Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What, Where, When, Why and How with Alisha Rai

Welcome today to erotic romance author Alisha Rai (who has a startlingly familar--yet different--cover, but we won't talk about that...*G*):

What do you do to unwind?

READ. Seriously, can any author answer differently? I love to read. Can't keep myself from it. I just love e-books, since it makes reading so much easier and more accessible. I don't have to go to the library or bookstore, just click, click, nom, nom.

Little known fact: I'm quite the knitter. It's my ultimate relaxing activity, since I can't stand to watch TV or movies with my hands idle. I started knitting when I was eleven, and since then, I've given away a countless number of scarves, throws, cushion covers, and sweaters to people who may or may not have actually wanted them. I'd totally lose a dance-off, but knit-off? Bring it.

When do you submit your writing the very first time?

Two years ago, I vowed to turn my writing into more than just a hobby. I joined a critique group and a year ago, I submitted a few stories to a couple of open calls from e-pubs. Got rejected. I took some time, regrouped, identified a few things I had done wrong, and started writing Glutton for Pleasure.

The hardest part about writing is actually finishing the story. I had a ton of roadblocks with Glutton. Business worries, family sickness, and then, a truly catastrophic experience: I left my laptop open at my mother's house and walked away. When I came back, my novel was open on the screen.

Do you have any idea how weird it is to have parents who come from a sexually conservative culture and know that your mom has read a menage story that you are in the process of writing? You can call me juvenile, I don't care. We so do not have that mother-daughter relationship where we can talk about sex, let alone kinky stuff. I think once we may have had a conversation about kissing, and we both just about died from awkwardness. The trauma of knowing that her eyes had touched this story could have killed me right there, but after a couple of weeks of avoiding my characters, I managed to get back to work and finish it.

After a great deal of revising and self-doubt, I submitted to Samhain. I didn't think I would get a response for a few months, since I submitted to the slush pile, no publishing credits to my name. I underestimated my editor--two weeks later, I had a request for a full. The next week, I had a contract in my hands. I was beyond thrilled. Happy dance time.

Where did you attend high school?

Ninth Grade - Fargo, ND
Tenth Grade and Twelfth Grade - Buffalo, NY
Eleventh Grade - Sarasota, FL
Yeah, my family moved around a lot :). I've lived in about seventeen states and three countries. Imagine how complicated my college apps were.

Why do dogs turn around twice before the lie down?

To make sure their tails are still attached. Don't you grope your butt before you sit down? Maybe it's just me.

How many times do you have chocolate in any form during the week?

Oh, wow. I love chocolate like a fat kid loves...chocolate. Plus, I'm a florist, so when I'm at work, chocolate is dangerously accessible. Since I have a body type that is predisposed to, ahem, curviness, I try to be good and not eat more than one serving at a time. Note the key word: try. Doesn't mean I always succeed.
When I was in England, I just about lived on those super sweet Cadbury bars. If American chocolate tasted like that, all bets would be off. Oh British people, how I envy you.

Alisha Rai has been enthralled with romance novels since she smuggled her first tattered Harlequin home from the library at the age of thirteen. A mild-mannered florist by day, she pens sexy, emotional contemporaries and paranormals by night.

After a lifetime spent bouncing around the States, she is content to call sunny South Florida home for now. When she’s not reading or working, Alisha loves to hang out with her close-knit family. She happily lives in a chaotic house filled with clutter, laughter, good food, boisterous kids, and very loud relatives.

Alisha loves to hear from her readers! You can e-mail her at or visit her on the web at .


Dru said...

that was a fun interview.

Sarita Leone said...

Thanks for the early day smile! :)

Alisha Rai said...

It was a fun interview to do!

Marianne, that heroine is pretty just the way she is. I don't know why she felt the need to get implants between your cover and mine.

Oh wait...because I requested it. My heroine is supposed to be curvy :).

Julie Robinson said...

Alisha, you had me rolling about dogs lying down. And having your mom read your work. OMG, I feel for you. That must have been an awkward time.

Your submission story is inspiring and I like when you said, "I vowed to turn my writing into more than just a hobby." Completion is the hardest for me too.
Thanks for sharing,

Ceri Hebert said...

LOL I understand about letting your mom read the naughty parts of your book. I actually put sticky notes in the parts where there was sex in my books so she could skip it if she wanted to. I have a book I'm trying to get published that will be 75% sticky notes.