Interview with Alexis Morgan, Author of Always for You: Jack
05 May 2016
Always For You: Jack is the first book in my new series, Sgt. Joe’s Boys, which is about three men who were adopted as teenagers by Sgt. Joe Lukash and his wife. Along with their adoptive parents, the three heroes forged a family bound together by love and a connection that goes bone deep.
Jack McShane has recently left the army and comes home to help his mother deal with Joe’s unexpected death. Jack plans to stay only long enough to close out the family business, but then he crosses paths with a homeless teenager, who reminds Jack of himself back in the day. When Jack hires Caitlyn as a tutor for the boy, it’s the two adults who end up learning how to trust love again.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I always love watching the characters I create become real to me as the plot unfolds and the way they surprise me with the demands they make on how I tell their story. What makes it even more special is when readers reach out to tell me that my characters’ stories have touched their hearts as well.
Who are your literary heroes working today? Why do you admire them?
This is always a tough question because there are so many wonderful writers out there. But if I have to pick, I would say I really love Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series and Sarah MacLean’s historical romances. Jennifer does an absolutely amazing job of world building and has created an incredibly strong cast of characters.
As a reader, I love wounded soul heroes who finally find happiness in their lives, and Sarah MacLean has done a great job of doing exactly that with her Rule of Scoundrels series.
I think one of the biggest compliments you can pay a writer is to think about her characters and wonder how they are doing long after you’ve finished reading the book. That’s how I feel about the characters both of these writers have created.
If you were a teacher, what book would you assign to your class?
I would assign THE BLUE SWORD by Robin McKinley. A lot of kids love reading fantasies, and this one is on the Newberry Honor Roll. It has a really strong heroine, a sweet romance and lots of adventure in it. The nomadic tribesmen who kidnap her have amazing horses and hunt with big cheetah-like cats, definitely a world I would love to visit myself.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an English teacher, a librarian, or a writer—all jobs that would allow me to indulge my love of books! On the other hand, I read every book I could find on dinosaurs, so a paleontologist might have been fun, too!
What’s the last song that was stuck in your head?
Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson singing “Don’t You Wanna Stay”
What’s your favorite quote or scene from Always for You: Jack?
Years ago, Marlene Lukash, Jack’s adoptive mother, made her husband and three foster sons all learn ballroom dancing. There’s a scene where Ricky, the homeless teenager whom Jack has taken in off the streets, makes fun of Jack for loving to dance. Marlene immediately starts pushing back the furniture to make room for Ricky’s first dance lesson as the newest member of the clan. I found the scene to be emotionally powerful on several levels as I wrote it. To begin with, having to learn to dance just like Jack and his brothers had to, Ricky learns that he is becoming a real member of their family. Second, it was a great way for Jack to bring a smile to his mother’s face, who is still mourning the loss of her husband. And finally, because looking back, Jack realizes that the lessons were his mother’s way giving him and his brothers good memories to replace some of the ugly ones from their early childhoods.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I recently bought a small sign for my office wall that simply says “Color outside the lines.” It reminds me that my writing is always better when I let my imagination run wild.
Alexis Morgan is the author of the new book Always for You: Jack.
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