Lexi grew up in South Alabama in a rural community with one flashing light and a small country store that sold everything from gas to pickled eggs. Her father, a circuit judge, collected clocks — chiming clocks that binged and banged all night long in rhythm with the trains that chugged and wailed down the railroad track not a hundred yards from Lexi’s girlhood home. Needless to say, Lexi is a very sound sleeper. And to this day, the lonely sound of a train whistle does something to her.
She grew up surrounded by cotton fields and wide open spaces. She was a major tomboy. Dressed in a boy cousin’s hand-me-downs, she ran barefoot, climbed trees, played in ditches, and picked sun-warmed dew berries off their prickly vines. Sometimes, her parents drove her into town to play with her city cousins. They played dress-up, made forts, charged up and down dirt mounds in noisy games of King of the Hill and chased the mosquito truck on their bikes.
Lexi’s mother was a high school English teacher who instilled in her daughter a love of reading and books. The muse first struck Lexi in the third grade, when she began to write poetry. Bad poetry.
She continued to flay the English language throughout high school and college.
And then she went to law school and the muse left her.
The muse HATED law school.
Lexi wasn’t too crazy about it either, especially the rule against perpetuities, but with a public relations major and English minor, it seemed the sensible thing to do.
After passing the Alabama state bar exam on her first attempt, Lexi got a job as an appellate attorney with a big state agency where she’s happily worked ever since. Her day job involves writing briefs and reading criminal transcripts – transcripts where people do rude things to one another.
In Lexi’s experience, the human capacity for rudeness is unlimited. No doubt, a daily diet of man’s inhumanity to man . . . and woman . . . and children . . . and dogs and cats is somewhat responsible for Lexi’s desire to escape reality in the pages of a good book. Preferably a romance, her favorite genre.
Some fifteen years ago, the muse abruptly returned from Fiji or Wawbeek or wherever the heck she went, and Lexi started writing again. Novels, not poetry. She joined a writer’s group and wrote and wrote and wrote.
DEMON HUNTING IN DIXIE, a paranormal romance, is her debut novel. It is peopled with funny characters and sexy demon hunters and lots of supernatural woo woo. And the other kind of ‘woo woo’ as well.
The story has a happy ending.
Since being traumatized by OLD YELLER at the age of nine, Lexi is all about the happily ever after.
How long have you been writing?
Bad poetry since the third grade, with a hiatus after law school sucked all the goody out of me. I dabbled with writing for a couple of years when my children were small, but got serious about it twelve years ago. I joined a writer’s group, a good thing for me because it keeps my butt in the chair and helps me stay focused. Writing is, for the most part, a solitary business. I find interaction with other writers energizing and essential.
My editor, Megan Records, (Man, I don’t think I will ever get tired of saying that!) told me the theme for the anthology was SO I MARRIED A DEMON SLAYER. I decided to use the novella to introduce some of the characters in my first full-length book, DEMON HUNTING IN DIXIE. Since the theme was marriage, the poor bride in the novella discovers on her wedding day that her hunky husband is an ancient, inter-dimensional demon hunter. Chaos to follow.
What is your normal writing process? Do you write better in the morning? Evenings?
Wait, you mean there’s a process? Holy cow! No, seriously, as a busy mom with a full time job, I write whenever I can. On weekends, I hole up in the church library. Writing at home is difficult because I have the concentration span of a gnat. The dogs, the children, the husband playing computer games, the telephone ringing, and the television blaring in the living room make it difficult to get anything done at home.
How long did it take you to write it?
I was given three months to write “The Bride Wore Demon Dust”, the 30,000 word novella; a blessing since I work full time.
What is tougher for you, writing the first chapter or the last?
The first chapter, definitely. Beginnings are HARD and so important. How to hook the reader and tell the story at the same time? Winding things up is a piece of cake in comparison, although endings can be a hairball too.
Did you get to pick the cover and your title?
“The Bride Wore Demon Dust” was my idea for the title of the novella. The cover I will leave up to the publisher since I can’t draw stick people.
Do you base your hero and heroine on real people in your life?
Nope. I make them up.
Did any scenes not make it into the story?
It’s all there, thank goodness!
If you could have lunch with one of the characters from your story, who would that be and why?
Gosh, that’s a tough one. I like them all, except for those pesky demons, of course. Hmm, I think I’d have to say Mullet Woman. We could talk about poetry and what it was like to be a pole dancer at The Booby Trap.
How do you feel about chocolate?
Chocolate is divine. To borrow from Alice Walker, like the color purple, it is proof positive of God’s existence.