I had the pleasure of being able to ask Alyssa Goodnight a copious amount of questions about writing, being published, some other random things, and most importantly her new novel “Just Say Yes”. I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I did asking the questions.
Char: I love the premise of this novel were you inspired by a remodeling job you were having done or by a Food Channel or HGTV show? Or did the characters come to you and the story from there? Or vice versa?
Alyssa: The idea for a book about a kitchen witch appealed to me first. Next came the matchmaking supper club, and finally, Jade and Max. Their story was probably influenced by the fact that my husband and I (along with another couple) remodeled a rental home two years ago. It was quite an ordeal! Not flirty at all. 🙂
Char: Is there a “special” character or scene, in “Just Say Yes”, that you just can’t stand how much you love them/it?
Alyssa: I really like the first kiss scene. Jade is in a tizzy of uncertainty over whether the magical candy she’s just shared with Max has affected their ability to make good decisions. It’s just so sparkly and fizzy and fun.
Char: Is “Just Say Yes” different from your previous novels?
Alyssa: Yes and no. I’ve written a historical romance and two romantic women’s fiction novels. This is my first foray into straight-up contemporary romance, but I think this novel is in the same style as the other three—sassy, flirty romantic comedy.
Char: Entangled is known for packing a lot of story into a small package. Was this a welcome challenge for you?
Alyssa: At 300+ pages, I don’t feel like this package is all that small. 🙂 But I love the challenge of writing a story that will keep readers whipping through the pages to find out what happens next.
Char: What is your favorite thing about writing Romance? What is your least favorite thing?
Alyssa: My favorite thing about writing romance is reliving all the firsts. I met my husband in high school, and that was a good number of years ago… Romance lets me vicariously experience the first smile, first kiss, first touch, etc… all over again. My least favorite thing about writing romance is the stigma associated with it, issued by people who don’t read it.
Char: I like asking this question to authors with children because I love the various responses to it … Are you a “Stay at Home Writer” or a “Coffee Shop Writer”? Do you give yourself “Working Hours” or are you more of a “When the Muse Strikes” type?
Alyssa: I write at home most days. Basically, if I don’t have errands, household chores, or some other plans, I spend my days writing.
Char: How do you deal with writers’ block? Power through, step back to breathe, or “eat your feelings” with a plate of brownies.
Alyssa: I typically try to power through, but some days are rough, with almost nothing accomplished (other than an excessive number of sarcastic tweets), and some days you feel like every word is pure poetry. Or maybe that’s just me.
Char: What was the road to getting published like? Where you part of a local writer’s group? Romance Writers’ of America? Did you have a mentor?
Alyssa: It was surprisingly like rock climbing, with strategically spaced finger and toe holds that helped me make steady progress toward that goal. I entered contests and got great feedback. I found an agent. Editors expressed interest… And then all the stars aligned. 🙂 I’m a member of RWA and, until recently, a local writer’s group. No mentor.
Char: Any “words of wisdom” to aspiring writers?
Alyssa: Have confidence in your abilities but never stop trying to improve upon them.
Char: I know you live in Galveston, Texas, were you born in Texas? If so, what was it like? Were you country tomboy or a city girl? If not in Texas, where?
Alyssa: I actually live between Houston and Galveston, so not on the island itself. And while I wasn’t born in Texas (I was born on an army base in Arizona), I’ve been here for the majority of my life. Mostly Houston, with some Austin mixed in there. I was a suburb girl. 🙂
Char: What do you do to relax? Are you a crafter, a baker, a traveler, or perhaps a connoisseur of The Nap?
Alyssa: Reading is my go-to relaxation pastime. I also quilt, and while I’m a baker (gluten-free!), I’m not sure I’d classify that pastime as relaxing.
Char: What was the first Romance novel you remember reading? Or what was the romance that made the biggest impact on you?
Alyssa: I would say Jennifer Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation made the biggest impact on me. I’ve wanted to write like her ever since.
Lightning City‘s Questionnaire – This is where I ask you some random, hopefully fun, questions that may give us a peek into your brain or personality … or just show that my mentality has not progressed farther than a ten year-old girl at a sleepover. 😀
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Video game designer/developer.
What profession would you not like to do? Port-a-potty pickup and delivery
What “turns you on” creatively? Rule breakers.
What “turns you off” creatively? Rules.
What is your favorite word? Diabolical
What is your least favorite word? Mucus
Pop Crush? James Norton, Matt Bomer
Bucket List Musts? Touring Scotland’s castles, river rafting (again!), visiting New Zealand
One Day I Hope to … Get over my shyness.
Splurge? One full-calorie Dr Pepper a week.
You in a Nutshell (Your Author Blurb is not allowed. LOL) Stubborn, efficient, slightly obsessive, lover of brownies.
Life Tip: Don’t try to fit in; be proud to stand out.
Thank you so much. It was such a pleasure getting to know a little more about you. I hope you had as much fun answering these questions as I had thinking them up and posing them to you.