Friday, August 13, 2010

Today's Special -- An Interview With Alexandra Hawkins

Historical romance author Alexandra Hawkins burst on the scene in February of this year with her sizzling debut from St. Martin’s Press, All Night With a Rogue. The book launched her Lords of Vice series featuring sexy, decadent heroes who find love with strong, beautiful women. The second book in the series, Till Dawn With the Devil, released last Tuesday, August 3rd. Check out Andrea’s review here! Alexandra was gracious enough to agree to an interview, so without further ado, please welcome Alexandra Hawkins to The Romance Dish!

Thank you so much for joining us today, Alexandra!

My pleasure, Andrea!

Congratulations on your newest book, Till Dawn With the Devil, hitting the shelves! Can you tell us a little bit about the story?

In TILL DAWN WITH THE DEVIL, readers will learn that Reign’s notoriety began with his young wife’s accidental death. Years later, he is still being quietly shunned by London’s polite society because many believe he murdered his wife, and Reign has done nothing to quell the gossips. After a disastrous marriage, Reign is unwilling to tie himself to another woman, and his wicked reputation has its advantages. That is, until he glimpses a young woman with pretty blue bows on her dress. When he gives in to his curiosity and crosses the ballroom to find her, Reign is unaware that he is pursuing a lady that is connected to his family’s scandalous past.

Sigh. I loved that he was drawn to her and her pretty blue bows. :) As you can tell from my review, I adore characters with physical flaws such as Sophia’s impaired vision. Was her character difficult for you to write?

At times. The cobwebs and shadows that obscured Sophia’s vision could shift so the severity of her impairment varied throughout the book. Sophia was too independent to allow this to slow her down so I had to constantly remind myself to focus on her other senses.

Here at The Romance Dish, we love to dish about heroes...and your Lords of Vice are incredibly sexy heroes. How did you come up with the concept for this series?

The original concept for the story started out with a Seven Deadly Sins theme. However, around the time I was working on the proposal, I had read that Kathryn Caskie was coming out with a Seven Deadly Sins series. Since mine was still a work-in-progress, I dumped the cardinal sins but kept the seven rogues.

I'm so glad you decided to keep those seven rogues. *wink* And speaking of said rogues, the Lords of Vice have terrific nicknames (which I love!) to suit each of their personalities. Did you come up with their nicknames or their full names first?

Great question! I actually came up with the nicknames first.

You have been really blessed with the gorgeous covers for this series. Did you have any input in them?

My input is very limited. For every book, I turn in character descriptions, and the art department takes it from there.

Can you tell us what a typical writing day is like for you?

I try to work around the kids’ schedules so my writing day can vary. During the school year, I’m up at 6:30 am. While the kids are getting dressed, I catch up on email and promotional tasks. I usually settle down to write by 8:30 am and I’ll work until 12:30 pm. Sometimes I use my afternoons for research, but it depends on how much progress that I’ve made that morning. The kids are home by 4:00 pm so I turn off the laptop for a few hours to take care of homework, dinner, and working out. If I’m closing in on a deadline, I also write in the evening. It’s my favorite time to write so if I’m in the “zone” I’ll work all night.

You certainly have your priorities in order! What is your very favorite part about being a writer?

Working barefoot. My feet are allergic to high heels.

LOL! I love that! And I can so relate as I hate wearing heels, too. :)

Everyone has those special auto-buy authors whose books they never miss. Who are some of your favorite authors to read?

My auto-buys are Linda Howard, Jennifer Crusie, Jayne Ann Krentz, Gaelen Foley, Anne Stuart, and Lorraine Heath.

Those are some terrific authors!

‘Friends to lovers’ and ‘enemies to lovers’ are two of my favorite themes in a romance novel. What are some of your favorite themes to read about and why?

Beauty and the beast and revenge tales are two of my favorite themes. I’ve been drawn to both themes since I was a teenager. These stories tend to be stark, full of angst and tortured characters. By the end of the book, the hero and heroine have truly earned their happily ever after.

Ooooh, I love a good revenge tale, too. We know that writing is a big part of your life, but what sort of activities/hobbies do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

Not surprisingly—I’m a voracious reader. When I have a free moment, I usually have a book within reach. I also love to cook. I find it soothing, and it’s just another way to express my creativity. I have three teenagers so I spend a lot of time with them playing video games and watching movies.

It was such a pleasure to meet you in person at this year’s RWA conference in Orlando! Did you have a good time? What are some of your favorite memories from the conference?

