Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Lex Valentine and Happy Halloween Everyone

Today our very special guest is author Lex Valentine because it's her birthday!  Hope it's a great one!

1).  Tell us your latest news?

October is a busy month for me. It’s my birthday on Halloween so I’ve got two contests going where readers can win an autographed copy of each of my print books! (Info on the news page at my website.) I’m also being interviewed a couple of places, and am guest blogging in a couple of places. I have three releases this month: Rousing Caine, a M/M ghost story in the Love Me Dead anthology from MLR Press, Ain’t Nuthin’ But a Hellhound, a dark tale in the Weirdly 3 anthology from Wild Child Publishing, and the print version of Fire Season!

The print book is especially exciting because Fire Season was recently nominated for a Rainbow Award and its hero, Holden Antaeus, won The Romance Studio’s Summer Hero contest.   

2).  When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. However, this journey to being a published author began just over a year ago when this amazing author named Jennifer Leeland began commenting on my blog Sunlight Sucks. She thought I was good enough to be subbing my work to publishers. She said it so much I started to think maybe I could try this… so I did. I started subbing manuscripts in late August 2008 and got my first contract October 30, 2008.

3).  What are your current projects?

I’m working on Book 4 of the Tales of the Darkworld series. Ride the Lightning is Emily and Vahid’s story. Anyone who read Fire Season knows there was something brewing between those two secondary characters during the retreat. Now, you get to find out exactly what happened between them. I also have a couple of sequels planned for last year’s free Christmas story Christmas Hookup. One is a M/M short story called Christmas Catch. The other short story is M/F, entitled Christmas in Hell. I’m also contemplating a short Antaeus Christmas story, a freebie, and I’m about to polish the first 1K words of Bad Choices, a WIP I entered in Loose Id’s Hook contest. I just made the Top Twenty so I need to be ready in case I make it to the Top Ten.

4).  Tell us a little about all the other projects you have in the works. I understand you are also an artist.

I do book covers, website graphics, and book trailers on the side. Working in Photoshop is relaxing and lets my brain sort of drift from idea to idea as I work so I think a lot about my stories when I’m creating graphics. At the moment, I need to finish trailers for Renee Wildes’ Lycan Tides, Mina Carter’s Playing With Fyre, and put one together for Rousing Caine. I’m also working on a website for author Tess MacKall. Tess has a very southern, sultry way of writing so I had to make sure I captured that in her website graphics.

5).  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding the time to write! LOL I’m the sole IT person at work so I get called at night and on the weekends a lot and I don’t get to take much vacation time. I think I have more than 180 hours on the books. LOL And it’s hard to shift gears and get in the mood to write when you’re exhausted.

As far as the craft itself goes, I’m not perfect but I’m told I write very clean. I do know that I tell more than I show so I almost always have to run a self-edit over a manuscript before it can be sent to a publisher. I’m also the queen of dropped words. I leave out a lot of the smaller words. My brain goes faster than my fingers.

6). Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

It’s truly hard to choose just one author as my favorite. I like so many authors for so many different reasons. I can say that I am especially addicted to Julia Quinn’s work. The sexual tension, the humor, the emotion she weaves into each story never fails to capture me. I love a perfectly written Regency and she just does it for me. Hits all my hot buttons and then some.

7).  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t think I ever came to that realization. I think it was just always in me to write. I don’t remember ever consciously sitting down and saying, “This is what I want to do.” It’s always just been something I did from the time I was very young. I started making up little stories and poems in probably 2nd or 3rd grade.

8).  How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends on real life truthfully. It seems like each of my stories has taken a different length of time to complete for different reasons. For a novel length manuscript, I try to give myself 6 weeks to complete it. I’ve been known to do a 7-10K short in a day. A 20-30K novella is generally 2-4 weeks.

9).  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I’m not disciplined in the sense that I write X number of words daily or weekly. My writing “schedule” is dictated by my deadlines and the job that pays my bills. I can be very single minded, focused and well, driven, when I’m on deadline. I’ve been known to stay chained to my desk for three days, only getting up for food, drink, or a potty break… while turning out 7-10K a day.  Normally, though, I write on the weekends and sometimes a little after work or during lunch breaks. The bulk of my writing is done in Word Wars on the weekend with a group of Cobblestone authors. They let me in before I even got a contract from Cobb. LOL
10).  I understand you work in an interesting place?
I work at the largest privately owned cemetery in my county, which is interesting to me but not to everyone. A lot of people are frightened by the cemetery and uneasy being around the dead. I love the history. Our main mausoleum was built in 1911 so it’s almost 100 years old and it’s a gorgeous structure inside and out made with granites and marbles from all over the world.
11).  What do you want to know about the future?
I’d like to know that my daughter will be okay and have a good life. I’m not much to dwell on what’s far in the future and out of my control.
12).  Are you a morning person or a night person?
By nature I’m nocturnal, but I’ve had to learn to function well in the morning because I work 7:30am-5 pm.
13).  Do you like thunderstorms?
I like cooler weather. I’m from NoCal so I’m not a fan of the heat. Storms, rain, wind, lightning, etc don’t bother me at all and I love watching the elements when they are severe. Mother Nature can be breathtaking.
14).  What is the best way for readers to contact you?  Email, myspace, twitter,
Email works well. Also comments on my personal blog at or the blog on my author website at I don’t get on Twitter as much as I used to. Probably burned myself out by starting up an account for Lex that is separate from my personal Twitter account that I’ve had for a couple of years now. LOL
15).  Anything you would like to add?
I hope everyone has a great Halloween! Have a drink for me. It IS my birthday after all! Thanks for having me here today! It’s been a lot of fun.


  1. How many books do you intend to write to your Dark World Series, Lex?

  2. When will Ride the Lightning be released?

    Happy Birthday Lex. Have a great weekend.