Interview with author Alexia Banks

Today I’d like you all to meet Alexia Banks, another of my Crimson Romance collegues. Diane has a background in television and movie writing, which provides an interesting perspecive on writing. I hope you enjoy her insights.

Me: Describe your journey to becoming published?

Alexia Banks: Ironically enough, I can’t remember a time when I DIDN’T want to be an author. I always loved the merging of the written word with images. That same interest took me on a twenty-year journey into movie and television producing. While I continue to work in the field (and have a reality show that was recently sold to a cable network), my longing to write a novel never waned. In late 2011, I just sat myself down and forced myself to finally get serious about it. My first endeavor was a work of non-fiction. The book sold earlier this year for a 2013 release. I had actually written a novella length RomCom several years ago. When I read about Crimson’s call for submission, I decided to send it along to Jennifer Lawler. The work was much too short, but she liked it and encouraged me to expand it. I sent back Forgotten Dreams (an appropro title, given my own path to being an author) and she wanted it for the imprint. I was ecstatic!

 Me: Tell me about your book.

AB: Shane Connelly – a pretty young entrepreneur – is determined to shake things up as she leaves her drone of a boyfriend Marc and the mean streets of Miami far behind. She goes in search of greener pastures in the North Carolina mountains, but finds it is anything but the perfect spot to while away the hot summer months. Her recently acquired country home turns out to be a burned out hovel in the middle of nowhere – and after a series of unexplained and chilling visions — Shane suspects it’s haunted. With her hopes dashed before her adventure can even begin, she is about to head home when a handsome stranger unexpectedly arrives at her doorstep. Before she can beat a trail off the mountain, Shane and her handsome Cherokee neighbor Jesse are inexplicably drawn together as they dodge bullets, unearth ghosts, and unravel a dark town secret. As events reach a surprising conclusion, Shane realizes that it’s not the high altitudes that are making her head spin, but her tall lover with the penetrating dark eyes. In the end, she cuts her ties with the past, determined to embrace her future with her dashing new man by her side.

Me: What inspires you as a writer?

AB: Great writers of all genres inspire me. I think we’ve all read something incredibly moving and have said to ourselves, “Boy, I wish I wrote that!” Those are the “ah ha” moments that have compelled most of us to become writers.

Me: When do you make time for writing?

AB: I’m very fortunate, because I basically make my own schedule. My kids are grown (well, sort of grown). LOL. And most days, I can make time to write. I do, however, prefer to let ideas percolate during the later part of the day, and write early in the morning when I’m fresh.

Me: Why do you write romance?

AB: Romance is incredibly enjoyable to write. Also, a little escapism is a great thing, especially in these challenging times. It’s a wonderful thing to know you’ve done something that enables readers to step outside of their own reality.

Me: How has your background as a TV and movie writer, producer and director helped you in your writing career?

AB: Being a movie and television writer, producer and directed has definitely benefited me as a novelist. You learn to be very concise versus overly verbose. Film is very precise, and three-act structure forces one to be very disciplined. Everything has to fit into that two-hour format perfectly. Every word has to move the story forward and be purposeful. As a result, I tend to underwrite, and fill in the blanks on my second or third draft. Also, films are fundamentally image and dialogue driven. Both skills relate well to books.

My note: I write the same. I often go back and fill in b/c I’m try to write as if I’m shooting a movie. Quick action, fill in detail later.

Me: What advice do you have for other writers?

AB: I’m sure some will wrinkle their noses at this, but to me, the most important thing a writer can do is prepare a very detailed book outline. I have even gone so far as to write chapter outlines on some projects. When I’m asked how I write so fast, the answer is always the same…the outline. I never sit down to write without having all of my plot lines, characters and story arc worked out ahead of time. It’s a great way to spot problems and avoid getting “writer’s block,” or wasting time on things that lead nowhere. Also, the outline serves beautifully as a synopsis when your manuscript is ready to submit to agents and publishers.

Thanks Alexia! I love how she incorporates her television and movie experience in her writing. Great tips! Forgotten Dreams is available today from Crimson Romance. Be sure to get your copy!

Here’s how you can learn more about Alexia:

www.alexiabanksromance.com, Twitter and Facebook

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About Synithia W
I write love stories filled with passion and drama at night, I improve air and water quality during the day, and I love my husband and kids in between.

14 Responses to Interview with author Alexia Banks

  1. Alexia Banks says:

    I am so delighted to be featured on your wonderful blog. I enjoyed our chat about writing, Synithia, and thank you for your time and support.

  2. Great interview! I totally agree with Alexia’s recommendation to prepare an outline before working on your written work. I too find that its very helpful.

    • alexiabanks says:

      As writers, we are all eager to dig into our story and characters…get to the fun part. Although outlines are about as enjoyable as getting one’s tooth pulled, they really help me spot problems and know where I want my story to go before I sit down to write it. Thanks for weighing in, Sharon.

    • Synithia W says:

      Outlines and character profiles help a lot. Especially when I’m facing writer’s block.

  3. micahpersell says:

    Thanks for the advice, Alexia! I’m coming to understand the importance of plotting in my own writing 🙂

    • Yes, plotting is a tough one, and that’s where the outline comes in. Often, when I lay it out, I see that holes in the fabric of the story before I’ve started sewing it together..

  4. Lola Karns says:

    Great interview. I don’t outline per se, but I do use a stack of index cards to keep track of the plot and if those pesky characters don’t do as I want, I can easily switch out a few when needed.

    • alexiabanks says:

      It’s like I always say, one woman’s index cards is another’s outline. Whatever gets the job done. Oddly, I don’t outline scripts. I use index cards. LOL

      • Synithia W says:

        Comments in MS Word are my index cards. My outlines are very vague. Usually just what I want to happen in a chapter. What happens is that my characters evolve as I write and what I thought would happen in a chapter no longer works. So I take notes and fill in the holes later.

  5. kwanawrites says:

    Great interview. Makes me want to become a better outliner.

  6. alexiabanks says:

    Thank you, Kwana. Writing such a personal thing, and what works for one author may not work for another. In my own case, I need the discipline.

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