Author Insights: Interview with Alexi Lawless, Romantic Suspense Author of Complicated Creatures, Part One

Today you meet novelist Alexi Lawless, who abandoned corporate comforts to take on writing. Her first book, Complicated Creatures, is available now.

I love to get inside the author’s mind. Any author is on an adventure, and now you will ride along, so to speak, with Alexi Lawless on HERS.

You’ll see the whole interview in a moment, first, check out the book and my review.

Cover of Complicated Creatures, by Alexi LawlessComplicated Creatures

“It’s normal to love a dangerous woman. They know how to wield their power, and they are not  afraid of yours. They make you work for everything you get and it’s all the sweeter once you get it…”

What happens when curiosity becomes obsession?

From author Alexi LAWLESS, the first part in a provocative series…

Luck is Jack Roman’s middle name— and Chicago is his Empire. He lives to work, loves to play, and makes no commitments. But when the mysterious S. Wyatt moves into the adjoining penthouse, he’s immediately drawn to her, a striking, elusive woman who transitions seamlessly from wood-paneled board rooms to high-stakes, high-risk rescue operations in the most dangerous parts of the world.

Intrigued by her self-possession, aroused by her incredible passion, and disarmed by a vulnerability she cannot hide, Jack pursues her into the nexus of her dangerous present and her enigmatic past. An entire world is revealed to Jack, where living for pleasure becomes fighting for survival. And the only woman he wants may be the one he cannot have…

COMPLICATED CREATURES is a mesmerizing, labyrinthine romantic suspense that will leave you wondering: Do you really want to know everything about the one you love?

To read an Excerpt, scroll back up to the book cover and click on “Look Inside”.

  • “A Stellar Read!”
  • “Alluring, Suspenseful & Compelling…”
  • “Sharp, Lush and Vivid Writing Style”
  • “Warning!! This Book is Addictive!!”

I  gave it a 5-star review on Amazon.

Here is my review of Complicated Creatures.

A romantic suspense novel with real SUBSTANCE!,June 24, 2014 

I love suspense. I sometimes enjoy romance and sometimes not so much. Depends on whether there’s any real emotional depth or not. In this case, there is.

Complicated Creatures excited me, engaged my imagination, and gave me characters with real emotions. Sure, there’s some steam, but the characters truly come across as people. They jump off the page. It’s unusual to find a first time novelist who writes this well.

I love this book and am excited to read the rest of the series.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

I hope you enjoy this interview. Be sure to pick up the book if it interests you, and share this with your friends.

Ronda Del Boccio of interviews Alexi Lawless

Why do you write?

Reading was always my addiction (still is)–and when I stumbled upon Anne Rice at 13 or 14 years old, I was done. I thought, “THIS. This is it. Writing is what I want to do.” I was so certain until I hit my early 20s and started thinking, “Maybe that’s too hard. Maybe I’m not good enough,” and I discovered that while I didn’t have a great and unending passion for business, I was skilled at it. So I detoured for the better part of a decade and climbed the corporate ladder until I got to the rarefied air and thought… What am I doing here? Is this what I even want?

I had exchanged vacations for bonuses, business trips for board meetings, and creative writing for PowerPoint. Until weeks of overtime became years, and I looked up one day and realized I’d given away so much of myself, there was very little left for private ruminations, creative endeavors, and my own dreaming. I lived and breathed work. I was outwardly the symbol of success with all the trappings. But that’s just it… they were trappings. And I’d done it to myself–beguiled my mind into believing the more I had, the happier I’d be. But I knew the following to be true: I was a closet creative in a corporate strategist’s body, and I wanted out. No, I needed out.

When did you write your first piece, and what was it?

Complicated Creatures Part One is my first book.

What author do you most admire and why?

I’m a die-hard Anne Rice fan. She had me at “Lestat.” I think my mother was incredibly worried that my dream man was an 18th century vampire with a penchant for leather pants, hot blood and the debauched streets of the French Quarter. When I read “Exit to Eden” at fourteen, I was pretty certain being a Domme was my intended job description, and may actually explain a great deal of my career path in strategy and management consulting (those hard-ass executives seem to jones the most for chronic abuse after all).

Your bio says you craved strong heroines and decided to write what you want to read. Who are your favorite heroines from books, and what do you most enjoy about them?

I’ve always been a fan of Anne Rice’s heroines. Whether it was Merrick, of the Mayfair witches or Lisa, the whip-wielding dominatrix of Exit to Eden, I liked that her female leads have distinct personalities, their own individual agendas and motivations and while they were flawed characters or had clear issues to work through, they were often smart, self-reliant and gutsy. From more recent work, I really thoroughly enjoyed Olivia Kaspen’s character in Tarryn Fisher’s The Opportunist and Thief. She slices like a knife but still manages to be so vulnerable, it’s easy to relate to her, even if when you’re horrified by her decisions.

Who or what inspired Sam (The heroine from Complicated Creatures?

