Friday, 8 February 2013


Welcome to day 2 of the fantastic Blogger Book Fair. Today I would like to do my first author feature.

The wonderful Alexandra Allred

Author - (Alexandra Allred)

1/ Can you tell us a little about yourself?
 I got my jump into the literary world by way of bobsled.  I made the first ever U.S. women's bobsled team in 1994, was named "Athlete of the Year" by the United States Olympic Committee when I won US Nationals and surprised many more because I was also pregnant at the time. My training regiment was used by the USOC and IOC as I was clocked at 21 MPH and squatting over 350 lbs. (while pregnant)  Let it be known right here and now that I believe I would now die attempting those same numbers. But Sports Illustrated took notice and asked that I become an adventure writer following my four years on the US team.  I played women's professional football and various other things ... great times and sooooo glad they are over!

2/ When and what made you decide you wanted to be a writer?
 I love sports and I love meeting new athletes.  While I lived in the Olympic Training Center, I got to meet athletes from all disciplines and all nations, all backgrounds with all kinds of stories of overcoming adversity and survival.  Very inspiring. I had an opportunity to meet "the greats" but my favorite interviews were usually those unsung heroes who never won gold but were warriors indeed.  Many of their stories inspired me to write more.  This all said ... I always wrote.  As a kid, I loved to write but I was too embarrassed to share this with anyone. How embarrassing to say, "I want to be a writer!"  So, I never said a word.  Sports gave me that courage I needed.

3/ Can you tell us something about your books, genre?
  I turned to fiction a few years ago and have not looked back.  I wrote sports books such as Atta Girl! A Celebration of Women in Sport (won the Amelia Bloomer Award), Entering the Mother Zone and Athletic Scholarships for Dummies, but fiction is a new form of freedom that I love!

4/ Where do you get your ideas from?
  I never stray too far from the sports world so much of my ideas and inspirations come from that warrior-heart kind of character.  I love strong characters who overcome challenges, show an inner strength and inspire through humor.  Humor is a must.

5/ Are you working on a new book at the moment?
  The Writer's Coffee Shop and I are currently working on the Allie Lindell series.  Roadkill, the first in the non-traditional female detective series, will premiere in August.  Oh, boy! Oh, boy!!

6/ What are your ambitions concerning your writing career?
  I am currently stalking Ellen DeGeneres!!

7/ Which writers inspire you?
  I love the humor of Janet Ivanovich but I am very fond of Erik Larson.  He is an amazing storyteller of historical facts and research.

8/ What book are you reading at present?
   The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

9/ What are your thoughts on reviews, good and bad?
   It's funny ... great question, by the way ... I got my first blah review not so long ago and it hurt my feelings because the book, Damaged Goods, is very personal to me.  The reviewer said there was no passion in the book and I thought, "What the hell are you talking about?"  It is a funny and fast-moving book that I lived!  No passion?  I moped around for a little while and then realized I had to let it go.  When someone tells you there's no passion in something you are super passionate about ... well, one of you is wrong and live with it.  I know what's what so I'm good but I learned to take everything with a grain of salt.  Each person has his or her own perspective of things, including what is passion.

10/ What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
  Do NOT be afraid to say out loud that you want to be a writer.  Then, do it.  Over the years, I have met so many people who talk about a book but when it gets down to it, they haven't written one page.  Life and writing is a lot like bobsled.  Jump in.  Go.  If you sit and think about your chances of crashing, you'll never slide.  If you think about all the things that could go wrong, you'll be too terrified to even try.  Just jump in, hang on, and enjoy the ride!  (Yeah, sometimes you do crash but you pull yourself up and go again ... though sometimes you have to wait until you're out of the hospital).

11/ Do you have any advice on how to market your books?
  Believe that it is of value and selling it will be easy. This is a tough market -- particularly right now -- so think outside the box.  Letter writing campaigns, book signings in donut shops, fun giveaways, linking up with other authors ... everything helps so do not be afraid to try.

12/ What would you consider to be the worst thing about being an indie author?
  Well ... TODAY I found out that Barnes and Noble has my book listed as a "textbook."  ARGHHHH!!!!  Again - sorry, another bobsled analogy -- you have to know going in that it is never going to be easy.  You have to go again and again and again and again, repeating yourself over and over, constantly pushing.  Writing is the easy part.  

13/ What do you like to do when your not writing, hobbies etc?
   I teach martial arts, kickboxing and Pilates at a community college and Piloxing, boxing and kickboxing at a gym outside Dallas. If not writing, I seem to be yelling at someone.

14/ How long on average does it take you to write a book, what is your schedule?
  I am a fast writer (woe to my editors) and will write a novel in about 45 to 60 days.

15/ What is your favourite positive saying?
   It is something I yell in my classes:  Go hard! Do not give up on yourself!  
   This applies to writing.  If you are writing simply because you love to write ... fabulous!  But if you are writing and committed to the idea that you are going to sell/promote a book, there is no halfway.  Everyday you should wake up and do one thing to promote you work.  Write a letter to the paper, call a radio station, approach a reporter, ask for a book signing at a local business....

16/ Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your books?
   Ooooh. I have so many lead characters ... Wow.  I can't answer that.  Let me get back to you on that one ...

17/ Who did your fabulous book covers?
    Jenn McGuire from my publishing house.  She's wonderful!  Photographer Diana Powe did the still shot for Damaged Goods and photographer Bill Slader did the shot for White Trash.

18/ What is your favourite movie and why?
    There are so many. I love Marilyn Monroe. Love old movies but Princess Bride will always stop me in my tracks.

19/ Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    This is funny because I just did a five year plan. Of course, it involved my kids (in college) and where we would live but professionally both White Trash and Damaged Goods WILL be a movie!

20/ Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
    Jack the Ripper.  I'd like to qualify that by saying I'd want it to be in the daytime, in public, at a safe distance but I would like to know who was really behind the murders and ...why.

21/ What is your favourite takeaway food?
   You can never go wrong with pizza.

Where can you be reached?
Facebook page: 
Twitter:  @alexandraallred
Linkedin: alexandra allred

My thanks to Alex for this wonderful interview, now go and check her out.

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