Hey, weren’t you here already this morning?
LUCKY YOU! Today’s a two-fer, a double dip into the interview pool!
This interview is with new author Alexia Knight, whose debut memoir, Tinderella Diary, is out now. Ripe with social commentary and intimate observations, Lexi’s rollercoaster tale serves as a love letter to Los Angeles as she yearns for sex that is worth the hassle of dealing with traffic on the 405. Lexi’s account is a delightful and torrid beach read for any frustrated housewife or shameless indulgence for the voyeuristic man. Just make sure to hide it from the kids!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always wanted to be a writer. I recall being in junior high and reading coming of age stories like those from Judy Blume and Norma Klein. I always wanted to write YA Lit, and still do. As an adult, have had several ideas for non-fiction books, even with outlines and everything. I was just not able to follow through will any of those ideas. I also would enjoy reading the sex scenes in books, and I thought, what if I wrote a book that was all sex scenes?
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Tinderella Diary occurs over a summer in my life when everything changed; the stories are completely true. I became frustrated in my marriage and started exploring sexually. About a month into my journey, I thought, “this needs to be a book.” On a daily basis I was laughing, crying, and journaling my sexual encounters (after…experiencing my sexual encounters). I thought that someone might really want to read this and hear about how sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Tinderella Diary is the first volume in what will be a trilogy; it can completely stand on it’s own, but I feel like the growth of my character really makes for three distinct books all told thru one narrative voice of a woman who is evolving and finding herself right before the readers’ eyes. The text conversations, messages, and emails in the book are all real, showing how events unfolded at the time. I never went into an encounter thinking of how I wanted it to turn out. The book, and the series, occurred organically. Nothing was planned or imagined. What started out as pure erotica, transformed into something bigger. The book is still…highly erotic, and the sequels are even naughtier, showcasing natural progression of the journey.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My quirk is my writing style which is very conversational, like a girl writing in her diary, or dishing to her bestie. I don’t use flowery language or clever metaphors, and you will often see colloquialisms like “kinda” and “gonna”. I use the word ‘cum’ a lot to the dismay of many erotica writers. My syntax can be complex and wordy. And I often start sentences with conjunctions.
I made a conscious choice to write all of the sex scenes in present tense, even though the rest of the novel is written is past tense. I realize this may irritate some readers, although others won’t even notice. For some readers, there may even be a Pavlovian response where any time the story slips into present tense (Never in the middle of a paragraph. Am I a crazy person?), they know clothes are about to come off.
What does your family think of your writing?
It is very difficult to promote my work being an erotica writer and telling a true story with LOTS of (real) characters in it. I am very proud of what I created, and I want to shout from the rooftops, “Hey look what I did! I wrote a book”, but I can’t. I can’t market it to my family (including my husband and extended family), I can’t market it to my friends (it’s awkward and some of them are in it), and I can’t market it to my colleagues (who would more than likely be impressed that I wrote a book, and supportive). Initially, I told people I was writing a book and then bragged when I had finished it. Now, when people ask me when it is coming out, I just shrug. As a result, I have had to build a network of support, fans, and readers from the ground up. It has been an arduous task.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned that writing the book was the easy part. The story just spilled out of me. However, after I wrote the last sentence the first draft, I never felt more unfinished about anything in my life. I sat on it for 5 months, because I was so overwhelmed with all the work that needed to be done. I didn’t know where to begin. Would any of the chapters I wrote late at night when the edibles were kicking in make sense? Would there be huge plot holes? Did I change a main character’s name mid story? Did I mention 8 times that my hair is pink, or not at all?
Editing and revising phase was challenging. I hired people freelance and the process was very helpful and affirmative that I had written a worthy piece of literature. I felt as if I could spend forever proofreading for typos or agonizing the wording of various sentences. At some point, I just decided to let it go and consider this version ‘not-a-final draft’. Someone told me, “it’s written in paper, not stone”, and that offered me some perspective.
Once I got passed that hurdle, I had to decide whether I was going to publish traditionally or self-publish. I ultimately decided to self-publish because time was of the essence, since I had decided that the book was going to be the first in trilogy, with the entire 3rd book taking place during the pandemic. I wanted to get the first book out and start writing the sequels before the story felt dated. Now when someone is reading Volume 2 (coming out this Spring), they will have an understanding that Covid is right around the corner, and it adds to some major tension and intrigue. How will this journey continue when the world shuts down? What parts of all our lives were cut short because of this pandemic? When a man promises, “I will be back in the states to see you in 3 weeks”, the reader aches knowing that is not to be. “Life is meant to be lived” is Lexi’s catchprase uttered at the end of book 1. This concept floats around the sequels and carries on a deeper meaning in the face of such life altering unknown.
Lastly, now that I am in the phase of publicity and promotion, it is proving to be completely exhausting and overwhelming; managing social media, building a fanbase, interacting with potential readers. I was prepared for people not to like the book. I was prepared for people not to like the subject matter. I was prepared for people to say it sucks or play “Find the Typo” as a drinking game. But there were other things I was not prepared for…People have shared their own stories with me via social media. People have come to see me as a friend and confidant. On the other end of the spectrum, people have demanded to know what I look like (for my family’s privacy, I am publicizing this book faceless). People have called me a “bitch” (or worse), for refusing to share photos of my face or other parts of my body. People have offered to buy my book in exchange for sex (as if putting up with 30 seconds of tepid thrusting is worth the year and a half I put into writing and putting out the book).
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
This is my story, completely true. Nothing has been changed to make it more interesting to readers, create extra conflict, or to satisfy anyone’s tastes. Let Hollywood producers deal with that…lol.
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
My characters are all real people. This is my story as seen through my eyes. Not everyone is represented positively, myself and husband included. Names were changed to protect the identity of certain people. If someone doesn’t like it, what are they going to do? Take me to court because I claim they are bad in bed? The only person whose life could be ruined because this book is me. If a man lied to me and told me he was single when they wasn’t, and is wife found out, that’s on him. Most of the people in the book, I am still in contact with, and only a few of them know I have written a book like this. One wants to play himself in the movie. Some characters will extend through all three books. Some characters, I was just in bed with last week. I am very grateful for everyone portrayed in the book. They all meant something to me and added something to my journey. I am a very sentimental person, and this book is literally opening up my diary for the world to read. Except for you Taylor. You’re still a fucking pussy.
That’s one way to end an interview! Anyways, how can your fans get hold of you?
I’m on the major platforms – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook – and I love to chat with people on all three!
Wonderful! And you have one more surprise, right?
Yes! Excerpts from some of the chapters!