The Writers Who Read series continues this week with historical romance author Christina Alexandra.
Who are you?
Hi, my name is Christina and I’m a recovering foodie. Oh, who am I kidding, I’m enjoying every delicious bite! 😉
I’m Christina Alexandra. I write steamy historical romance set in Georgian and Regency England. You can find me all over the Internet, but mostly on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. I’m on Pinterest, but I have to hold myself back or else I’ll never be seen again!
Which book or series was your gateway into the world of reading?
I don’t remember which books led me to read, but I remember before I could read, sitting with my Dad while he read Terry Brooks’ Shannara Chronicles and Magic Kingdom for Sale. After that, I just remember reading everything out in front of me – books, magazines, newspapers, ad pages…
Nowadays, what makes you crack open a book instead of pressing play on your favorite Netflix show?
I really don’t have the attention span for TV anymore. Lol. I know it seems like it’d be the opposite since TV takes less imagination and concentration, but unless it’s a documentary, my TV attention span is about thirty minutes. No binge watching for me!
Which authors are auto-buys for you? Why?
Oh, man, so many! Elizabeth Hoyt, Grace Burrowes, Victoria Dahl, Julia Quinn, Samantha Grace, Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sherry Thomas, Katharine Ashe, Jim Butcher, and before he died, Michael Crichton. So many others, but I could literally go on forever.
What keeps me coming back? It’s the story. For me the story has to be believable, the “this could have happened” factor. Michael Crichton was the master of this. There’s just enough blend of fact and fiction that makes you go WTH?!
What is your book kryptonite–those unique settings, tropes, or character types that make you unable to resist reading?
Ever since I entered the world of romance a mere three years ago, I have been fully absorbed and indoctrinated into Romancelandia. I love Love. I especially love Historical Love. I’m a sucker for an arranged marriage or marriage of convenience.
If not romance, then the speculative fiction draws me in. For those, I have no guidelines other than the story has to be fun to read and I have to like the characters.
What is your ideal time and place to read?
Anytime. Anyplace. Paper, ebook, tablet, phone. No matter where I am, I have something to read on at all times. I’m not picky. 🙂
Are you a re-reader? Why or why not?
Absolutely! Unless I’m reading a new story from start to finish, I jump around. I’ll reread passages that I think can help me be a better writer. That’s why I love ebooks so much. I can’t imagine having to carry all my books with me everywhere I go. It’s a little more convenient to carry just a tablet with my 500+ book library with me.
Which books have had the biggest influence on your writing?
Not so much a book, but the authors mentioned above teach me to be a better storyteller. I can see how flow, language, plot twist, hook and black moment all fit together. And with those authors who have multiple books and series, I can see how each character is a different person. Which is much harder to pull off as a beginning writer than you’d think.
What makes a book a satisfying read for you?
The story has to flow and all questions have to be answered. I read one recently where there were a couple of questions that were left unanswered. I kept flipping back and forth trying to figure out if I missed something. That left me frustrated because now I’m left wondering what was said!
What are you reading right now?
I’m rereading a few things. Right now I’m looking how a mystery element is hidden throughout the books. It’s not so much a mystery book I’m writing, but there’s an element of secrecy about it that I don’t want the readers to guess too early.
A late-comer to the romance world, once she picked up her first romance in 2011, there was no going back. Always a history lover in school, it was the historical romance novels that had the greatest impact and carried her favorite story lines.
It wasn’t long before she joined Romance Writers of America (RWA) and several online chapters specializing in history – specifically nineteenth century England since she writes historical romance set in the Georgian and Regency time periods.
Christina lives in Southern California where she works as an emergency services operator for a large police department. An avid trivia junkie, she is constantly on the lookout for random facts in the hopes that it will help her in her never ending quest for a spot on “Jeopardy!”
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