Visiting today is author Vicktor Alexander! He’s my second victim to answer the new Interview Questions, and I’m so glad he agreed to do this! I learned a lot about him while formatting the post, and one of those things is that we have a LOT in common! (Ten was my first/fav Doctor, too!)
So, read on! You’ll find it fun and interesting, and you’ll get to learn about Vicktor’s new release, Raising Shawna!
PLEASE WELCOME AUTHOR VICKTOR ALEXANDER!
1. Which genre are you most/best known for?
I’d guess it would probably be paranormal. I love being able to make the impossible possible. To delve into the recesses of my mind ask, “what if?” and then make it so. So a lot of my books follow that vein. Wolf-shifting cowboys, men who can get pregnant, the spirit of a man’s dead twin brother inhabiting the body of his adopted daughter, stuff like that.
2. Which of your projects are you best known for?
LOL. Definitely the Tate Pack series. I get readers all the time who ask me “How did I not know you wrote _____” because they’ve been obsessed with my Tate pack series since it started. Those cowboys have seriously gotten themselves a following. Though I think it’s mostly Tommy. He’s a little spitfire who seems to be everyone’s favorite.
3. Do you have a ‘signature’ or a ‘trademark’ feature in your work? If yes, was it accidental, or intentionally developed?
As far as sexually I’d have to say that there will always, ALWAYS be a rimming scene. Like ALWAYS. I’ve tried to not write it but it happens regardless. Perhaps it’s because that’s my favorite thing to do and my characters know that, but whatever the reason, every book I’ve written has a rimming scene, at least one, in it.
In general terms, every book has a broken character or some deep lesson to be learned in it. I love writing. It’s cathartic for me, but more than that I see it as an avenue for me to try and invoke change, so I weave nuggets of that change in my stories. Whether it’s overcoming an abusive relationship in Inconceivable and discovering your strength, dealing with grief, loss, pain and embracing your self-worth in Impossible, or overcoming drug addiction, racism, homophobia, and embracing a new family when you’ve lost your own like in Raising Shawna, there’s always some kind of lesson in the book blended in between the sex, the laughter, and the drama.
4. What work did you do to develop your craft in preparation for becoming a ‘professional’?
First I started writing longhand. Little short stories that I shared with my friends and family. I’ve been doing that since I was a kid, though. Then I had a blog and it was actually someone who read my blog who told me that I should take one of my blog stories and get it published. That story became Unthinkable, the first book in the Tate pack series. I’ve taken Creative Writing classes at college, written free shorts for friends, for my Yahoo group, for the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads. I never stop writing. Even if it’s a scathing letter to a member of Congress, the Senate, the President or someone else, I’m always writing.
5. What work do you do now, to improve your craft?
Same as above. I’m always writing. One of the biggest things I do is I constantly stretch myself by writing things outside of what I normally write. I try my hand at contemporary stories, non-fiction, mystery/thriller, poetry… I even have a few books that are mainstream M/F romance that I write in every so often.
6. Which aspect of your craft seemed to come easiest to you, early on? Has it changed with time and/or experience?
LOL. Writing the sex! Or at least imagining the different positions and places. The sex and the different ways the main characters would tell each other that they loved each other. Those things come easily to me. Maybe it’s because I’m a Scorpio, but when I start a book my brain usually jumps ahead to the first sex scene. It may take me a while to get to it (like in Raising Shawna, I thought Shane and Tucker were going to be fucking MONKS) but I know how it’s going to go. I also know if and when the characters are going to say “I Love You” to each other. They don’t always say it to each other (I believe I had a reader ask me if Tal and Blaze from The Alpha King actually loved each other because she couldn’t “find” where they “actually said it”. I told her to read the book again, because it was pretty clear that they said it repeatedly), at least not verbally, but it’s there.
7. Which aspect of your craft was the most difficult for you to master? Do you still struggle with it? Is there a new aspect you find you need to work on?
I get lost in providing detailed descriptions because, um… hello? Aren’t the readers in my head? Can’t they SEE where everything is and what everyone looks like? But the rest of it? Like dialogue and the sex stuff? I’m good at that.
