First, some fun questions!
If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why? A mindset of inequality. All human beings are total equals, regardless of their sex, race, class or ability.
If you knew the exact date of your death down to the minute, what would you change about your life starting tomorrow? Nothing. I think I would go so crazy trying to make every single moment spectacular that instead life would become miserable.
When was the last time you felt alive? I mean really alive! My husband and I went camping out on my Uncle’s farm. The sky was clear and there was no light pollution. We saw the most incredible stars! You could see one of the arms of the Milky Way Galaxy, the International Space Station circling the globe, planets, other galaxies, and so many shooting stars! It was exhilarating to be reminded of how big this Universe is.
What television sitcom is most like your family? Why? Parks & Recreation - not because it mirrors my family’s experiences per say, but because I see my family members hyperbolized in all the characters. It’s exactly our family’s type of humor and is one of my favourite shows!
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax? Writing, of course! But when I’m not writing, I like watching The Mindy Project while I practice handlettering on my IPad.
Let’s find out a little bit about you as an author.
Did you always want to be an author? Yes! When I was six years old I told my teacher I wanted to be an author. I wrote a story about our family dog, Max, and she had it laminated and bound for me. When I was ten I spent my entire summer writing a kids mystery book, and ever since then I’ve always had something on the go.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult? C.S Lewis, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Cassandra Claire and Sylvia Plath.
Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing? Music! There’s not one particular song or artist that I listen to, just whatever inspires me most. Right now I’m really loving the song ‘Space Cowboy’ by Kacey Musgraves. I also like to have a sweet-scented candle lit and I cannot have any interruptions.
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business? That my voice has value. I used to think the only people that could be writers were old white men, writing with a cigar in one hand and a glass of whiskey (picture Hemingway). I may be young, but my voice has value and my stories are important, even if they are cheesy YA novels.
Tell us about your latest release:
Tangled On Tour
The Sequel to Tangled In Tennessee
Mackenzie Tanner was living the dream. At least that’s what she thought. When Mackenzie Tanner met world-famous boy band Dear Juliet while songwriting in Nashville, Tennessee, she never imagined it would lead to being the opening act on their worldwide tour, or the broken heart which would follow. As they play to sold-out audiences across the globe, Mackenzie realizes her dream may not be what she thought it was. Singing with the boy she loves and the boy she's supposed to love leads to a tangled mess. But Nashville is on the horizon...
“’Cause you’ve got the wild west blowing through your veins, and I’m the kind of girl who loves to be blown away. Wanted, wanted those pretty blue eyes. Wanted, wanted, you’re my guy.” Mackenzie sang into the microphone, throwing as much attitude and energy into the song as her tired body could muster. “I’ll be your shotgun, you’ll be my trigger. If we’re going down, we’ll go together.”
When the song was over, she waited for the red light over the door to flash off before reaching down for her water bottle. She heard the track click off in her headphones, replaced with a voice she’d grown quite accustomed to over the past ten hours.
“That was great,” praised Eugene Worsham, her EP’s producer. “You nailed the last chorus and the tag, but I feel like you lost momentum on the bridge…”
Declan Collins, manager of the world-famous boy band Dear Juliet, and now Mackenzie Tanner, had flown Eugene in from Nashville to work with her in the London studio. Eugene was a budding producer in Nashville and had the perfect country-pop edge she needed. She and Eugene had bonded immediately over their mutual love for Johnny Cash.
“Let’s give it another go,” he instructed, in his easygoing Southern drawl.
It made Mackenzie feel less alienated in the sea of British accents she’d been surrounded with since she’d stepped off the plane that morning. “I’ll punch you in three bars before the line, okay?”
“Sounds good,” she replied, giving him a thumbs up through the soundproof glass that separated them.
The music started up in her headphones, and when the lyrics began, she sang as passionately as she could. Again, Eugene thought she could do better.
It was tedious work, but Mackenzie loved it—which was a good thing, because she was only one day into her four weeks of intense preparation before joining her friends William Bishop, Cooper Hart, Jacob Turner, and Riley Knight—collectively known as Dear Juliet—on tour.
How did you decide on your story plot? It was the sequel to my first book, Tangled In Tennessee. When I first thought of this story, I actually had the final scene from Tangled In Tour in mind and that is what everything else was created around. It just so happened that it ended up being two books instead of one.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story? I started writing the series during a month long trip to Nashville, Tennessee. I based a lot of the characters off people I met, and Mackenzie’s experiences off of my own. However, unfortunately I never met a cute British boyband.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why? There are a lot of tender moments throughout this book that were fun to write, especially because the relationships between Mackenzie, Riley and Jake are all so complex. My absolute favourite of them all has to be the final scene in the book; but I’m not giving it away! You’ll have to read it.
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why? Definitely Mackenzie! Like I said, many of her experiences in Nashville were based on my own. However, there were also times where I was writing her doing something, but then realized she would never do that or react that way. I always like when characters refuse to do what you had planned for them; it makes them so much more real.
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you… The best place to connect with me is on Instagram! You can follow me at alexandraalydia. You can also check out my website at www.alexandralydia.com
Is there anything else that you want to share… feel free! I have a podcast! It is called the Mrs. Feminist Podcast and you can listen to me discuss incredible women and how feminism is woven into every aspect of life anywhere you listen to podcasts. Check it out!