Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wacky Wednesday: A Visit With The Talented Alexandrea Weis, author of ACADIAN WALTZ

Alexandrea with her baby,
Rodney the Racoon
On Monday, I reviewed ACADIAN WALTZ by Alexandrea Weis and truly, I did my best to express my enjoyment of this book but still don’t feel I really did it justice. I hope you’ll read my review of ACADIAN WALTZ if you haven’t already – you can click on the title to do so, but please do hurry back, because I’m so excited that the talented author of this fabulous contemporary romance is going to be joining me today. Last week, I was honored to be a guest at GraveTells Reviews and News where I was asked if I had come across any new or lesser-known authors that had truly caught my eye. Well, I do have a long list and certainly couldn’t take up everyone’s time by naming them all but I do have to say that Alexandrea Weis is one that I wanted to include in the list but ran out of time – she was a new author to me last year even though she was not a new author to the publishing world. I’m truly a fan now.

Please join me in welcoming Alexandrea Weis, the author of the fabulous new release, ACADIAN WALTZ, to Unwrapping Romance …

Amy:  Welcome Alexandrea, it's an absolute delight to have you with us today, and thank you for taking the time. Perhaps you'd like to tell us a little bit about yourself for those who don't know you yet.

Alexandrea:  Thanks so much for having me, Amy. I am a nurse from New Orleans who is also a certified/permitted wildlife rehabber with the La. Wildlife and Fisheries, so my house is a zoo. I take in orphaned and injured wildlife, care for them and re-release them back into the wild. I love it. I began writing at the age of eight, but did not finish my first book until I was in my mid-thirties. I have written many books since To My Senses, and Acadian Waltz is my seventh published novel with many more coming in the future.

Amy:  Thank you so much for being such a wonderful caretaker of animals. Being a nurse certainly gives you insight into human emotions that definitely show in your writing. You are an author who has written a variety of things from screenplays to romance, what or who first inspired you to write and what was your first published work?

Alexandrea:  I guess I would have to blame my upbringing for turning me into a writer. I was an only child who always had a very active imagination and grew up in the motion picture business. My father had an independent production company in the French Quarter. For me, such Bohemian influences allowed for my imagination to take flight. In addition, both my parents were very supportive of my storytelling and encouraged me to write. But the individual who prompted me to write my first novel, TO MY SENSES, was the man after whom the character of David was molded. It was for my David that I summoned the fortitude to sit down and write my first book.

Amy:  He must’ve been quite inspiring.  : )
ACADIAN WALTZ is an exceptionally visual story. I felt like I was actually in the swamps, mosquitos buzzing in my ears, and the feel of the humidity settling on my skin. I know you live in Louisiana - outside New Orleans - do you attribute your skill at creating such an intensely realistic setting to mimicking what's around you or do you draw inspiration from elsewhere?

Alexandrea:  Living in Southeast Louisiana, one cannot help but be influenced by your surroundings. The city of New Orleans is culturally rich, the people vividly eccentric, and the setting rife with sights and sounds that excite the imagination. I believe where you are from has a great deal to do with what you become. Being raised in such an eclectic city, and among such wonderful characters, has influenced my writing more than anything. You are always told to write about what you know, I know New Orleans and the surrounding area, and that is why I write about it as I do. It’s just a part of me.

Amy:  New Orleans is one city I have yet to visit but hope to someday. I thank you so much for a peek at the city that a tourist might not actually see. I kept thinking as I read ACADIAN WALTZ, how fabulous this would be on screen. The way the story leads the reader's imagination in many directions, at least mine, and the incredible setting, itself, it would make a great movie. Would you ever consider turning it, or any of your romance works, into a screenplay?

Alexandrea:  Cringe! Having grown-up in the motion picture business, and having written a few screenplays, I am painfully aware of how movies work. In many ways I would love to see my characters up on the big screen, but then again, I would dread it. Another’s interpretation of your work is a sure fire way to find frustration as a writer. Perhaps if I had total control over the screenplay and production, to make sure the movie was true to the book, I might consider it. But then again, I recall all of my experiences on movie sets as a child, and how directors, actors, and even cameramen reinterpreted what was written in the script to cater to their production needs, and I think, hell no. I guess it would depend on who would want to take on such a task, and the way they would try to stay true to the characters in the book. We shall see.

Amy:  I have to admit that I never thought about it that way. I would want complete control over everything if it was my story – ACADIAN WALTZ would not be as good if its emotions were lost. My mind whirled with the underlying mystery in this story, and I kept seeing things going in ways that eventually became clear, was that your intent - misdirection? I know it was in the end but we won't talk about that because that would be a major spoiler.  *wink*

Alexandrea:  I like to keep the reader second-guessing the intentions of the characters. Isn’t that how we see people in real life? You never completely trust a new acquaintance, so why should a character in a book be any different? I think it adds to the mystery and the lure of a story to keep some things hidden until the end.

Amy:  Well, I can tell my dear readers this – the ending will grab you so hard you’ll want to scream – or throw the book. I just started to cry! Where do you see your writing going next? Perhaps more mystery? Have you ever thought of another genre - something otherworldly, for example?

Alexandrea:  My next novel is a bit of a departure from contemporary romance. It is more paranormal but without the werewolves, vampires or other well-written creatures lurking on the shelves of bookstores today. THE SATYR’S CURSE is a romantic suspense novel with a supernatural twist. Voodoo curses, murder, mystery, and passion are the foundations of the plot. Set in New Orleans - where else - it has to do with the mysterious curse surrounding the last female heir of an Old New Orleans family, Jazzmyn Livaudais. She becomes involved with a man, Julian Devereau, who seems too good to be true. Her romantic adventure takes a turn for the worse when Julian turns out to be more than she could have ever imagined. THE SATYR’S CURSE will be released in May of this year.

