Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss


August 18, 2014

Alexandra AllredANNIVERSARY KILLERI was about 10 years old when I first plotted my sister’s death. She had eaten the tips of my chocolate bunny ears following the Easter Bunny’s visit and I was enraged. I was beyond consolation. I needed was revenge. And so, I lay in my bed and plotted out how I would destroy her. If memory serves, it was brilliant. So brilliant, in fact, I told my sister all about it the next day. That’s right. I told her how she would meet her untimely demise. Not nearly so impressed, she said, “You’re sick and I’m telling.” But to my delight, my mom was just as impressed as me. She did take a moment to tell me that my chocolate bunny was just chocolate and that I shouldn’t … blah, blah … the point here is that my mother agreed with me that my plans to annihilate my sister were both methodical and genius.

At age 12, we lived in Moscow, Russia and there was no television. I was missing all the good stuff (like the Dukes of Hazzard), so it was up to me to make up stories during our hour-long bus rides to the Anglo-American school. Too embarrassed to tell people I made the stories up, I would claim they were movies I had seen while in the US. This was the beginning of many tales.

By the late 1990s, I began the Allie Lindell series. At the time, I had two little girls and my husband, Robb, worked nights, which meant he slept during the day. Those were tough years, juggling diaper duty, tantrums (husband tantrums more than toddler tantrums), night terrors and naptime while trying to keep the house quiet. We did a LOT of trips to the park, the pond, shopping, museums and play dates. At the same time, I was devouring Sue Grafton books and any other female detective series I could find. Though I loved the mysteries, I found myself snorting at how simple the detective’s lives were. Hell, I coulda done in three hours what it took that one character to do in three days.

The Army commercial had just come out, “We do more before 9 am than you do all day.” Every mom can appreciate the feeling of doing more before noon than most non-moms do all week. And so planted was the idea of having a female detective who did stakeouts and super sleuthing WHILE having toddlers in tow. Anyone can sit in a car and wait for a bad guy to come out of a house but can you do that while someone is barfing up cookies behind you and demanding that you sing Elmo’s ABCs (in the voice of Elmo)?

With five books in the series, I shelved the books when Sports Illustrated called and asked that I play professional women’s football in Austin, Texas and then write about it. My family moved to Texas, I wrote WHITE TRASH, DAMAGED GOODS, and began other ventures and, honestly, forgot about Allie Lindell until a couple of years ago. Always one to push the envelope, I hit my publishers up with the idea of making Allie’s complicated heterosexual relationship into a complicated homosexual relationship. They loved it and away we went! I am so proud of this series because it shows a gay relationship to be very normal, very loving yet complicated … just like any other relationship. Oh, yes, and there may be some sexting involved. (Please don’t tell my mother. She’s down with my killing my sister but not so much about sexting!)


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