What first got you interested in writing? What has kept you doing it?
I first became interested in writing at the age of eight. There was nothing external that motivated me. It was something that began as the result of an assignment in school, and I discovered I loved instilling my emotions on to the page. What has kept me doing it, I wish I knew. I just know I only feel like I am using all of my brain when I write. Despite have a PhD and 2 Masters degrees, I have never felt as accomplished as when I write fiction.
Do you have the support of your family and friends? Has that support always been there, or has it changed since being published?
My father and husband have always been there for me. My friends were supportive at first, but I think as time goes on and you get so lost in the business, some relationships start to suffer. You can never devote all the time you want to everyone around you, especially when there is a story in your head waiting ot get out.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Strangest habit? Is there anything you have to do before you start writing?
I don’t think I have any quirks, except for an obsession with sticky notes. I use them to makes notes and jot down ideas when I am working on a book, and they tend to multiply rather quickly. There is nothing I have to do before I start writing except write. The best thing is the world to me is a blank page waiting to be filled with words.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Write. Just write and the rest will come. The only way you get better at writing and find your voice is to keep doing it, and give yourself time. The Sistine Chapel took a while to develop and so will your style.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Getting the word out about me and my books. In this day and age where there is so much for readers to take in, it is hard to be seen. But I think that is the challenge all writers face.
Has a reader ever complimented you on your writing? What was the best thing you ever heard, and who told it to you?
The most enduring compliment for me was when I read my first short story to my mother and she cried when I was done. That has stuck with me. I have been told that many of my stories move people to tears( in a good way) and that is important to me. If they feel such emotion from a story, then they took the characters to heart.
What are you working on now? Could you give us a little taste?
The next book is called Cover to Covers and is coming out 2/1/14. It is a contemporary romance tale about a romance writer who pens novels with the heroes based on the one man she loved and left behind. Many years after the failed affair, that man walks back into her life, and she begins living the romance she has always written about. Soon, her writing changes because of him, and so does her life. They have problems to conquer, failed marriages to put behind them, but what they initially felt for each other long ago is still there. It is a tale of rediscovery and second chances. Find out what happens when a romance book moves out from behind the cover, and comes to life between the sheets.
Tell us about your latest book.
The Ghosts of Rue Dumaine is a ghostly love story about a woman healing from a broken marriage and returning to the childhood home where she was happy. But the home is haunted by a ghost, someone she befriended as a child, and now that she has grown into a woman, their friendship turns romantic. But Gaston is a ghost of a plantation owner who died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1853, and being together is impossible for them, or is it? There is voodoo, intrigue, lust and a whole lot of New Orleans ambience set into this novel. A great Halloween read.
About the Author:
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Her first novel, To My Senses, introduced readers to the world of Nicci Beauvoir and garnered numerous awards and rave reviews.
Her popular second Nicci Beauvoir novel, Recovery, won the Gold Medal for best romantic suspense from The Reader’s Favorite Book Awards 2011, and was named best Romantic Suspense novel by the Spring 2011 NABE Pinnacle Book Awards. Her fourth novel, Broken Wings, won best Contemporary Romance by the NABE Pinnacle Book Awards in 2012, was a Silver Medal winner in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards for Romance, as well as a finalist in the USA Book Awards for Romance in 2012, and a finalist in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for Contemporary Romance for 2012. Diary of a One-Night Stand, was released in August 2012 and was named a Paranormal Romance Guild’s Best Reviewed of 2012. Her last novel, Acadian Waltz was a Readers’ Favorite Book Awards finalist for Best Contemporary Romance and Best Southern Fiction.
A permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
Date of Publication: 9/1/2013
Number of pages: 240
Word Count: 82,000
Ready to get her life back on track after ending a painful marriage, Danica Giles returns to the Creole cottage where she grew up in the New Orleans French Quarter. Danica is anxious to rekindle her friendship with a former resident from her old neighborhood, the seductive Gaston Deslonde. But Gaston isn’t exactly a normal guy.
The charming man has been dead for over a hundred and fifty years, and the childish crush Danica once had on her ghostly playmate quickly turns into something much deeper.
When a handsome new man enters Danica’s life, Gaston vows to do whatever he can to hold on to her. Danica soon discovers that the most forbidden of all desires cannot be satisfied without paying a grave price. Love can blur the lines between life and death when you are living among The Ghosts of Rue Dumaine.
And here’s an excerpt–
Danica leaned against the doorframe and reflected on the various stages of childhood and adolescence she had gone through while occupying this room. The rainbow-painted walls her mother had painstakingly decorated for her had been replaced with posters of boy bands and television heartthrobs until her mother had died. After the funeral, Danica had come home and removed all the posters in a fit of rage, wanting to be surrounded once more by her mother’s rainbows. The last year she had spent in this room, she had felt comforted by those rainbows, as if her mother’s love had been forever sealed beneath the paintbrush strokes on her walls.
“I missed this old place,” she whispered.
A sudden rush of cold air moving down the hallway caused Danica to turn away from the bedroom door and peer into the darkness behind her. She took a few steps further down the hall until the aroma of cigar smoke mixed with a hint of brandy wafted in the air around her. Danica remembered that smell. It had always filled her bedroom whenever the dark man would appear.
“Is it you?” she softly called into the hallway. “It’s me, Danica. I’ve come back. Just like I said I would.”
Danica walked briskly past the entrance to the master bath to the final door at the end of the hall. Without hesitation, she pushed the cypress door open and walked inside the master bedroom. The light from the large picture window overlooking the courtyard shone into the room, accentuating the deep burgundy color of the carpet beneath her feet. She stepped into the center of the room and observed the ceiling fan above. Danica waited, straining with every breath to hear the slightest stirring.
“Welcome home,” a man’s wispy voice resonated around her.
A hopeful smile curled the edges of Danica’s heart-shaped mouth. “Thank you, Gaston. It’s good to be home.”
A few minutes later, Danica returned to the living room, where she found Pat scrolling through messages on her cell phone.
“Let’s sign the papers,” Danica happily announced. “I want to get moved in as soon as possible.”
Pat gave her a wary going-over with her brown eyes. “You positive about this, Danica? I need to make sure you’re aware that other tenants have had problems—”
“It’s fine, Pat. I know you said the place is haunted and people have had some bad experiences, but this….” Danica waved to the room around her. “Just feels right.”
Pat gave a skeptical shrug. “I have the papers ready back at the office. The rent is eight hundred and fifty a month. Mr. Caruso wanted me to charge you the same rate he charged your father. He insisted I make this as appealing to you as possible. You must have made quite an impression on the old man when you were a kid. He never cuts anyone a deal.”
“Please tell Mr. Caruso I appreciate it.”
Pat replaced her cell phone in her front jacket pocket. “Let’s turn off all of these lights and head back to the office.”
Suddenly, from the shuttered window beside them, three loud knocks reverberated across the room.
Pat grabbed at her chest. “Jesus! What in the hell was that?”
Danica smirked as she watched the color drain from Pat’s perfectly made-up face. “Just someone outside on the street banging on the wall…happened a lot when I was a kid. Drunk tourists would often bang on the shutters at all hours.”
Pat regained her composure. “Of course, you’re right. I didn’t think of that.”
Danica motioned to the pocket doors leading to the kitchen. “Let’s get you out of here, Pat, before you have a heart attack.”
“Gladly,” Pat offered and rushed to the doors. “I never liked this place. I just hope you know what you’re doing, Danica.”
“I know,” Danica asserted with a grin. “I’ve always known.”