Category Archives: Chat

Alexis Anne CLUE (kinky games for kinky people)

How much of my books are real, and how much are total fantasy? Well apparently, even my closest writing friends have trouble telling the difference! I mean, we all know that writers don’t retell their own lives. They are storytellers. They make up characters and events, we build whole new worlds, and can describe things we’ve never, ever done…

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But that doesn’t stop any of us from picturing the author while we’re reading. We just do. We need to put a face with the words. You read a very intense chapter on abuse, you wonder if the author has experienced abuse first hand. You read a detailed description of heart break, you wonder who broke the authors heart. Same with cheating, death, exotic locations…the list goes on.

But the the things is…good writers have an innate ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and describe something they have never seen. It’s our super power.

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So I’m in a video chat Sunday night with a few of my writer friends, and they start laughing and having a good time because–they inform me–when they read my books, they wonder what it looks like inside the bedroom of Alexis Anne and The Sexy Editor. They ponder which scenes are real, and which ones are fantasy.

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I want to tell you all that every single one is made up, but I’d be totally lying. I love to pepper Easter eggs into my stories for The Sexy Editor. Call it our version of love notes. I get a high off of his reactions when he finds a secret treasure from our real life hidden inside one of my stories. So yeah, there are absolutely a few nuggets of real life in my books.

By the way, I *always* look like Jessica Alba in the bedroom. Always.

By the way, I *always* look like Jessica Alba in the bedroom. Always.

And The Sexy Editor always looks like Jensen. Always. Shit-eating grin and all.

And The Sexy Editor always looks like Jensen. Always. Shit-eating grin and all.

BUT MOST OF IT IS TOTALLY MADE UP!!

Just want to make that clear. Almost every scene is inspired by too much time on Tumblr (aka the land of kinky fuckery). Which scenes are real and which ones are fantasy? I say I’ll never tell. I kind of like letting everyone guess. It keeps the mystery alive in our writer/reader relationship. But then I had an idea last night as I was trying to figure out how to write this blog post.

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And I laughed and laughed and laughed. Cuz we could totally make up a kinky version of CLUE to play with my books. Allow me to illustrate:

Alexis AnneCLUE

I put the answers in the secret envelope and we all gather the clues to find out which kinky scene is from my real life. Winner gets to know the truth! Who wants to play? Any guesses?

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First Draught: NaNoWriMo

First Draught (minus Julia Kelly) tackled the topic of National Novel Writing Month in the November chat with special guest Lindsay Emory! Go forth and write!

You can always check out all our other chats on our YouTube page. The top of my website also has a First Draught tab with all of our videos!

Gilmore Girls is on Netflix and I’m doing a Ride Along!

Gilmore Girls

*head explodes from the awesome*

No seriously. I screamed with joy when I first heard it was coming. I screamed again on the day it actually was added to the lineup. This is one of my favorite shows ever. It’s smart, amazing, well-rounded and…one of my best friends has never watched it.

No seriously. Julia Kelly has never watched a single minute of the Gilmore Girls. This is surprising because GG is pretty much required watching for any girl, bookworm, or remotely academic-minded person under the age of seventy-five. (And that might be putting to many boundaries on it.)

So Julia is watching the first season. Two episodes a week, as a matter of fact, and reporting back on her thoughts. I’m very interested to watch her journey into the show because she will be coming at it from such a different perspective than I did. I started watching the show toward the end of the first season. That would be 2001. I was in college. Just meeting the man I would one day marry. Just becoming of legal age to drink. Whereas Julia is grownup and busy in her two careers. I wonder if the show will have the same magic for her as it did for me.

The show hit the airwaves at a delicate time in my life and I couldn’t be more thankful. I was suffering from a pretty intense case of PTSD and getting a heavy dose of reality that life in academia wasn’t as glorious and perfect as I dreamed it would be. I was disenchanted with everything–until I sat down and fell in love with Gilmore Girls. It was a perfect escape into the world I wished I lived in. It was comforting to know that there were thousands (?) of us across the country falling in love with the same show. It was fantastically awesome to see a beautiful bookworm with a sweet best friend, adorable boyfriend, living in an enchanting small town, navigating life. It made my own dreams for my life (that were currently in the process of being crushed by a harsh reality) seem less like a fantasy and more like a possibility. I just had to get through the crap and build my own little Star’s Hollow.

But there’s more! Aside from the personal reasons I loved the show, there is the fact that this show was so well done. I mine it constantly for inspiration when writing. If you write character-driven fiction about women, there are few places to go that will fill up your well like Gilmore Girls will.

One of the things I love most about the show was the way it played stereotypes. In the very first episode it proudly presents us with one stereotype after another. Characters that are almost as much caricature as they are anything else. But you can tell, even in those tentative first episodes, that they are being setup like this for a reason. And if you’ve watched the show, you know that these characters are so much more than their stereotypes.

Over the course of many episodes and seasons, Amy Sherman-Palladino peels back the layers of these stereotypes, exploring where they come from and what drives them. She provides us with backgrounds and stories for each of these characters. They transform from flat representations of people we all know in our lives, into well rounded characters with amazing depth. And we fall deeply in love with each of them.

