I don’t have a list of favorite romance authors. But, if I did, Lexi George would join Victoria Alexander in my top five.
When I first encountered Lexi’s work, my aged brain instantly flashed to Carol Burnett tugging her ear in loving respect to her grandmother after just bringing an audience to side-splitting laughter. Lexi is like that. Her writing is witty, sometimes laugh out loud funny (“Being a zombie sucks. It’s hard to feel sexy when you’re bloated and starting to smell.”) and yet, warm and sensual with a promise of a happy ever after. Lexi also eviscerates demons that hide in the shadows. So, yeah, I guess that’s where any comparison between the two personalities needs to end.
An appellate attorney by trade, Lexi grew up in an Alabama rural community where the general store supplied everything a barefoot little girl could want, including jars of pickled eggs. Her childhood home sat near the railroad tracks and Lexi admits to a continued fondness for long train whistles embracing the night. She also confesses to the church library being one of her favorite writing hideaways to escape the loving interruptions of her husband, children, and dogs.
Lexi’s work first appeared in the anthology “So I Married a Demon Slayer.” Readers demanded more, and Lexi eagerly responded with her debut novel “Demon Hunting in Dixie,” the story of a warrior, a demon, and the girl next door. “Demon Hunting in the Deep South” followed with previous secondary characters taking center stage as the heroine and hero in what has become a thoroughly enjoyable, funny, romantic, and extremely well-written series.
“Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar,” the third offering, is now set for release. Half demon Rebekah runs a club replete with a vegetarian flesh-eater, a musical ghost seeking a piano bar, and a demon-hunter who has ensnared Rebekah’s full attention. The fact the warrior is looking to kill Rebekah’s buddies bent on destroying the remaining demon-hunters might be a bump in the road to romance.
If you enjoy demonic characters, ultra-sexy heroes, and romance laced with fresh humor and tightly crafted plots, definitely pick up a Lexi George book.
Q) Your southern community roots shine through in your work and add a subtle but sincere charm to the characters and settings. Is this something you plan during the writing stage or a natural flow?
A) I'd have to say it's more of a natural flow. For years, when I attended writing conferences and craft classes, I heard the adage "write what you know." I thought, because I'm a lawyer, that it meant I had to write about the law, which held about as much appeal for me as taking a nap in an ant bed. It wasn't until I started writing the demon hunter series that I had a big 'duh' moment. You see, for me, writing what I know means small towns and the South. Although I briefly lived in NYC with my husband the first year we were married, I was born and raised in a small town and I've lived in a small town for the past 22 years. The Southern part is in my bones and inseparable as wet from water.
Q) The obvious question: Given your experience in playhouse productions (she met her husband while performing Oliver), why paranormal and not a more traditional style of romance?
A) I will tell you a secret: I LOVE historical romance! I cut my teeth on Georgette Heyer, but I've always loved magic, too. The first book I wrote (and never sold) was a fantasy romance with hunky warriors, wizards, demons, and trolls. So, when I set out to write a romance, the paranormal element worked for me. The thing I love about writing paranormal is the freedom it brings. Anything can (and does!) happen in Hannah, because of the magic, and I love that. It's exciting to write, and it’s natural for me because I've always loved myths and fairy tales.
And I will tell you another secret: I write paranormal, but a bigger chicken never lived! To this day, I have never seen The Exorcist. Too big a scaredy cat. I'm like the Cowardly Lion in the wizard of Oz: "I do believe in spooks. I do, I do, I DO!!"
Q) Your novels are standalone (books that can be read without reading any others in the series), yet, “Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar” ends with a hook leading into the next book and new characters. Sometimes readers object to cliffhangers, so, why do it?
A) Good question! When I wrote Demon Hunting in Dixie, it was with a series in mind. I have a lot of characters and story lines whirling around in my head, and ending the book with a hook is one way to let the reader (and me!) know that the story isn't finished. There's a lot going on in Hannah, Alabama; too much to fit into one book. And I love the continuity and the recurring wacky characters. Tickles my funny bone.
Q) I love your humor. Where do you believe your sense of humor comes from?
A) My dad was a dear, sweet, funny man who made me laugh. If I got a sense of humor, it's from him. Also, I was a very awkward teenager. Too tall, too skinny, with gi-normous skinny feet. Think Olive Oyl without the bun. I think humor is a defense mechanism for a lot of people, including me. Laugh WITH me, instead of AT me.
Another factor is the work I do. I'm a criminal appellate lawyer for a large state agency, which means I read criminal transcripts all day long. Transcripts that describe, in great detail, the rude things people do to one another. Humor is my way of coping with the dark and uncomfortable.
Q) You traveled the traditional publishing route, amassing many rejections along the way before finding a home with Kensington Books, instead of turning to e-publishing or self-publishing. What was behind that decision?
A) Pure unadulterated stubbornness! I started writing more than 15 years ago and, from the start, I dreamed of walking into a bookstore and seeing my work on the shelf. With that goal in mind, I just kept plugging away. One hundred and forty-five rejections later, I made it! I got my contract with Kensington in 2010, right as ebook sales took off.
Q) Any parting comments for fans or those yet to read your stories?
A) I am thrilled and humbled to get the opportunity to share my stories with others. It's a dream I dreamed, but wasn't sure would ever come true. And I hope I make you laugh!
DA Kentner is an award-winning author www.kevad.net