Friday, 19 February 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - Alessandra Torre




I’d like to welcome Alessandra Torre to Novels In Heels.  I am excited and delighted to be interviewing you today.  Black Lies was my first Alessandra Torre story, and I was hooked. I have all of your novels on my kindle and they are burning a hole in it waiting to be read.  I just know that I will not be disappointed. 
 As you may or may not know from her bio on her website, Alessandra is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, she has written eleven novels, five of which have become #1 Erotic Bestsellers.
Her first book, Blindfolded Innocence, was a breakout hit, rising to the top of the ebook charts on Amazon where it attracted the interest of major publishing houses and garnered Alessandra her first print deal with Harlequin HQN. Less than twelve months later, she signed a second print deal, this time with Redhook (Hachette) for the Deanna Madden series, an erotic suspense series.

From her home on the Emerald Coast in Florida, she devotes several hours each day to various writing projects and interacting with her fans on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Happily married and with one son, she loves watching SEC football games, horseback riding, reading and watching movies.

Alessandra has four books slated for release in 2016. You can stay up to date and consider subscribing to her popular monthly newsletter. 

I love interviewing authors and getting an insight into their lives, what makes them tick and write awesome stories with a little more of an in-depth interview. So why don’t we start with some easy ones, moving onto more detailed and personal questions and then naughtier ones to close off the interview.

Name (Do you write under a pen name?): Alessandra Torre. It is a pen name. J 

Age: 31 

Where are you currently based? Destin, Florida 

How did writing begin for you? What do you consider your “big break” in the writing world? 

I was always an avid reader and had never considered writing until I read On Writing by Stephen King. Reading it makes me actually consider trying my hand at writing, and I sat down and wrote Blindfolded Innocence in six weeks. My big break was when that book took off, hitting the Amazon Top 25. That book got me an agent and a publisher, and the print deal gave me the financial freedom to write full time.  

How long have you been writing? 

Since June 2012. 

I know from your bio that you are a bestselling erotic author, but can you tell us how easy or hard is it for you to put erotic stories to paper?  Does the writing process come easily to you? 

The writing process is very easy for me. The hardest thing is to stay focused on one book at a time. Often I will get new ideas and get excited about a new concept, and its often hard to not get distracted off my current work-in-progress. 

I know that writing is a full time career for you, but did you have a different career before writing became your life? 

Yes. I was in banking, and then was a personal assistant. 

Can you give us a glimpse as to what your work schedule is like? 

I typically get up very early and write from 5am-8am each day – or I write very late at night, from midnight to 3am. During the day I work on marketing, edits, emails and my main job – being a mother and wife. 

What inspires or motivates you to write or in your general everyday life? 

Inspiration comes from everywhere. Motivation comes from within. I have stories within me that are fighting to get out. My personal drive wants them to be developed and produced in the best way possible. 

What has been your favourite book to write to date and why? 

Hollywood Dirt. I had a lot of fun writing it, it reminded me of the small town that I grew up in and gave me a lot of laughs. 

Who is your favourite character in any of your books and why? 

Brad DeLuca, his personality is based on my husband and reminds me of him.


How do you feel writing these erotic stories?  Do you write them with experience or lots of research? 

I love writing erotica; I think that sex can add a lot of emotion to a story. Every book, depending on the genre, is based on either research or experience or both. 

Speaking of research, what type or how much research goes into writing an Alessandra Torre story? 

A ton. Whether it’s on a psychological personality, or a sexual fetish, strong research can be the backbone of a story and bullshit can detract from one. 

Are your books totally fictional, or are some aspects based on people you know, events in your own life or situations you have been involved in?   

Mostly totally fictional, though I use bits and pieces of reality in a lot of my books.


 
Can you tell us how your ideas begin?  What is you thought process? 

Most ideas come from nowhere, they just sort of pop up when my mind wanders. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

Character development. My first drafts are always too short, my characters too thin, my endings too rushed. 

What do you think makes a good story these days? 

A twist. 

Do you work to an outline, plot or do you prefer to just see where the writing/story takes you? 

90% of the time I don’t know my endings, and just see where the characters take me. 

How long on average does it take you to write a book? 

6-8 weeks for a first draft. Then a month for rewrites. 

Have you ever wanted to give up writing half way through a book? 

Yes. With Tight. I wrote it three times with three completely different plots. 

