Lexi Harlow is the snarky, redhead heroine in my new book, The Love Triangle. Like many authors, I tend to get attached to my characters, so I like to conduct an exit interview before sending them out into the world. Lexi took time from her busy schedule as a fictional character to sit down with me and chat.
Me: Lexi, good to talk with you again. I missed you while you were in the editing process. You look well.
Lexi: Thankfully the editor didn’t change me. I was worried she’d remove my sarcastic attitude and turn me into something sweet and innocent. Pffft. Like anyone would buy that.
Me: And pretty hard to do that considering your escapades in the book.
Lexi: I wouldn’t call them escapades. Besides, you wrote them. Speaking of which, did you have to throw two terrific guys into my life at the same time?”
Me: Hence the title, The Love Triangle. I could have given you a third guy and called it The Love Polygon.
Lexi: At that point the title should be Dating for the Mathematically Challenged.
Me: So, I assume you’re happy with how things turned out. At least you seemed that way at the end of the book.
Lexi: Hey, can’t complain with Happily Ever After. But did you have to make the journey so hard? I mean, I know you authors love that conflict thing, but geez, this was torture.
Me: You didn’t seem to mind being in that hot tub with—
Lexi: (Blushing, as her face begins to approach the color of her hair.) Okay, maybe torture wasn’t the right word. But why couldn’t I be like some of those other heroines who meet the hero in chapter one and fall madly in love for three hundred pages without any obstacles?
Me: Because I don’t want to give readers a cavity. Snarky and saccharine don’t go together.
Lexi: Point taken. I like the sweet guy I ended up with and we’re a good balance. Sweet and salty are a great match, like those pretzel M&Ms. Speaking of which, those gals in the HarperImpulse office are a lot like that.
Me: Like pretzel M&Ms?”
Lexi: No. Sweet and a bit salty. Nice women who have a cool job with books that can get a little naughty. You should see them when they’re searching for a guy to put on a book cover. They actually get paid to look at shirtless men. Damn, I need a job as a romance cover artist. And once in a while they get to work on a steamy book. I met this other heroine from an erotic novel that was being edited at the same time and it sounded like she spent more time looking at ceilings than Michelangelo. Speaking of which, how come every time it seemed like a sex scene for me was coming up the chapter ended? Then I’d turn the page and be somewhere else.
Me: Because it’s a sweet romance without anything too explicit. The sex is implied.
Lexi: Well, you implied me right into a cold shower about five times in the book.
Me: Besides, guys can’t write sex scenes because they only last one paragraph.
Lexi: Why does that not surprise me?
Me: No comment. Anyway, looking back, is there anything you would have changed in the book?
Lexi: You didn’t have to reveal my age.
Me: Readers need to know so they can get a mental picture of you.
Lexi: Fine. But you could have said I was in my thirties with the body of a twenty year old.
Me: Your hero seemed to think you’re the most beautiful woman in the world. Isn’t that all that matters?
Lexi: You got me there.
Me: Anything else?
Lexi: Well, I’d like to know how things turn out after the book ends. I mean, what happens after we get married? I get the HEA thing, but can you be more specific?
Me: Are you saying you want a sequel?
Lexi: Nah, you’d throw that conflict thing at me again. I’m just curious about the future.
Me: Hey, you met the guy of your dreams. So live the dream. Let the wave take you and enjoy the ride.
Lexi: Fair enough. By the way, I understand you started another book. And that you’ve already connected with another snarky redhead.
Me: I… uh…”
Lexi: (rolls her eyes) Writers. And they say men can’t commit.
Me: That’s why I left you with your dream guy.
Lexi: I’m just yankin’ your chain. Oh, one more request.
Lexi: Don’t ever put my book on sale. I’m not a cheap read.