Indie Support Sunday: Alicia Crofton
In 2020, deep into the pandemic, I stumbled across a book on NetGalley. This book introduced me to Alicia Crofton. Exit Through The Jungle was a romantic suspense, filled with adventure and following two complete strangers as they go on this journey to keep themselves alive. The shenanigans in this book had me looking Alicia up, just in time to know that she had another book coming in the series! And the minute I read Exit Through Tortuga Bay, I knew that whatever adventures Alicia had planned for us in the future, I wanted to be on that ride too.
Alicia has been working tirelessly on her next project, and even contributed a short story to an anthology earlier this year. Her Instagram also showcases her husband’s sculptures and even went on to inspire her next book!
All of Alicia’s books are out now and available anywhere you buy books!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
I always loved action-adventure romance stories, but there was a period of time when I couldn’t find any books or movies in the sub-genre that would scratch that itch. It was five-years ago when I discovered NaNoWriMo, and I thought, if I can’t find what I want to read, then I’m going to write it myself.
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
I love romance for the butterflies, for the emotional highs and lows. Finding and losing love is the ultimate high-stakes story. A well written love story is relatable, emotional, page-turning, gut-wrenching and satisfying.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
I chose self-publishing because I wanted to learn what publishing was all about. I’m still very early in my writing career, so I figured while I’m refining my craft, I could publish the stories I’ve written and learn along the way.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
The best part of being an indie author is that I own the decision-rights, from what gets put into my book, as well as the outside cover. The worst part is finding the time to do marketing. With a full-time job, the act of writing and completing a full novel is a feat in itself. I haven’t been able to dedicate myself to marketing in the way I should, yet.
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?
I’d like to write full time one day. I’m lucky that I have a great full time job now with a company that pays well. My goal is to work on my craft, and when I’m ready, start the process of becoming a full time author.
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
I’m not really good at anything, LOL, but I like to dabble in a lot of things. I like yoga, playing the piano, tennis, and putting on puppet shows with the kids.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
The audacity of this question! Romance all day every day. LOL Just kidding. I’m partial to action & adventure and fantasy genres.
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Seek feedback early and often
Read craft books as well as books in your genre, and take notes!
Shed the fear of what other people think, it will stifle your growth as an author
Don’t chastise yourself for taking breaks. It’s part of the process.
Stop falling into the comparison trap, and remind yourself that you bring something unique and special that no one else can bring
Can you briefly tell me about your books?
My first two novels are short and sweet. They go together like two little Russian nesting dolls. My next two novels are a part of my Escape in Paradise series, about a couple of brothers in Costa Rica who find themselves with an obscene amount of cocaine that they are trying to get rid of, and they both find love along the way. My latest story, Paradiso, is featured in a Summer Vacation Limited Edition anthology. It’s a steamy, one-night-stand, contemporary romance with a twist.
Of your books, who is your favourite character?
I loved writing Noah, in Exit through Tortuga Bay. Cocky and confident, beloved by all the ladies, but super sweet on the inside.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
So much inspiration from so many sources go into my stories. It can come from music, shows that I watch, books that I read, or some general ol’ fashion daydreaming. Some of my best writing comes from talking out ideas on walks with my mom.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
I can say there are parts of me sprinkled here and there. For example, To My Muse, With Love was a story about a girl coping with her family’s judgement for writing romance. I was struggling with this a bit myself, not that I had unsupportive family members, but I did have the fear of being judged by others. That book helped me work through those insecurities, and I’ve grown as a person and a writer because of it.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I want my readers to feel the butterflies. The highs and the lows. All the goodness that comes from a well-developed romance novel. It wasn’t really until my novel, Exit through Tortuga Bay that I focused on the romance aspect of my books, and I think it paid off.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
I’m obsessed with my project right now. It’s an enemies-to-lovers rom-com about two artists who competed against each other in college, and find themselves doing it again later in life. I’m taking inspiration from my own husband, who is a sculptor, and the experiences he is going through as an up-and-coming artist. I’m having a ton of fun writing snarky banter, and settings from places like Brooklyn, NY and Venice, Italy.
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
My favorite tropes are enemies-to-lovers and forbidden romance. I just love the conflict that these two tropes come with, and they are sure to get my heart racing! My least favorite tropes are surprise babies and fake relationships. I recently tried to read The Love Hypothesis, which was incredibly well-written, by the way, and I will gladly read more of Ali Hazelwoods books. I just couldn’t get over the fake relationship premise. It’s a me problem, really.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I’d like to write a soul mates story at some point, potentially in a fantasy romance kind of way. Who knows where the wind will take me, though!
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
It’s a great question, but I’m stumped by this one!
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
I love the diversity of the romance genre. Sometimes it feels like the subgenres are endless, which can be overwhelming at times. I certainly haven’t read every single subgenre that exists, but I like that there are many options to shake things up. And in general, I like going into a story, knowing that there will be a happily ever after. Nothing is more disappointing than investing my time in characters that don’t end up happy in the end.
THIS OR THAT
Ebooks or audiobooks
Historical romance or romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones or series
Music or silence while writing (actually I listen to ASMR, coffee shops & rain sounds!)
Plotter, pantser or plantser
Tea or coffee
Cold or warm weather
Morning person or night owl
Illustrated cover or photo cover