What happens when two sassy friends get together and write some dirty books? Oh you know, just a writing duo that became New York Times, USA Today and #1 Amazon Best Selling authors. Welcome to the world of Alexa Riley, aka Melissa King and Lea Robinson.
The Alexa Riley brand is known – and loved – for its version of insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and dirty love stories. And with Mel and Lea publishing anywhere from two to four books a month, readers can consume voraciously to their heart’s content.

Most people don’t know…I think we’re pretty open about ourselves but I think people forget Alexa Riley is two people. That’s sometimes a shock to readers who come to a signing, but it’s how we write and publish so many books.

When did you start reading romance? Lea: 50 Shades of Gray was my first real romance. But I always looked for sex scenes in books from the time I knew what that even was. I just wasn’t sure how to find it. Mel: I got hooked on True Blood and couldn’t wait for the show so I started reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels.

You met blogging… When we blogged together we had a hard time finding books that we loved. We both love a specific type of romance with no cheating or condoms and six – seven years ago when we were reviewing books that was hard to find. We decided to write the books we wanted to read and from that it grew, not only with our writing careers but in our relationship as well. We talk to one another more than our own families, but it works. Maybe because we live so far apart, but we like to think it’s because we are so similar in how we love.

What are the logistics of writing as a duo? We write in a shared document on Google Docs. We generally write two books at once and alternate chapters. So one of us has Book A in the morning and the other has book B. In the afternoons we switch so we’re able to write throughout the day.

What kind of timeframe do you work with when writing a novel? Generally our stories run around 20,000 words, which is about a hundred pages – give or take – so we work on a story that long for about a week. That’s our goal anyway. Sometimes they’re shorter and once in a while they run long. But two weeks max is our time frame when writing a book.

Challenges and highlights? Challenges would be if we run into a difficult plot. This has only happened one or two times, but it sucks when you’re so far apart and you need to plot heavy for a story. Luckily our books are mostly fun and fluffy so we don’t hit that wall much, but it’s difficult being separated by states every now and again. The best part is being able to bounce your story ideas off someone or if you get stuck on a story. You’ve always go someone there to help you through any challenges you run into and it makes writing easier.

You’ve written over 100 books… Our first book was Owning Her Innocence. It’s a daddy book, and for those that are into that genre they’ll understand that it’s a niche market that’s difficult to get right. We knew exactly what we wanted when writing it so it was really easy. It launched our career, and from there we’ve just expanded.

What is it about romance that has hooked you as a writer? Falling in love is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It’s also easy to write it when you feel it in your heart. Loving this community and being in love in our own marriages makes it fun and exciting to write these stories. Romance is the best!

What are you currently working on? Currently we’re writing two books. Restored is about a guy who fixes the car that the heroine and her dad used to take to car shows before the dad died. It’s a steamy quick read with lots of emotion that we are so in love with. And the other one is called Not Yet, and it’s a step-siblings high school romance that is so hot it’s going to light up the night!
Do you write full-time? We both write full time now but before we both wrote on the side while we had full time jobs. Mel as a CFO, and Lea in banking.

Where do you write? Lea: I write in my office or on my porch. Both are beautiful spaces that make me feel relaxed. I like eating Toosie Pops or Chex Cereal when writing.
Mel: My food comes after I eat. It’s like small treats when I get a section done. I enjoy writing at my desk most but I can write anywhere.

Highlight of your writing career? Lea: Hitting New York Times with our book Everything For Her.
Mel: SAME!

What do you love about being a romance writer? The romance community. They’re so supportive and it feels like just talking about something fun with your best friends.

Your greatest indulgence? Lea: I think food is always on the top of the list, but I love going to Universal Studios in Florida. That would be my biggest indulgence.
Mel: Warcraft. Whenever I have a free day I can get lost in it for hours.

What talent would you like to possess? Lea: I wish I could speak another language. I’ve tried but I always give up. Those who do are rock stars. Mel: I wish I could shut down easier.

Authors you admire? Laurann Dohner, Maya Banks, Kristen Ashley, Meghan March, Jen Frederick, the list can go on for a while! ♥

#blushmagazine #alexariley

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