Today's interview is with the lovely Annie Alvarez. And I must confess, the reason I asked her to do this is because I was curious, I wanted to learn more about this interesting and successful author. I see her posts in our publishing group - not often but when it matters the most. She's always polite. She always offers a helping hand and she's very intelligent. So I needed the juicy tidbits - who is this woman??? What's her secret??? Please welcome Ms. Alvarez!
Who is Annie Alvarez? Tell us about yourself.
Well, truth be told, I’m just your average tomboy living next door. LOL. I’m not rich and famous, yet although I do play the lotto every week hoping that my numbers will hit one day. I live in a modest home with my partner of 15 years, and two large dogs, Jaque, a yellow Lab - Morrigan, a Great Dane and our three cats - Mama, a black Maine Coon - Leo, a Russian Blue and our newest member, Max, a black mixed kitty cat mutt. And yes, they are all rescues.
About me? I spend most of my time listening to music and writing because they tend to go hand in hand, kind of like, chocolate and popcorn. Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. LOL Evanescence just gets me in the right mood for writing about my vampy ladies. I like playing billiards, going for walks, love the beach, love cooking, try to donate my time for worthy causes, stand up for those who don’t know or can’t stand up for themselves, I make a mess of things sometimes and other times, I just skin by, by the seat of my pants. Bottom line is that I’m just your normal girl trying hard as hell to make a living out of writing.
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
The idea came to me while I was reading a story form one of my favorite authors. In that story, a female vampire falls in love with a witch and the witch has a hard time dealing with a f/f romance. Ultimately, the witch ends up falling in love with a male vampire, leaving the female vampire out in the proverbial cold. As I read it, I knew that the strain of their relationship added depth to the plot (as it was written exceptionally well), but I still couldn’t get past the whole girl lost girl to guy thing. I mean, it really bothered me for a while. It just didn’t seem right that the girls always lose to the guys.
Who and/or what prompted you to write your first novel?
Who? My partner, Jennifer. She had no idea what she had unleashed in me when she said, “If you’re that upset by it, write your own story.” And oh, boy did I. LOL
Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
I don’t find inspiration- it finds me. I could be doing the most mundane thing in the world (like doing the dishes) when suddenly, BAM! I have an idea or a scene play out in my head and I’ve got to write it down. It really doesn’t matter what I’m doing, when inspiration hits, I’ve got to pay attention.
What made you chose to write F/F literature in particular? And is there any other genre you’d like to write? And if so, why?
Well, I tend to write about things I know and I am a lesbian, after all. Writing about the sex and the intimacy between two women comes naturally for me.
Is there a different genre I’d like to try? Maybe. I’m just not sure which. I don’t do historical (there’s nothing wrong with it) I just don’t care how they did it in the past. I’m not much of a true horror fan; truth is that movies like Pet Cemetery and Rosemary’s Baby give me horrible nightmares.
So, for now, I’m happy with my less than predictable, predictable vampires. LOL
Which appears first when contemplating a new project: A character, the plot and/or the title?
The title is the last thing I think of. Typically, I have a scene play out in my head and I work around that. I don’t really know where the story will go from there. I just follow the clues my muse leaves behind.
What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: Beginning, middle and/or end? Why?
Definitely the middle. When I start writing, I know the end of the story and I know how it starts. What gets me is having to fill in the middle with exciting stuff.
Has your own life influenced your novels? And if so, how?
Naturally, it has! I use a lot of myself to guide my characters through the story. Izzy has much of my playful side. People around me know that at 46, I refuse to grow up.
Tamara has many of my strengths, my stubbornness and my loyalty. We are very much alike, except for the whole vampire thing…really. I’m not a vampire, no matter what others say. LOL. Placed in a situation where Tamara is expected to fail, she’ll surprise you with some out of the box thinking, just like me.
Writing sex scenes can be a challenge for some authors. Do you find it difficult? If yes, how do you compensate? If no, where do you draw your inspiration?
Writing sex scenes isn’t difficult, constantly writing new sex scenes is. The truth is that I get just as tired writing the same old, same old, sex scene as readers get tired of reading it. Variety is the key and honestly, there’s only so much variety one can come up with. On the table/couch/dresser/, in the closet/kitchen/living room, in a pool/hot-tub/shower, no matter where you do it, it’s the same, missionary/on top/on bottom/69/68…68? You know 68…do me and I’ll owe you one.