Do you constantly have characters living inside your head?  Does it drive you wild at times? 

My characters are pretty quiet unless I am in the midst of writing. They behave. J 

Would you say that you have reached the top of your writing career with the success that you have had to date? 

No. I love my audience now, but I want to expand into more foreign markets and build more of a brand worldwide. I need more time and patience. 

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What types of books do you like to read yourself?  Do you find much time to read? 

I have very little time to read. I am only reading about seven or eight books a year right now. I like contemporary fiction. 

Do you have a favourite author or book? 

My favourite author is Gillian Flynn. I can’t choose a favourite book. 

What is your favourite thing to do other than writing or how do you relax? 

I love naps. We live on the beach and I love to walk with my husband down the beach and swim in the ocean. We are movie buffs and hit the theatres at least twice a week. 

What would your advice be for a budding writer/author? 

Don’t chase success. Don’t write to sell books. It is so difficult to be successful in this business, even if you have a great novel. Write because you love it, or you won’t be happy. 

If one of your stories was made into a movie, which would it be and who would play your leading characters? 

The Girl in 6E is going to be made into a movie. My pick for Deanna would be Sarah Butler, who mastered badassery in I Spit on Your Grave. 

I know you have a few stories in the works for 2016.  Is it possible to share an exclusive excerpt or synopsis of something you are working on with Novels In Heels? 

Love Chloe is releasing on March 14th. Here’s a sneak peek at it:

Standing between my two best friends, his hands on his hips, a t-shirt stretched tight across his chest, worn jeans snug on his hips, was the buildings super. Who, if you missed my earlier swoonfest, was gorgeous. But right then, in the middle of my hall, with both girls screaming, neither ones words legible, he looked pissed. And pissed, damn the man, was an even hotter look on his face. If I were his girlfriend, Id make it my mission in life to piss him off every day of the week.

And apparently the best way to do that was to get drunk in the hallway of his building.

“Hey.” I stepped closer and was completely ignored, no ones head turning my way. “Hey!” I whisper-yelled the word, setting the food down and righting the tipped bottle. Then I stepped practically into the fight, waving my hands in the air. Shut up!I hissed.

That worked. The girls stopped, Cammie blinking up at me as if wondering who I was and what I was doing there. I looked at her warily and wondered how much of the bottle between her legs she had drank.

“Youre late,accused Benta, pushing off of the wall and dragging to her feet. And this asshole is trying to kick us out.She glared at him. You know my dad could buy this whole building.

“Im impressed,he scoffed, and I wanted to smack her myself.

“Im sorry, Clemenza’s was backed up.I dug in my pocket and pulled out my keys.

I don’t need drunk girls waking everyone up. I thought this was explained to you during the interview process.

Waking everyone up?Cammie yelled and I winced, her voice five decibel levels higher than necessary. “Its ten oclock.”

Shut up Cammie.I chided. Please, both of you, go inside.I held out my keys and Benta snatched them, making an apologetic face at I was drawing a complete blank on his name. I listened to her struggle with the door, and stepped around her, approaching the guy, whose dark face glared in my direction.

And again, let me just say, this guy needs to walk around pissed 24/7. I could scoop sex appeal off his cheekbones right now and bottle it in lube and be happy for the rest of my life. “Im sorry,” I whispered. I thought Id be back before they got here.Behind me, I heard them get the door open, their move inside, and the angry slam of it shut.

His jaw clenched. Are you guys going out or…” his eyes dropped to the bag of food.

Staying in,I said regretfully. “But well be quiet, I promise. Seriously.

I don’t think the brunette has it in her to be quiet.

He was absolutely correct, Benta would probably scream her lullabies to her future sleeping baby, but I wasnt about to admit that. I tried a smile. Some inspirational poster somewhere once said that a smile could cross all barriers.

The poster was wrong. He didnt smile back. He scowled. I almost dropped my panties in response.

You are the only one-bedroom on this floor. Everyone here pays a lot of money for this space and expects a certain level of peace. Please dont make me evict you.

Any hope I had for an impromptu hallway sex session dried up in that one word. Evict. I couldnt get evicted, couldnt land back on Cammies couch, couldnt pack up all of my things and send them back to the Bronx. I wouldnt.

