Friday, October 8, 2021

Alexa Martin Interview - Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes


Photo Credit: Kristie Chadwick

Alexa Martin is a writer and stay at home mom. A Nashville transplant, she’s intent on instilling a deep love and respect for the great Dolly Parton in her four children and husband. The Playbook Series was inspired by the eight years she spent as a NFL wife and her deep love of all things pop culture, sparkles, leggings, and wine. When she’s not repeating herself to her kids, you can find her catching up on whatever Real Housewives franchise is currently airing or filling up her Etsy cart with items she doesn’t need.

        
  


Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
This probably sounds super cliche, but it’s honestly been interacting with readers! I started writing out of the need to find my identity again and not just be “Derrick’s wife” or my kids’ mom. Being able to share these stories with readers has been unbelievable. I love every opportunity I get to speak with them. My ultimate goal while writing is to make the person reading it not feel alone while they’re in my world, I just didn’t realize it would make me feel so connected as well.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
My newest release is Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes. It’s about two best friends who fall on hard times and decide to move in together for emotional and financial support. One is a single mom and the other is an influencer. It’s all about strong friendships, the different dynamics of mother-daughter relationships wrapped up in a hilarious story about two vastly different millennial women.

I’m currently writing my next romance which is about a woman who hates books who inherits a bookstore from her late grandmother… and is set up with the newest romance author in town.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
There is just something so healing about storytelling and reading. Especially during the times that we are living in, it’s so important to feel connected to other humans in any way that we can. Stories create empathy and bonds that would otherwise be impossible.

Can you tell us when you started MOM JEANS AND OTHER MISTAKES, how that came about?
My first series is a contemporary sports romance. I loved writing those books so much, but as the series progressed, I found myself just as excited to write scenes between the friends as I was to show the love interest. I knew then I wanted to write a different kind of love story, one between friends. Also, as a mom of four whose best friend is single and free, I wanted to showcase the lives of millennial women as mothers and as daughters.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I hope that when readers are reading Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes they see themselves in Jude and Lauren. I hope they finish reading and call their best friend. I also hope it will encourage them to cut toxic relationships in their lives and create boundaries they may have been avoiding before reading. And as always, I hope that while they are reading, they don’t feel alone and can end the story with a smile on their face.

What part of Jude and Lauren did you enjoy writing the most?
The best part of this book was that there wasn’t a single scene I didn’t love writing. I think my favorite scenes were the ones when Lauren drags Jude to playgroup. It was so much fun seeing the craziness that happens in mom groups through the eyes of a childless woman. I laughed my way through those scenes.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
As I was writing my first book, Intercepted, I had dreams of Marlee joining up with Indy Savage from Kristen Ashley’s Rock Chick series. I’m a huge Kristen Ashley fan, so this dream has not faded over time!

However, for Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes? I think Jude would love to hang out with Jillian Beckley from Laura Hankin’s brilliant novel, A Special Place for Women. Just thinking of Jude and Jillian roaming NYC and bringing down secret clubs (cults) brings me immense joy. They are very different characters, but I think they’d have a lot in common.

Tell me about a favorite event of your childhood.
It’s going to sound so silly, but I met my best friend in 6th grade. We were locker partners and nearly every Friday, we’d meet at a movie theater close to our houses. There was a Chili’s in the same parking lot and depending on the time of the movie, we’d go get chicken tenders and fries before or after the movie. On the days we’d eat before the movie, we never knew what to do with our leftovers. As firm rule followers, we never tried to sneak the food in. When it was cold, we would find a bush outside and hide our leftovers there. It is honestly so disgusting and I can’t believe we did it, but I still laugh every time I think about it!

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Write a book! Maybe it’s a children’s book, maybe it’s a romance novel, and maybe you’ll never let anybody else read it, but there is something so wonderful about sitting down and letting your imagination run wild.

Best date you've ever had?
One of my favorite dates with my husband was when we got a babysitter and went to the Lorde concert. We were the oldest people there, but it was a blast! I think of that concert all the time. I still have the sweatshirt… it just doesn’t fit anymore! Ha!

What was the first job you had?
Babysitting! I played lots of sports in high school, so this was the only job I was able to keep. I would nanny for my cousin over the summer. We had so much fun doing crafts, going to the pool, and lots of trips to the zoo. My cousin is actually starting her freshman year of college this fall and nothing has ever made me feel older.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
It’s hard. I don’t want to be a downer, but my dad died when I was one. I think experiencing a loss so huge before you can even comprehend what you lost changes a person in ways they don’t even realize. There are days that I’m still learning how it has affected me. I’m so grateful for everyday with my family because I know it’s not guaranteed.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?
I usually say Oprah to this question, but right now, I think I would like to switch places with Andy Cohen. A behind the scenes look at all of the Real Housewives drama? Yes please! That would be a dream come true! Also, hanging with Anderson Cooper wouldn’t be so bad either.

First Heartbreak?
Looking back it wasn’t actually heartbreak, but my first boyfriend in 6th grade. We went out for a week, didn’t speak one time, and then he broke up with me through his friend. I was DEVASTATED. He came running back in high school though!

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
Goodness! Jean! I wasn’t prepared for your questions to make me cry! I would go back to my sophomore year of high school. I lived with my mom, grandma, and grandpa. My grandpa passed the next year. We were all so close and it was just such a happy time. I wish I could go back to that time where my only worries were math tests and what I was going to wear. I want to hug that girl and tell her that even though times are going to get hard, she’ll make it through.

Where can readers find you?
I’m on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok at AlexaMBooks and I’m on Facebook. I would say I’m most active on Instagram though. Oh! And also my website, www.AlexaMartin.com. You can sign up for my newsletter which I send out weekly.

