Author Interview: Alyssa Cole + Giveaway!

Happy Hump Day! I'm excited to welcome friend and fellow author Alyssa Cole on my blog today as she shares with us what the hardest part of being a writer entails, why tears bring her joy, and what thinks of critique groups. She's also offering a cool giveaway to one lucky commenter in celebration of her new release, RADIO SILENCE. Be sure to check it out!

Okay, I've hogged the mic enough... ;)

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?Hm, it can’t involve writing at all?? I’m not sure…a wealthy restaurateur, perhaps, because then I’d get to eat delicious food all the time, in addition to being wealthy.  Or the inventor of strange, but useful enough to be lucrative, inventions that are sold via infomercial. Or a professional Ikea furniture assembly person. I’m pretty good at that.

Which TV show(s) can you absolutely not miss every week?Sleepy Hollow! Even though season 2 is dragging, I still have hope for the show. It has a great diverse cast with amazing chemistry---when the writers give them something to work with. I do a recap every week for Romance at Random, which shows my dedication because this season has had some rough patches.

Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?Right now it feels like I don’t have time for much else, but I enjoy watching anime with my husband, perfecting my bread pudding recipe, singing nonsense songs to my dog, and trying to practice the banjo (emphasis on trying).

Are you an early bird or night owl?I’m a night owl who is in a weird transition stage to early bird. That means I set my alarm for very early in the morning with plans to be productive, then I just keep hitting snooze for two hours. Then I’m even more tired than if I had just slept in. I think I might just go back to being a night owl.

What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer? Finding the time to do it. Unless you’re really rich, it’s really tough fitting in time to write between work, home responsibilities, family life, and seeing your friends. Something’s gotta give, and it’s usually your sanity.

Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?There’s a tie between book one (Radio Silence) and book two (Signal Boost) of my Off the Grid series. I love both of the couples and their journeys so much. The tension, the angst, the getting it on. J They’re both special to me in different ways.

What advice would you offer to aspiring writers or writers in general?This is actually harder to answer than I thought. I can say “believe in yourself!” but the inverse of that is “don’t think anyone owes you anything.” I can say “don’t push yourself too hard!” but, again, the inverse of that is “you have to bust your ass if you want to be a writer.” I think the most useful advice I can give is to find yourself a critique group or a critique partner who understands your genre. I add that emphasis because getting feedback from someone who disdains your genre can be very damaging to a new author. But when you find the right people to work with, it’s amazing. They’ll tell you when something is garbage, but they’ll also help you brainstorm a million ways to fix it. When you’re down, they’ll help keep you going. And when you succeed, you’ll have your own personal cheer squad!

What was the nicest comment or most interesting question you’ve received from a reader?
ell, I really enjoy when people tell me that I made them cry because the tears of readers bring me joy. (Kidding…kind  of.) The comment that stands out to me was from an Albanian reader who reached out after reading Eagle’s Heart. She told me that she appreciated the research I’d done and that I’d made the hero Albanian and not just the villain---Albanians are usually the bad guys. That made me really happy because, when you get down to it, I write romance for people who aren’t used to seeing themselves portrayed as attractive, multi-faceted, and worthy of love. If that resonates with a reader, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

What can readers expect from you next?Right now, I’m finishing up the third book in the Off the Grid series and revising a Civil War espionage romance. This summer, I’ll be releasing a 1960s-set novella in an anthology with you, Piper Hughley, and Kianna Alexander. (A short story featuring the couple can be found on my blog.) After that, I’ll be starting a fun New Adult series. I have a lot of plans for 2015!

Tell us about something crazy you’ve done.Oh dear. I have lots of crazy stories from my misbegotten youth…my favorite involves a Viennese bordello, but if people want to know about that, they’ll have to ask me in person. ;)
Thanks Alyssa for a fun interview! (We're gonna have to chat about this Viennese bordello...) For more on Alyssa's new release and awesome giveaway, please see below and be sure to leave a comment!  


No one expects the apocalypse.
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks
Arden Highmore was living your average postgrad life in Rochester, New York, when someone flipped the "off" switch on the world. No cell phones, no power, no running water—and no one knows why. All she and her roommate, John, know for sure is that they have to get out, stat. His family's cabin near the Canadian border seemed like the safest choice.

It turns out isolation doesn't necessarily equal safety.
When scavengers attack, it's John's ridiculously handsome brother, Gabriel, who comes to the rescue. He saves Arden's life, so he can't be all bad…but he's also a controlling jerk who treats her like an idiot. Now their parents are missing and it seems John, Gabriel, their kid sister, Maggie, and Arden are the only people left alive who aren't bloodthirsty maniacs.
No one knows when—or if—the lights will come back on and, in the midst of all that, Arden and Gabriel are finding that there's a fine line indeed between love and hate. How long can they expect to last in this terrifying new world, be it together or apart?

Are you prepared for the apocalypse? If not, don't worry----Alyssa has got you covered. One of you can win this customized survival kit! Once you've used the contents, you can use it to make a postapoclyptic mason jar salad. To enter, leave a comment describing the first thing you'd grab when the apocalypse struck, and why.


Justine said…
Great advice for new writers!

If the apocolypse struck, one of the most useful things you can have (other than food and a pointy stick) is a bike! Fast transport, no gas needed, and somewhat portable. They'd never catch me.

I should get a bike...