Me: Today I have the pleasure of speaking with erotic romance author, Lexi Post, who took time out of her schedule to answer some questions for my readers and hers, who hopefully will visit. Today is a special day for Lexi. It’s release day of COWBOY’S MATCH http://www.lexipostbooks.com/cowboys-match/ In honor of release day, GIVEAWAY randomly chosen from people who comment. Lexi will be happy to give away the winner’s choice of an ebook from her back list which means any single title published except Cowboy’s Match. Lexi, I’m in awe of your background and the locales in which you’ve lived. Can you tell our readers how you came to live in Central Florida?
Lexi: We decided to leave the island of St. Croix because I wanted to try writing full time which meant cutting expenses. Renting a beachfront home on a Caribbean island was not cheap 😉 We knew we wanted to stay warm but wanted a state with no income tax. That narrowed it down to Florida and Texas. My husband preferred Florida, but I wanted an area that was slow and where people actually knew each other like we had in St. Croix. My husband was driving through this area and stopped at a waterfront bar for a beer and really liked the people, so here we are.
Me: When did you begin your writing career and in which genre did you start? What made you choose erotic romance as your genre of preference?
Lexi: I first began my writing career so long ago that I don’t remember the exact date, but I didn’t start seriously pursuing it until 2007 when I joined the Valley of the Sun Romance writers in Arizona. I was actually writing sensuous historical romance then, but paranormal and erotic were just taking off. I read my friend, Cassie Ryan’s Seduction Series, which was definitely erotic and I wanted to try it. So I wrote both erotic romance and romance and decided that whichever sold first I would keep writing. What I like about erotic romance, which is not erotica, is that the reader gets to see the intimate relationship as clearly as she sees the characters’ feelings, thoughts and actions. So in erotic romance, the reader gets the full experience, unlimited access, so to speak.
Me: I love your log line, “Erotic romance inspired by the classics.” Which are your favorite classics and how do the plots, characters, settings of them pivot you into the novels you write? Can you give some examples?
Lexi: I love this question. I’ll try not to go on for pages :-} I have too many “favorite” classics to count, but I do favor American and British Romantic periods (big surprise).
An example would be in the book I have re-releasing October 1st called MASQUE, which was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death.” This story inspired me because Poe created 7 colored rooms that Prince Prospero’s guests partied in while the Red Death decimated his people outside the abbey walls. I turned those rooms into Pleasure Rooms where each was a different sexual pleasure. Then I took the figure of “Death” in Poe’s story and made him the hero, then left 73 of Poe’s original 1,000 or so guests as ghosts and added a modern day woman who buys the abbey to turn it into a haunted bed and breakfast.
Me: You have box sets, compilations with other authors, that are doing quite well in the market. How did getting together with the other authors come about? Can you please tell our readers about them? What advice would you give to others who want to try this? What length is each contribution? Are these pieces sold exclusively in the set?
Lexi: Let’s see. My first box set came about because a couple of my writing friends asked me and we released Cowboy 12 Pack in January. Then this group of authors got a long so well, we decided to do another and we released 12 Alarm Cowboys in August which were cowboys who were also firefighters. This same group of contemporary cowboy romance writers is now planning another set to release in April of 2016. The third set I was in came about, well, because of another writing friend of mine and 5 of us released Hot Western Nights this month. The fourth one I was asked to join after being part of a Facebook party. This one has a total of 9 authors (two of which I’ve done sets with before). We are releasing Ring in a Cowboy on December 28th. You can probably guess that theme 😉
The best known sets are the ones I’ve done with the “Cowboy 12-Pack Authors” as we call ourselves. Our first two sets hit both USA Today and New York Times Bestsellers lists! These are a great group of ladies, many of which I got to hang out with at the Romantic Times Convention. They include: Elle James, Randi Alexander, Becky McGraw, Cynthia D’Alba, Sabrina York, Cora Seton, Delilah Devlin, Donna Michaels, Beth Williamson, Paige Tyler, and Sable Hunter.