TEN QUOTES FROM MOM JEANS AND OTHER MISTAKES
  • 1- “Children and hangovers do not mix.”
  • 2- “I swear I never knew that shoes would be my downfall in life. The parenting books told me everything I needed to know about pregnancy and birth and colic, but not one of them prepared me for five-year-olds and their ability to lose shoes.”
  • 3- “Lauren lives a life of full responsibility and reality. She’s in charge of not only keeping another human alive, but also making sure she’s well adjusted and doesn’t turn into a serial killer. That’s a lot of pressure!”
  • 4- “It’s for moms to find the person they were before they had children. It’s for single women to love their lives without wanting to rush to the next step. It’s female friendship amplified. It’s motherhood raw. It’s the life of two millennial women just trying to live our best lives out in these wild streets.”
  • 5- “I’m never having kids. Don’t get me wrong, the mini-humans running around are adorable and everything. It’s having to deal with the parents that has completely turned me off the idea.”
  • 6- “These moms. They’ve done nothing but humblebrag about their little angels since we arrived. Like, I get it, Karen, your kid’s a genius and can paint like Picasso. Nobody gives a fuck.”
  • 7- “This is why I love Lauren. I’m not perfect. Not at all. And even though she doesn’t hesitate to call me on my shit, she also forgives really fast. I never feel like I need to grovel with her or earn her love. We both know that even if we’re mad at each other, we’ll always have each other’s backs. Always.”
  • 8- “Until today, I didn’t know that brand-name cardigans were my most irrational pet peeve, but here we are.”
  • 9- “You don’t realize how really fucked up you are until you’re only slightly less fucked up.”
  • 10- “Nobody is entitled to take up space in your life if they aren’t good for you. My mental well-being is more important than society’s expectations. Family, friends, nobody should be allowed in your life if they are toxic.”
Your journey to publication
My journey to publication is one of my favorite experiences. I started writing my first book, Intercepted when I got home from a vacation with my husband. An idea popped into my head while we were away and I just had to get it down. I will never forget taking the laptop (my husband and I shared one!), creating a password protected account, and locking myself in the basement to write. I didn’t even tell my husband what I was doing for a month or so. It took my four years to finish that book and I think I only told about five people what I was doing.

When I first started writing the story, I didn’t think I would let anyone read it, then I considered self-publishing, and I finally landed on trying the traditional route. It should be stated that I had NO idea what I was doing… and that could be seen in the book I wrote. Thankfully, through endless google searches, I found out about twitter pitch events, and looking at those, I found Pitch Wars. Pitch Wars is a writing mentorship program where potential mentees submit a query letter and the first chapter of their manuscripts to potential mentors. At the end of this process, mentors will pick one mentee to work with and help edit and polish their manuscripts for an agent round at the end. I was so lucky and was chosen by the most amazing mentors who reinforced that I did have a strong voice, but just needed a little help. In a span of five weeks, I completely rewrote the book that took me four years to write. It was the best masterclass I could’ve ever taken. At the end, I was one of the lucky ones who signed with an agent.

As a random side note, not long before I finished drafting my book, my grandma passed away. Se was the person in my life who loved reading as much as I did. She was so creative and loved to craft. She was my biggest cheerleader when it came to my creative endeavors. I signed with my agent on her first birthday after she passed. It felt like a little hug and a wink that she was still around and watching.

After I signed with my agent, we went on submission to publishing houses and were met with a lot of silence and a few rejections. Then one day, my agent sent me an email asking if I wanted to talk to an editor. We hopped on the phone with Kristine and wow, what a dream! I love, love, love Kristine and the entire team at Berkley. I feel supremely lucky that I have been able to work on so many books with them. We got the official offer for my book deal on my tenth wedding anniversary. Let’s just say there was a lot of champagne that day!


Two best friends say I do to living together, for better or worse, in this bold women's fiction novel from Alexa Martin.

Jude Andrews is famous. Well, at least on Instagram. Her brand is clean eating, good vibes, Pilates, and casually looking like a sun-kissed goddess. In real life, however, she's a total disaster. She has a strained relationship with her fame-hungry mom and her latest bad decision emptied out her entire savings account.

Lauren Turner had a plan: graduate medical school and become the top surgeon in the country. But when she became unexpectedly pregnant, those plans changed. And when her fiancé left her, they changed again. Now navigating the new world of coparenting, mom groups, and dating, she decides to launch a mommy podcast with all the advice she wishes someone had given her.

Jude and Lauren don't have much in common, but maybe that's why they've been best friends since the third grade. Through ups and downs, they've been by each other's sides. But now? They're broke, single, and do the only thing that makes sense--move in together, just like they talked about when they were teenagers. Except when they were younger, the plan didn't include a five-year-old daughter and more baggage than their new townhouse can hold.

You can purchase Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes at the following Retailers:
        

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

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14 comments:

  1. I’m retired so I’m hoping to be doing pretty much what I’m doing now. , Fingers crossed!

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  2. I hope to be doing what I do now.

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  3. Hopefully working as a paralegal!

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  4. Five years from now I see myself traveling.

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  5. We'll be retired by then so hopefully traveling and enjoying life every day. Thanks

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  6. I think I'll be doing pretty much the same thing in 5 years.

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  7. taking care of my kids, watching my oldest graduate high school.

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  8. Five years from now I will be in a nursing home.

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  9. I will be working on my bucket list!

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  10. Looks wondering, cool interview. In 5 years I hope I'll be pursuing a career that I'm passionate about.

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  11. Still retired, still doing whatever I like.

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  12. Making progress, doing things differently.

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  13. "What do you think you will be doing five years from now?" More of the things I like, I hope!

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  14. I will be taking my grandkids to school and making sure they get their homework done after school. Pretty much what I do now.

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