At twelve, Alexa Bravo passed her one page romance story to a classmate who passed it on to an expanding and delighted audience. Since then, she's been hooked on writing romances. And reading as many as she can fit on her e-reader! Welcome, Alexa, and thanks for treading the boards with us today!
How did you come up with the idea of In Bed With The Boss?
In Bed With The Boss was a way to describe the story in one line. Trish Carter is an executive who ends up sleeping with her boss before she knows who he is, so there is a literal aspect to the title but the book is also about a senior female executive being forced to deal with the workplace prejudice that assumes she owes her success not to her talent, but to her bed partner.
What is your favourite holiday?
Last year I was fortunate enough to spend six weeks in Europe touring France, Austria, Italy, Greece and Spain. It was the holiday of a lifetime and there was endless inspiration for writing in all that history and magic. There was an indescribable wonder about walking down a cobbled street and imagining how many others had done that before me, and how they had lived and worked and loved. If I can’t fit at least some of that magic into my next project then I’m not much of a writer!
Do you read reviews of your books? What do you do when you read a not-so-nice one?
Yes, I must confess to a morbid curiosity to see how my book lands for others and to glean any feedback I can to improve my craft. I have been psyched for ages for a bad review and while I’ve not had one yet, I think the indifferent ones are worse, in a way. I’d like to think I’ve moved people to either love the story or hate it, but to rate it “ok”? How to deal with that? There’s no, “...the book would have been better if...” which, while hard to read, has the potential to lead to improvements next time round. Nor is it one of those raving reviews that just give you a buzz that you can carry around with you to savour again and again. Those mediocre reviews have been tough. Mind you, I might be wishing them back when that bad review finally hits!
How many times were you turned down before you finally got published?
I was very fortunate to have my manuscript accepted for publishing first time round by Escape. Mind you, the moment I got the news I was settling down for my first night in Europe after a gruelling 27-hour trip, sitting in an apartment in Paris at one o’clock in the morning trying to convince my body clock that it was no longer on Aussie time! I had the sudden urge to text and email all my friends with the news but no one was up in Australia! My poor family bore the brunt when I shook them all awake to celebrate with me.
Who is your literary hero?
Goodness, too many to count! I grew up on the classics and absolutely love Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare. To this day I can quote all of Hamlet’s soliloquies by heart! But I think I have to credit Baroness Orcy (author of The Scarlet Pimpernel) and later Georgette Heyer for my love of romance.
What is your favourite book of all time that you can reread a hundred times, and it still feels like the first time?
I love Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. Despite reading it nearly every year I always find myself nodding my head in agreement at all the amazing observations of human behaviour that despite the time span are still so true today. I always champion Elizabeth during that first, awful marriage proposal. And I always cry a little at the second one. That story will never get old for me.
What do you need to set the mood for you to write?
Being a mother of three I have to make sure that all my girls are fed and watered and entertained. That way I minimise distractions! I have to do all my social media homework (that’s what I call it, Face-Booking and Tweeting and Blogging – when did life get so complicated?). I can then grab my laptop and sit on the edge of my bed cross-legged (somehow it helps the circulation to my brain – go figure!) and finally I have to re-read every word I’ve written thus far in a story before I can write a single extra one. That’s quite a routine and it’s no wonder it happens rarely, but when it does, I power through writing and generally manage at least 10k words in a session.
If there is one genre that you have not written in yet, but would love to try writing a book in that specific genre, what would it be?
Historical romance, definitely. I have so many writing heroes in this genre, Gaylen Foley, Anna Campbell, Mary Balogh, Grace Burrowes, Karen Hawkins, Sabrina Jeffries – the list is endless! I try to get my hands on as many historical romances as I can and I devour them when I do. My aim would be to grow sufficiently as a writer to do this type of story justice, to write in a time period not my own and rely much more heavily on research than I’ve ever done before. It’s a challenge I hope to take up very soon!
What are you working on now?
Currently I’m half-way through a stand-alone follow up story to In Bed With The Boss based on a secondary character. Brendan is my first attempt at writing a Beta male and I’m working through the challenges of that at the moment. He is a very different hero to Keith Donnelli, the very-alpha-male protagonist from In Bed With The Boss. Where Keith is dominant, arrogant and used to getting his own way, Brendan is a sweet, all-round-nice-guy who finds himself the subject of a very determined, very fiery Italian beauty (see, I KNEW I could work Europe into my next book somehow!). It’s a very different book and I’m having a lot of fun writing it.
Would you like to share an excerpt from your writing or a photo or music link that inspires you?
A high-flying corporate romance that’s sure to add ‘elevator’ to your list of erotic destinations!
Trish Carter is chasing the career opportunity of a lifetime, and nothing is going to stand in her way. After a failed marriage and years of self-doubt, she needs her business proposal to succeed, and there’s only one hurdle left: presenting to the Board of Directors and charismatic CEO, Keith Donnelli. So it can only be the stress and extreme tension that leads her to jump the hot stranger in the elevator. But the unexpectedly explosive encounter puts all her plans in jeopardy, when the stranger isn’t a stranger at all. Now, her whole future rides on how well she can resist the temptation of sleeping with her boss. Will Trish finally have the chance to make her secret dreams come true or will following her heart destroy her chance at a future?
In this scene, Keith has just had a very explosive encounter with a stranger on a lift, whom he is now having to face in a boardroom.
‘Just what do you think you’re doing?’ she whispered fiercely, ignoring her quickening pulse as he leant in towards her to catch her softly spoken demand. Trish smelt musk and soap and the scent evoked further memories of their encounter this morning which caused her breath to quicken and her heart to race uncomfortably.
‘We need to talk.’ His voice brooked no argument.
‘What is there to possibly say?’ she asked, hearing the note of desperation in her voice. After all, what could she possibly say in her own defense? What could he say? You’re fired? You are to tender your resignation? Trish cringed at the possibilities. How had a brilliant career this morning turned into a dead end job by lunch time?
He looked at her as if she was being deliberately dense and Trish knew instinctively that he would not let this go without hashing it all out. If she was going to be asked to leave, she may as well know the worst sooner rather than later, she thought pragmatically. She guessed Rowena would give her a glowing recommendation and she had good contacts in the industry. She felt she could face the inevitable though she experienced a sharp pang of regret for having to bow out as ungracefully as she had done out of her marriage. The thought brought a lump to her throat and she felt the glistening of moisture in her eyes.
She knew he had noticed as his own gaze softened discernibly. She couldn’t be sure but she could almost swear she read concern in his look before he lowered his voice even further and whispered, ‘Please, Trish, we need to talk.’ His face was earnest, his hand coming up to grab her shoulder to emphasise the importance of his request.
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Escape Bio: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/author/alexa-bravo