Interesting that you ask about what advice I’d give. I’m actually preparing a whole presentation on this subject. I guess my best piece of advice is to join with people you know, not just through Facebook or loops, but people you know personally. That makes all the difference. Boxed sets can actually include many different lengths, but some distributors have length limitations, so the more authors, the shorter the stories. For our 12-pack boxed sets we have kept it to 20,000- 50,000 words each. For two of the sets I’ve been in, the books were already available in singles, but in the other two they are brand new stories and the singles don’t come out until 30 days after the set releases, but the set stays available, though at a higher price, for as long as it is viable.
Me: I always like to give my readers something to learn through my blogs. So I’d like to ask you about this. You participate in a lot of Facebook parties and quite successfully. How do you arrange them? What is your benchmark of success? What is your criteria for pairing up with other authors?
Lexi: I do a few Facebook parties a month, but only because I have a release coming out every month. Of all the parties I’ve done, I’ve only hosted two and I hire someone to set them up and manage them. I’d rather spend my time writing. The other parties I’ve been involved with were hosted by the box set I was in or I was invited to participate by the organizer or another author. I have invited myself to be an author at two parties and neither have been the best experience.
I look at a couple things when it comes to being a featured author on a Facebook party. First, do I know the host personally? Second, does the genre being discussed fit with any of my books? That being said, if it is someone I know and they write a different genre but have asked me to participate, I’m happy to help out as I want them to succeed with their latest release, so friendships always take precedent. Yes, having been in this industry a while, I have made a lot of friends J What makes a party successful? If I get to interact with readers and they like me enough to sign up for my monthly newsletter, I’m thrilled. Really, I’m just hoping to get my name out there and make some people happy with prizes, eye-candy, and some fun.
Me: Today is a release day for you. Congratulations! Can you tell us about the characters of this novel and the plot? Are any, reappearing characters from other books? What classic inspired this one?
Lexi: This book COWBOY’S MATCH is part of the Poker Flat Series and it focuses on Lacey Winters, the Poker Flat Nudist Resort’s bookkeeper/receptionist. This entire series was inspired by an 1869 western short story called “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” by Bret Harte. What inspired me in Harte’s story was his cast of characters which was a drunk, a poker player, a madam, a prostitute, and two innocents. He explored how the behavior of the “outcasts” changed around the innocents. So I took the same cast of characters and set them on the Poker Flat Nudist Resort. In COWBOYS NEVER FOLD, I made the owner of the resort a female professional poker player and paired her with an “innocent,” a cowboy, then watched them both overcome preconceived judgements. In COWBOY’S MATCH, I paired Lacey, accused arsonist, with a firefighter cowboy from her past. This story focuses more on who is “innocent.”
Me: I know you have an agent. I’m not going to ask you who for your privacy and theirs. I’m sure our readers would like to know how your agent has helped your career and do you recommend authors obtaining one, and at what point in their career?
Lexi: I do recommend obtaining an agent, though I also believe in the old adage that a bad agent is worse than no agent. My agent has been wonderful with negotiating contracts, getting rights back on stories, advising me on which project to do first, and which story would be better self-pubbed. Yes, that’s one way I knew I had an awesome agent. When your agent, who receives nothing from self-published works, tells you to self-publish a story, you know she is looking out for your career as a whole. My agent has also explained some of the pesky contract clauses that I was clueless about and she’s even presented with me at RWA’s National Convention. The best part about having an agent is I no longer have to do pitches or query letters. It’s her responsibility to sell me which leaves me time for writing and marketing. As for when in your career to get an agent? I say whenever you can get one interested in you. J
Me: You are going to conferences and shows. What events do you have coming up so that our readers can go and meet you?