I try to break out of the usually customary mold and introduce a little spice and adventure. Outside in the woods, in a car while they are driving (talk about adventure, huh?), tie someone up or tie them down, oh, and you can’t go wrong with toys. LOL
Do you have a method you use to write the sensual parts? Do you prefer the sex to be open and bold? Or left to the imagination?
My method is music. Most people don’t realize how much music can influence their moods. Here’s a small sample of my playlist: Bruno Mars, Santana, Evanescence, Gato Barbieri, Rihanna, P!nk, Ke$ha, Paramore, Shakira, Death Cab For Cutie, Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga, Joan Osborn, Celia Cruz, Nickelback, Daughtry, Blue Foundation, Sting, Metric, Demi Lovato, Gabriella Cilmi, Melissa Etheridge.
Keep in mind that this was only a small sample of the music I have, with this kind of mix, I can put myself in just about any mood I want, including the sensual and sexy, I’m going to rock your world, mood.
Are your characters based on people you know? Or are they completely fictitious?
A little of both, actually. I use qualities from people I know to form a completely character. For instance, Izzy’s bubbly and care-free personality is actually representative of a good friend of mine. So, if you know me well, you might find one of your personality traits in one of my characters.
Who is your favourite character, which you’ve created? And why?
By far, I would have to say Tamara. She’s sexy, intriguing and deadly. What a wonderful combination!
Can you tell us about your latest release? Give a synopsis.
My later release is Gaia’s Lust, book 5 of the Hightower Series. In which, Izzy’s crazy magic pulls her twin sister into the bedroom when Izzy and Tamara are doing “the dirty deed.” The problem is that neither Izzy nor McKenzie know that they are sisters. Mckenzie tries to kill Tamara because she’s a vampire and well, the story evolves to a more complicated situation when the Royal Mages kidnap Izzy and force Tamara and McKenzie to join forces to get Izzy back safely.
What’s your newest WIP? And when we can expect a publication date?
Carly Bright, Sex Games – expected release date: March 15, 2011…Woohoo! Carly is a WBPA (World Bureau Paranormal Agency) Agent who is partnered up with Ash, a vampire, to solve paranormal crimes and she’s kick-ass, do pardon the expression, I’m just so excited that she’ll be joining us soon.
Here’s an excerpt of what you can expect from Carly:
I slipped my hand under the water. Finding my underactive groin, I cupped and then squeezed myself. A jolt of pleasure radiated through me. I instantly shot a look at the door, making sure I had locked it. Relieved I wouldn’t have any uninvited guests, I sank further into the tub, letting the bubbly water caress my neckline. I squeezed again, feeling another shock of blissful joy shiver through me. I glanced around the bathroom again to make sure no one had snuck in and gently started massaging my protruding bundle. Thinking about Ash quickly rushed a mini orgasm from me.
I felt cheated and started massaging myself again. This time, I made it a point to think about my ex-boyfriend and I soon realized that not only was he a smuck, but just thinking about him made my feeling-good feelings disappear. Frustrated and horny, I allowed myself to think about Ash again. This time, limiting what I thought, trying to extend my next orgasm.
I thought about her long, sleek legs and having them wrapped around my waist. I wondered if kissing a woman would feel different. Then I thought about her perfectly shaped lips pressing against mine as her hand slid over my own, and she finished what I had started. Images of us frolicking naked on a sandy beach flashed in my mind when I realized it was my rapid arm movements that had created the sounds of the splashing water. Oh God! How the hell was I going to explain this? Horney as hell, but no longer interested in pursuing my self-satisfying plans, I drained the tub, dried myself off, used the towel to soak up most of the water from the tile floor, then balled it up, tucking it under my arm.
How many novels do you have, that are currently published?
Please list all the publishers, so the readers can locate you.
Currently, I have the Hightower Series:
Book 1 – For The Love Of Blood
Book 2 – Cheating Death
Book 3 – Dying To Live
Book 4 – Lustful Torment
Book 5 – Gaia’s Lust
Sessions is a stand-alone novel and of course, Sexathon, which is a collection of short stories from eXtasy’s Collective Minds.
Where do you see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
Hopefully with a ton of published books and a loyal fan base. After all, that is a writer’s ultimate compliment, isn’t it?
Here’s where you can find me:
Thanks so much for visiting with me. I had so much fun!
Thanks for dropping by Annie! It was great to have you!
If you do get a chance take a look at Annie's website - gorgeous! I love blue though. And don't forget on February 2nd author Dena Celeste will be stopping by! Big month coming up. I can hardly wait!
Happy Yaoi Hunting!!^_^!!