Take Luke. OMG Luke. I teared up seeing the Willis Hardware store front in the pilot. He’s dark, brooding, and adorable. And over the course of the series we get a lesson in how complicated and compelling these quiet guys can be. I love referencing back to him when I’m developing a hero.

The Kims. I love, love, love Lane and her mother. I love even more that they are such important characters in the series. I love how they play Mrs. Kim off of Lorelei as two fiercely involved and loving mothers with completely different parenting styles, but the same goal. LOVE.

The grandparents. Ok, I love Emily and Richard. They set us up to kind of hate them in the pilot, but I think you can tell pretty quickly there is a huge story there. And there is. I love how their story is slowly told over the course of the series. I have a soft spot for them because they remind me so much of my own grandparents. Mine didn’t live in a mansion, but my grandfather had his quiet manner about him, he would have totally slipped me the newspaper while everyone else was babbling. They even look a lot like my grandparents. So, yeah. I love them, I always feel like I’m a short trip back into my own childhood during the scenes with them.

Sookie…the artist. The bumbling, clutzy, heart of gold, artist. She and Lorelei play off each other because they are both a little scattered. I miss Sookie, she was always one of my favorite characters, but I’m very happy she’s having great success in her post-Gilmore career! Gah, Sookie!

And there are the townspeople. Miss Patti, Michel, Kirk, the cast will grow and change, but they all remain the same: stereotypes that are so much more. They all add depth to the story of these two lovely ladies at the center of the show.

Which brings me to Lorelei and Rory. Lorelei starts off being presented as the “teenage mom”. Frustrated by things she couldn’t control, and overcompensating by over-controlling the things she can (like her relationship with her parents). She’s quirky and defensive, a little lost, and yet determined. I loved following the rambling development of her character. I love that she makes so many mistakes and is a mess. She isn’t perfect, but she’s amazing to watch along the way.

And Rory. The quiet, smart bookworm with a quiet ambition. I love her tenacity. She has it so much more together than her mother, but she stumbles in her own ways as she navigates the two worlds she inhabits.

The other thing I love about GG is the way the show is structured to constantly explore two opposing situations. It is really a show about opposites. The juxtaposition of things that are similar but completely different gives each episode a built-in structure to frame the story. Star’s Hollow vs Hartford. Rich vs middle class. Strict vs lenient. Tradition vs non-traditional. Quirky vs normal. The list really does go on and on. Sherman-Palladino really did a great job of presenting a situation and walking us through it in each episode. All while giving us two female leads in a show that is about more than falling in love.

So, as the graphic at the top of this post stated, I’m going to do a ride-along with Julia as she watches the first season. I’m going to do a few posts exploring the characters and topics tackled in the episodes. I have a feeling she is going to bring up some things I’ve never thought of, plus challenge some things I have. I’m sure she’ll bring up lots of topics for me to discuss! Plus, this show really is very near and dear to my heart and a total gold mine for writers. I think this will be a fantastic study for me as a writer. So, watch for future posts and ride along with me if you want! (The Gilmore Girls are on Netflix!)

Wonderful Wednesday: What to Expect at RWA!

My RITA dress!

My RITA dress!

First Draught met last night for our video chat series to talk about all things RWA. It was a really good chat full of lots of laughs and great information. Unfortunately lightning struck about two minutes into the chat and knocked me offline for about twelve minutes, but I returned! Via the power of 3G on an iPhone! So if you are a first timer wondering what to expect, or a veteran looking to get ready, take a look at our chat!

And if you’ve ever wondered about Mr. Anne, he helped us out with some tech support before the chat. He’s a funny guy!

First Draught: Music as Muse

Our Music as Muse broadcast was full of laughing, silliness, music, songs, technical difficulties, and writing. In other words, it was incredibly entertaining! You should watch it.

Stay tuned for details on our next show! And if there are any topics you’d like us to tackle, please send us your ideas! Comment here or email me at: alexisannebooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

Writing and Music: First Draught is On TONIGHT!

Music and writing go together like peanut butter and jelly. Two totally different substances with completely different tastes and yet, put them together and what do get? Genius, that’s what.

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I have lots of theories on why this is: from the roots of the written word in storytelling, to the relationship between the mind and creativity. You can hear my babbling tonight (live) at 8:15 pm est. The ladies of First Draught are welcoming back special guests Tracie Puckett and Lashell Collins (because we love them!) to talk about what music inspires us, if we listen to it while we write, and what our favorite tunes are.

Plus we’re just fun to watch. RSVP now! We’ll be monitoring the event page, Twitter, and Facebook while we are on air, so hit us up with your questions and comments. #FirstDraught

So what do you have to look forward to from me (besides my deeply insightful commentary on the history of writing)? The artists and lyrics that make my imaginations run wild. Here are some of my favorites:

Snow Patrol

The Lightning Strike (my all time favorite!):

“What if this storm ends?
And I don’t see you
As you are now
Ever again”

“What if this storm ends?
And leaves us nothing
Except a memory
A distant echo

I want pinned down
I want unsettled
Rattle cage after cage
Until my blood boils

I want to see you
As you are now
Every single day
That I am living”

I listen to this song on repeat when I need to get my creative juices flowing. Check it out here.