Oh, it was great to finally meet you in person, too! I had a fantastic time at the conference, but there never seems to be enough time to do everything that I’ve circled on the workshop schedule. As for favorite memories, I thoroughly enjoyed the keynote speeches. Getting some face-to-face time with my editor is always something that I look forward to each year, too. However, the best part of the conference was meeting readers. I was really touched by everyone’s enthusiasm for the Lords of Vice series.

I'm with you about not having enough time to do everything. This first timer was certainly overwhelmed! LOL!

Can you share with us what is coming up next for you on the writing front?

Once I finished the edits for AFTER DARK WITH A SCOUNDREL, I’ll go back to working on the synopses for the remaining Lords of Vice books. I should have more details about the next books in the coming months.

Oh, good! I can't wait! *g*

Quick six time!

Plotter or Panster?

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate

Coffee or Tea? Tea

Dogs or Cats? Dogs

Flats or Heels? Flats

Beach or Mountains? Beach

Thank you so much, Alexandra! Since I’ve inundated you with so many questions, I’m going to let you have a turn. Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Just a quick one—Historical or Contemporary? Why?

Contest alert! Two lucky commenters will win a signed copy of Till Dawn With the Devil! Good luck!

For more information on Alexandra and her books, please visit her website at


  1. I enjoyed the interview and learning more about your new release. I especially like that the heroine has impaired vision, I think it will add a lot to the story. I can't wait to read Till Dawn With the Devil, and I love the cover, it's really beautiful.

  2. Congrats on the new release, Alexandra. Ooh, seven rogues. That means we'll get many more books to look forward to. I like both contemporaries and historicals, it all depends on my mood.

  3. Congratulations on your new book Alexandra. Your series sounds very interesting. I like both historical and contemporary but I think I read a little more of historicals. I really enjoy going back to another time and place.

  4. Hello Alexandra and welcome to The Romance Dish!!

    Andrea has just raved about this series and I truly can't wait until I have the time to sit down and read the first two books!!

    LOL @ being allergic to high heels!!! Too funny!

    It was a pleasure meeting you in Orlando!

    As for historicals vs contemporaries -- Historicals are my first love!! I love escaping to another place and time. With my day to day routine I really need the escape! :-) But that being said, in the last few years I have come to really enjoy contemps too. Guess it all depends on the author and my mood.

    Thanks for visiting wiht us!

  5. Good morning Alexandra!!
    Congrats on the new release. It sounds intriguing.
    I switch between historicals and contemporaries. I like a variety. I hadn't read historicals in a while, but am now back reading them. Really enjoying what I am reading. It is like escaping to another world.

  6. Good morning, Barbara! Sophia's impaired vision did add a lot to the story and Ms. Hawkins did a fantastic job with it. I hope you enjoy the book!

  7. Hi, Jane! I love the idea of more books, too. These rogues are super sexy! ;-)

  8. Hey there, Maureen! It's a really good series. What's not to like about sexy, decadent heroes??

  9. Buffie said: As for historicals vs contemporaries -- Historicals are my first love!! I love escaping to another place and time. With my day to day routine I really need the escape! :-) But that being said, in the last few years I have come to really enjoy contemps too. Guess it all depends on the author and my mood.

    Buffie, we are so much alike. I can ditto everything you just said!! :)

  10. Good morning, runner10! Exactly! I love the "escape" when reading historicals. Very well said!

  11. Congrats on the release. Love those bad boys :) I'm a historical fan. I read in part to "escape" the craziness & hectic pace of "today" so I don't find contemporaries as enjoyable a read. I also like that with historicals there's so many different periods to visit.

  12. Thanks for the warm welcome, TRD!

    Barbara E.--When I saw the first draft of the cover, I thought it was tad too blue but the final version is perfect.

    Jane--I'm looking forward to writing the remaining four books. After Dare, it looks like Vane will be next.

    Maureen--Thanks! When I started to read romance, I used to read only historicals, but now I pretty much read all the sub-genres.

    Hey, Buffie! I'm so glad that we had the chance to meet in Orlando. I'm sorry to hear that you have a sick little boy at home today. I've lucked out--So far, my kids have managed to avoid the school bugs.

  13. Runner10--Do you have a favorite time period?

  14. Andrea--I didn't include this in the interview, but Sophia's partial blindness was inspired by my mother's eye problems. A few years ago, my mom suffered two retinal detachments (both eyes, one year apart) and was very concerned that the damage would permanently impair her vision.

  15. Gamistress66--I love bad boys! LOL, it doesn't matter what time period--Although the Regency rake is my favorite. :)

  16. I love historicals especially the Regency period with the royalty, aristocracy aspect, the balls, the duels, marriage of convenience, heiresses....

    Yoour book Till Dawn With the Devil... Ooh La La!!!

