Alexandrea Weis began writing at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen again and began her first novel To My Senses. Since that time she has writen several novels and sold two screenplays (White River and Blood Will Tell). Blood Will Tell is currently in pre-production with Buyer Group International. Her work has been critically acclaimed and is continually growing in popularity.
Her most recent book is Recovery, the second novel in the Nicci Beauvoir series which takes readers on a Big Easy thrill ride when a lover’s murder is solved and a spy with a bulletproof bravado quickens Nicci’s broken heart.
Alexandrea is also a permitted wildlife rehabber and works rescuing orphaned and injured animals. She recently has been working to aid oil soaked birds in the Gulf disaster.
You can visit Alexandrea’s website at www.alexandreaweis.com or connect with her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alexandreaweis.com and Facebook at www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/To-My-Senses/113609858681394.
Set amid the backdrop of post-Katrina New Orleans, the story is about Nicci’ Beauvoir’s soulful search for Recovery. Once a darling of New Orleans society, Nicci pens a novel about her departed love, the artist David Alexander. While promoting her book in the Big Apple, she’s approached by David’s former boss, Simon La Roy, who has a theory about David’s death that devastates Nicci. She learns David’s murder may be linked to someone from her past. Enter Dallas August, an elite member of Simon’s organization of corporate spies prized for his ruthless ability to get the job done. Playing the part of Nicci’s lover, Dallas returns to Katrina-ravaged New Orleans with her to flush out the killer. But everything is not what is seems in the Big Easy, and soon the couple finds themselves trapped in a psychotic’s twisted game of revenge.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
Nicci Beauvoir, the heroine, is a burgeoning writer drawn into the hunt for David Alexander’s killer by Dallas August, a distant man with a tragic past. Together the two clash but then the common bond of searching for the murderer turns their relationship from adversarial to amorous. Nicci is supported by a rather sharp-tongued group of family members, whose wit and charm help to bring some wonderful humor into the story. The most prominent of these are Nicci’s father and uncle. Their brotherly banter provides a little bit of insight into why Nicci is the way that she is.
Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
I feel it is a little of both. I find that every character I write has elements of people I know in them. I believe if you talk to any writer they will tell you that some of their best characters are based on people they have known. After all, isn’t that what fiction is all about? Reality blended with bits of imagination makes for the most compelling dramas.
Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?
It develops as I write. I always see the end of the book first and then go from there. A book is an adventure to me because I never know where the story will take me.
Q: Your book is set in New Orleans. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?
I am from New Orleans. It is the most eclectic, culturally diverse, and intriguing place I know. I have traveled a good bit in my life, but no place has ever been more interesting to me than the Big Easy. It is the most unique place on earth, and despite its negative press and sinister reputation, it is a part of me, and a part of everything that I write. Everyone always says write about what you know. Well, I know New Orleans.
Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
Yes, I feel the characters recovery from their past emotional upheavals mirrors the rhythm of the resurrecting city of New Orleans. In the end, neither the city of New Orleans, nor Nicci Beauvoir, learns that they can ever forget about their tormented pasts. Instead, they both learn to grow from what they have been through and move on.
Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
Dallas and Nicci are discovering that they make each other uncomfortable. It is a pivotal point in the book where the reader can feel the sexual tension building between the two main characters. For Nicci, it is the first moment where she realizes that Dallas has awakened something inside of her that she thought had died with David.
Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?
The world had suddenly become a little darker for me, and for the first time in my life, I feared the future. I had survived the sharp-tongued insults of a snobby southern upbringing, the heartache of my mother’s death, betrayal, intrigue, engagement to a moron, and the loss of the only man I had ever loved. Even the devastation of Katrina had not dampened my belief in the eventuality of good. From all things bad something good does come, I was once told, and up until that moment in my life, I had believed it. But how do you sustain such hope when your faith in the certainty of tomorrow is threatened? What do you believe in when another is killing for control of your destiny?
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Alexandrea. We wish you much success!
Thank you for having me today, and thank you to all of your readers. I hope you enjoy my second installment in the Nicci Beauvoir series and look forward to hearing what your readers have to say about Recovery.