Assistant Editor Laura Harvey sat down with author Alexa Piper to talk about why we write romance, favorite book boyfriends, and her upcoming projects. We've been lucky enough to publish Alexa's stories in DEMONS, IMPS, AND INCUBI and THE NAUGHTY LIST, and we published her erotic short fiction collection LUMINOUS DREAMS last fall.
LH: Describe yourself in three sentences.
AP: Morning is not my favorite time of the day for waking, but I love meeting sunrise from the other edge of the day. I read all the Harry Potter books and know to find my way to Neverland. I can describe pretty much anyone in a nice neat paragraph, but with answering this question I'm having trouble.
LH: You're stranded on an island with a book boyfriend. Who is he?
AP: What? I get only one? I guess I'd go with a certain Viking vampire from Shreveport. (Thank you, Charlaine Harris!) The best part is, I'd only be stranded with this guy if I wanted to be. I think. The other best part is, I'd really want to be stranded with this guy!
LH: What is something you wish everyone knew about writing romance?
AP: It's not always easy to keep track of limbs and trains of thoughts. The characters' limbs and trains of thoughts!
LH: What do you love about paranormal romance, in particular?
AP: It offers so many more possibilities, and it allows for certain genres that are full of sexual tension to begin with to go the whole way. I'm thinking about vampires for example, but it really doesn't stop there. The paranormal element means that the world building can really go hand in hand with how the characters interact, and that's quite cool.
LH:What was your favorite story/character to write in Luminous Dreams?
AP: Ah! Easy. The one that went to the underworld and came back. My editor for the collection, Cori Vidae probably also knows my favorite scene to write in that particular story!
LH: What are you working on now?
AP: I'm working on a few stand alone stories that are roughly related to Luminous Dreams, and I'll be sure to give the witchy twins from Luminous Dreams some more exploring to do somewhere down the line.
LH: Why write romance?
AP: Why anyone would choose to write romance may be self-explanatory for some, but others might not quite get it: romance, that’s like, porn, just as a book? Why would anyone write that? So go some people's thought. Let’s address that.
Well, first off, romance writing is not like porn, at least in most cases it’s not and shouldn’t be. It may be worth mentioning here that the readership of romance is predominantly female (although I have heard favorable things from male readers too.) And while porn can be fun, it’s the tension between characters, between people, that I think sets romance apart. And, of course, a romance novel or story you read is still a piece of written fiction at the end of the day, which means it comes with all the parts that make a tale worth telling, such as plot, great characters, and, of course, tension.
Tension should be present in any piece of writing. Every short story, every novel, every movie, every fairy tale needs tension to keep us reading, listening, watching. Because without tension, why bother? The thing with romance is that it looks at two (potential) lovers and shows the tension developing, rising, and finally culminating quite carnally, which is how romantic relationships tend to work in real life. (And even if they don’t, it’s certainly the reality we hope for!)
Speaking of fairy tales, by the way, many of those have romance and carnality written between the lines, some more, some less direct (think Rapunzel or Red Riding Hood.) Love, both the emotional state and the physical expression, are a part of being human, and that is why we romance writers chose to write about it.
But that’s not all. Romance writing is fun, of course, just about as much fun as reading romance is. It’s like a little daydream captured on paper, that daydream you may have on the subway when you see that gorgeous guy sitting just across from you (your daydream may be different, but c’mon, you know the one!). Personally, I like creating and then writing about my characters! It’s fun to see them develop and explore. It’s also fun to write the sex scenes (in case you were wondering), even though it can be a little challenging to keep track of how and where the relevant body parts moved.
Finally, let's talk about why anyone would want to read that smut. It's one of these questions that I think is best answered with another question: why not? Why should romance readers feel the need to hide the cover of their books when they read in public? Writers may be concerned with style and story elements, but reading is all about the joy of the reader, and if you like your summer read steamy, go for it and enjoy!
Summer of Romance Blog Scavenger Hunt Clue: Measures
What's this? See the rules and prizes here.
Alexa Piper enjoys writing, romance, and the paranormal. This said, becoming a paranormal romance writer seemed perfectly reasonable, but for Alexa, it is more than that; it's fun. Alexa’s work has appeared in the Red Moon Romance anthology Demons, Imps, and Incubi and The Naughty List. Luminous Dreams is Alexa's first collection, and she hopes her readers will have as much fun reading it as she had writing it. Check out Alexa’s online home (alexapiper.com) for all things related to her writing and be sure to follow her on Twitter @prowlingpiper.
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.