Monday, March 19, 2012

Release Party Day 2- Who is Alexa?

Good morning! Welcome to Day 2 of my Release Party! Today I'll be sharing a bit more about me and why I'm setting stories in the UK.

I grew up in New England, went to college in Massachusetts and Nevada, have lived in 5 different states and have visited 12 different countries. I wasn't your typical writer who read from an early age. I honestly can't remember reading much except for school before To Kill a Mockingbird during my freshman year of high school. I can tell you that I was a walking TV guide and that is where I gained my fascination with suspense. The first shows I remember watching were The Bionic Woman and the Six Million Dollar Man. The 1st Disney movie I remember seeing was The Rescuers. My all-time favorite show was The A-Team.

Now, originally I wanted to be a singer. I have the voice for it, but I HATE standing up in front of people. (Yes, I'm a teacher now, but I swear it's different standing in front of a classroom of kids.) It took me a long time to realize my dream of hitting #1 on America's Top 40 would never happen. All the while, I still wrote for my own pleasure. It wasn't until my best friend suggested I pursue publication. It sounded like a great idea. So I set out to do just that and quickly realized that I still had a LOT to learn.

In 1999 I began submitting really crappy stories to publishers and agents. No wonder I kept getting rejections! But I'm an eternal optimist so I chose to find the good in each comment, research, learn and practice. I joined Romance Writers of America that year. In 2003 I began approaching my writing as a second job instead of a hobby. (I think that's so important if a writer is going to succeed!)

Now, Her Highland Champion, as you know, will be my 1st published material. The story is about an American graduate student who loses her memory and is left for dead while on a 3-day tour of the Scottish Highlands. The hero is a Scotsman who works for the International Protective Network, a world-wide bodyguarding agency. He has come home to his Highland village after a mission goes wrong and he begins to question his own abilities. Now, you may be wondering why I set Champion in Scotland. There are lots of reasons.

My fascination with Great Britain stems from my family. My mother grew up in northern England. At 16, she came to the US with my grandparents, leaving behind everything they'd known and a lot of family. My grandfather's family was from Ireland and my grandmother's family was from Scotland. (Although, my grandparents both were born and grew up in England.) Over the years, I've had several chances to visit my relatives starting with a 6-week trip during summer break with my grandmother when I was 10. Since then I've been able to visit with my mother too and to visit some of the places she went as a child. I cherish that connection to my heritage and that's why I love exploring it as much as I can.

Now, granted Her Highland Champion is set in Scotland instead of England and I don't have Scottish relatives. BUT I've visited Scotland enough that it grabbed my heart. (I'll be sharing more specific inspirational connections tomorrow!) I believe all the countries of Great Britain deserve to be explored and shared with readers and that's my goal!

Have you been to the UK? Do you want to visit the UK? Share your thoughts! (And remember comments get you in the running for the 1st prize, an Amazon gift card! The winner will be chosen tonight and announced early tomorrow morning!)


  1. Your story sounds very interesting, and I can't wait to read it. Congratulations on your release!


  2. Congratulations on your upcoming release, Alexa!!! Great post! I enjoyed learning more about you and your family roots. To answer your question, I'm addicted to Scotland, as you probably know. LOL And I've visited three times.

  3. Thanks, Kristin!

    LOL, yeah I had heard you liked Scotland a little bit, Vonda.

  4. Alexa, it must've been great visiting the places you loved and dreamed about. Was Scotland everything you hoped it would be? I'm going to Ireland on my honeymoon, but that will be the farthest I've ever gone. :)

    -Diva J.

  5. OK - I love the A-Team too! I've been to Ireland twice and loved it there - so incredibly beautiful. I'd really love to go to Scotland though. That's #1 on my list of places to visit next. And don't we all love us some Highlander? I mean who can really say no to that...not me!

  6. Most of my "over there" trips have been to Ireland, but I've visited Edinburgh all too briefly, and I've been to London. Would enjoy a return trip to explore both countries more. So old and intriguing!

  7. Spent part of our honeymoon ::cough:: years ago in the U.K. - we were *cold* even in the summer - lol. I would love to go back - loved all the ancient pubs and inns, churches castle ruins, beautiful green countryside. Can't wait to read Her Highland Champion!

  8. Never been out of the country. The furthest I've been is Hawaii. It would be awesome if I could visit someday!

  9. Diva, Scotland was even more than I'd hoped! And Ireland was fantastic too.

    Clancy, it's great to meet another A-Team fan!

    Pat, I need to get back to Ireland more myself. It's been 5 years and I miss it almost as much as Scotland and England.

    Irene, last time I was in Glenfinnan I brought (and wore) my flannel summer!

    Tami, get rid of those kids and then you can go! Although that's a long time before the youngest is in college, huh? LOL!

  10. Alexa I had no idea your mom was from Northern England! Another thing we have in common!

    Where in Northern England is your mom from? My mom was born/raised in Leeds,she didn't come to the US until she was 22. I still have many, many relatives all over the Dales! I love it there!

    But my heart is still with Scotland!

    Congrats on your new release! I can't wait to read it!!