I swallowed. “Youre not going to have to.I stepped closer, clasping my hands together. I swear.From inside the apartment, Benta yelled my name, stretching the short word into about five syllables. I winced and tilted my head towards the closed door.

“Yeah,” he interrupted. You should get to that.He stepped back, and I missed the minty smell of his soap. Then he turned and walked away. And I swear I only stared at his ass for the first five steps.

Then I squared my shoulders, grabbed the bag of food, and turned the handle, prepared to give Benta and Cammie the reprimand of their lives.
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What is the best way for your readers to connect with you? 

Social media or my newsletter (www.nextnovel.com) 

Now for something a little more personal.

I know you love shoes, probably more than me.  I’ve seen your Louboutin collection on FB and I’m a little envious of your shoe wardrobe.  Tell me, how many pairs of shoes do you actually own and what is your favourite pair? 

I’m out of town right now but if I had to guess… I have about forty pairs of Louboutins. My favourite summer pair are these: https://www.instagram.com/p/6yD-UektYt/?taken-by=alessandratorre4 and winter pairs are these: https://www.instagram.com/p/wR8GcFEtVu/?taken-by=alessandratorre4 

What is your favourite movie and why? 

Forgetting Sarah Marshall – it makes me crack up every time. 

Give us three quirky facts about you? 

I can’t stand the sound of someone brushing their teeth. I am addicted to Dr Pepper. I can cook some amazing beignets and nothing else. 

It has been announced that you will be attending the Sydney Author Event on 13 August 2016.  I know I am excited to meet you in Sydney as many of your fans are.  Have you been to Australia before, or will this be your first visit?  What are you looking forward to the most while visiting Australia? 

This will be my first visit. I just want to hear the accents and see a kangaroo.
 
Do you let your husband, parents, and friends read your books?  Do they support you and what sort of feedback do you receive from them? 

My family isn’t allowed to read my books. I think they occasionally break that rule. My husband is my rock and my marketing guru. My parents are unconditionally supportive and don’t judge me, which I love them for that. I think my friends think I’m a freak. 

Do you believe in Insta-love?  Why? 

Yes. The minute I saw my husband, I was a goner. 

What has been the most romantic date you have been on and with whom? 

My husband flew me to Vegas for our second date. He ruined any other man for whisking me off my feet. 

If you were to date one of your characters who would it be and why? 

Brad DeLuca. I love confidence and sexuality in a man.
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 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why? 

Seth McFarlane. I just want to hear him have a conversation with the entire Family Guy cast. 

What are the most surprising things you have learnt in creating your books? 

That I actually have a talent in writing. Sometimes I read things I’ve written and am surprised. I have no recollection at writing some scenes. 

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Start writing earlier. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? 

In five years my stepson will be in college and we hope to retire to the Florida Keys. At that point I will cut down to writing 2 books a year. 

Now for some naughtier questions. 

Have you ever been arrested for something illegal or naughty? 

Never. I’m terribly boring.
 
I was going to ask – do you own any CFM heels and do you wear them in the bedroom.  But I know you have many sexy shoes, so the question is just – do they ever make an appearance in the bedroom? 

Sometimes. But high heels can be dangerous in doggie style, so they come off pretty quickly. 

Has a particular scene you have written ever made you so aroused that you just couldn’t wait for your partner? 

Often. My husband gets a lot of calls while at work, telling him I need him to come home. 

Have you ever acted out a scene in your book with your partner?  Or should I ask – how many scenes have you acted out with your partner? 

I don’t know that we’ve acted out a scene, but I have used him as a prop when I’m trying to figure out how to describe positions. And I have used things we’ve done for inspiration. 

What’s your favourite sexual position? 

Doggie style. 

What is your one (top) sexual fantasy?  Have you accomplished it? 

I plead the fifth. I have accomplished it. 

Have you ever seduced your husband/partner in a hot sexy outfit and heels? 

He doesn’t take much seduction. Early in our relationship I bought some sexy lingerie but it turns out he just prefers naked. Naked and heels is his favourite. 

Have you ever been to a BDSM club?  If so, what was the experience like? 

I never have. BDSM isn’t my thing. After reading fifty shades I wanted to try out some things and went to my husband and told him what I wanted. Five minutes into the roleplay I was pissed at him for ‘bossing me around’. 

If you had a choice would you choose – flogger, blindfold, handcuffs, restraints, rope, whips, cane? 

blindfold
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