Amy:  How exciting! Well, I’m going to be looking for that ARC as soon as it’s available for sure. Voodoo, curses, murder, mystery and passion – oh my! LOL!
Authors write a lot, but as we know, in order to write well, a writer must also read. Who are your favorite authors and have they had any influence on your writing?

Alexandrea:  I love reading about ancient history, so any novel, fiction or non-fiction, that deals with characters from ancient times enthralls me. Mary Renault is a favorite - but I also love to read modern suspense novels. Ian Fleming is another author who I love to read and reread. His character presentation for James Bond is very detailed and inspiring.

Amy:  Amazingly good reading and I’m sure it all inspires you – including the amazing history that surrounds New Orleans and the mysterious bayous. My final question and my favorite:  If you could be ANY character in ANY book, not just your own, who would it be and why?

Alexandrea:  I would probably love to be Nicci Beauvoir from my first series. The men she got to play with in TO MY SENSES, RECOVERY, and SACRIFICE were some of my favorites. David Alexander and Dallas August are not only sexy, vulnerable, strong, and smart, they were a lot of fun to write. I have always said heaven to a writer is where you get to finally meet all of the characters you have written. Heaven on earth is where I get to write about them.

Amy:  Looks like I’ve got some catch up reading to do – now you’ve intrigued me to add those three to my TBR list. I agree with you about Heaven on Earth being where we get to write about our characters – the imagination is the best show in town – reading your stories is the second best show in town. Alexandrea, thank you so very much for sharing some of your precious time today. We really do appreciate it since you're such a very busy lady. Congratulations on your new release, and may 2013 bring you much success. I’ll be eagerly awaiting SATYR’S CURSE this Spring!

Alexandrea:  Thank you, Amy, for this opportunity to connect with your readers!

Amy:  If you’d like to learn more about Alexandrea and her fabulous books, please feel free to visit her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and follow her blog, RANTINGS OF A FRUSTRATED WRITER where you can read excerpts and learn about her wonderful animals.

Alexandrea has graciously decided to offer up a Cajun Basket of Goodies to which I will add a digital copy of ACADIAN WALTZ as a fabulous Giveaway. All you, my dear readers, have to do is tell Alexandrea and me where you think your inspiration for creative endeavors comes from – any creative endeavor will suffice, baking, drawing, sewing, or even writing. I know there are a lot of quiet writers out there – we’ve all been one. So –


GIVEAWAY PRIZE – A Digital Copy of ACADIAN WALTZ & a Cajun Basket of Goodies.

At thirty, Nora Kehoe is feeling pressured to settle down. On a blind date, Nora unexpectedly ends up in the emergency room where she meets Dr. John Blessing. She hopes the pragmatic Dr. Blessing can make her life complete. Then, a passionate encounter with a childhood friend changes everything.

The charismatic Jean Marc Gaspard manages the family business, Gaspard Fisheries. But rumors abound that Jean Marc is running more than seafood through the waters around Manchac Louisiana. When a family crisis sends Nora to Manchac, she is thrown headlong into the dangerous world of smugglers and swindlers. And as Jean Marc tries to protect Nora from his past, he realizes he may lose her because of it.

The dark bayou waters run deep with secrets in Louisiana, and every Cajun knows how to dance the fine line between the right and wrong side of the law. But for strangers, learning the steps to staying alive in the swamps can be tricky. Life, and love, will be dependent on how well one can master the … Acadian Waltz.
***This Giveaway is OPEN TO US RESIDENTS ONLY (void where prohibited)
***For VALID ENTRY, commenter must leave a VALID EMAIL ADDRESS. Remember the Magic Formula for Entry:
***This Giveaway will run until 11:30PM EST, Friday, February 22, 2013 at which time one lucky valid entry will be chosen by randomizer to win a digital copy of ACADIAN WALTZ by Alexandrea Weis and a Cajun Basket of Goodies. The winner will be notified by email and will have until end of day Thursday, February 28, 2013 to contact me or I will have no choice but to run the randomizer again using the remaining valid entries to choose a new winner. Good Luck and …
Happy Reading Everyone!
ACADIAN WALTZ by Alexandrea Weis, World Castle Publishing, available in print and ebook formats.



erin said...

Thanks for the fun post and congrats to Alexandrea on her new release!

I'd have to say friends and family :)


bn100 said...

I enjoyed the interview. Nice cover.


Sara Gallagher said...

I would have to say what inspires me is my family, friends and sometimes a holiday will give me some inspiration on a craft.
Great post.

Jaye Shields said...

I'm inspired by music when I'm feeling creative. It puts me in a mood.

Acadian Waltz, what a title! Sounds good.

bn100 said...

Sorry, meant to add inspired by talented people.


Carey Sabala said...

Oh awesome giveaway and the book looks great too! keeping my fingers crossed x

Kerrie said...

New author to me too, I will have to check out the book!

What I find inspiring: scenery. Peoplewatching, landscapes, etc.


Amy Valentini said...

I love this book so much that I wish I could give you each a copy - I want you all to read it soooo much.
Great inspirations, my dears, and bn100, I'm inspired by talented people too and good friends. : )

Good Luck! xoxo