Five Fun Facts with Alexa Martin
- You have four young children, so naturally I have to know—how did you manage to find the discipline to write anything during the pandemic?? Just how fat were your Chardonnay tears? (Mine were pretty big, not gonna lie).
It has been a struggle. I was on deadline for Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes and living in Mexico when covid first hit. If I’m honest, I was a mess. I am a creature of habit and I love to write in coffee shops. When they closed down, I didn’t know what to do. I did a few zoom sessions with Susanne Park to get some sprinting done and that was very helpful. Eventually, I changed my schedule and started waking up early to write before the kids would come down and demand food. I’m really luck that my husband is very supportive, so if I need to, I will put on noise cancelling headphones and lock myself in a room until words are written. On a side note, in Mérida, they banned alcohol sales a couple of weeks into lockdown, so my Chardonnay tears were woefully dry. (JFL sidenote: NO ALCOHOL IN A PANDEMIC? “I didn’t know that was even possible,” said one mess to another).
- Your new book, Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes, is about two childhood best friends who have met some challenges in life and have to move in together to get back on their feet. What’s the biggest challenge or the biggest boost you faced in your career?
Without question, finding Pitch Wars and making the decision to try it out was the biggest game changer for me and my career. I will admit that I had no idea what I was doing when I began writing. I was an avid romance reader and an idea for a book popped into my head while on vacation. I started writing as soon as we got home. It took me four years to finish that book and hot mess is the understatement of the century. Applying to Pitch Wars was my way of saying I was going to really pursue a writing career. I didn’t think there was any way I would get in, but getting to know the community would’ve been enough. Just like in Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes, finding a group of people who will lift you up and cheer you on can change everything. I made friends that I am still close to today and watching our writing grow and evolve over the years has been so amazing. (JFL side note: Pitch Wars is a program where established authors and publishing professionals mentor aspiring writers)
- I happen to know you like the Real Housewives reality shows, and I am a huge stan of them myself. I have so many burning questions, but the Big One, the one ALL Housewives fans are dying to know: Erika Girardi had to know something, amiright? If you were a Housewife, how big would your glam squad be?
Okay. Listen. I have so many thoughts on Real Housewives and Erika that I could write a book on it. I’m obsessed. I started watching in high school when it was just OC, sketchy camera work, and terrible fashion. I’ve gone back and forth when it comes to Erika. I don’t think she knew everything. Tom doesn’t seem like he was the type of person to let her in on all of her dealings. However, I do believe she knew something was amiss. In a world that loves gossip and rumors as much as we do, I’m hard pressed to believe she never heard whispers of what Tom was doing. And to not only indulge in the profits he was quite literally stealing from the pain of others, but to flaunt it? Yikes. Not a good look. The more the season is going, the more I’m beginning to question her. All hail Queen Garcelle and Sutton though!
Now, for my glam squad? Considering my hair is in a semi-permanent bun on my head and my 11-year-old can do makeup better than me, it would have to be huge. Like the scene in Miss Congeniality where they are trying to get Sandra Bullock in pageant shape… but more. My style is also way closer to Kathy Hilton’s screen print t-shirts and jeans than it is to Dorit’s name brand everything. Actually, there is a scene in Mom Jeans where Jude goes on a rant about logo covered name brand apparel. I didn’t realize it at the time, but maybe Dorit was the inspiration for that! Ha!
- You married your high school sweetheart! And he went on to play for the NFL for many years! That is a whole other ecosystem that most of us know nothing about. It sounds super exciting to this Cowboys fan and gave you the foundation to write your fabulous Playbook Series (Intercepted, Fumbled and Blitzed). And it just begs the question: How much football do you actually have to watch on any given weekend? More or less than the average Jane?
When he played, it was definitely less. I’d go to or watch his game and that would be it. Now it’s a little more since he’s home to watch the games on Sunday instead of playing. He also coached for our high school for a few years, so my Fridays were also full of football. It was a lot. I am admittedly not a huge football fan. The hits make me anxious and I’m a little spoiled in that I’ve always had a personal attachment to a team. My husband played or my friend’s husband was on a team. Now that all of our friends have retired, I can’t get invested. However, our oldest son is 13 and loves the sport, so I have a feeling it will be playing on our television more than I appreciate. More Bravo, am I right? (JFL Side note: is there ever enough Bravo?)
- Most people don’t know how much goes into writing and publishing a book. There are parts I love about it and there are parts that make me wish I was a UPS driver (dying to know what arrives nearly every day across the street). What do you like about this career and what do you dislike?
Oh my goodness! It is so hard! I was talking to someone the other day about how there are times where I wish I could go back to the blissfully ignorant person I was when I first began this journey. There was so much freedom in just getting lost in the pages, not realizing I was breaking rules or my pacing was off. Just letting my creativity run wild and being happy with it because there were no expectations. I still love that feeling though. There are times when I get lost in the words I’m writing and it just flows out of my fingers. I think my favorite part of writing is the healing it provides. Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes was written at a time I was going through really difficult things with my own mom. Writing a story where I could safely explore all of my feelings and create an ending I didn’t have in my real life was so cathartic. I also love getting to do things like this! Fun interviews and meeting people I never thought I’d have the opportunity to talk to. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself that this is my life.
What don’t I love? When it comes to writing, there is a point in every story, usually right around the fifty percent mark, when I’m convinced everything I’ve written is trash and I call my friends crying, telling them I’m going to quit. That’s never fun. It tarnishes that process a bit because even when I talk myself over the hump, it’s still changed the way I view the project. I’m also not great at social media. It’s really hard for me not to compare myself to others and there’s just SO MUCH! Instagram, Facebook. Twitter, TikTok, Linkedin…. Make it stop! I can’t keep up. (JFL side note: It is truly amazing to me that every writer at every point in a career has the same issue at the 50% mark of a work in progress, yours truly included)…