Interview with Sandra Alex, Author of Crossing Boundaries

09 Jun 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, Crossing Boundaries?

This is the first book in a new steamy romance series. The series is about unexpected love and romance, from people who aren’t looking for love, in fact, quite the opposite. Like all my series, this is not for those looking for sweet romance. Love scenes in my books take the reader right into the bedroom…tastefully. Daniel, who is former military, and studying to be a doctor, has been soured from relationships because of his last beyond long-term girlfriend. Kayla, newly divorced, is obviously off the market for a long, long time, as she puts her life back together. In addition to her failed marriage, Kayla also has a very ill mother to look after. Unbeknownst to Kayla, her mom turns out to be the link between her and Daniel, and in the most surprising way. Crossing Boundaries is a best-friends-to-lovers romance, but also a hate-to-love romance. How did I throw both scenarios into the mix? Readers will have to read for themselves…

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Since I was in middle school, there has always been a book of poetry or short stories in the works, but it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave in 2006 that I penned my first book. After several pen names and many genres and many years, I have finally settled on one genre that I have absolutely fallen in love with, and I’m hooked. Inspiration comes to me all the time, and has, for as long as I can remember. It was just a matter of starting, and since 2006 I haven’t stopped. Writing is an every day practice for me and will always be. Even with a full-time job (yes, at the time of this interview, I am still working), I find time to write. It is part of my ‘something I do for me’ each day. There is nothing that pleases me more than writing, publishing, marketing, and seeing feedback from readers.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Although admittedly, it does have a very polarizing effect on readers, I absolutely LOVED the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. I have reread the novels many times, and I still love it just as much. The movies, too.

Nicholas Sparks’ ‘The Guardian’ is a huge favorite of mine because it is the first book ever that not only made me cry, but it made me cry days later when I told a friend a brief synopsis of it. Never has a book touched me like that before or since.
Sandra Brown’s ‘Rainwater’ is right up there, too, with such a touching, unique, classic story that had such an imprint on my memory that I can still recall specific scenes from the book, even though it has been many years since I read it.

I love Sue Grafton’s A-Z (well, to ‘Y’ to be exact) series. I’ve read them all, and some of them more than once. Kinsey and I go way back. It’s the writing style and the era that get me every time. Love her stuff.

Although not my favourite book, but it’s worth mentioning, is Jodi Picoult’s ‘The Storyteller’. That was the only book I’ve ever read that I had to put down and stop reading, because it was just too realistic for me. The scenes in that book that described the Holocaust were so tactile and true-to-life, that I just couldn’t handle it. For weeks, that book sat on my nightstand, and I kept looking at it, as if the story wouldn’t ring so true if it staled. After renewing the book from the book twice at the library, I finally picked it back up again and finished it. I can never read that story again, but man…I envy her writing ability.

I also love, love, love every single thing that Philippa Gregory ever wrote. I love her stuff so much that her publisher once sent me an ARC of one of her books, because I’ve posted so many reviews of her stuff. Love her. I can never write historical novels like that. The sheer knowledge and research involved in creating such authenticity is well beyond my scope.
Can you tell I love reading and writing? There are so many more books that I could mention, but I’ll stop there.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I’m going to say E.L. James. She followed me on Twitter once, when I wrote my first erotic romance. Made my year. But if given the chance, I would ask her how she was able to write another book after the Fifty Shades trilogy. I mean, how do you do that? For most writers, it’s an uphill battle, and you have to work your way up from zero. For most of us it takes years (I’m still not there and I’ve been at it since 2006). Just curious as to how she even fathomed the idea of doing it again, knowing her next book(s) would always live in the shadows of Fifty Shades.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

There are so many thins I love about it, but most of all, especially with this genre, I love creating love from scratch, and in doing so, I get to make up all these scenes in my head, and record them, mould them into what I want them to be, hone them, edit, and see it all come together in the end. The best is when readers love the stories, too. It makes my day when I get an email from a reader, saying that they loved one of my books. I also love rereading my own work down the road, and remembering creating certain scenes; most of the time I impress myself 😉

What is a typical day like for you?

Right now, since we’re in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, my typical day is not at all typical. My day job has been put on hold while I’m laid off, so I spend my day doing all the things I would love to do if I was doing this writing thing full-time for real. My two school-age children are home with me, so that sometimes complicates things a little, but I’m lucky that my kids are for the most part, very self-sufficient and behaved. When this is over and we return to a ‘normal’, or a ‘new normal’ as many have termed it, I will be back to work, doing my 9-5. One thing I will mention is that I’m a health fanatic, so I tend to rise at an ungodly hour to exercise. I do it a little each night too, so between exercise, work, spending time with family, reading and writing, that’s my typical day. Writing is something I do every time I have as little as five minutes to spare. I have an app on my phone, which enables me to accomplish much throughout the day. Formatting, marketing, etc., are done evenings and weekends, when there is more time to spare.

What scene in Crossing Boundaries was your favorite to write?

The most pivotal scene, and the scene that works up to when Kayla and Daniel realize that they’re in love. It is a scene that brings both tears to my eyes, and makes me smile, which is exactly what I was looking for. No spoilers here, so I won’t go into too much detail.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Yes. ‘Nothing in life is difficult, but thinking makes it so’. To me, it means that there isn’t anything in life that one can’t get past. It’s your mindset that makes it or breaks it for you. How else could I have managed to write over 30 full-length novels with two kids, a husband, and a full-time job? Sacrifices, and enough positive energy to keep telling myself that I can do it. What’s more is, I love doing it.

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Sandra Alex is the author of the new book Crossing Boundaries.

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