Monday, September 19, 2011

Jerrie Alexander

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday


I am thrilled to be featuring another one of my chapter mates from the North Texas Romance Writers of America and a fellow romantic suspense author. Jerrie is delightfully witty. I truly enjoyed working with her on this interview.

Let's get to know Jerrie!

 What made you decide to write?  What did you do before becoming a writer? 
I’d always wanted to write, studied journalism, but it wasn’t until I took a creative writing class, I found my love. Before becoming a writer? Funny, I went to work so we could afford to buy me a new car. Years and promotions flew by before I knew it. As a female in logistics, a field where men dominated, I had the opportunity to learn a great deal first hand about the way the male mind thinks, talks, and reacts. Not that anyone could really understand that jumble of nerves. (smile) I try and use those experiences in my male characters.

Do you have a writing routine? What does it look like? Where do you usually write?  
I have my office at home, and I’m surrounded by bookshelves. I try to write something everyday. Doesn’t always work out, but I try.

Is the life of a writer what you thought it be? What is different?
 You know, I didn’t expect it to be easy. It’s work, requires lots of study and practice. The good thing is I enjoy learning and improving. The more I learn the stronger my characters become.

 Tell us about your great news! I hear you are signing a book deal, winning contests,  all kinds of terrific stuff. 
I’m thrilled to say I signed with The Wild Rose Press to publish The Green Eyed Doll. It’s the story of a young woman running from her past. She falls for a sheriff hunting a murderer who paints his victims’ faces to look like a porcelain doll. As we all know...Keeping secrets can get you killed...The contest news? I’m excited that The Last Execution placed first in the Celtic Hearts contest and is a finalist in The Catherine contest. Placements to be announced in October.

Do you have any special time management tricks for working in writing time and living a normal life? 
I push back from the computer and make time. It’s a must to keep my bearings and retain what little sanity I have left.(just joking.) It refreshes and refills my soul to spend time with my family and friends.

 What is the best advice you have received about this journey?  
That’s an easy one and the advice wasn’t given directly to me. Nora Roberts addressed the RWA conference in Orlando. I can’t quote her exactly. Her message? “Write the damn book.” No one cares like you whether or not you finish or sell the book. Family, friends, coworkers, sure they care but not with the abiding need that drives you as an author.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were starting out? That you had to develop a thick hide. Rejections don’t mean you haven’t written a good book. It means the story didn’t resonate with that particular reader.

What do you do to fight burnout? Do you ever worry about "running out of stories"? How do you combat that? 
That question made me laugh. I know a couple of people who could testify when I finish a book I’m convinced I’ll never have another original idea again. That I never write another word. Then something clicks and I’m off and running. I don’t combat it. I just keep pushing forward.

What kind of scenes do you have a hard time writing?
When there are multiple characters in a room, I get four or five people together, and I have to figure out how to distinguish between them without using the old he said or she said.

Do you ever write material based on your close relationships, such as a best friend?, and how do you balance that material with the need to tell an interesting story?
 There are a few scenes I’ve used from real life. One phrase comes from my best friend who refuses to eat at a fast food restaurant... she refers to them as Squat and Gobbles. She’s single and loves that I’ve used some of her comments and situations.

 What sources do you use for inspiration? ( Music, movies, people watching)
Books, books, and more books. I read a lot. Good authors inspire me. I want to be Allison Brennanwhen I grow up. Okay...too late for that. I’d like to see my work on the shelf with hers.

 What do you do when you aren’t writing?  
Other than read. Spend time with friends and family. My grand daughter is great fun and keeps me running.

 Tell us a bit about your work in progress.  
In The Last Execution, a homicide detective who believes in nurture versus nature decided not to give her child away. When her rapist is paroled and sets out for revenge, she’ll have to decide whether or not to trust the four-word-sentence speaking FBI agent on whose team she’s been temporarily assigned.

What is next for you?
I’m just past that stage I told you know never coming up with another story. I’m shopping The Last Execution, and have started a new wip about human trafficking and two ex-lovers reuniting. The working title is Hell or High Water.

 How can we find out more about you? Blogs? Facebook? Twitter? 
Everywhere except a personal blog.  @jerriealexander
I love to hear from people...look me up!

                     We should probably confess to your readers that you and I are not related! At least as far as we know.

Thank you, Dawn for having me here today. I look forward to hearing from your followers. 
 Thank you so much for chatting with us. It has been a pleasure.
                     May I ask a question? Blond or brunette for your hero...what’s your preference? I know my answer. What's your favorite?


Carol Ann said...

It was fun learning more about you and your writing journey, Jerrie. Sounds like you have some fantastic stories coming up in addition to The Green-Eyed Doll. Wishing you the best of luck in all your endeavors. Thanks for the great interview, ladies!

Barb Han said...

Hi Jerrie,

Love, love the term Squat and Gobble for fast food! Thanks for sharing your journey. I can't wait to see The Green-Eyed Doll when it's published.

Take care,


P.L. Parker said...