Lexi: How nice of you to ask. I only have a few scheduled right now. I’ll be in Tampa, Florida for the Gasparilla Women’s Show on December 6th. I’m in Las Vegas at Romantic Times April 12th -17th , 2016. I’m in Nashville at the Weekend with the Authors event May 12th -15th. And I will be at the National Romance Writers of America Conference in San Diego July 13th -16th.
Thank you so much Lexi! I wish you much success.
Thank you for having me as a guest, Ronnie. What a fun set of questions!
Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of erotic romance. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.
But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. Lexi believes there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great literature. Her books are known as “erotic romance with a whole lot of story.”
Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.
A third explosion rocked the ground and Cole spun in time to see a gust of wind pick up the roiling flames and throw them toward his men. He pressed the button on his radio. “Fall back!”
One man stumbled backward, catching his foot on the old barn wood and lost his grip on the hose. The other firefighter struggled with it before he went down too.
“Fuck.” Cole sprinted to his men, pulling them back by their coats as the flames licked at their boots. The barn wood caught, feeding the fire.
Once his men were out of harm’s way, he tackled the flailing line. A loose hose was a danger in its own right.
“Lieutenant, do you want us on the wood pile?” The question came through his radio.
Cole slammed his body onto the hose before replying, “Negative. Keep that curtain up.”
The two firefighters that had been blown down regained their feet and grabbed the hose. “Thanks, Lieutenant.”
He released his hold. “Pull back and soak that pile. If the wind shifts again, I don’t want the barn catching.”
The men nodded.
Cole turned around and strode back to the engine. The two women were still there. This wasn’t a movie. Didn’t they have any common sense?
After checking with Mason to be sure the water pressure was steady, he approached his audience, irritation growing at the petite stature of the blonde. Someone so delicate didn’t belong at a working fire, but like the owner, at least she had clothes on. “Ladies, you need to get back.” He pointed to the rise the golf carts had congregated on earlier.
The blonde smiled. “Selma sent over churros and iced tea for your men in case they need something.”
Cole’s blood froze. That voice. He studied the woman and his heart stumbled inside his chest. Her shapely figure proved she’d grown into a delectably curvy woman as he’d always expected she would, but her face was almost the same, just more refined. “Lacey Winters?”
Her brows furrowed and her button nose wrinkled as she peered back at him. Had he really changed so much in eight years? Yeah, probably. He’d been a bean pole last he’d seen her…the night he broke it off with her.
She gave up trying to figure out who he was. “I’m sorry. Do I know you?”
He should let it go. No need to dredge up the past. He had a fire to control.
His pulse went into overdrive. Another fire. It couldn’t be coincidence. He scowled at her. “You should. I’m Cole, Cole Hatcher.”
Even in the reflection of the flames, her face turned pasty white and he kicked himself for revealing his identity. All he needed now was a fainting woman to contend with.
“You two know each other?” The other woman leaned on one hip, her concern for Lacey evident in the look she gave him.
At the owner’s voice, Lacey recovered her color. Actually, her face changed from white to an angry flush in a matter of seconds. It reminded him of a flashover.
“Not that I want to know him.” Lacey handed the tray over to the owner and stepped up to him. She poked her index finger into his chest. Hard. “So, Cole Hatcher. Are you going to accuse me of setting this fire? After all, I’m here, on the same property. It’s not like you need evidence or anything. Feel free to assume the worst. I’m sure it helps to justify the way you treated me.” She pulled back as if touching him made her feel sick. “Good luck with that.” Turning on her heel, she stalked off, her hips swaying enticingly until he remembered where he was and who he was looking at.
“So you’re the one who broke her heart.” The owner studied him briefly then set the tray on the ground and followed after Lacey.
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Please feel free to ask Lexi questions and leave comments. And drumroll please! A GIVEAWAY randomly chosen from people who comment. Lexi will be happy to give away the winner’s choice of an ebook from her back list which means any single title published except Cowboy’s Match.
Till next time,
The Sign Behind The Crime,