Alex Jane on Home Is Where You Are ~ Interview

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Title: Home Is Where You Are
Author: Alex Jane
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Alex Jane
Genre: Gay Romance
Release Date: 06/10/2016


By the winter of 1870, Caleb Fletcher has carved out a sheltered existence for himself in a simple cabin, outside a small town in the backwaters of Nebraska, resigned to living out his days as a solitary wolf. But his quiet life is interrupted when another werewolf lands on his doorstep on the eve of a snowstorm, brutalized almost beyond repair, with nowhere else to turn.

When Caleb reluctantly welcomes Jacob into his cabin, and eventually his bed, it forces him to face up to the traumas he’s been running from; the shame that made him leave his pack behind, and the horrors of war he endured.

As the weeks pass, it seems that Jacob’s arrival might not be the coincidence it first appeared. Jacob has an agenda. One that involves Caleb. And if Caleb agrees to it – if he can let go of his past and his prejudices – it will change Caleb’s whole world. Maybe even for the better.

Without a mate – a family, a pack – a wolf has no home.

But what if home finds you?

Recent Release Spotlight with Alex Jane

We are here today to talk about Home Is Where You Are.  What can you tell us about it?

‘Home…’ is the story of Caleb Fletcher, an Alpha living in self-imposed isolation in rural Nebraska in 1870, who’s life gets turned upside-down when the local sheriff turns up one day with a badly injured werewolf that needs a place to recuperate. Caleb’s not keen on the idea but once Jacob is in his house, it doesn’t take long for Caleb’s life to begin to change dramatically. I guess it’s a story about taking chances and risking everything, even when you thought you had nothing left to lose.

Please tell us more about our main characters.

I’d say Caleb’s main characteristic is that he’s rather closed off and grumpy, at least that how he comes across to people that don’t know him. We find out he’s also well educated, and funny, and kind, but he doesn’t trust his own feelings and he’s really not good at talking things through. He’s built like a mountain but is, in a sense, quite childlike and vulnerable.

Jacob Carpenter isn’t exactly the opposite but he’s personable and friendly, and doesn’t scare the townsfolk like Caleb does. He has a great affinity for horses, and turns out to be quite the Caleb Whisperer too. He’s a good person but not all he seems. He has demons of his own to face.

What about Home Is Where You Are makes you the proudest?

That it exists, I guess. This is my first published novel, so the fact that it’s out in the world at all is a bit of a miracle. Also, I’d been writing and editing the story in bits and pieces, so when I finally got to sit down and read it from beginning to end, I really enjoyed it! They say “write the book you want to read”. I can definitely cross that off my bucket list now.

What is next for these characters?  Is there more to this series?  If so who will we hear from next?

Well, my plan was for this to be a standalone. But as I was writing, the plot bunnies swarmed me. I really didn’t stand a chance. So, now I have five more books planned out. They’ll all have Caleb and Jacob in them but they won’t always be the main characters. The books will span over twenty years and revolve around the homestead and the small community they’re part of. I actually can’t wait to find out what happens!

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

I think the thing that has helped me the most is knowing that I’m not alone. Writing is supposed to be this isolated, solitary occupation, and to an extent, it is. But knowing that I’m one mouse click away from asking a question about formatting on a Facebook support group, or being able to quickly email a friend to run an idea by them, or being able to meet up with other authors to talk about writing and publishing, and issues in m/m fiction specifically – that has been invaluable. So, my advice would be, go somewhere where there are authors in your genre and talk to them. They have advice, and encouraging things to say. And they have the best candy.

What is the nicest thing a reader has said to you in a review, email, in person, or on social media?

It’s always so amazing to get messages from friends and betas that are all in caps, or begging for the next chapter, or saying they couldn’t put it down – I think, like most writers I’m pretty insecure at times about what I’m doing, so that encouragement is a real lifeline – but there was one comment I got out of the blue about the first novel-length fanfic I wrote, that began, “Let’s start off by saying that I’ve already read this twice and I’m pretty sure by the end of the week I will read it again.” It knocked me for six, as it was from someone I’d never spoken to before, and the idea that a ‘stranger’ read something I wrote and liked it, that was really something.

 What part of a new story comes to you first? Characters? Plot? A scene? A theme? Or does it vary from book to book?

