Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Author Spotlight: Ren Alexander

Ren Alexander, author of the Wild Sparks Series is today's Jazzy World of E's Bookshelf's Author Spotlight. Alexander released the first book, Chasing the Wild Sparks last year and followed it up with Daring the Wild Sparks and Igniting the Wild Sparks. The series follows Hadley and Finn, a couple who are not on the same page when it comes to the next stage of commitment in their relationship.  The Wild Sparks Series has received great reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Alexander is currently working on her next book and will discuss that more in the interview below as well as her journey to becoming an author. I'm happy to present today's Author Spotlight, Ren Alexander.

Ren Alexander's Biography

Ren Alexander was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, but grew up in a nearby tiny, historical, college town in the Northern Panhandle of the state. She graduated from West Liberty University, where she received a B.S. in Criminal Justice. Although interested in that field, her true passion was always reading and writing.

An Interview with Ren Alexander

Over a year you released the three books in the Wild Spark series, did you have all the stories mapped out ahead of time or did it evolve as your wrote the first book?

Well, I never intended to write three books. In fact, they were all one book; however, when I came to the place where “Igniting the Wild Sparks” ends, I realized that my one book was almost 400,000 words. Oops. I had just kept writing until I got to the stopping point I wanted, but if I wanted to submit to literary agents, the length was a huge problem, so I divided the book into three. I did have an outline, but as I wrote, the story evolved, veering from my outline. It often shocked me, yet it also made the story more in depth and I think at times, unexpected. Frequently when I write, I’m on edge because it’s almost like I’m reading the story for the first time myself. Strange, but true.

People can relate to Hadley and Finn’s situation of taking a relationship to the next commitment level and having a partner reluctant to do it, what was the inspiration of having that element in your story?

I had heard about that situation so much, and often in this predicament, if people can’t come to an agreement, they part ways. Therefore, I wondered what it took for a couple like Hadley and Finn to reach a compromise if they stayed together, and what their struggles were that kept them from moving forward.

What has been your favorite part of writing Hadley and Finn’s story?

Realizing how much music inspired their story. When I started writing, certain songs stuck with me and perfectly interwove into their story, so much so that I kept a song on repeat if it complemented the scene. It has to be the music itself, but more importantly, the lyrics. The lyrics have to speak to me and go with their story. If not, I won’t use the song for my playlist.

Of the three books you released so far, do you have a favorite?

Each one is special to me for various reasons, but the third book—“Igniting the Wild Sparks” has a plethora of those reasons.

Do you have any upcoming books? If so, what can you tell us about it?

My next book is Hadley’s brother Jared’s story, “The Keys to Jericho.” Hadley and Jared both grew up with the same issues, but the way they internalize them is unique to each, yet Hadley and Jared are also similar in so many ways. One big difference is that Hadley knows she’s in love with Finn and desperately wants to hold on to him, but at the same time, not letting go of her principles. On the other hand, Jared doesn’t believe in love and desperately tries to fight ever falling into it by refusing to not let go of his own beliefs—much like Hadley’s boyfriend Finn, with whom Jared finds a kinship because of their shared ideals. However, Jared realizes he’s powerless when it comes to not falling in love. Unfortunately, he doesn’t come to that realization until it may be too late.

Writing and reading is a passion of yours, did you ever think it would lead you on this journey as an author with books people love?

Definitely not. I always wanted to be a writer, but I thought I couldn’t do it or people wouldn’t care to read what I wrote. In college, I took a creative writing course where my classmates had to read my work. My professor said my story needed some work, yet my peers wanted more and didn’t want me to change what the professor had suggested. I was shocked that they liked it, and that I actually wrote something that people wanted to read more. It was an awesome feeling, but I still didn’t think people outside of the class would be interested. Last year, on a whim and for fun, I started writing for a friend and she liked my story. That’s when I thought maybe I could try to get an agent, but after many rejections, I then discovered that many writers were self-publishing, so I decided to give it a try instead.

What would you say has been your favorite part of writing and publishing the Wild Series?

The people I’ve met. I can’t begin to explain the effect some of these people have had on my work and my life. I’ve learned to take the good with the bad, and that some people aren’t your friends, no matter how much you thought they were. On the flip side, I’ve met people that are now a big part of my life. I’m so grateful for them and their friendship.

 Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Just do it. Your first bad review will make you cry and want to stop writing, but you have to develop a thick skin. Follow your dream and don’t give up. If it really is your dream, then giving up is not an option.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Jane Austen. That woman kicked ass with her words without knowing she did. I love Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta series. She blows me away with her writing and the stories she tells. I love Jackie Collins because she really knows how to punch you in the face with scandalous plots and sexy writing. I love S.C. Stephens’ Thoughtless series because wow. I’ve never cried reading a book until I read her “Thoughtless.” The emotions she evoked were surprising and addicting. I love Kirsty Moseley because some of her characters are so funny, yet all are unforgettable, and her stories stay with you for a long time.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do for fun?

Taking walks with my daughters, but they don’t like to do that much. I’m a history buff, so I like researching historical events. I also like playing the Sims game, but I tend to spend a lot of time designing their looks, their lives, and their towns before I even get to play the game.

In 10 words or less can you tell readers why they should read your books.

Finn Wilder. Hot sportscaster/daredevil with commitment issues. Enough said.

Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and readers new to you?

Talk to me! Even though I don’t post on my FB page all day long, I’m still around! I promise! I love connecting with my readers and answering any questions they have. I get giddy when I receive a message from someone saying they’ve read my books and liked them, and I answer every single one, be it through FB, Twitter, email, or Goodreads. So, if anyone ever has questions or comments, bring them on!

Books by Ren Alexander

Chasing the Wild Sparks

What would you do if the love of your life doesn’t want the same life you do?
Hadley Beckett has failed in not only her career, but as a daughter, friend, and girlfriend.

Hadley’s longtime boyfriend, Finn Wilder, who is Richmond, Virginia’s local daredevil and favorite sportscaster, isn’t afraid of anything…except for LASIK surgery, dancing, marriage, and kids—the last two being what Hadley desperately wants with him. Finn leads a very public life; however, he leaves Hadley in the dark about most of it. Despite his public persona, Finn is viciously protective of his private life. Excluding their families, his best friend and Hadley’s friends, nobody knows he has been dating her for three years. Finn loves Hadley and he knows she wants to get married. Nevertheless, he has his own reasons for not wanting to marry her.

Fearing at 33 that she will soon be too old to have kids, Hadley wants Finn to change his mind and marry her, yet her insecurities about his seemingly charismatic personality and his constant rebuffs have her questioning her aspirations. With conflicting advice from her friends, Hadley concludes she should take things into her own hands.
Would he change his mind then?

Finn pressures Hadley into moving in with him, but being traditional, she wants to be married first and she wants to stick to her beliefs, just as he clings to his own. Finn has tolerated Hadley’s stubbornness long enough and he’s reaching his breaking point.

Finn Wilder has his own story to tell.

Daring the Wild Sparks

In the follow up to “Chasing the Wild Sparks,” Hadley Beckett’s quest for wedded bliss perseveres…

What would you do if the love of your life were closer to making your dreams come true?

Riding high in her relationship with her sportscaster/local daredevil boyfriend, Finn Wilder, Hadley Beckett makes plans concerning her future with Finn. Big plans.

Spending time with Finn at his parents’ house for Easter, Hadley can’t wait to share some of her ideas with him, hoping he will go along. She knows she has an uphill climb ahead of her, but she’s optimistic that after what they recently went through, Finn will be receptive to what she has to say.

Infamously anti-marriage, Finn promised Hadley he’d consider taking her to the altar if she gives him more time. Diving headfirst and with encouragement from her best friend Morgan, Hadley devises a backup plan if Finn can’t make a decision soon. However, her other close friend, Rod, disagrees with Morgan’s advice, partly to just oppose her in spite, but also having actual valid points of his own. Feeling conflicted, Hadley takes both of their suggestions and blends them together, formulating her own way to handle Finn.

On the other hand, unbeknownst to Hadley, Finn has plans of his own as well.

Hadley is determined to succeed, yet is she unwittingly destined to fail?

Igniting the Wild Sparks

In the second follow up to “Chasing the Wild Sparks,” Hadley Beckett comes closer to triumphing over a reluctant Finn Wilder…

What would you do if the love of your life gave you the keys to the kingdom, but won’t let you in?

At the end of her rope, Hadley grabs her intrepid boyfriend Finn Wilder’s world by the…bridge. Finally ready to end the never-ending merry-go-round that is their unknotted life together, she enlists the help of her friends to help boost her own courage. Since Finn is all about walking on the wild side but not down an aisle, Hadley challenges him to the ultimate test that will prove her more daring than the daredevil himself, hoping Finn will take notice and change his mind about making her forever his.

Throwing down the irrevocable gauntlet, will Hadley celebrate supreme victory over his heart or will she accept the cruelest defeat at the very hand she holds? 


Click Here to buy the Wild Sparks Series

 Coming Soon

 The Keys to Jericho 

Stay Up-to-Date with Ren Alexander 

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