I met Lexi on Facebook. I was looking for fantasy authors and her book, Ignited, jumped out. It’s a beautiful cover, and a very intriguing story. I had to get to know Alexis Deese a bit better.
Alexis Marrero Deese
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am an avid reader of all things Young Adult and Fantasy. Favorite authors include Brandon Sanderson, Jacqueline Carey and Leigh Bardugo. Although a Tampa native, I currently live near Atlanta Georgia with my husband and three dogs. I enjoy gardening, reading poolside and binging on Netflix.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do! It was written on a yellow legal pad stolen from my father’s office and was about a little girl who runs away from home only to get swept away into a land full of dinosaurs. She has to fend for her life before she can go back home. I’ve always had a vivid imagination. My mother still has the story and it’s nothing more than a few sketches with some scribble underneath but I remember it very well.
What is your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Definitely Kushiel’s Dart (honestly that entire series) by Jacqueline Carey. Read it, people! I love stories with rich world-building and this series gets you hooked from page one. There is romance, danger and political intrigue. Basically all the things I love. If she had a dragon in there I’d be done.
Who is the most famous author you have ever met?
I met R. L. Stine a few years ago at a book convention in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was a beautiful day and I definitely geeked out. I stood in line for an autograph 🙂
R.S. Belcher friend requested me and I fangirled just a little bit. Oh, maybe I should change my other answer. Read Shotgun Arcana (the start of his Golgotha series) by Belcher, it’s SO GOOD!
What are your books about? Could you tell us a bit about them and why they are a must-read?
I write Young Adult Fantasy with just a hint of romance. My debut novel, Ignited, is a multiple POV, fast-paced adventure full of elemental magic, political intrigue and dragons. It is the first of a planned quartet titled: Dance of the Elements.
Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I’m definitely trying to build a solid body of work. Submerged, the sequel in the series takes place right where we left off at the end of Ignited. With the exception of a couple stand-alone projects I’m working on, all my current and foreseeable projects will be connected.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Kay is certainly my favorite. She is a precocious seven year old with too much attitude and too much power. She dreams of riding dragons and she’s kind of a badass. I’m actually releasing a novella featuring Kay later this summer. The novella will show everything that occurs in the two week period between the first two novels of my series. The second book is set to release in February.
What did you edit out of this book?
I actually deleted an entire chapter from Ignited at the suggestion of my editor. She said the chapter was redundant and the flashback was unnecessary. She was right and my novel was stronger for it. Always invest in a good editor! Submerged is currently in the hands of my Critique Partner so its editing fate remains unknown for now.
Can you give us a small teaser of your work?
I’m currently working on both Kay’s novella (title unknown at the moment) and Windswept, the third installment in my series. I’m happy to share an excerpt. Here are the opening lines from Kay’s story:
For the first time since she’d been taken Kay opened her eyes and knew exactly where she was. The early morning light forced her to squint; someone had positioned the beds in just the right spot so that dawn brought its blinding radiance no matter which bed she chose to sleep in. She frowned down at the row of empty beds and reached blindly for the small glass of water on her bedside table.
Every morning there was a new glass of the stale, warm water. Kay wondered who had the job of sneaking in her room at night and placing it there. Ash perhaps? She drank the morning’s rations and thought of the crisp water from the well back on her family’s property, somehow the water had always been cold, even in the middle of the summer. Here in the Sand Sea, the summer never ended.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Vanity Publishers!!! In the publishing business, money always flows down to the author. It’s sad how there are so many scams out there ready to trick newbie authors into giving them all their money 🙁
How do author friends help you become a better writer?
I love this question so much because I would be nowhere without my CP (critique partner). She is literally life saving. Having good friends who are also authors helps you in so many ways. Aside from the wonderful constructive criticism, my friends also provide me with motivation to write and answers to the publishing ins and outs. If you don’t have any author friends and you’re an inspiring author, go get some now! Join a Facebook group or a local writers club because writer friends are priceless!
Thank you so much for your answers, Lexi! It’s great to hear you talk so enthusiastically about writing. It’s clear from this and your earliest work you are a writer at heart 🙂
I couldn’t resist. I had to post the blurb for Ignited. Here it is:
A NOBLE DAUGHTER.
A FORMER SLAVE.
SCORCHED EARTH AND DANGEROUS GAMES.
“Jura imagined it sounded like rain.”
Juggling death is nothing new for seventeen-year-old Jura, daughter of the First of the Thirteen, successive rulers of the Republic of the Sand Sea. However, when a blood chain ensnares her father, she is thrust into the seat of power and forced to rule her elders.
“To Tylak, water had never tasted sweeter.”
Jura must track down her father’s assassin and balance a country on the verge of collapse. To find the Prince of Shadows and uncover the truth, Jura puts her trust in Tylak, a former slave accused of stealing from the Everflame—a man she once condemned to death.
In a world where water is currency and enemies lurk around every corner, Jura will use her wits or risk igniting a world war.
You can follow Alexis Marrero Deese via the following social media:
Alexis Marrero Deese’s book Ignited, as well as the anthology Once Upon a Wednesday which includes her short story called Magic Show, is available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and Nook.