This month, All The Kissing welcomes Alexa Martin, author of Intercepted. You may also recognize Alexa as one of our very own All The Kissing Co-Founders. We’re delighted to have her here on the other end of an interview! You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and of course at her website. Read on to learn more about Alexa, her debut, what inspired her most to write it—and a few hints about what’s to come…
Introducing Alexa Martin
Alexa Martin is a writer and stay-at-home mom. She lives in Colorado with her husband, four children, and German shepherd. When she’s not telling her kids to put their shoes on (again), you can find her catching up with her latest book boyfriend or on Pinterest pinning meals she’ll probably never make. Her first book, INTERCEPTED, is out now with Berkley.
1. Congratulations on your recent debut! Intercepted is absolutely phenomenal. For those who haven’t had the chance to snag a copy yet, why don’t you tell us a little bit about it?
Thank you! INTERCEPTED is about Marlee, a long time girlfriend of her NFL-playing boyfriend. She finds out her boyfriend is a cheating jerk just as an old fling reappears in her life in the form of the new Quarterback for his team. We follow Marlee as she struggles to find herself and not get lost in the wild world of WAGS again. INTERCEPTED was inspired by the eight years I spent as an NFL wife and all of my years as a devout viewer of all things Real Housewives.
2. Eight years as an NFL wife—it’s no wonder the details are so rock-solid in your debut! What inspired you to start writing in the first place?
When I first started writing, it was just a blog to keep my family and friends up to date on what was happening with my kiddos. We moved around so much during my husband’s career, it was just a fun way to keep them informed. It wasn’t until I’d devoured Fifty Shades of Grey and every other romance I could get my hands on that an idea for a book popped into my mind. I’d never written before, so I didn’t think I would ever let anyone read it, I was just so desperate for a book with more diversity than the sassy sidekick that I decided to give it a go. It took me three or four years to write before I decided to push myself and enter Pitch Wars. When I was chosen, my mentors convinced me to turn my book into more of a sports romance than it had been originally and it honestly just flew out. I took my experiences from being an NFL wife, mixed them with my extensive reality TV knowledge, and out came INTERCEPTED!
3. Do you think you’ll always have a soft spot for sports romances because of your time as an NFL wife? What other genres are you interested in?
Sports romances are honestly tough for me. I love them, especially a hockey one, but because I lived the life, I find myself drawing unfair comparisons. Things aren’t as shiny when you’ve been immersed inside for so long. I am an equal opportunity reader. As longer as there is a flicker of romance, I’m pretty much on board. I do love a funny memoir—both of Mindy Kaling’s books and Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl are favorites of mine.
4. It’s nice that you bring an honest, real lens to the genre. That kind of insight makes the writing all the more real! Speaking of, what’s the hardest thing for you about the writing process and why?
Not overthinking every single thing that I write. I think it’s normal for writers to grapple with imposter syndrome and for me, while I’m writing, I tend to question my instincts. It always peaks halfway through my manuscripts. I’m halfway there and what if it’s all crap?! Should I cut my losses and start over? What if it’s okay, but I screw up the ending so horribly it can’t be fixed? Thankfully, I have the best agent and CPs who know this is coming and talk me off of the ledge.
5. Ah, the self-doubt monster. Very real for everyone, folks. Even for fabulously talented debut authors! How has life changed for you since publishing your first novel? What are some things you’ve learned that you didn’t know before your debut released?
I’m not sure much has changed! I still doubt myself on the regular and my kids are only marginally more impressed with me. I think the main thing is I’m more intentional about the words I put on paper and the future projects I want to create. Considering I literally knew nothing before this, I’ve learned so much. I definitely thought that once the book was released, all my work would be done, but now I’m seeing how much time goes into promoting. It’s an entire world of its own!
6. Promoting is a whole different ball game. Marlee, your main character from Intercepted is a huge fan of hashtagging her life. How important is social media for an author these days?
It’s so funny that I thought in hashtags for an entire book and I literally cannot think of one for my twitter posts! Social media is crucial for authors. And trust me, I hate to say that because I’m terrible at social media. But there are so many ways to promote, connect with readers, and other authors that can’t be made anywhere else.
7. Ugh, I totally feel you. Sometimes, I stare at a posts for hours only to delete it because who the heck knows if what I have to say is even interesting, haha. What’s your favorite social media platform and why?
I love Instagram. Like I said before, I’m not great at it. I’m a mom. I have four kids that basically flood my page, but it’s a fun way for people to see who I am outside of my books. I also love stalking… I mean admiring the bookstagrammers. Their pages are art. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m so happy that they do.
8. How has social media shaped your writing career?
I’m not sure I can put a measure on it. I can say with complete certainty that the only reason my writing turned into a career is because of social media. The first two people who ever read my book (the first version) were friends that I had made in mommy groups on Facebook. One turned into my CP who I still work with today. Also, I am where I am today because of Pitch Wars, which I only learned about after I decided to join Twitter to try and make writer friends.
9. Pitch Wars has shaped the lives of so many writers. Like you, I wasn’t even aware of it until I joined Twitter. In the very least, that’s saying something about what Twitter has done for your career. Social media aside, what’s in the works for your next novel?
Well, INTERCEPTED is the first in a three book series. FUMBLED is the next book and it ends with BLITZED. I’m working on edits for BLITZED now. After this series is finished, I have a few ideas in mind, but I’m going to have to talk with my agent to see which one I should build on. I will say, even though INTERCEPTED is not autobiographical, I really loved writing something that I had such a strong connection to. I’m hoping my next project will be the same.
10. For those of you who don’t know, Alexa is a huge Kristen Ashley fan. So Alexa, if you had to choose your favorite KA book boyfriend, who would it be and why?
First of all, it is true that I stand for KA. Second of all, if Kristen Ashley happens to see this after hearing my podcast mentions and other all of the other times I have told people that she is my favorite, it’s okay, please do not get a restraining order. I swear, I’m totally (mostly) normal.
This is an easy one for me. Though I love all of her heroes—Luke Stark, I’m talking to you—Hawk Delgado is my main man. MYSTERY MAN was the first ever KA I ever read, so I think I just hold a special place in my heart for him. He’s a hot commando that is definitely a smidge too bossy, but would literally do anything for Gwen, including breaking into a motorcycle club compound and taking on her crazy sister. And if anyone knows anything, a guy that’s willing to wade into family drama is the best kind of hero there is.
Thank you, Alexa, for taking the time to chat with us today! We wish you the best of luck with all your writing endeavors.
Feature image courtesy of the author’s website.