Thursday, May 4, 2023

Neely Tubati Alexander Interview - Love Buzz

Photo Content from Neely Tubati-Alexander

Neely Tubati-Alexander is a first-generation Indian American mother of two. Originally from the Seattle area, she seeks to tell lighthearted, female-driven stories with diverse characters and strong women who pursue both love and careers. If she's not tucked away at the little desk in her bedroom writing, you can find her at some kiddo activity, drinking wine, or watching reality TV, usually the last two together. She lives in Arizona with her family.


Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
Do all authors struggle with this question? It's so hard to point to one book, the list is too long! I will say one of the first books I binge read in one sitting was Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed. I am also a big Emily Henry fan like the rest of the world - she does romantic build-up and banter so well. I've also met some great indie authors - two I've read recently are Christelle Lujan and Lindsey Redd. If I'm not reading in genre, I tend to like to escape into thrillers. Ruth Ware and Lisa Gardner never disappoint.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Publishing really is a rollercoaster. There are so many ups and downs, highs and lows, but nothing beats the firsts. The first time you get feedback from your editor, the first deal, the first time you see your cover. But above all, holding your book in your hands - this thing you poured so much of yourself into, dreamed about for so long - that is a moment I'll never forget.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
I'm certain I'm not the first (or last) author to say this, but social media! Daily, we all face a constant barrage of information. It is so incredibly difficult to be creative - to output - when constantly taking things in. It's so important, for me, to find quiet. To turn off the podcasts, to set my phone aside. I find the more space I allow for quiet, the more my creativity feels like it can breath and release.

  • The font of the title on the book cover is the same Nirvana (band) logo font! We used this specifically because of the ties to Nirvana in the book and the Seattle setting.
  • The main character Serena shares a name with one of my best friends (Sarina), but is not based on her.
  • Like Julian and Serena, my husband and I also met via a meet cute at a bar. Drinks were involved.
  • I sneak my kids names (Sawyer and Sienna) into each book.
  • There's a reference to Forum Social House in the book. This is a real, fabulous venue in Bellevue. My brother is one of the owners.
  • The Flatterie (the boutique featured in the book is fictionalized, however it was born from a real business venture a friend and I explored developing. We even designed a mock website and I still own the URL!
  • The original title of the book (while querying) was One Night on Bourbon Street.
  • Coral's love of Star Wars is based on a friend whom my husband and I set up with her now husband.
  • Julian loves ghost tours. My friend Joanna and I used to take trips each year and take a ghost tour in each city. They are spooky fun!
  • There is a chapter by chapter playlist available on Spotify.
Can you tell us when you started LOVE BUZZ, how that came about?
I began drafting LOVE BUZZ in May 2021. It is technically the second book I have ever finished. The first book was written during the height of Covid. I felt so accomplished finishing my first book that I quickly sent it off to a developmental editor...who tore it apart. I threw myself a little pity party (wine and ice cream were invited) over the course of a few days, then I got to work. I like to think the grit and determination of not letting that developmental edit define me or my writing as what allowed me write and complete LOVE BUZZ at a feverish pace.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
That characters have minds of their own! I've heard other authors say they had character's personalities in mind and then the characters demanded something different, but I never really experienced that until writing this book. I am a pantser, so I draft with only a rough concept in mind. When I started LOVE BUZZ, I envisioned Serena as a go-getter, type A personality. Some of that remained in the final version, however the more I got to know her through further drafts, I found that she is stunted by the grief of the loss of her mom that she never fully dealt with. This realization made me (and her) more tender than I originally anticipated.

A chance romantic encounter during a wild night at a Mardi Gras bachelorette party sends strait-laced Serena Khan’s carefully constructed life into chaos.

A wretched maid of honor. A hangover from hell. Raucous Mardi Gras crowds. There isn’t much Serena Khan is enjoying about this four-day New Orleans destination bachelorette party for her semi-estranged cousin, the bride-to-be—until sparks fly with a handsome stranger, who, like her, is also from Seattle. After their conversation is cut short, Serena is overwhelmed by the desire to find the charming man with the brooding eyebrows, but her list of clues is pretty short:

His name is Julian.
He lives on Chamber Hill.
He works at a tech company.
He loves Lil Wayne and Nirvana.

The need to find him is, for Serena, both irresistible and totally irrational. In a few short weeks, her college alumni magazine is featuring her in a “Life at Thirty” feature, cementing her as a success story. She will have officially achieved the safe, stable life her late mother insisted upon. Julian is not part of the plan.

As she combs Seattle for her New Orleans flame, stripping away the perfectly curated life that would have made her mother proud, Serena must decide if the pursuit of real passion is worth it—and fast, before she destroys the life she always thought she wanted.
You can purchase Love Buzz at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you NEELY TUBATI ALEXANDER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Love Buzz by Neely Tubati Alexander.

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