Looking forward to the release. Great post. Enjoyed getting to know you.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Jerrie, I just loved this interview both the questions and answers. Well done! Your plots sound so mainstream. What would you say to this statement. Are you romantic suspense or mainstream with romantic elements. You sound grounded, and that's so critical for an author. Can't wait to read the rest of The Green Eyed Doll!

Jerrie Alexander said...

Carol, Barb and P.L., thanks for stopping by my first guest blog as a published author. I don't have a release date, but I'm excited!

An extra thanks to Dawn for giving us newbies a chance to talk about ourselves.

I just read Riley's Journey written by P.L. and if you love time travel, this is the book!

Jerrie Alexander said...

Donnell, funny you should ask. Angi Morgan is reading my recently completed work, The Last Execution. She said the genre was a lot like yours. It was a huge compliment to me! She tagged my work a cross-genre, and I agree. It's a blend of romantic suspense and contemporary romance. Murder and love...I use a heavy dose of each.

Congrats on your new release, The Past Came Calling, I'm dying to read it.

Anonymous said...

I love the opportunity to get to know the background of the authors. Makes reading the books so much more fun! Can't wait for the Green Eyed Doll to come out...and good luck with The Last Execution, Jerrie!!

Alyson Reuben said...

I can't wait to read The Green Eyed Doll, Jerrie!

LOL about the 'Squat and Gobbles'. I like that you use your friend's quotes. In my opinion, assigning real quotes and gestures to characters makes them more believable, leaving a lasting impression in readers' minds.

I like the premise for The Last Execution, too (great title, btw). Sounds chilling, in a totally intriguing way!

Calisa Rhose said...

Welcome to the garden Jerri. The Green Eyed Doll sounds great. I love the squat and gobble! Hilarious!

Congrats on the contest finals!

Loree Huebner said...

Nice to meet you, Jerrie.

My answer is blond.

Jerrie Alexander said...

Thanks Alyson and Calisa. I make an effort to add a touch of humor to my books. My killer plays havoc on a large number of people, so a break in the pressure gives the reader a chance to breath before we kill the next person.

Calisa, signing the contract put a stop to my entering contests. I'll save a little money. :)

I have to tell everybody about Alyson's book, A Beautiful Cage. It's awesome, exciting, tense and touching. When an author can touch the reader with words like Alyson, I'd say she did a great job.

Jerrie Alexander said...

Loree! Finally, an answer to my question. I have to agree with you since my husband is blond, but I also lean toward the dark haired Roarke in the J.D. Robb series or Gerard Butler in anything!

Angi Morgan said...

Excellent Interview. Always great getting to know someone I already know. :-)


Jerrie Alexander said...

Hey Angi! Thanks for stopping by! Now you know all my little secrets...well, maybe not all.

Kym said...

Jerrie, you are a riot! Loved reading your first guest blog. Dark haired heroes all the way! Will Green-Eyed Doll keep its original title?

Jerrie Alexander said...

Thanks Kym! My friend has used that phrase for years and sicks by her guns. If you eating with her, it won't be a big Mac!

I'm hoping they'll use my title, so much of the book revolves around the image of a green eyed porcelain doll and the killer's quest to replace one.

Jerrie Alexander said...

Hey ya'll! I'm running off to a volleyball game, but I'll check in when we get back. Go Owls!

Brandie Nickerson said...

Great interview Jerrie and congratulations on your sale and contest finals!

Brandie N.

Debra St. John said...

Hi Jerrie,

Congrats on your contract and upcoming release.

It's never too late to be something when you grow up!!


Jerrie Alexander said...

Thanks for stopping by Brandie and Debra! And extra thanks to Dawn for having me as a guest today! It was great fun.

ps...the girls won!

Dawn Alexander said...

Wow! I have been away from the computer all day and y'all have been having tons of fun without me!
Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by to support Jerrie.

I happen to be very fond of romantic suspense so I am particularly excited to read her work.

Also, it looks like several of you have new releases. Feel free to email me and I would love to feature you and your book!

By the way, I am all about the dark haired hero. Blond have never done much for me! Roarke (oh, be still my heart!) and Gerald Butler *sigh*

Jerrie~ Glad to hear the girls won!

Dawn Alexander said...

I had to include this post from Marsha. She is having issues with Blogger, but her comment was too go to keep to myself :)

Great picture, Jerrie. Love this blog, Dawn, good questions. I can testify to
how unfun Jerrie is when she's between books and believes she'll never write
another one, much less a good one. Those of us who've read her work want to
say, "Get over it." We grit our teeth through the angst until the next idea is
birthed. Congrats on your first blog, Jerrie. One of many on your way to
getting on the shelf near Allison. I'll be first in line to buy Doll when it
comes out. (Well, right behind you. LOL) Marsha

Regina Richards said...

Great interview, Jerrie!

Clover Autrey said...

Sorry I didn't see this sooner. Fun getting to know you a little bit better. Can't wait for Green eyed Doll to come out.