Friday, June 15, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Alice Gaines

United By Books is very pleased to have Alice Gaines on the blog today so we can learn a bit more about her and her amazing books......

  1 ~  First share with us a little about yourself?
I live in Oakland, California in a fixer-upper I never fixed up.  When I’m at home, I’m a total hermit, and no one sees me except for my pet snake and the stray cat who lives in the back yard.  I have a PhD in psychology, although I haven’t used it for many, many years.  I enjoy writing fiction more than doing research.

2 ~  Please tell us a little about your newest release (Heat Rises 6/12) ?

The story is about two people who were almost lovers in the past.  Laura was always to shy to let Ethan know she was interested in him until she had a bit too much to drink at a party.  Then, she came onto him in no uncertain terms.  As a gentleman, Ethan couldn’t take her up on her offer, no matter how much he wanted to.  He hoped and hoped for another chance, but Laura was too embarrassed by what she saw as his rejection to face him again.

All that has percolated inside both of them for six years when they meet again in the mountains in a snowstorm.  When they’re isolated in a romantic cabin, they work through all the kinks from six years before and more.

3 ~ What
s the weirdest thing youve ever done in the name of research?

I bought an…ahem…item from a…ahem…adult catalogue.  I ended up using it in three different stories.  That isn’t the weirdest thing, though.  I deducted the cost of the item on my taxes.  All I can say is, I wasn’t audited.

4 ~ How do you describe your writing style?
I’m a disciplined pantser.  That probably sounds dirty, but a pantser is someone who writes by the seat of her pants.  Before I was published, I’d sit down on page one and keep writing until the story was over.  Only then would I write a synopsis.  Now I have to write synopses before the story is done, and I hate it.  I have no idea what’s going to happen until it happens.
The discipline part also isn’t sexy.  I write according to a schedule that allows me to produce 5,000 words per week.  If something happens to that schedule, I add more words per day until I catch up.  I’m fanatical about deadlines, even the ones I impose on myself.  In fact, I have a story due next Monday, and I’m going to put off getting my water heat fixed until the story is written.  Before I let someone into my house, I need to clean the kitchen floor, and before I do that, I’m finishing this story, darn it!

5~ Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Shoes.  My heroine strips my hero out of his shirt and drops it to the floor.  She eases his zipper down.  Really cool.  Kneeling, she slides his pants and boxers down, and what does she find?  His shoes.  Dammit.  So, she either has to take his shoes off first, which isn’t exactly romantic.  Or, she has to deal with them now, while his pants are stuck around his ankles.  Does he put his hand on her head for balance while she’s taking first one shoe off and then the other?  What are the most important bits doing while all this is taking place?  I love humor in books, but this isn’t the time for it.
Sure, that’s a tongue in cheek answer, but it’s often the little details that bog me down while I’m writing.  I once tried to have a woman hide a vial of medicine on her while she was wearing a loose nightgown.  She’d already emptied her hands of what she’d carried into the room, but I wanted one extra little bottle.  Her gown didn’t have a bodice or bra, so she couldn’t hide it in there.  I ended up sticking it in her hair behind her ear.  I spent valuable minutes trying to figure out where that little bottle could be.

 6~ Please tell the Readers in two sentences why they should check out  Heat Rises .

It’s about nice people having outrageous sex, which is true of all of my writing.  It’s short, but it’s also reasonably priced.

7~ How would you describe yourself in three words?
Funny, loyal, sloppy.

8~ What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to cook.  I watch all the PBS cooking shows and love to try new things.  My idea of a heavenly non-writing day would to sit in front of the TV making something fun while I watched America’s Test Kitchen and Lidia Bastianich.  In line with that, I grow vegetables in my back yard.  I make pesto and tomato sauce all through the summer so I can have them in winter.
My other major passion is East Bay soul band, Tower of Power.  I see them whenever they’re at Yoshi’s in Oakland or in Las Vegas.  My friends get together for long TOP weekends in Vegas.  We’ve been talking about following the band to Europe some time, and I might just show up at one of their concerts in Amsterdam.
9~ Say a reader needed to get their smut fix..... Which one of your books would you recommend?

Heat Rises is a lot of fun.  If you’d like to get a feel for my writing at no cost, you can download the free short story, Brief Encounter.  Please be aware that it’s very short (only a chapter).

10~ How many licks does it take to get to the center of a lollipop ?

I don’t lick. I suck.

11 ~ What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Write, write, write.  Don’t let anyone discourage you.  It’s an oddity of the universe that most agents and editors are delightful people who seem hell bent on rejecting you.  Don’t let it get you down.  Keep writing no matter what.

12~ What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a practicing Christian.  I serve on the altar guild at my church, and yes, my rector knows what I write.

13~ How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
It was so long ago, I honestly don’t remember.  I got “the call” at work and immediately called my husband.  I remember vaguely that when I got home, I got the car into the driveway, just barely, and ran into the house.
I think the first thing we all do (after we kiss the dh) is jump onto e-mail and tell all our friends.  “OMG, OMG, they bought my book!  They bought my book!  Squeeeee, they bought my book!  OMG, OMG, I forgot how to breathe!”  That’s usually followed by chocolate and alcoholic beverages.

14 ~ Is there anything special you would like to say to your readers while we have you here today?
I hope you enjoy Heat Rises.  We do work very hard on our stories, and so do our editors.  Every book isn’t to every reader’s taste.  I’ve hated things my friends have loved and vice versa.
More than anything else, we love to hear from readers that they’ve enjoyed our stories.  We are writing for you.  If money were the only goal, we could find much, much easier ways to earn it.  There’s nothing better in the world that to have a stranger fall in love with our characters.  They’re our creations and a part of ourselves.

My blog/website is, and you can reach me at


There is an E-ARC of Heat Rises up for grabs to one lucky winner ... just fill out the rafflecopter below to be entered.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Gladys said...

I have no idea what is going to happen when I am writing either, so would find it very hard to write a synopsis!

Shelley B said...

I have not read a book by this author before, but I do love stories about lovers reunited. Thanks!

Alice Gaines said...

Thanks for stopping by, Gladys and Shelley. And thanks to Uhited by Books for hosting me.

Anonymous said...

This looks really good. Gaines is a new to me author but will be adding her to my TBR pile.


Yvette said...

I have not read any of the books but am looking forward to it.

Becky Johnson said...

Love the interview. I'm so pleased that you weren't audited! lol - I would have loved to overhear that conversation though. Heat Rises sounds just that - hot! I can't wait to give it a read :)

The Tribe America Gathering said...

the book sounds amazing!! i can't wait to read it! unfortunantly i haven't read any of alice's books yet but thats about to change!!


Sasha H said...

A very honest and I would think realistic way of writing, at least it would be for me if I were an author. :D

Looking forward to reading Heat Rises, so I hope I win an eBook

bn100 said...

The book sounds good. I've never read her books before, but would like to.

swamimommy said...

love everything you write, even the motorcycle shifters. want to get this one too!

Arianne Cruz said...

the story sounds super hot! I haven't read any of the author's books, but this would be a great start :D shy with a hot guy sounds great :D