A Day in the Writing Life of Alexa Bravo

BedBoss_Final (2) (392x600)Alexa Bravo is a new member of RWA and had her first novel published with Escape, In Bed with the Boss on 1 May 2014. She answered some questions about her writing so we can get to know her. She’s every excited about attending the RWA conference in August so make sure you say hello to her!

Please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling.
Currently I write contemporary romance, and my setting is the corporate world.  One of the best pieces of advice about writing I’ve ever received is to start with what you know.  Writing about a setting that is familiar to me allows me to concentrate less on research and more on character, dialogue and plot.  For a new writer I need every advantage I can get!

As I grow into my writing however, I intend to try my hand at a historical/regency romance, which has always been my favourite type of romance. My book shelf is bursting with Elizabeth Hoyt, Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh and Grace Burrowes, to name a few.  If I could create a tenth of the magic their stories hold, I’d be a very happy writer. I have a plot outline and hope to have the story written by the end of the year.

What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer?
I tend to write at night, simply because there is less “noise” going on around me and I can lose myself in the process.  However on a deadline I have been known to write at all hours, as I am an extremely adept procrastinator!

Where do you write? Do you have your own special place? Does the location vary?workspace (1024x576)
Despite having a perfectly functional study, including desk, chair and all the IT trimmings, I tend to write on my laptop, cross-legged at the foot of my bed.  I don’t know why, it’s not as if I could argue that having my legs bent like a pretzel improves blood flow to my brain, but there you have it, it’s my habit and where I feel most comfortable.  I am not the type of author who can write on the run, scribble fleeting ideas on bits of paper or keep a writing pad/i-pad handy for when inspiration hits. I envy those writers!  Fortunately my ideas typically hit me at night, in that half-dreaming state where anything is possible, and once an idea hits it grips me and doesn’t let me go, so I don’t need to write it down to remember it.

 

Are there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse? What’s the first think you do before you begin to write? Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work? Do you have a special system in place in order to begin writing or go with the flow?
I actually can’t write a single word until I’ve read every word in the story so far.  I edit as I go so typically the first part of my book is the  cleanest in terms of mistakes, as it’s been read and re-read dozens of times.  Re-reading allows me to slip back into the story and the characters and once I’m immersed, I’ll hear the story in my head.  After that, it’s almost like taking dictation.  I haven’t yet experienced writer’s block nor have I pinpointed any type of impediment to this process, although I once made the mistake of disagreeing with my characters about where the story was going.  I got to a stalemate and stopped writing for months, until I saw the error of my ways and started listening again!  Harsh lesson, that one.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?
Definitely a pantser.  Most of the time I have very little idea how a story is going to play out nor what scenes will be enacted until the words hit my screen.  I go in with a vague idea of plot, crisis and resolution, but the story unfold as it’s told, rather than the story following any kind of prescription.  One of the advantages to this method is that when the muse is speaking to me (and when I am listening!), I can write very fast. The downside, as I foresee it, anyway, is that the method will not cope with more complex plots and multi-layered storytelling.  It will be interesting to see how the method changes to accommodate my historical romance, for example, which is shaping up to be a little Amanda Quick’ish in it’s murder-plot-within-a-romance outline.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time? Are you a goal setter with your writing?I try to write at least once a week.  As I work full-time and have three children at home this is actually a pretty ambitious goal!  Queen of procrastination that I am, however, I find it too easy to come up with a million excuses NOT to write.  Once I knuckle down, though, I write for hours non-stop until I can’t, either because I’m needed elsewhere or because there’s been some interruption I had not foreseen.  Without interruption I have been known to write all day, skip meals and work through into the night.  Not healthy but very productive!

What is your favourite form of procrastination? Do you have any tips to beat off that old foe “procrastination”? Social media has become my preferred method of procrastination.  My webpage, FB pages, Twitter and multiple email accounts are a great way to keep from getting to work! Then, of course, there is the reading.   I am a prolific reader and typically read 10-12 books at once, two in each of several different genres, and I usually have at least 30 books loaded on my device at any time.  I always haunt second-hand book stores and have several hardcopy books on my shelf ready to start when my device is recharging, for example.  If I knew any good tips to beat this (other than a total power blackout which affected all my electronic devices, including the lights, but didn’t affect my laptop), I would like to think I’d have several published works under my belt by now!

Thanks Alexa! Look forward to seeing you in August.

Alexa’s various links can be found below.

Connect Links:

Twitter: @alexabravo11

Email: alexa@alexabravo.com

Website: http://www.alexabravo.com

Facebook Connect Page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008174491663&fref=ts

Buy the book!

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Bed-Boss-Alexa-Bravo-ebook/dp/B00JD7EYSU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398595704&sr=1-1&keywords=alexa+bravo

iBooks: http://ibookstore.com/products.php?i=B00JD7EYSU

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-bed-with-the-boss-alexa-bravo/1119118526?ean=9780857991522

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/in-bed-with-the-boss-9

 

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