I don't know if there's anyone who isn't a fan of Alice Clayton's Redhead or Cocktail series. When you're looking for something entertaining and steamy, this is the author you should check out. With the upcoming release of the second book in her new Hudson Valley series, Alice still found some time for an interview and I'm excited to share her answers with you guys, along with an international giveaway for the chance to win Cream of the Crop. Isn't Ms. Clayton fantastic? Of course she is, that's why she's the next in IFB's Behind the Pages feature :)
Where are you from?
St. Louis MO.
You worked in the cosmetics industry before becoming an author. What inspired you to start writing and how challenging was it to make the transition?
I was inspired to start writing when I stumbled into the world of Twilight Fan Fiction. I’d read Twilight and the entire series and was itching for more and when I found the fan fiction world, that was all she wrote. I started writing and one thing led to another and I was lucky enough to have THE UNIDENTIFIED REDHEAD published in February 2010. And it’s been crazy ever since!
Does your experience in that industry impact your stories?
I think I got to know women really well, beyond just the normal girlfriend interaction. I was seeing women at their most vulnerable. Think about it. You’re sitting with this woman in the middle of the mall in front of everyone else that’s shopping, and you hand her a wet wipe and ask her to take off her makeup. In public. And you, as the artist, can make that experience awful or awesome for her. I chose awesome. I learned that women are terrible at taking a compliment (something I mention in WALLBANGER when Caroline remembers something her grandmother told her once) and I learned that women just want to be listened to. I’d have women come and sit in my chair and talk for thirty minutes about anything and everything. Any hair stylist or esthetician knows what I’m talking about. Some of these women you can tell, no one in their lives is listening to them, really listening. I like to make sure the women in my novels are HEARD.
Tell us a bit about your debut, The Unidentified Redhead. What brought about Grace and Jack’s story?
The story of Jack and Grace was 100% inspired by an interview I saw where Robert Pattinson said he thought Tina Fey was “like the sexiest woman on the planet.” And this was right before Twilight came out, or right after, when everyone was literally foaming at the mouth to find out more about this guy, and specifically who he was dating. And I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting if the guy who could literally have almost any woman he wanted, actually was spending his nights up in the hills of Hollywood watching the Golden Girls with a woman 11 years older than he was. And how would life change for that woman, once she started dating such a famous guy. BAM. The Redhead Series was born.
Is that really it for the Redhead series or will there be another book someday?
I’ve said for years their story was over…but there’s something about those two that make me want to write them again. Who knows what I might be doing next… ;)
The Cocktail series was as well-received as your previous. Did you ever anticipate the success of your books? Do you feel pressured to keep that going?
WALLBANGER was an almost instant success, and it changed my life in a thousand ways. I make my living telling stories now, and it’s all because of WALLBANGER. We threw our dream wedding last year, and I should have printed THIS WEDDING WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY WALLBANGER on the back of the invitations.
I’m immensely grateful for WALLBANGER. However, I would be lying if I said it didn’t create a kind of pressure to maintain that level of success that’s just simply not possible. For me anyway. So yeah, it’s a struggle sometime to keep the voices at bay in my head and just write the kind of books I want to write.
How does your latest series, Hudson Valley differ from the last? What can readers expect?
CREAM OF THE CROP means a lot to me, because I finally got to write someone that I thought was so very needed in this world, and that’s a plus size heroine. Not a curvy girl who loses a bunch of weight, but an honest to god curvy girl who gets the guy not in spite of her curves, but just because she’s fucking awesome.
From Wallbanger to Cream of the Crop, how did you pick these titles?
I have the best time coming up with titles. I usually come up with the title before the concept, isn’t that funny?
Your stories are mainly filled with humor and heat. Have you ever considered writing in another genre? Like Suspense or YA contemporary?
I’d like to write something more like true women’s fiction, whatever that means. Maybe a little sex. But then I come up with an idea for a sex scene and then…
I think my writing is a bit cleaner than it used to be, more focused. I’m also more aware of specific things, like not putting in information that’s too dated, like a current song or movie that in a few years people might not remember.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on the third book in the Hudson Valley Series right now!
Alice, thank you so much for taking the time. Please leave any tips for aspiring writers.
I always say the same thing, I’m so boring! But it’s something really simple, although it can be hard to do. Trust your voice. No one can tell your story as well as you can.
More About the Author
Alice Clayton is a NY Times & USA Today Bestselling author of comedic erotica. She worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade before picking up a pen (read laptop).
Alice enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up, and finally convinced her long-time boyfriend to marry her.