I also seem to have an insane love affair with the word “that.” It’s a problem. I know my editors cringe when they see one of my manuscripts come into their inbox. Even though I’m a WHOLE lot better than what I was like two years ago, or even a year ago, I still have an issue with that (see?) and leaving words out of sentences every so often. That happens because I type so fast that my brain and my fingers can’t always keep up with each other and one of them is usually behind each other, or ahead of the other, or you know, whatever. LOL.
8. Is the work you’re best known for, the work you’re most proud of? If not, which work are you most proud of?
Well, I’m best known for The Tate Pack series, but I’d have to say that my most recent release, Raising Shawna, is the book I’m MOST proud of to-date. There is so much heart in Raising Shawna, so much laughter, love, joy, so much angst, sex (once Shane and Tucker get going they are like ravenous BEASTS), there is so much to be learned and so much soul and spirit in the book that I love it. I really feel like I bled all over that book and the fact that it made my editor cry fills me with such happiness (totally was NOT my intention, but I figure if I cried while I wrote it someone else should cry too right?). Raising Shawna is definitely the book I’m most proud of at this point in my career.
9. None of us work in a vacuum. We all depend on others to help us fully develop our creative projects. My beta reader and my MLR editor are absolutely critical to me. With regard to developing your craft, who are you most reliant on and appreciative of?
Oh man, who am I NOT reliant on? First there is Lor Rose. She is my Jiminy Cricket of my writing career. She keeps me in line and on track. She says “NO VIC! YOU CANNOT ADD FIVE NEW SERIES TO YOUR WORK IN PROGRESS LIST! YOU HAVE OVER 300 ALREADY. FINISH WHAT YOU ALREADY STARTED!” She’s the one I bounce ideas off of and is the one who tells me when an idea is too crazy, the right amount of crazy or not crazy enough. She also tells me when I need to take a break. “You’re trying to kill off your main characters… are you having a bad day? Maybe you should take the day off.”
Then there is one of my beta readers Pat Fischer. She reads everything when I finish it. She catches the words I miss, the characters whose name I mix up, and we’ve been working together for so long that usually she knows what I mean even when the sentence is so fracking convoluted that it would make NO sense to anyone else.
Author Toni Griffin is another person who helps me develop my craft. She beta reads a few of my books when she has time and really helps me from an author standpoint more than from a reader standpoint. And the greatest thing is that usually at the end of it all I get the email from her where she’s telling me what to write next. Which keeps me on track.
There’s Beany, a reader, who stays on my Facebook and constantly reminds me of stories that I’ve promised to write and helps me stick to my schedule.
My sister, Shi, who helps me with little administrative writing things that I can’t do so that I can focus more on writing and has no problem sitting next to me sometimes while I play on Facebook in order to tell me when it’s time to get back to work and my daughter, Catrina, who texts or calls me daily and asks me “How’s your writing going?”
And then White Chocolate (a man who will go unnamed because I am SERIOUSLY crushing on him and plus that’s my nickname for him), who will periodically help me to de-stress from it all by just talking to me for hours before encouraging me to write and give it my all the next day.
My editors: Katherine, Maria, Marti, and Jennifer, from Rooster & Pig Publishing, Totally Bound, and Silver Publishing are soooo amazing. They know how to work with me, they understand me and they are completely invaluable.
And I would be NOWHERE without the Vicktor Alexander Yahoo Group. They constantly encourage me, support me, they pimp my books even when I don’t, they nominate my books when I don’t even know there’s a contest going on, they are just truly amazing people. It’s why I keep giving them free stuff. I bribe them to get them to stick around. LOL.
10.My job during the Zombie Apocalypse would be_____?
Duh, badass warrior. I’m the one killing all the fucking zombies. I’m walking around with knives, guns, and Uzzis strapped to me and I’m taking those fuckers out one by one.
11. Which author got vampires ‘right’?
a. Bram Stoker
b. Anne Rice
c. Stephanie Meyer
______ a. ___X____ b. _______ c.
I’d love to say it was Bram Stoker because I LOVED that version, but… c’mon… it’s Anne fucking Rice.
12. The monster of which I am most afraid is___? Why?
______ a. _______ b. _______ c. ______ d. ____X___ e.
Humans are the scariest monsters on the face of the Earth. Those other “creatures” are a lot more accepting of different things. They don’t care about race or religion or sexuality, not really, all they care about is if you’re one of them and if you’re trying to kill them. They care about survival and procreation. That’s it. Humans are about greed, fame, reputation, prejudices, discrimination, we are seriously flawed and while this seriously has the ability to make us the most beautiful of creatures because we can grow and change and rise above our baser need to be selfish and look out for ourselves and be discriminatory and prejudice and to allow our environment and our upbringing to dictate our lives, so many people don’t do that, which is why humans are seriously scary.
