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Interview with Alexis C. Maness

A Little Something About Alexis:

Alexis C. Maness is an adult fantasy author with a special place in her heart for dark stories. In her books, you can look forward to reading about plus-size and morally grey main characters who’ll make you swoon and maybe even root for them against your better judgment. When she isn’t glued to her keyboard weaving words into something worth reading, you’ll most likely find her with a glass of sparkling wine in hand, falling in love with the villain of her latest dark romance read. She lives in San Diego with her bossy yet adorable cat, Satine, whose dedication to sitting in one spot for a long time is the main reason these stories have finally made it to you.

Questions and Answers:

1. What made you want to be an author?

I’ve wanted to be an author since I was about eight years old. But what inspired me to really set out to do it now is all of the passion for books I’ve seen on booktok over the last few years.

2. Typically, what was the timeframe it took you to write your books?

I’m just starting out, but I think they’re taking me about 2-8 months depending on the length. I’m a big re-writer so it takes me a while to get to a draft I can move forward with editing on.

3. Are you a planner or pantser?

Pantser all the way. Creating any kind of plot or outline kind of just goes out the window as soon as I get past the first few pages. My characters decide what happens.

4. What would you say is your unique writing style?

I’m a very descriptive writer—I like to create really vivid images when I can. I try to find opportunities throughout the book to pause and really describe something so readers can see it in their mind. My editor has described it as creating word pictures lol.

5. Whether it be traditional, self, or story book apps. How did you find the publishing process?

I’m self-publishing and there’s a ton to learn and a lot of logistics to work out. I find you really have to plan out your whole timeline—and then make room for any potential hiccups since you’re collaborating with so many other people. I think there are a lot of parts that could be easier, but the infrastructure just isn’t there yet.

6. How much of your process includes doing research into your subject matter or plot?

I haven’t written anything that’s required a lot of research—and I think for the most part I’ll stay away from things that do. My job is extremely research heavy, so I’d rather be as free thinking and creative as possible when working on novels.

I’m also a firm believer that there is a lot of room for imagination and putting your own spin on things, even when there is established mythology. Of course, there are times when you need to look up when something was invented or other concrete things—but I really try to stay away from ideas that require that level of fact-checking.

7. How old were you when you first discovered your passion for writing?

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been obsessed with reading and English classes were always my best subject. It turned into a career after college and has really just expanded into every part of my life.

8. When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing with your time?

Reading is my absolute favorite hobby. I also spend a lot of time listening to and discovering new music, learning about art, and scrolling TikTok for way too long. I’m also lucky enough to live in San Diego, so there is always something fun to explore when I have down time.

9. Is your family supportive?

Very! I’m very fortunate to have supportive family and friends. My mom has always encouraged me to pursue this.

10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books (characters, location, plot)?

I think a lot of things are revealed about ourselves in our writing, a lot of it unintentionally. I think one really interesting thing it’s helped me uncover is what I value in my relationships and the type of partner I would want. For example, the love interest of Vengeance Becomes He’s empathetic, thoughtful, supportive, and very much a feminist.

11. What is your favorite component about the genre you write?

I love writing about dark themes and creepy elements/magic which is why I think dark fantasy is such a good fit for me.

12. What advice would you give to help others become writers?

Stop waiting for that magical perfect timing to hit and just start writing down things as they come to you. Even if you just use the notes app, baby steps are so important.

13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I’m still really new but I have heard from some readers. The most common thing I’ve heard from readers is how much they appreciate reading about plus size characters who stand up for themselves and are confident in who they are—not despite their body size. I think a lot of readers who are moving through the body acceptance process really want this kind of representation that empowers them, and I hope I can keep providing that.

14. Do you like to create books for your target audience?

I don’t write to market. I create the books I want to write, whatever story takes root in my mind, and fine tune my messaging to find the right readers. I’m a firm believer in the idea that there are readers for every type of story—even if it breaks genre constructs—you just have to find them.

15. What pulls you in about a book? Do you read a book based on the cover or the summary?

The cover is definitely the first impression but I’ll always read the summary because I don’t want to waste my time on something that isn’t going to be my kind of book—I know what I like and what I don’t. But when it comes to people like talking about a book, I’ll often one-click buy if it’s someone who has similar taste to me.

16. How do you handle writer's block and what do you tell other aspiring authors who may be fighting or fearful about hitting that wall?

If I hit a wall with a scene or character, I typically will pause and find a way to inspire myself more. That might be creating a playlist for the character, creating a short list of traits, or scrolling Pinterest. When it comes to scenes, I’ll take a minute to identify what is causing the block. Is it because the scene is boring? Maybe it’s not needed and there’s another way to push the plot forward. Is it because I’m not fully understanding what I’m trying to accomplish? And so on.

I’m a problem solver, I don’t like sitting on things for too long, so I always try to find a way to tackle the root issue. However, sometimes the only thing to do is to put a comment to come back to it and move on. The solution usually comes naturally that way, it just might require going back and doing some reworking.

Final Note:

I am beyond excited to get my hands on her book Vengeance Becomes Her. The aspect most of all that attracts me to her novel is the role of Rhiannon takes on as the ultimate badass, curvy heroine. It's rare to see a curvy female lead, let alone one that can stand on her own and fight to save herself. I love the aspect of down with female roles that paint us as damsels in distress and wanting a man that not only is a dangerous prick, but who is enabled to continue treating the women in his life as playthings. Nope, you're not going to find that in Alexis's book and I couldn't be happier to see a woman who seems to embrace her femineity but can also kick ass -- and that's her mission, destroy anyone who gets in her way to the one man that killed her!

It's on pre-order now, so make sure you get your copy held, today. In the meantime, follow Alexis on all her platforms.

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