A.K. Alexander is the pen name of author Michele Scott. Under both names, her books are consistently mega-sellers. In fact, just a few weeks ago I included her thriller, Daddy’s Home (which hit #1 overall on Amazon UK and #4 in the U.S.! WOW!), in the my self-published books that have made it big list.
1. First of all, thank you so much for coming. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure. I’m obviously a writer. I’ve written 18 books over the years and was traditionally published for many years by a major house. I am now an indie author and very happy to have gone out on my own. I am also a mom of three kids ranging from 11-20. I am a huge animal lover. We have 4 dogs, 8 horses, and a cat.
2. What is the wackiest thing that happened to you while writing Daddy’s Home?
It didn’t happen during the writing. It was where the idea for the book came from. Years ago when my oldest son belonged to a pee-wee soccer team I took him to one of his Saturday morning games. I was a single mom during those years
My kid had a great game. I was cheering as any happy mom would. As I stood on the sidelines, I could not help the feeling that someone was watching me. This sense enveloped me. It was surreal, and in a strange way, claustrophobic. I scanned the parents around the arena and the park. My eye caught this guy who just did not fit in. Dads of youngsters have that certain “dad” look. I don’t mean in a physical way, but you know when someone on the side of a game is Dad. He looks that part by his demeanor and interest in the game. This dude was young, okay looking, tall. But definitely no one’s dad. He smiled at me. A serious shiver snaked down my backside. I walked a few feet further down the side of the soccer arena. I did all that I could to focus back on the game and not the man who I knew was watching me. I was able to do a decent job of that, mostly because my son was playing an amazing game. When he scored the final goal, I jumped up and down and hollered out his name. As I went to run out to meet him, I realized that the man had made his way over, and before I could get far enough away, he actually said to me, “It was good for you, too, then.” I drove home glancing in my my rear mirror the entire time. It was a few days later the what if…came to me. What if a killer was stalking single moms and their kids, seeking out his “perfect family.”
3. Speaking of Daddy’s Home, it sounds very interesting. Can you tell us a little more about it?
It’s about this evil man who is looking for the perfect family and when he thinks he has found one he abducts them. When things don’t go as planned he kills them. Investigator Holly Jennings is on the case, which she makes it personal as she is a single mom herself. As she is determined to find this bastard she is also working through some of her own inner demons. The book has hit several bestseller lists including The Wall Street Journal, and Amazon U.S. and U.K.
4. What makes your work stand out from all the others (it’s okay to brag here)?
I do what I can to make the characters “real life.” I want readers to feel like these are people they can relate to. I also work hard to work in some twists in the plot lines, which I believe I did well with this book.
5. If you had to repeat this entire book publishing process, is there anything you would have changed? Why or why not?
No. This book was rejected many times by the Big 6 houses long before the e-book world and Indie publishing became popular. If they had published it I don’t think it would have done nearly as well. The timing has been perfect for me as an author!
6. What got you into writing thrillers? What do you love the most about them?
What got me into writing them is the fact that I love reading them. I think the best part of writing them is the fear factor. I love to put the reader on edge and myself. It is exciting!
7. I recognize Daddy’s Home from the top 10 on Kindle. Can you tell us a little about what you were feeling when you hit that level of popularity? Having self-published and surpassed all of those other commercially published authors in Amazon sales, was it even sweeter?
It has been an amazing ride. The book was #1 in the U.K. and then came in at #4 in the U.S., just below Suzanne Collins Hunger Games Trilogy. I was so amazed and it has been kind of surreal. I was listed as one of the top 16 bestselling authors for Amazon in February. I am beyond thrilled as I have been at this for twenty years now. It was pretty sweet to pass up Patterson, Grisham and Evonovich. That was cool because I love all three of those authors.
8. Since I know that any self-published author reading this interview (there have to be some, right?) is wondering this, I just have to ask. In a nutshell, how did you achieve this level of success? What has been the pinnacle of your marketing campaign? Each day, how much work do you put into promotion?
I have worked my butt of. I really have. I am no overnight success. That has been the key–tenacity. As far as marketing goes–get good covers, a good editor and learn the craft before putting it out there. I spend an hour a day most at marketing. Most of my time is spent writing.
9. What is next for you as a writer?
I just released a new book under my name as Michele Scott. I write under the two names because I have two different brands. The book is titled The Grey Tier: A Dead Celeb Mystery and I had a blast writing it. Up next will be the sequel to Daddy’s Home, and the 4th book in The Michael Bancroft series. I am also working on a collaboration with bestselling thriller author Andree E. Kaufman. We are having a great time writing it.
10. Can you link us to your books, blog, website, Twitter,etc.?
Website (Links to books are there)