13. Of all twelve Doctors,
a. __10___ was my first Doctor
b. _10____ is my favorite Doctor
David Tennant for life baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
14. Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
Star Trek! I am a Trekkie. Of course I was made a Trekkie without choice. I grew up having to watch Star Trek as a child because my bio mother was obsessed with Star Trek and –looks around nervously- I’ve never actually seen all of Star Wars so it’s not like I can make a fair decision on this question but still… I am a HUGE Trek fan. I had a HUGE, MAJORLY HUGE crush on Commander Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
15. Anakin and Luke are classic character archetypes (The Hero & The Christ Figure), or just a couple of whiney brats?
Ummmmm….. Anakin is the guy who becomes Darth Vader right?
And Luke is his son?
So Anakin is the one who gives in to the Dark Side and Luke is the one who The Force is strong inside of (I’m taking all of this from snippets I’ve heard from movies and The Big Bang Theory) so…
I’m going to say that they are classic character archetypes: The Hero & The Christ Figure. –nods- And Luke is the Christ Figure (?)… right?
I have the strongest urge to duck right now or hide. LOL.
16. Star Trek: Classic, Next Generation, or Reboot? Why?
NEXT GENERATION!!! But that is only because of the comparison of the crew. When you compare Captain Kirk to Captain Picard, Commander Spock to Commander Riker, Lieutenant Commander (Doctor-Chief Medical Officer) McCoy to Lieutenant Commander Crusher (Doctor-Chief Medical Officer), Lieutenant Commander Scott to Lieutenant Commander Troi, Lieutenant Uhura to Lieutenant Commander Data (and wow-Data is really in a class all on his own), Lieutenant Lt. Commander Sulu to Lieutenant Junior Grade La Forge, Ensign Chekov to Lieutenant Junior Grade Worf (who was also sexy), Crewman Chapel to Commander Pulaski, Yeoman Rand to Lieutenant Yar, and then Next Generation had Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher, I mean how could you want any Star Trek BUT Next Generation??
17. Griffyndor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, or Ravenclaw?
Ummmmmm…………… I feel like I should know who these people are… Harry Potter? Lord of the Rings!
Griffyndor! Totally Griffyndor.
I think that’s Harry Potter. Hold on. What was the question again?
18. ‘Boy Bands’: Pop music genius? Or devil’s spawn?
It all depends. I LOVED The Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC when I was just a wee lad. I even liked 98 Degrees for a bit. But these new boy bands can just go sit down somewhere. Like, seriously. They make me want to (in the words of Joey Tribbiani from “Friends”) “Yank my own arm off just so I have something to throw at” them.
But one of the things I always wonder is if The Temptations would have been considered a “boy band” or The Manhattans, The Four Tops, The OJays, the really good old school R&B all-male groups. Like, if they are considered “boy bands” then HELL YEAH! Bring on the boy bands! Otherwise, -shakes head- No, no thank you, there aren’t any good ones any more. Please no.
19. Madonna or Cyndi? Katie or GaGa?
-winces- Oh man! This is HARD! On the one hand. You have “The Goddess”: Lady Madonna. And she’s fucking brilliant. But Cyndi Lauper is truly in a class all on her own. You really can’t compare the two of them. Madonna is in one stratosphere and Cyndi is in a totally different one. They both dominate, but they don’t collide. You know what I mean? I can’t choose and you can’t make me!
And as far as Katy and GaGa? Hmmmm. You know if this had been before their latest album it would have been GaGa, hands down, no contest. But Katy’s latest album was so raw and beautiful. –sigh- “Unconditionally” is such a beautiful song, it’s just… wow. Yeah, totally playing at my wedding whenever I get married. So… yeah, another really tough decision. I think if we do currently? I’m going to have to choose Katy, but if we do overall, then it’s none other than GaGa (and now Tommy, my most beloved character from my Tate Pack series can breathe a sigh of relief. He has an obsession with Lady GaGa. Like it’s a major problem).
a. Evil alien
b. Misunderstood genius
______ a. ___X____ b.
21. You’re attending ComicCon in San Diego, this year. You befriended a famous Hollywood FX make-up artist who has offered to create a costume for you. What fictional character would you cosplay?