    I also enjoy any story set in the Scottish Highlands. Love the laird's sense of honor, integrity and responsibility. The loyalty the can inspire in their folowers. I like the feisty relationship with the daughter of a feuding clan.

    I even like the medieval period Elizabeth Lowell's trilogy: Forbidden, Untamed and Enchanted is still a favorite of mine!

  17. Like Buffie, my first love is historicals for much the same reason, I read to escape and if I am going to escape I may as well go as far away as possible, you can't get much farther away than another country, in the past. I do mix it up with some contemp and a little paranormal as well.

    We know two of their nicknames but what are the other 5 names?

  18. I have a question, so authors get "credit" when an e-book is bought instead of a hardcopy?

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. AH! I didn't realize the next book was out! I loved the first of the series and can't wait to read Till Daw with the Devil

  21. Hi Alexandra,

    I only recently discovered your work and in fact, only just got a copy of 'All Night with a Rogue'..haven't read it yet though...but I will soon. I love the sounds of this whole series and plan to put them all on my BTB list. Thanks for a very interesting interview too.

    Historicals are my reading preference. I think I born too late! I must have been a friend of Elizabeth Bennett in another life!

  22. Oh I have to say that you have some of the most alluring covers evea!!!! The interview was awesome ladies! Please count me in!!!!

  23. gamistress66, I love the bad boys, too!! They are my very favorite type of hero. Sigh.

  24. Alexandra Hawkins said: Andrea--I didn't include this in the interview, but Sophia's partial blindness was inspired by my mother's eye problems.

    Thanks for sharing that personal tidbit, Alexandra. I hope your mom's vision has improved since!

  25. Hi there, Laurie! The Regency time period is my favorite for the same reasons you mentioned. :)

  26. Dianna, there's Sin, Reign, Dare, Vane, Saint, Frost, and Hunter. Sexy names for sexy heroes!

  27. Hey, JWZ1978! Glad to hear you loved ANWAR. :) I hope you love TDWTD just as much or more!

  28. Karen H said: Historicals are my reading preference. I think I born too late! I must have been a friend of Elizabeth Bennett in another life!

    Karen, I love this!!

  29. Hey there, Cecile! Aren't her covers absolutely gorgeous?!?! I can't wait for the next four. *g*

  30. Hello,

    That's a tough question for me. I started out reading mostly historical romances and then I expanded to read contemporaries & romantic suspense, too. I switch back and forth between the genres depending on my mood & what books are coming out by my favorite authors. Congrats on the new book!

  31. Congratulations on the new release. I haven't read the book yet, but I really enjoy interconnected stories. Usually there's one hero in a series that readers can't wait for. Have you gotten any feedback on which character readers want to see more of?

    As for contemporaries or historicals, I like both. It's nice to change genres every now and then.

  32. I hear you, Jennifer. I used to read only historicals and wouldn't read anything else. And then I read a contemporary by Jacquie D'Alessandro and thus began my love of contemporaries!

  33. Hi, Penfield! I can't speak for Alexandra, but I'll tell you that I am really looking forward to Frost's book. He's said and done some....bad things and I want to know what makes him tick. ;-)

  34. Hello Alexandra!

    It's so lovely to 'meet' you! I will have to confess a cardinal sin of my own and admit I haven't read your books...YET! *wink wink*

    I'm very happy to see you have SEVEN rogues to fall in love w/ as I do so enjoy collecting naughty heroes. Monday is my bday and when I get to town my treat is going to be your book! I'm so excited!

    PS- I can't do high heels either. I'd be as graceful as a monkey in stilettos on a greased runway!LOL

    I LOVE historicals and have since I snuck my mom's copy of Silver Angel to take w/ me to camp back in jr. high. I think it's being transported to another time and place that intrigues me. Not to mention the gorgeous gowns and glitzy ballrooms and, of yes, the dashingly heroic heroes. ;)

    Congrats on all your successes, Alexandra! Best wishes for many more!

  35. Congrats on your new release Alexandra!

    I have to say i like historical more. I love being transported to another time. Plus, as petty as this sounds, reading contemporaries make me a bit depressed since i can't get a date.


  36. Hi Laurie,

    I haven't read the series in ages, but I loved Elizabeth Lowell's medieval trilogy. Hmm . . . I wonder where I put those books?

