Today, I bring you an interview with author Alana Oxford. Alana is an author of Rom Coms, Sweet Romance, and Humorous Fiction. I have her book titled 'Blue Skies' on my kindle, waiting to be read. I am very much looking forward to it. When it comes to our writing, Alana and I seem to be kindred spirits. I also love to write stories where the main character gets into all sort of amusing situations, that we can all relate to. I love to write light hearted books that make people laugh.
Alana is from Michigan in The United States, and enjoys improv comedy. moody music, and everything books. So, lets find out about bit more.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 2nd grade when my teacher passed out little construction paper journals for all of us. That was the moment I realized how much I loved writing stories. I didn’t get serious about it until I was in my late twenties.
What do you enjoy about writing Rom Coms?
I am a sarcastic person by nature, and writing rom coms gives me an opportunity to really be sarcastic and funny in my writing. The characters can get into ridiculous situations and feel embarrassed, awkward, or silly about it. Plus, I love romance and the relationships between people. It’s fun to explore that with a background of fun and happiness. Not that my stories are pure fluff, but it’s nice to know things will turn out well in the end.
What do you think a reader wants in a good Rom Com?
First, I think Rom Com readers want to escape. The world can be a very dark and scary place. I know, as a reader, when I pick up a Rom Com, I want to meet fun, relatable characters who go to interesting or gorgeous places and meet someone else who sets off a spark in them. I often see a lot of absurdity in my real life, and I like to see that reflected in a good Rom Com.
Can you tell me about your Rom Com titled ‘Blue Skies’? It is on my kindle, and I am very much look forward to reading it.
Blue Skies is the story of Patrice, a graphic designer at an advertising agency. She hasn’t found her confidence at work yet, and she takes her dogs for a walk after a particularly rough day at the office. While they’re there, one of her Pomeranians, Mr. Muffins, makes a break for it. A guy sitting on a park bench reading, catching Mr. Muffins for her and sparks a great conversation between the two of them.
It’s a novella, so it doesn’t have a lot of subplots, but I think it covers a lot of ground. My favorite thing about it is the twist. It’s been mentioned in a lot of the reviews, so it makes me happy to see that readers didn’t see it coming and felt it was resolved in a satisfying manner.
I had so much fun writing this book. It was my happy place when Covid 19 lockdown first started. I hope it will give readers a smile, but it also has a little depth to it too.
I see the book has two dogs in the story. All my books feature cheeky pets. Are you a big animal lover like me?
I’ve always had some sort of pet in my life. I’ve had cats, dogs, fish, guinea pigs, a newt, and even a couple of ant farms. Animals are so fun, and often, they’re really strange. The weirder the animal, the more I like it. Some of my friends have Pomeranians with huge personalities so I had their dogs in mind when I created Mr. Muffins and Dolly.
While we are on the subject of animals, as a writer, what would be your mascot / spirit animal be?
I absolutely love sloths! They might not get a lot of writing done, but I love that they have permanent goofy grins on their faces. They just quietly do their thing in their own time. I write when I can and don’t beat myself up about adhering to a strict schedule. Life happens. I feel like the sloth just takes things as they come and that’s how I try to be about my writing.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Plotting. I try to so hard to become more of a plotter than a pantser, but it just hasn’t happened. If you sat me down and handed me a notebook and said, “Here, plot out your next novel,” I’d probably just make some notes about the characters and a few events I’d want to include in the book, then some character would start speaking in my head and I’d start writing an opening. And let’s not even talk about writing back cover blurbs or a synopsis. Those are the worst!
What advice would you give a new author?
It’s not going to be an easy path. I think all writers have this vision that they’ll write a book and it’s going to get read by all their friends. Their friends will LOVE the book and tell ten of their friends. Then they’ll tell their friends, and the next thing you know, you’ll be selling hundreds of books a month for the rest of your life.
The reality is it’s worse than pulling teeth to get friends and family to read, let alone review, your work. And if the people who actually know and love you don’t read your book, how are you going to get strangers to do it?
I don’t mean this to be discouraging, but it’s a lot harder to be a writer if we cling to these unrealistic dreams that subconsciously become our goals. If you don’t sell a hundred books in your first week, (I mean, let’s face it, we’re secretly hoping for one hundred sales or more on launch day alone, aren’t we?) it doesn’t make you and your book failures. It means you have to keep working hard and have a marketing plan.
The writing is the easy part. (And we all know it’s not actually easy to write a book!) The marketing and sales side is a different skill set. If you go into writing and publishing knowing that, it’s easier to celebrate every sale you make, rather than despair about the sales you aren’t getting.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m 100% a book nerd. Not only do I write them, but I read them and review them. And it doesn’t stop there. I’m a librarian too. I am literally surrounded by books every day of my life and I love it. Although much of my time is book related somehow, I also love music and traveling with my family.
Thanks to Alana for sharing the insights into her stories with us. If you would like to check out her work, click on the links below.