Alex Clare

Treading Water:

“If my concentration,
Seems spread too thin.
And when you speak, my eyes glaze over.
I’m sorry girl, it’s not you, it’s her.

And you’re another chance,
To mock myself again.
Maybe you’re another chance,
I’m sure I’ll fuck things up in the same way.
Maybe it’s another chance.”

Love You:

“Though I left you there sleeping
No I dare not say a word
Silently weeping
Knowing what I heard
What can I say
I was never good with words
My tongue always got it wrong
Hoping that you knew all along
I love you, I love you.”

Alex Clare is amazingly talented. Check out this video of him singing Hummingbird!

I’d put Mumford and Sons on this list, but if you guys know me at all, you know that would be is every single song with every single lyric, so I’ll save you the fangirling… for now. (Whoops… how did those pictures get there….)

Gentleman of the Road Tour St. Augustine

Gentleman of the Road Tour
St. Augustine

Gentleman of the Road Tour St. Augustine

Gentleman of the Road Tour
St. Augustine

So anyway, those are just some of the lyrics that get my mind running down plot ideas, character arcs, and scenes. You can visit my YouTube channel and peruse my playlists for more insight (should you care!). We’ll be talking about it all tonight, it is sure to be a blast! Here is the link to our event page on Google! 

 


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First Draught: Music and Inspiration!

So last month First Draught got back in the saddle with Plotters vs Pansters (above). It was an awesome chat and we had a great time talking about the writing process. Our next chat is April 1st! Yes! April Fools Day! Except this isn’t a prank, this is straight up fun. This time around we are discussing music and how we use (or don’t use) it. We’ll be talking inspiration for characters and scenes, playlists, whether we write to music or silence and so much more!

There may even be silly hats digitally superimposed on our heads.

Maybe.

Music as Muse

If you missed our last chat, don’t worry! It is on YouTube along with all our other videos (and posted above). Our new channel has launched and we are in the process of pulling the videos over. Be sure to +1 our page so you can stay up to date on all our chats.

I’ll be posting pictures, songs, and playlists as we lead up to April 1st, feel free to join in on the conversation:

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See inside the Wild Mind of Writers (no really!)

Tonight, FAT TUESDAY, March 4th at 8:15pm First Draught is back with special guests Tracie Puckett and Lashell Collins! The topic this time?

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That’s right, we’re discussing the different ways authors approach the writing process. Some plan it all out, others work from a loose outline, and some fly by the seat of their pants. Why do we all do it so differently and is one way really any better than the other? We’ll be discussing all this and more (there’s always more when it comes to us!)

So grab a drink (mine will be adult, but yours doesn’t have to be!) and join us at 8:15.

How does Google On Air work? Well, it is kinda sorta an online channel where you can watch shows like ours (I always see Wayne’s World when I explain this). During the show you can watch us live and send us questions and comments through the chat window (or just make fun of us on Twitter, but use the #firstdraught so we can see it too!). Follow the link below to RSVP now, or follow it tonight and it will take you directly to our show as it airs!

Can’t watch us live? No problem! After the show is over it is automatically uploaded to YouTube where it will stay available forever. (Or until we take it down).

Link to the show: https://plus.google.com/events/c117n3cjn0b1s74m6sqbsebkn3g

Links to our past shows can be found here: First Draught

Hope to see you tonight!

Chat: keeping life in “balance” is crap, especially for a writer

Why?  Why must I keep my life in balance?  Is it really that much better?  I kind of like my topsy-turvy chaotic life.  (ok, so sometimes it gets the best of me and I have a minor meltdown, but don’t we all?)  I love throwing myself passionately into my work.  Other things fall by the wayside and I consider the dirty dishes, lack of bathing, and lost keys to be a badge of honor.  I just gave everything to something.  Can’t you tell?  The evidence is everywhere.

That being said, there are a lot of reasons to attempt balance and lot of reasons it is a bunch of misogynistic crap.  So, rather than babble to myself, I sat down on Google Hangouts On Air with Julia Kelly and Mary Chris Escobar (and our drinks) to talk about the myth surrounding balance and why it doesn’t work.  Grab a drink and let us entertain you!

Some fun news: we’re currently in the process of setting up a new YouTube channel just for these chats.  It is called First Draught (because we like to write and drink… get it?)

OH!!! And check out RAWWcon!! Raising Awareness of Women in Writing.  It is my new venture with Julia Kelly and Audra North.  We’re just getting off the ground, but please stop by, checkout the website, follow our social media accounts, and send us any tips or articles that may be relevant to the cause!

So what do you think?  Do I have it all wrong?  Is my crazy way of doing things bad and balance is good?  Sound off:

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Brews, Holidays, and Romance: a chat

What happens when three friends get together with drinks and talk about romance during the holidays?

Ummmm…. good times, that’s what!  Check out our latest show with me, Julia Kelly, and Mary Chris Escobar (and maybe grab a drink of your own!)

In the future we will let you know when we are live on the air (and maybe take your questions?), so make sure you are following us! (Plus I really just like seeing your faces!)

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