Alexandrea Weis began writing at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen again and began her first novel To My Senses. Since that time she has writen several novels and sold two screenplays (White River and Blood Will Tell). Blood Will Tell is currently in pre-production with Buyer Group International. Her work has been critically acclaimed and is continually growing in popularity.
Her most recent book is Recovery, the second novel in the Nicci Beauvoir series which takes readers on a Big Easy thrill ride when a lover’s murder is solved and a spy with a bulletproof bravado quickens Nicci’s broken heart.
Alexandrea is also a permitted wildlife rehabber and works rescuing orphaned and injured animals. She recently has been working to aid oil soaked birds in the Gulf disaster.
You can visit Alexandrea’s website at www.alexandreaweis.com or connect with her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alexandreaweis.com and Facebook at www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/To-My-Senses/113609858681394.
This is my second novel. The first, To My Senses, garnered numerous book awards and was well received by the critics. Recovery is my second novel in the Nicci Beauvoir Series.
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
I was self-published. I tried the usual route of getting an agent and sending out queries until I was blue in the face. I decided to self-publish to see if I was really any good as a writer. I learned so much from that experience, especially from other authors. Self-published authors for a long time were considered the bastard children of the publishing world, but that has changed a great deal in the past few years. More and more mainstream publishing houses are turning to self-published authors because they are experienced, have well crafted novels, and have proved they are serious about their writing.
Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?
About six to seven months from the time I signed the contract to the time of publication.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
It was a relief actually to be published at first. I thought, maybe now I can finally discover if I can do this or not. Then I started getting great reviews and requests for more information about my next book. That is when I realized that maybe I could pursue writing.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I sent out books to reviewers, took out ads in industry magazines, and placed the book in a few writing competitions. After that, word of mouth took over. Four years later my first book, To My Senses, is still growing an audience.
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I take myself more seriously now. I never thought of myself as a writer before To My Senses. I was just a nurse who wrote a little fiction on the side. Today, I think of myself as a writer. That has probably been the greatest change in my self-awareness. I was always scientific in my thinking prior to publishing my first novel. But I have learned to finally embrace my creative side, and allow it to flourish.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
What surprised me was how much business, and how little creativity, is actually in the industry. In medicine, when presented with a new disease or set of symptoms, we tend to embrace the challenge. But in the book business, format and formula are the mainstay of publishing. Publishers are more concerned about how a novel fits into a certain mold than admiring the unique creativity in that story. I find many in the publishing world rarely think outside of the box. However, it is the readers who are clamoring for more diverse and creative stories. I have heard many readers say that for every good book they read, there are about five they could not get through.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
Without a doubt, having my stories embraced and loved by the readers. When someone tells me how much they loved To My Senses or Recovery, it makes all the pains of publishing that book worth it.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Never stop writing. As long as you are writing you are growing as a writer. It is when you stop and give up on your dreams that your dreams will die. As long as you believe in yourself, you will find others who believe in you as well.