Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” Now, she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.
Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If you’re going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.
Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, she has intense emotions about Hannibal’s Hannigram, and unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How would describe yourself?
I’ve always marched to the beat of a different drum. Action-adventure stories with deep compelling messages have always been my first love. If there was romance in it, that was just a bonus. Give me a story with a challenging philosophical message, and I’m yours forever. I’m an avid technology nerd and pop culture geek. I’m owned by my two cats. I never take myself seriously. Ever. I think that’s a terrible way to live. In person, I talk loud, fast, and I’m very flaily and am very excitable.
How do you start your day?
This sounds odd, but I have a Garmin Vivofit3 (which is kind of like a Fitbit) so every morning I do laps around my kitchen island. The island is only six feet long. So there I am, pacing in circles and answering my email, checking social media, and texting various people on my phone while I rack up about 3,000 steps.
Around my kitchen island.
Are you a morning or a night person?
I think I’m in the middle. My sleep schedules shift depending on the scenario. If I have appointments and have to venture out in the world, I’m up and at ‘em. If I don’t have to be anywhere, I shut my alarm off. But my internal clock wakes me up anyway.
I write full-time and I have frequent episodes of “Wait, what do you mean it’s 3AM? No wonder I’m exhausted!” I’ve been doing a slow gradual slide to being nocturnal for a few weeks now. That’s probably bad.
If you could do anything else in the world besides writing, what would that be?
Be Chris Pratt. No really. I want to be the Raptor Whisperer.
Where would you like to live? Is there a special place you would love to get the chance to move to at some point?
Once I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for two years while attending the Savannah College of Art and Design. It’s a gorgeous city and full of history and culture. I’d love to go back one day. I love urban environments. I love skyscrapers.
Of course right now, I live in a tiny town in Northwest Florida that’s a tourist destination for our beaches. It’s a little…okay… a lot rural. My town has its charm, but has small town beliefs. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a church or a Walmart.
Have you ever thought of quitting and trying your hand at something else? What made you keep writing?
Oh! Good question. Actually quite recently around March I gave serious thought to throwing in the towel. I was seriously burned out and overwhelmed. My best friend who’s basically my Sister-From-Another-Mister asked me when’s the last time I actually had a real vacation and flew me out to her place in Austin on her dime. It was the shot in the arm I needed to realize I was made for this.
What made me keep writing was actually saying “I plan to write zero words. No words. No writing. No thinking about work.” Next thing I know, I’m 15k into my new project in a week when it would be pulling teeth for three weeks just to get there!
If you could start all over, would you still be a writer? What would you do different?
I think I’d still be involved in some nature of storytelling if not writing books. Perhaps film, or writing for comics. I was once studying to be a comics artist but realized I liked the opposite end of the production process.
True story: At a portfolio review with Marvel, the editors would ask my fellow art students what they saw themselves as. The “proper” answers were pencil, inker, letterer, colorist and the like. I sat down and they popped me that question and without missing a beat I said “I’m a storyteller.”
Perhaps that should have been my clue. Also I didn’t get hired. Destiny is truly funny that way.
What is your writing process?
Sit down. Cry.
I write my novels in longhand. Yes. You heard me right. I actually write by hand stupidly faster than I type. I can clock an abysmal 300 words in 30 minutes when I type. When I write by hand I can consistently clock 1k in 25 to 30 minutes. And to answer your question no one can read my handwriting but me. A college professor once called my handwriting “alien hieroglyphics.” I took it as a compliment.
What do you find most challenging about writing and publishing?
I think confidence is a huge hurdle. Some would say deadlines, or promotion, but I’d have to say confidence. I may seem like a pretty outgoing and confident person, but I live with bipolar disorder. So my highs and lows can get the best of me. It’s a herculean effort to remind myself “Your ideas are good. People like you. People are excited about these books. Keep going!”
It’s a little difficult for me to insert myself into a group and talk about my books. Like it seems tacky in my head. These are things I’m supposed to be doing and are socially accepted, yet my brain is like “don’t be that guy, no one likes that guy.”
What came first: the chicken or the egg? OR in this case: the title or the story?
Fairy Tales of the Open Road had a super weird origin. It’s kind of long but the short version is there I am watching The Bachelor (don’t judge) with a friend one night and one of the contestants is this lovely Southern Belle named Emily. The we kept commenting she was like a Southern princess. So all of a sudden we talk about a Southern princess, but is a screw-up and their life is a mess and the princess is a dude.
My dude princess Taylor ended up getting his name from Elizabeth Taylor because of a misquoted fact that Elizabeth was in Gone with the Wind. (Did you know the Internet lies? Shock!)
At one point, he had a pet ferret named Caligula. Sadly, Caligula didn’t make it into the book. I secretly regret it.
Once I had Taylor, they rest just clicked into place. A sexy jackass huntsman love interest, a practically perfect brother, a witch, and an epic quest. And off I went.
So, dearest Bachelor contestant Miss Emily, wherever you are, thank you.
What are you working on now?
My current project is my DSP Publications novel called Grow. It’s a story I carried in my head for eleven years. It’s a dystopian based on the language of flowers. US, South American, and Canadian citizens are wiped from existence during a military operation gone catastrophically wrong. Nature has reclaimed what remained of the three continents. Only people re-evolved and they’re not exactly people anymore, they’re flowers. And everyone elsewhere in the world is scrambling to figure out what to do about this new species of humans.
Our main guy is a dude named Iris and he inspires a revolution against those that would do his people harm.
Grow is fun because Iris is asexual but he feels desire. But as for the whole romantic connection, it doesn’t register for him. I’m excited to explore different sexualities. And as an asexual person myself, this means something to me. This is also the first book I’ve written that isn’t directly a romance.
It has a Furby named Talloolla, and she is the best damned thing.
What are your plans for the future?
To adopt all the cats and achieve world peace. Oh wait.
To start a cult. Wait what.
Urban Fairy Tale
Book Three of the Screw-Up Princess and Skillful Huntsman Trilogy
A Fairy Tales of the Open Road Novel
Modern-day fairy-tale princess Taylor Hatfield has problems. One, he’s a guy. Two, he’s an insomniac Sleeping Beauty. Three, his practically perfect brother, Atticus Hatfield, this generation’s Snow White, has been irrevocably corrupted by the Witchking. The Library, a clandestine organization, seeks to write “The End” on Atticus, and Taylor is given the impossible task when his own parents endorse his brother’s demise. With his true love, the huntsman Corentin Devereaux, at his side, they once again set out to find Atticus, but Atticus won’t go down without a fight.
The quest ends how it began. But instead of the quirky, corkscrewing Americana road trip, Taylor and Corentin must contend with the dangers of the urban jungle. With an unexpected ally at their side, they’re forced to question all they know about the legacy of Snow White.
As the world of the Enchants and the mundane hang in the balance, Taylor knows what he must do: go pick an apple.