Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Author to Author Blog Hop - Alexandra Allred

I'm participating in an Author to Author Blog Hop. From December 5th through December 20th, participating authors will be guest posting on each other's blogs. We've all banned together and donated at least one book, and at the end of the blog hop one lucky person will win a collection of books. What a great Christmas present, right?

Today's post is from Mystery/Suspense author Alexandra Allred.

Alexandra Powe Allred graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in History, saying,"As everyone knows, once you get a degree in history, all you can really do is teach or write. I'm just doing what I can!" As the daughter of a (now retired) U.S. Diplomat, Allred traveled all over the United States and around the world. Her writing career began before graduation with several pieces on bi-lingual education with national education publications.
But the real stories began while living as a youth in Moscow, Russia. Under a communist regime, imagination and the ability to create stories was the very best way to beat boredom (and the freezing cold!). As her career was taking off, Allred embraced her second passion -- sports. She trained for and made the U.S. women's bobsled team in 1994, becoming the ï¬rst U.S. National Champion. She was named Athlete of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee and garnered much worldwide attention as she was also 4 1/2 months pregnant at the time! Her training regimen was (and is) used by the United States and International Olympic Committees for pregnant athletes. Following her retirement from the sport in 1998, Allred returned to the literary world with The Quiet Storm.
While living in the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY, she was able to talk to Olympic and National athletes from all disciplines and share with sports enthusiasts. From there, her career was launched. She did adventure freelance writing for Sports Illustrated, Muscle & Fitness for Her, and Volvo magazines. She held a sports column, worked as an editor for NOW magazines outside Dallas, Texas and began working as a Clean Air advocate, often testifying before the EPA.
Today, she writes (mostly) ï¬ction, teaches kinesiology classes for Navarro Community College while enjoying her family and animals in Texas.
Quote from Stephanie Maddin, Earthjustice, Washington, D.C.:

“Alex Allred is an unforgettable force for change on environmental protection and children’s health. When others throw up their hands or throw in the towel, Alex just digs in deeper. Her limitless energy, commitment, and demands for environmental justice for all people inspires the work of so many in the green movement.

Twitter: @Alexandra.Allred
To purchase: TWCS:, Amazon:, 

1. Who's your favorite author, and why?
It changes from book to book. Erik Larson is my new favorite. I love the research he does to weave an amazing story. But check with me next week and I'll bet it will be someone new!

2. If you could have a conversation with one of the characters in your most-recently released novel, which one would it be and why?
My characters crack me up. I have to remind myself from time to time that they are just characters because I'll tell my sister, "___ just said the funniest thing!" and she's say, "You do realize she's in your head, right?" Oh, yeah. My most recently released book, Damaged Goods, has some wonderful characters but because they are based on real people, I feel a pretty heavy connection to them. Joanna Lucas is the only true fictional character in the book. For this reason, it would be fun to sit and talk with her ... see where her life takes her without me steering things. Does she stay in Marcus? Does her life include Roberto?

3. Where do you get the ideas and inspiration for your characters personalities?
Life. I also write freelance for magazines and am often given a subject not of my own choosing. It can be difficult but it also forces you to write outside your comfort zone. For this reason, I've been able to see and learn things I would not normally experience. All of these opportunities ... like running like hell to get out of a pasture when a cross breed of a buffalo and cow is coming at you like a freight train (Who knew how fast they could run?!), stay with you, mold you and allow you to create story lines you might not otherwise know.

4. What is the best thing (in your opinion) about being a writer?
Besides being chased by angry beef-a-lo??? Everyday is new, every person is a potential character. You learn to appreciate everything. I do an annual letter in which I make fun of everything that went wrong during the year ... being a writer allows you to express yourself but it also allows you to vent and redirect! That's awesome.

5. How did you find your agent/publisher?
Amazing luck!! I was stuck in an airport after a public speaking gig, picked up Fifty Shades (why not?), read it and then my sister introduced me to the publisher. It's a crazy, crazy, small world!

6. What's the best piece of writing advice you've been given?
Write what you know!
7. Biggest mistake you've made as an author?
Oooooh. What a great question. I waited too long to get going. I was embarrassed to share my stuff or admit out loud that I wanted to be an author.
Holiday-themed questions:

1. What would the lead character of your latest novel want for Christmas?
Ha. What a fun question! Joanna would want all the trimmings and lights to really showcase her new home that she worked so hard on.

2. Favorite Christmas music?
All the old classics ... no songs by current pop stars. No! No! No!
3. What was the best gift you ever received?
That's tough. I have some favorite kid memories ... today, however, my husband is a TERRIBLE gift giver so ... and, he's in charge of kids getting me things and he really shouldn't be.

The Author to Author Blog Hop is hosting a giveaway for a prize package of eBooks from our contributing authors. Enter below, and the winner will be notified by e-mail. You have a chance to enter every day on any of the participating author's blogs - so keep checking back. (Note: eBooks labeled 18+ will not be awarded to a winner under the age of 18.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When Joanna Lucas moves to a small town to escape a scandal and a scoundrel, she finds herself in trouble again when she befriends a stripper-turned-Mormon, a one-legged woman thanks to a loose tiger, and a dirty-minded troublemaker with a love of inane questions, and they take on an industrial town. Erin Brockovich has nothing on these ladies!
Prepare to laugh out loud and cheer them on as they set out to right a terrible wrong . . . no matter how outlandish things get.

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