If you love sex and romance and good girls and bad boys and you haven’t read Alexa Riley yet, you’ve got some catching up to do! Honestly, I’m addicted to her books. She writes novellas and novels that will steam up your ereader and give you some very fun dreams. And Inky Blue Allusions had the opportunity to ask her a few questions.
The first thing you should know is that Alexa Riley is actually two people. Lea and Mel are two amazing friends that got together and decided to write the kind of books they wanted to read. Their characters are flawed, sometimes broken, weird and definitely not perfect. They are relatable because they are so imperfect.
They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read.
Intrigued? You should be! Read on to find out what we learned about them.
IBA: Most of your fans know that “Alexa Riley” is the pen name of a writing duo. I think that’s such an awesome concept. But how the heck did the two of you decide to sit down and start writing delicious, smutty, romance?
AR: We’ve always been readers, and before we wrote our own books, we reviewed them. After a few years we had a hard time finding the specific books we wanted, so we decided to write them. We love our books safe, with obsessed heroes who are always trying to get the girl pregnant. We wanted our romance a certain way, so we decided to create it.
IBA: Who were you reading at the time that you started that influenced what you wrote?
AR: Cara Dee’s Look But Don’t Touch inspired us, as well as Laurann Dohner’s New Species series. Those authors are still beloved to us today, and will forever be the reason we put pen to paper.
IBA: Who do you love to read now?
AR: The two of us read very different books. Lea loves murder mysteries or anything with suspense, while Mel loves anything new and fun. We both still crave our trashy smut, but no matter what we both want it safe.
IBA: Do you each write your own stories or do you come up with the ideas for stories together and then pass it back and forth, each of you writing parts of a book?
AR: Mel is usually the one that sparks the idea. From there we both talk a little about where the story could go. After that we alternate chapters until the book is finished. Generally we don’t talk about where we want the book to go after the initial talk. We like to just write and see where it takes us.
IBA: Were your stories a success right from the beginning or did it take a while for them to start getting popular? If so, how long?
AR: LOL!!! God no, they were terrible. We still can’t go back and read our first books because of the writing. Any author will tell you that the more you write the better you get and it’s so true. It took about a year before one of our books had a big break out. We wrote non-stop, after that. And we’re still trying to maintain the pace!
IBA: What were you doing before you started writing? Did you have day jobs? If you had day jobs, how long did it take before you were able to quit them and start writing full time?
AR: Lea was in finance for about 13 years and Mel was a CFO for a construction company. We both wrote and worked for a couple of years before we were able to write full time. It was really tough for those first few years doing both, but it all paid off.
IBA: How much of yourself/selves goes into the female characters? Do you pull things from your lives (experiences, characteristics of people you know, etc) into your books?
AR: I don’t think we pull a lot of ourselves into the characters, but we use what we love. We adore a romance with an innocent heroine who is a little clumsy, or outside the box of what’s considered beautiful. We like curvy women who have flaws… mostly we like our heroines to be real. There are some characters we’ve created based on people we know, but it’s never 100% the same.
IBA: Do you (or have you ever wanted to) write in other genres? Or do you just love the naughty romance so much that you’ve never really considered it?
AR: Dirty romance will always and forever be Alexa Riley. We may toe the line with being more erotic or contemporary, but it will always be about the romance. We’ll never write a book with cheating because we wouldn’t never want to read that ourselves. AR is a brand we want our readers to trust, so we won’t fuck with that.
IBA: What’s the best piece of advice that you have to offer aspiring authors?
AR: WRITE!!! It sounds so simple, but people always get caught up in everything that goes along with writing that they never finish what they start. Keep writing, don’t listen to bullshit, keep on moving. Someone somewhere is going to love what you write, and when they find you, they’ll want more. Don’t get discouraged by reviews or what others have to say. Just keep at it.
IBA: What’s your favorite social media platform? Why?
AR: Mother fucking SNAPCHAT! It’s super fun the filters are dope. It’s followed closely by Instagram, then twitter with Facebook dead last. Facebook reaches a lot of people, but also floods us with overwhelming notifications that we can’t always respond to the people we would love to. Snapchat allows us to message directly and answer everyone. Instagram is hard to do that, but messages and stories help.
IBA: Does writing your sex scenes get you worked up or is it all business?
AR: It’s different because writing it yourself can get you turned on if you’re in the right head space. But mostly we write sex scenes and judge how good they are on the other persons reaction. So if Lea writes a scene and Mel said it turned her on, then we know we hit our mark. That’s always the goal – to turn the other person on.
IBA: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore (for whatever reason) what would you do?
AR: Mel would probably go back to blogging about books, but maybe that’s technically writing? If not, then she’d work her way through Chrissy Tiegen’s cookbook. Lea would probably start a detective agency where she found killers and dressed like the 1920’s.
IBA: If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?
AR: Mel is a Panda, and Lea is a bunny. We actually established this years ago. Mel is fun and sweet, but usually is a tornado when she gets in a room. Lea is bubbly and can’t sit still, and generally annoys everyone with her demands.
IBA: What is the one song that is sure to make you feel all the feels? Why?
AR: Britney Spears – Work Bitch. It’s our motivation song, and we say it to one another to make us move our asses. It doesn’t make us emotional, just puts us in check. You wanna live fancy? Better work bitch.
IBA: Who is your favorite boyfriend out of all the men you’ve created?
– Let’s call them heroes instead of boyfriends….
– Mel – Vincent from our Ghostrider MC series.
– Lea – Abe from the Ghostrider MC series.
IBA: Which one of your female main characters would you become and live her life if you had to choose only one?
– Lea – Valentina from Taking What’s Hers, hands down. She’s ridiculous.
– Mel – Penelope from Stay Close
IBA: What celebrity (past or present) would you like to spy on for a week and write about?
– Lea – Beyonce hands down. I just want to breathe the same air as my lord and savior.
– Mel – Chrissy Tiegen
IBA: If you knew the world was going to end in a week, what would you spend your time doing?
AR: I think we’d both just want to be with our husbands and children until the end. This question is really depressing!
IBA: Which book have you enjoyed writing the most?
AR: We loved writing Everything For Her. It was the first book that just poured out of us for thousands and thousands of words. We’d never experienced that before, and we haven’t since. I hope one day we have another book like that in us.
IBA: No question. This is just where you have the opportunity to say anything that hasn’t already been covered.
AR: We want to encourage other authors, or aspiring authors to peruse their dreams. Once upon a time someone helped us, and we try our best everyday to do the same. There is room at the table for everyone, and the romance community can be a warm and welcoming place. There are exceptions to this of course, but we hope that we are able to put good out into the world and create a space without shame.
Wanna stalk them and find out more about them? (I confess, I do it all the time) You can find them here: