Welcome Back to Man Crush Monday! Today we have the amazing Alex West. His debut novel, Anything But Real, released on June 20th and we’re so excited to have him with us today. Alex was kind enough to answer a few questions so take a look at the interview. We also have some yumminess about his book and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom!
Thank you for hanging out with us today. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you're currently working on?
Hi! And thanks for having me. I love this! My name is Alex West and I live in Michigan where I read and write and read and write all day long. I just released Anything But Real, my debut adult novel, and am currently working on a Top Secret Project I’m super excited about. TSP should be out in August or September.
Where did you get your inspiration for Anything But Real?
So many places! I’ve always been a fan of those really corny Hallmark movies. You know, the ones where two characters meet, fall in love, and get married all in about an hour? I can’t get enough of them! I wanted to write a story that put a smile on your smile. That was all happy. So, I wanted to tell a really sweet story about two guys that fall in love again. And, mainly, I wanted to tell a story where being gay wasn’t The Story or The Problem. Those stories are great and needed, but I wanted to write a story where being gay was just a fact of life, it was no big deal. Falling in love is the hard part.
Do you plot out your stories or do you let your stories come about themselves?
Both! I usually write a minor outline - I’ll write a little bit of each chapter and then focus on the end chapter so I know where I’m going. And I let the rest just happen.
Do you have any rituals you follow when writing? Certain songs you listen to or do you need complete silence?
I love watching movies while I write. There’s something about the noise that really helps me. Gilmore Girls is especially good.
If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be today?
If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be today?
I think I would try my hand at being a literary agent. They have an amazing duty and I would be honored to be part of that.
What drew you to writing?
Books, I think. Dreaming. I think A LOT. All the time. I can’t turn it off and I love that. I write because I have a lot of things to say. I’ve always been a reader. And, I suppose, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I love the way words come together. I actually didn’t know I COULD become a writer until I read a book by Maggie Stiefvater (a Young Adult author) and found that her writing style was very similar to what I wanted mine to be. Before that, I didn’t know that stories could be poetic and artsy and unique, and that words could matter just as much as characters. After that, I never looked back.
If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring author, what would it be?
Don’t give a shit about what anyone else says. LOL! I mean that in terms of advice. Listen to everything, hear everyone when they tell you advice about being an author and about writing, but only listen to yourself. Every writer is different. Every book is different. Every reader is different. Only you can know what will work for you, and usually that happens through trial and error. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The best authors create their own paths.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Aside from actually finishing a book (I’m a slow writer), it’s realizing not every book is perfect for every reader. As a reader, I get that. I understand that I don’t like ALL books. And I’m not meant to. As readers, we all have tastes and passions. But as an author, for me, it’s hard to realize my book isn’t going to please everyone.
If you could live in a book, which would you choose?
Harry Potter! I mean, yes. I want to be a wizard!
In Anything But Real What chapter was the toughest to write? Is there a favorite scene or quote you love?
I would say the hardest chapter to get right was the epilogue scene (spoiler alert!) where we see Ben and Reid years later. In that little chapter, everything ties together and I actually pull words and lines from beginning chapters to bring everything full circle. I do that a lot. Everything has a purpose, a meaning. So, to get this chapter right I had to make sure the rest of the book was right and every piece was exactly where it had to be. Like a puzzle.
If you could get one thing from a sex toy store without question, what would it be?
One of those dildos that vibrate throughout the entire shaft. I mean, c’mon. Most of those vibrators do not have high enough vibration speeds.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I would love to fly. Imagine what you would see.
Would you consider writing a menage story or a paranormal story?
I don’t think I could write a menage story, but I’m always open to ideas. I would love to write a paranormal story! I have a few ideas in my mind about this and one day I’ll write them all down!
If you were stuck on a stranded island with 3 of your favorite book boyfriends who would you pick, which book are they from and why?
I’m going to pick Reid from Anything But Real because he’s mine and I love him and I think he would take care of me with his whole heart. He’s also incredibly in bed, so. I would also pick Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses because he’s dreamy. And then I think I would maybe pick Rafe from Openly Straight, which is a YA book but Rafe is one of my favorite characters ever.
Is there anyone you would like to say a special thanks to?
Thanks to Aimee Nicole Walker for hosting me and Michelle Slagan for being such an amazing PA! I want to give a quick shout out to Christina Lee who provided a blurb for Anything But Real and who loved it from the beginning. I’m lucky to call her a friend. And thank you to the West Warriors and every single one of my readers. I’m so incredibly thankful for you and the kind words you share with me.
FAST FIRE QUESTIONS
Ironman or Wolverine? Ironman!
Storm or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman!
Musicals or Comedies? Comedies!
Rainy day or Hot Humid Day? Rainy!
Boxers or Briefs? Nude?
Lace or Silk? Silk!
Writing or Reading? Reading!
Flogger or Bull Whip? OMG whip!
Alpha or Omega? Alpha!
Vanilla or Kink? Vanilla!
Smooth or Hairy? Hairy!
Length or Girth? Length!
Cats or Dogs? Dogs!
Cheeseburger or Pizza? Pizza!
Coffee or Tea? Coffee!
Football or Baseball? Baseball!
Shifters or Vampires? Vampires!
Favorite beverage? Coffee!
Sour or Sweet? Sweet!
Cake or Pie? Cake!
Big Spoon or Little Spoon? Little!
Cuddles or Space? Cuddles!
Italy or Spain? Italy!
Favorite Color? Blue!
Auto-buy Author? Riley Hart!
Book have you re-read the most? Harry Potter!
Thank you Alex for answering our questions! That was a blast. Next up we have an excerpt and some teasers from Anything But Real!!!
Alex has a reader group if you would like to join the West Warriors .
You can grab Anything But Real
Thank you so much Alex for stopping by today and sharing you debut novel with us. If you would like a chance to win an ecopy of Anything But Real you can enter the giveaway HERE.