Honestly, I took what I liked most about male leads in some of my favorite stories and turned the whole thing on its head. I started thinking, “What if James Bond were a woman? What if she was the head of the multinational corporation? What if she led a team of commandos from all over the world–what would that be like?”

And as I considered all the possibilities, she became crystal clear in my mind. I saw a modern Pallas Athena with true grit, style and the kind of savvy we admire but rarely see in female characters in a romance genre. Samantha’s no wilting flower, and she doesn’t want for much, so that makes for an intriguing question–what kind of man can get a woman like that? And would she even let him?

What’s your favorite line of dialogue from the book?

I have several, but one of them is, “It’s not compromise if it doesn’t sting just a little bit on both sides, now is it?”

So many people write stories that languish in a drawer or on a computer. What caused you to seek a publisher?

I think the old saying about a passion not being a coincidence is true. It’s a life calling. It’ll find you eventually. Or you will find it. Either way, writing professionally was just a matter of time for me. I guess I figured– why not sooner than later?

What were your biggest challenges?

Getting over my preconceived notions of what the book “should” be and just letting it develop was and is the most difficult thing about writing for me. I came from a life of extreme organization and process-orientation in corporate. Hell, I was paid to strategize and keep people on task. It’s hard to step away from years of practice and my magnified Type-A personality to let creativity do what it does– weave, turn and flow.

Truth is, the more I let the story happen, the better it got. That’s not to say I took my eye off the ball, but sometimes, better to let it bounce than to keep it tightly gripped, you know?

What’s the most fun or interesting thing you’ve done to market your book?

The whole process has been fascinating – and exhausting – but I’m learning a lot, and I’ll need all this experience because Complicated Creatures Part Two comes out in August.

What are your writing rituals?

– best time to write? It really depends on the scene; some of the more complicated plot scenes were best tackled with a fresh night’s sleep, while some of the steamy scenes only took hold after a couple of glasses of good wine.

– best writing environment? A lot of the time, I wrote while I was on the road…

– favorite beverage? Bourbon, or a good red wine.

music or silence? Music is a must!

– IF music, what did you listen to while writing CC? Check out my playlist

– Anything else? (Do tell!) My favorite scenes to write were the Somalia scenes. They flowed out of me and were only edited a couple of times. They were also last-minute additions to the book to show Sam in action since I didn’t feel there was enough of her in the mix in the original manuscript.

What do you do to stick to your writing goals or deadlines?

I think that’s where the corporate side of me really helps; I write like it’s my JOB.

What do you do for fun?

Read, travel, write, listen to great tunes. And shop for shoes.

What has surprised you most about your author journey thus far?

The book and the characters truly do take on a life of their own. I’m just along for the ride!

Complicated Creatures Part One is the debut of a five-part series:

  •  Part One, which is available now.
  •  Novella 1.5, which will hopefully be ready sometime in July to people who sign up on my website.
  •  Part Two, which will be available at the end of the summer.
  •  Novella 2.5, which will come out in the fall.
  •  The Prequel to Complicated Creatures which will be a full-length YA story about Sam when she goes to college, available around Christmas/New Year’s. And finally…
  •  Part Three, the conclusion to the Complicated Creatures series, available this time next year.

How to connect with Alexi

A HUGE Awakened Author THANK YOU to Alexi Lawless. I’ve been getting to know her, and she’s quite an interesting person. Use the hashtag #AwakenedAuthor across the social web to connect.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

One last thing…

Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady - Follow Your B.L.I.S.S.!I’m Ronda Del Boccio, a best selling, award-winning author of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Most of my tales take you on adventures that deepen your understanding of what it means to be alive. I also turn visionaries into best selling books. Curious? Start by getting Awakened Author Tips & Tools.

Connect: My books on AmazonFacebookTwitter

PS Are you a current or budding author who could use a little help along your own adventure Get weekly success tips and tools FREE, plus a cool set of tools to keep you going. Join free now!


Visit the other stops on the Lawless virtual Book Tour

06/25/2014        MomsGetReal                                         Launch celebration

06/26/2014        Literary Nymphs Hotlist                       Spotlight

06/27/2014        Write on Purpose                                   Interview

06/28/2014        DadsGetReal                                            Guest post

06/29/2014        MomsGetReal                                         Guest post

06/30/2014        MamaKitty Reviews                              Spotlight

06/30/2014        Life With Two Boys                                Spotlight

07/01/2014        You Gotta Read Reviews                     Interview

07/02/2014        Sizzling Hot Books                                   Spotlight

07/07/2014        My Crafty Life                                          Guest post

07/10/2014        KrissysBookshelf                                     Review

07/13/2014        Meghan’s Mindless Mutterings        Review

07/14/2014        Ellie Reads Fiction                                   Spotlight

07/19/2014        twoclassychics                                         Spotlight

07/21/2014        Word Wenches Guilty Pleasure        Spotlight

07/22/2014        Booklover Sue                                         Spotlight

07/24/2014        Erotica For All                                           Guest post

07/29/2014        Cowgirls Wear Tiaras Too                    Review

07/31/2014        Rowan’s mom’s blog                             Guest post