I do the “what if” thing a lot, especially when I’m out walking, so I generally start with a scene in mind that I mull over and develop in my head, rather than on paper, for a while. Before too long, another scene usually comes to mind putting the characters in a totally different situation. Figuring out a way to join the two scenes together is how the plot comes about. Needless to say, I’m a plotter, not a pantser from that point on.

Do you have a character in your head that you have yet to write a story for?

Yes, and it’s driving me mad! I have an idea for two guys who live together as roommates, but are secretly besotted with each other. Except, one is a ghost. I really think this could be quite sweet and funny, but I’ll be damned if I can think of a HEA for these guys. I’ve thought of lots of ways it could go, and had lots of suggestions thrown at me, but I just haven’t found one I’m happy with yet. I’m not giving up on it, though.

How do you choose names? If you decide to change a name, do you feel that it alters your perception of the character?

Well, sometimes names just pop into my head; Caleb was Caleb from the get-go, for example. Then, it made sense to show the cultural division between werewolves and humans in the story by naming all the werewolves with Old Testament type names. But then for Daniel and Elliot in “Something Beginning with ‘V'”, I found a great website that has popular names by year and country, so I figured out which years they were born in and picked something from the list.

Changing the name definitely changes the characters for me. With Daniel and Elliot again, I had written quite a lot of the story before I finally settled on their names, and it was like everything suddenly fell into place and I really knew who they were and what they looked like. I then had to go back and change most of the dialogue, all the while muttering, “Daniel would never say that. What were you thinking?”

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

I’ve really thought about this. I would love to have the capacity for sleep, but not be saddled with the necessity of it. So, I could basically never get tired and not have to sleep, unless I really wanted to snuggle up with my dog or whatever. I know it’s not cool like flying or invisibility, but when I think of all the stuff I could get done…I’d be an awesome supervillainhero

Do you remember a character talking about a particular food and it made you want to eat it RIGHTNOW? and if yes, what was it?

Yes. Cheeseburger. Writing a story set in a diner was a bad, bad idea. Especially when you have to do lots of research. Dammit, my mouth is watering right now. Cheeseburgers might be on the menu again today.

What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?

I’m lucky enough to be beta-reading the next Jay Shaw novel, The Space Colonel’s Woman, which is always a treat, so I guess that’s my current. I have William Gibson’s Neuromancer staring at me from my bedside table, but then Brandon Witt’s Imperfection of Swans keeps calling to me too…

Rapid Fire Time 

Batman or Superman? Batman. Being a superhero with no superpowers…that’s heroic.
Tattoos or piercings? Tattoos. I have several. Piercings always end up going bad for me.
Larry or Sterek? Sterek. I never really watched Teenwolf but I read Sterek obsessively. And there are some fab authors writing it too.
Read or writing? Right now, writing. The thing about my WIPs is that I don’t really know what’s going to happen until I write it. And I really want to know what’s going to happen to my boys.
Dogs or Cats? Dogs. Apart from being allergic to cats, I don’t really want a pet that treats me like a mean girl in high school. Plus, no one has ever loved me like my dog does.
Swimming or skiing? I like swimming. I went on a skiing holiday in high school. Let’s just say I definitely prefer swimming.
Call or text? Text. Caller ID is great and all, but I’d still don’t want to have to make words with my mouth.
Coffee, black or doctored? At home, in the morning, black. And a gallon of it. Out and about, usually cappuccino or macchiato, just to take the edge off if the coffee is bad.
Alone or At a Party? Alone. In my pajamas. With toast crumbs down my front. Ah, the glamour of it all.

What are you working on?  What is next?

My brain is mulling over a sequel to “Something Beginning with ‘V'” which will probably be a Christmas story, but I only have two scenes in my head and no clue what connects them yet.

But in terms of putting words on the page, I’m working on the sequel to Home is Where you Are. I’m hoping to get it – Returning Home – out at the beginning of August, and then the third installment by December. All five books are outlined so it’s just a case of keeping my butt in a chair long enough to get the story down. I have to say, it’s really not a hardship. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.


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About the Author

MyMuseWannabe novelist with an even more implausible job in real-life, Alex finally got around to writing down the stories she had spent most of her life crafting in her head, under the shadow of a significant birthday.

With only a one-eyed dog and a horrifyingly muddled music collection to help her along, her stories focus on finding love and keeping it. And if her characters have to go through Hell to get there…she’s okay with that.

Alex lives, works, and is probably writing right now in Brighton, UK.

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