  37. Hi Dianna--Thanks for asking! The Lords of Vice are: Sin, Reign, Dare, Vane, Saint, Hunter, and Frost.

    By "credits" do you mean royalties? The answer is 'yes' as long as it isn't an illegal torrent file. ;)

  38. Oops! I just realized Andrea replied to Dianna's question. :)

  39. Hi Karen--Thanks for picking up "All Night With a Rogue"! I hope you enjoy the series!

  40. Happy Birthday, Sarah!

    Re: Silver Angel--Wow, talk about a blast from the past. I reread that book so many times, I ended up breaking the spine. :)

  41. Alexandra Hawkins said...
    Hi Dianna--Thanks for asking! The Lords of Vice are: Sin, Reign, Dare, Vane, Saint, Hunter, and Frost.

    By "credits" do you mean royalties? The answer is 'yes' as long as it isn't an illegal torrent file. ;)

    It would be from Amazon so I figure we are safe on that. Just wanted to make sure it went into your sales.

    Ohhhhhh, I like the sound of Vane, is he going to come down a peg or two??

  42. Well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sarah! Alexandra's books would indeed be a special treat. ;-)

  43. Melissa, I've heard from readers who don't want to read contemporaries because the setting/feel is too much like real life. It's a good thing there are so many sub-genres for us to choose from!

  44. Hi Penfield--Most readers ask me about Frost. Initially this surprised me because I wasn't even sure he was hero worthy material. He's such a trickster. LOL, it's taken a few books, but I'll concede, he can be charming.

  45. I'm sorry to hear that you have a sick little boy at home today. I've lucked out--So far, my kids have managed to avoid the school bugs.

    Thanks, Alexandra! Two weeks of school and already sick. I'm just hoping we don't repeat last Fall. I think I was in the doctor's office with one of my children every other week. September and October were awful!!!! Glad to hear that your kids have escaped thus far.

  46. Melissa,
    I used to feel the same way, but the book that sold me on contemporaries was Jayne Ann Krentz's "Trust Me". I also followed many historical authors like Iris Johansen, Mary Jo Putney, and Jennifer Blake when they switched to other sub-genres.

  47. Dianna--Thankfully, sites like Amazon count.

    It looks like Vane's book will come out after Dare's. Oh yeah, I'm working up something special for him. ;)

  48. Buffie--I dread it when the kids get sick because I usually catch the bug, too.

  49. congrats on the release

    I love historical , The escaping to a simpler world holds great appeal to me

  50. Wonderful interview. Congrats on your new release.
    I think I enjoy historicals more because they take me to a different world.

  51. Welcome, Alexandra! I am soooo late to the party, but my day was crazy. This is the first chance I've had to really catch up on my "computer" time. :-)

    I'm so looking forward to reading this series. I've heard nothing but wonderful things---especially from Andrea---so I'm looking forward to a reading marathon.

    Historicals are my first love, but I enjoy almost any subgenre of romance. It's nice to have a change of pace, depending on my mood.

  52. Hi Alexandra! Congratulations on your new release "Till Dawn with the Devil". I've read the first book of the series "All Night with a Rogue" and loved it, so I can't wait to read this one. As for which types of books I like to read I would have to say both historicals and contemporaries depending on my mood.

  53. Historical. I have always felt a closer kinship to those who lived over 100 years ago. I love history. Yes there are many advantages to our current time, but we have lost something in the process.
    The Beauty and The Beast and the Cinderella story lines are my favorite.

    Congratulations on the series. You have a good start. I look forward to the rest of them.

  54. Great interview I enjoyed the excerpt for your book .I'm a historical reader.Ijust think there something sexy about the way there courtship takes place.and the cloths and balls sounds so

  55. Congrats on the release alexandra! Really enjoyed All Night With A Rogue so can't wait to read Till Dawn With The Devil!

    I tend to read tons more historical than comtemporaries....but I do enjoy both.

  56. I love historicals! I love ‘m more then contemporaries. Because they offer an escape into an era that in my mind is filled with oodles of romance and more excitement. More hope and opportunities then today. (Probably a misconception.) It spins a tale totally different than anything I experiences or imagine to experience. The gowns, carriages. The food and piano music and balls. They all scream romance and fairytale to me.

  57. Historical or Contemporary? Why?

    Both ! Because it depends on my mood when i read a book :)

    looking forward to read yours !

  58. The answer has to be both (historical and contemporary) -- and other genres too! It's like asking me which kid I love the most! I love them all in different ways!

  59. Great interview!!

    As to your question, I can't pick just one!! Sometimes I'm in the mood for historical and other times I'd rather read a contemporary. But I love both. ;)

  60. I'm glad I saw the interview as I've not read any of your books. I'm definitely going to check out the series, but will start at the beginning.
    I read both contemporary and historical. I used to only read contemporary, but started reading historicals after I read one of my daughter's.
    I'm sure I saw you at the RWA literacy event as I walked up and down all the aisles, but there were so many authors and only so much money I could spend.