1.29.15 - 7 Minutes With... Alex Kava

How many good things can I say about Alex Kava? I was a fan of her books long  before we became friends. When I signed my first deal at Mira, I was wildly full of  myself because I was at the same house as Alex Kava! We had the same editor! I knew this boded well for my future as a thriller writer, because Alex does it right, every time. Her Maggie O’Dell FBI books are insanely good, deep, intense thrillers 
with just the right amount of scary reality to them. I kept telling my editors I wanted 
them to emulate her – in covers, in promotion, everything. 

We met at Thrillerfest in Phoenix, hit it off, and stayed in touch. In 2008, she kindly invited me (ME!) to a conference called Mayhem in the Midlands. It was incredibly generous – she hosted several authors I greatly admired, including Erica Spindler, Jeff Abbott and Shane Gericke, among others. Alex and her manager Deb Carlin arranged books signings, dinners, panels. They ferried us about, fed us, watered us, introduced us to all their people. Forever friendships bloomed over steaks and spilled wine. It was one of the best weekends of my career, nay, my life. 

We’ve been fast friends every since, and business partners (along with Erica Spindler, who will be here later this month with another fun interview.) I count myself so incredibly lucky to have her in my life. And now she’s breaking out with a new series, featuring Ryder Creed, an ex-Marine turned K-9 search and rescue (another topic near and dear – my cousin is K-9 S&R) which is going to kick as much 
ass as Maggie. 

I’m honored to say - Here’s Alex, y’all! 


Set your music to shuffle and hit play. What’s the first song that comes up?

Silence. I know, boring. Right? I can’t listen to music and work.

Now that we’ve set the mood, what are you working on today?

I start my book tour this week so my day was spent packing, confirming travel itinerary with my publicist, scheduling interviews, Facebook posts and answering emails. No writing was done today!

What’s your latest book about?

BREAKING CREED is the first in a new series. Ryder Creed is an ex-Marine and dog handler who takes abandoned dogs and trains them to sniff out drugs, cadavers, bombs and also to do search and rescue.

Where do you write, and what tools do you use?

I have a writing room I added to my house several years ago. One wall is floor-to-ceiling bookcases, two walls are floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over my patio. It’s a great retreat but I still prefer the screened-in porch when weather permits.

As for tools – I love my MacBook Air, but I’d rather write in longhand. I fill two to three six-by-nine spiral notebooks with pages and pages of research, bits of dialogue, pieces of chapters and lists of things I want to include.

What was your favorite book as a child?

HARRIET THE SPY by Louise Fitzhugh

What book are you reading now?

A STRING OF BEADS by Thomas Perry

What’s your favorite bit of writing advice?

If you want to be a better writer: read. A lot.

What do you do if the words aren’t flowing?

If I’m on deadline I make myself write whether the words are flowing or not. If it really isn’t happening, I try to get away from it for a while.

What would you like to be remembered for?

I guess it would be nice just to be remembered.

 


Alex Kava is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Maggie O’Dell series and a new series featuring ex-Marine, Ryder Creed and his K9 dogs. Her stand-alone novel, ONE FALSE MOVE, was the 2006 One Book One Nebraska and her political thriller, WHITEWASH, was one of January Magazine’s best thrillers of the year. Published in over thirty countries, Kava’s novels have made the bestseller lists in the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Poland. She is also a co-author of the e-novellas SLICES OF NIGHT and STORM SEASON with Erica Spindler and J.T. Ellison. Her novel STRANDED was awarded both a Florida Book Award and the Nebraska Book Award. She is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild and International Thriller Writers. Kava divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida.

Here's a bit about BREAKING CREED, now available in bookstores everywhere!

Ryder Creed and his dogs have been making national headlines. They’ve intercepted several major drug stashes being smuggled through Atlanta’s airport. But their newfound celebrity has also garnered some unwanted attention.
 
When Creed and one of his dogs are called in to search a commercial fishing vessel, they discover a secret compartment. But the Colombian cartels’ latest shipment isn’t drugs. This time, its cargo is human. To make matters worse, Creed helps one of the cartel’s drug mules escape—a fourteen-year-old girl who reminds him of his younger sister who disappeared fifteen years ago. 
 
Meanwhile, FBI agent Maggie O’Dell is investigating a series of murders—the victims tortured, killed, and dumped in the Potomac River. She suspects it’s the work of a cunning and brutal assassin, but her politically motivated boss has been putting up roadblocks.
By the time she uncovers a hit list with Creed’s name on it, it might be too late. The cartel has already sent someone to destroy Creed and everyone close to him.
 
But Creed and his dogs have a few surprises in store on their compound in Florida. Will it be enough to stop a ruthless cartel determined to remove the thorn in its side once and for all?

And Alex's BREAKING CREED Book Tour includes stops in: Scottsdale, AZ; Panama City, FL; Pensacola, FL; Mandeville, LA; New Orleans, LA; Minneapolis, MN; Omaha, NE; Seward, NE; and Greenville, SC. Details can be found at alexkava.com.

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J.T. Ellison

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of fifteen critically acclaimed thrillers and is the co-author of the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. With over a million books in print, Ellison’s work has been published in twenty-five countries and thirteen languages. She is also the co-host of A Word on Words, Nashville's premier literary TV series, which airs on Nashville Public Television. She lives with her husband and twin kittens in Nashville. Visit JTEllison.com, and follow her on Twitter @Thrillerchick or at Facebook.com/JTEllison14.