Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Spotlight Author with Alexa Bourne

Alexa Bourne is my guest today. She is a pre-published author who loves to help teach other writers the things she has learned along her journey to becoming published. I had the opportunity to take her class KILLER OPENINGS a couple of months ago and really enjoyed it. She is a great teacher and has a lot of knowledge and support to give to all of you writers out there! So here she is to share a little bit about herself, her writing, and her life with us.

Tell us a little about the classes you teach and why you decided to share your knowledge with other writers.

Actually, a couple of writer friends suggested I look into teaching online classes. I’m a teacher in my day job and those friends thought I might be interested in and good at teaching online classes. (Turns out I DO love it!)

Shortly after those conversations, I saw a request for class proposals and decided to explore what I might be able to teach. As I put the first proposal together, I started getting excited and started looking into other class ideas.

At the moment, I have 3 classes that I teach: Killer Openings (about the importance of the 1st line, 1st paragraph & 1st page), Contests: The Basics, and Finished That Manuscript…Now What? (about what the next steps should be once a writer finishes a manuscript). I taught Killer Openings for the first time in April and had a blast. I’ll be teaching Contests: The Basics next month through Hearts Through History. Here’s the blurb:
With so many writing contests out there and so many details to consider, it’s easy for a writer to be overwhelmed! Contests: The Basics will take students through the contest process, step-by-step---from choosing a contest, to preparing the entry, from dealing with the emotional aspects of “contesting” to deciphering the results. Students will leave class with a better understanding of the process and with a list of resources for making the most out of their contest experiences.

When you are writing, what is your process? Plotter or Panster?

Pantser, all the way. I get a scene idea and I run with it. I write a really, really, REALLY rough manuscript draft in one month. (After completing NaNoWriMo, I found I really enjoy that process.) This is where I learn about my characters and the plot ideas. I write the rough draft on paper, too. (I know, I’m one of the few!) After the rough draft, I go back and organize my plot and my characters’ GMCs. Then comes the next draft, which happens a bit more on computer. I usually go through 4-6 drafts. The last draft is actually me reading the entire book out loud. I find I can pick up missed words, misspellings, and awkward phrasing that way. Then once the manuscript is submitted, I spend 24 hours celebrating- watching a movie, shopping, having a margarita!- and then I get busy with the next story.

What is your favorite thing about writing romance?

I’m a sucker for a happy ending! I love watching two people who want nothing to do with each other learn to trust each other and fall in love. I love writing flawed characters that grab the readers from the first page. I figure there’s enough violence in the real world so I make sure justice is done and the hero and heroine are stronger together by the end of my manuscripts.
What is the hardest part about your job?

I write mostly romantic suspense, so the hardest part for me is achieving a balance between the romance and the suspense. Also, making sure all the suspense elements are logical, flow and are wrapped up by the end of the book.
What type of hero do you find irresistible?

Hot ones! LOL! Flawed, rough around the edges heroes. I like the ones whose words may be rough, but their actions are sweet and tender. For example, my current hero snaps at my heroine, but then she sees him gently playing with a puppy.

Do you have any advice or writing secrets for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up! You’ll never succeed if you quit!
For newer authors, finish your first manuscript before moving on. It’s so important to write THE END. For everyone, know when to say when. We could all keep revising the same chapter, partial, manuscript over and over, but there comes a point where you’ve got to let it go and start something new.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to be published! LOL! I’m working on building my own tutoring/editing/critiquing business, so I hope that is up and running well enough that I can stop teaching full-time. Other than that I really have no idea.

Where can we learn more about you, your writing, and your classes?

I have a website- There you can find out more about me, my manuscripts, and the classes I’ll be teaching. I also have a blog that I post to pretty regularly- And I’m on Facebook!

Thank you so much, Micole, for having me!

It was my pleasure Alexa. Good luck with your classes as well as your journey to publishing.

See you back here next week.




Cat Schield said...

Hi Alexa, I think you are so smart to mesh your talents as a teacher and a writer. You have a whole lot of experience to share. I'm glad you found an outlet.

Alexa said...

Thanks, Cat! I just can't believe I've waited this long to figure it out!

Shelley Munro said...

It's great to meet you, Alexa. I'm a sucker for happy endings too. That's what drew me to romance. Good luck with your writing journey!

Alexa said...

Thanks, Shelley, and thanks for dropping by!

Sheri Humphreys said...

Hi Alexa. I was in your April Killer Openings class with Micole, and I enjoyed it so much. I'm happy you'll be offering it again for YRW next year. Sheri

Alexa said...

Thanks, Sheri, for taking a chance on me!