I’m going as the Man of Steel, Superman. I’ve always felt an affinity for Clark Kent. This man who is forced to hide who he truly is inside of this alternate form because others around him can’t accept or would be “uncomfortable” with his true identity. But his true form is majestic, strong, magnificent. His true form saves the world and the very ones around him who would have a problem with his being “the man of steel.” Clark is this truly beautiful character who is gentle, misunderstood, a geek, overlooked, often cast aside because of his looks and his perceived shortcomings but he takes it all in stride because he knows who he truly is on the inside. He doesn’t get mad when he’s bullied or hurt or anything, because he knows that he’s truly Superman and he doesn’t use his powers for evil, he only uses them for the good of humanity.
Yeah, if I’m going to ComicCon, I’m going as fucking Superman.
A black Superman. I totally think I could pull it off.
22. Have you ever played Dungeons & Dragons?
No. I’ve heard of it though. Just could never really understand it. I’ve played Sims though!! Religiously! Obsessively.
23.I’m not a hoarder, or anything, I just like to collect___?
Electronics, Movies, and eBooks, pretty much anything electronic. Seriously. I’m a techno-whore. I have six laptops, a MAC, two Kindles, an iPad, 2 iPhones, a Blu-Ray disc player, a portable DVD player, a 42 inch flatscreen television that plays noise in the background because I don’t even look at the screen when it’s on because I’m writing or reading, and 2 external hard drives. Then I have 2 bookshelves full of DVDs and Blu-Rays. I also buy full television series and download them on my computers (which is why I have so many computers-plus you know, all the books that are on there… and all the porn… -cough- I mean, research. Yeah. All the RESEARCH I’ve acquired over the last couple of years)
I used to collect lighthouses and when I get married and buy a house I’m going to get back into that again because that really soothed me to have lighthouses for some reason, but for now, it’s electronics.
24.You have a magic wardrobe that doesn’t necessarily lead to Narnia. Where does it lead?
John Barrowman’s bedroom.
Shemar Moore’s shower.
Shemar Moore’s bedroom.
Oh! Okay. I’ve got it!
A magical land where I am king and the world is filled with happy people, everyone is healthy and in shape. Everyone has a job and a home and food to eat and in my palace no one wears clothes and the palace is full of sexy men, sexy, NAKED men who all engage in multiple orgies at all times of the day with me and each other and many of them LOOK like John Barrowman and Shemar Moore, as well as Charlie David, Scott Hoying, Jesse Williams, Jayden Tyler, Paul Wagner, Neil Patrick Harris, and Joe Magniello.
25.Bilbo stumbles across you in a subterranean cavern. What object is your Preciousssss?
I have this coffee mug that my best friend Justin gave me years ago. No one is allowed to use it but me. It is very special, it must be handled with care. It is definitely my Preciousssss.
What would you do if the spirit of your dead twin brother came back?
What about if he inhabited the body of your adopted daughter?
Former drug addict, turned state prosecutor, Shane Occena has to deal with this when the little girl he rescues one night, named Shawna, declares that she’s the reincarnation of his brother Shawn, that he’d lost over eight years before. Feeling a connection to Shawna that can’t be talked away, Shane begins the adoption process and gains custody. When Shawna begins acting like Shawn, Shane takes her to see Child Psychologist, Tucker Ames. And that’s when his life really changes.
Dr. Tucker Ames spends his days talking with children helping them heal from their scars and come to grips with their gender issues and sexuality, and his nights alone, hoping for a family of his own. When he meets Shane and Shawna Occena, he finally feels as if he’s met the family that’s destined to be his. But first he has to help Shawna heal from her childhood, Shane heal from his scars, and find a way to help Shawn cross over to the other side.
But when allegations are brought against Shane and Tucker’s family descends on this makeshift family in Pensacola, will Tucker and Shane be able to stay together and be the parents that Shawna so desperately need? And will Shawn ever let go of his hold on Shawna and finally ascend to the afterlife? Tucker and Shane may think that they are Raising Shawna, but in the end, she may be the one to raise them all.
Social Media Info
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorVicktorAlexander
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VicktorAlexander