learns of what this bad man has done, I think they will likely feel as Holly does about him in this first excerpt. If I give you the last line, I will give the ending away, so I can’t do that.

Holly Jennings wanted to get this son of a bitch. She needed to see him stretched out, strapped down on a gurney. She yearned to watch the hypo hooked up to his veins, releasing the venomous fluid that would flow through his body, causing it to gradually shut down. Better yet, Holly wanted to take her nine-millimeter Glock, put it to his temple, and pull the trigger.

If your current release were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why?

I would love to see Ashley Judd play Holly because I think she can embody that tough chick persona and still be a lady. Hugh Jackman would make an awesome Brendan. He’s got the looks that Brendan has, and I think he and Ashley would have great chemistry. Leonardo Di Caprio would make a great evil serial killer. He’s handsome and charming, and women would fall for that. I think the guy could do anything on the screen, and he would be awesome in the part of the killer.

What are your favorite aspects of writing?

Creating the story from characters and idea. I love when it’s brewing in my head and then things start clicking. I feel really alive when I am creating.

Your least favorite aspects of writing?

I don’t know how to type. I hunt and peck, so you can imagine the mistakes I make. I have to constantly go back and edit a ton and I still miss stuff. I hate that!

Who are some of your favorite authors/books?

James Patterson is the master at thrillers. I love Jane Smiley, especially Horse Heaven, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehllo, books by Jilly Cooper are pure fun and they have horses in them.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading two biographies. One is on Bob Marley and the other Janis Joplin. I’m also re-reading Charlaine Harris’ Dead Until Dawn.

If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors — dead or alive — who would they be and what would you serve them?

My friend Jessica Park who is hysterical and an awesome writer, Harlan Coben because he seems nice and really cool, Steven King just because I think it would be super interesting, John Grisham because I think he would be wonderful to listen to and he’s easy on the eyes, and William Nack who wrote Secretariat because anything to do with horses especially one as great as Secretariat gets my attention.

I’d serve carnitas. I make great carnitas with fresh salsa. People always come back for seconds. There would definitely be margaritas involved.

What is a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?

The Alchemist. It’s a beautifully told tale that has so much to do with creating life. There are messages in that book that don’t hit you over the head but make you think. I loved everything about it.

What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?

I heard this once from Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One). He told me, “Bum Glue. Place some glue on the seat and sit your bum in it and write. That’s how books get written.”

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