Name: Lexi Bissen
Where are you from: Tampa, FL
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I was born and raised in Tampa, FL. Currently I’m in college studying English, but not teaching like everyone assumes! Haha I want to work in publishing after I graduate. Either start up a small publishing company or work with an existing one.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Lexi: Currently I’m working on a new book that will be out later in the summer. It’s called You & Me and is a college romance. I’m also co-writing a book with author K. Renee called Reckless.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Lexi: Throughout high school, I loved writing fiction essays and making up stories, but never even thought about writing. Honestly, I didn’t even read back then. High school was a struggle for me, and the only class I liked was English. It’s funny because I was in remedial Reading, but honors English. Never made sense to me, but my essays are what got me there. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I was introduced to The Mortal Instruments and reading became my addiction after that. Within the next year or two, writing a book came to mind. I never thought anything of it for the longest time though.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Lexi: Sometimes I still don’t consider myself an writer, really. But I think it’s the moment you start to write. Even if you never share your work or tell anyone about it, you’re a writer. You wrote something. That takes A LOT of dedication and work. Being a best seller or even publishing a book doesn’t make you a writer. It’s actually putting words onto paper. So, now, I look back and consider that that time when I became a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Lexi: My cover model, Josh McCann, actually did. I never even thought about the story or any characters. Nothing at all. Then I went to a signing where he was at. When I met him, a story just clicked into my head. It was strange, but his one look created this whole book in my head. It’s why I had to have him on the cover. He was Gibson Mitchel to me.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Lexi: Eh, not exactly.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Lexi: It was actually a different title at first, but once I started plotting and getting into the story, the characters and what they were dealing with, mainly the hero Gibson, created the title, A Fresh Start.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Lexi: I like to leave little messages in my books. Sometimes subtle, sometimes not. In A Fresh Start, it was that no matter what you were like in the past, everyone deserves a second chance at a new start. We all make mistakes, and I show that with Gibson. He messed up a lot in his life, but this story shows his new chance to better himself.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Lexi: I always love this question! I base a lot of my books with things I’ve personally experienced or people I know have. It’s always best to write about what we know, right? It’s also easiest. But, I never tell anyone what parts are based on real experiences. It’s the mystery I like about it.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
Lexi: There have been so many books that have influenced me, I could go on forever! But there’s two that will always stay with me ever since I read them. It’s Taking Chances by Molly McAdams and A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole. I’m not exactly an emotional person, but those two books crushed me. They really gave me a new perspective on life and how easy it can be taken.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Lexi: A newer author that I’ve been really into is LeAnn Ashers. I love when authors write out of the norm, and that’s what LeAnn does. My all-time favorite author is Jennifer Armentrout. She’s another one that was part of my addiction to reading. Her books are so beyond amazing. It’s not just her stories that I love, but the way she writes. She brings in such humor and wittiness.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Lexi: The book community. There were so many authors that were there to help me while writing my first book.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Lexi: I would absolutely love to see writing as a career, and hope to one day have that.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Lexi: No, I don’t think so. I love how my books have all come together and would never want to change anything about them after I hit that publish button.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Lexi: About a year and a half ago. It was when I started actually meeting authors and going to signings. Getting more into the author world. But really it was meeting Josh that got the idea of an actual book in my head.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Lexi: My current book, You & Me, is set in college. It’s about a guy, Camden, and a girl, Blaire. Camden is the captain of the soccer team at the University and he’s dealing with the struggles of school, soccer, and taking care of his mom and sister back at home. Blaire is a girl fighting her own demons. She has some secrets she’s not ready to let out yet, and Camden see’s that. He may not know what’s going on with her, but he knows the look in her eyes. Even though Blaire wants to avoid Camden, he can’t seem to stay away from her and he wants to help her fight those demons.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Lexi: The actual writing part. Haha Writing block is a real thing and it’s a pain in the ass. I can come up with an entire story, plotted out and all that, but I hit these walls that get me stuck a lot.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Lexi: I try to do a few signings a year. It’s great to meet the readers and fellow authors.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Lexi: I’ve actually had three designers. Cover Me Darling, Cover to Cover, and Concierge Literary Designs.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Lexi: Dialogue! That’s always been my struggle.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Lexi: I’ve learned many things. One is the dedication you have when you want something so badly.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Lexi: One of the books I have that’d I’d love to see into a movie is Unbreakable. I actually make Pinterest boards for my books and sometimes use celebrities as my muses. Chad Michael Murrey is who I see for the hero and Julianne Hough as the heroin.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Lexi: Don’t give up. It’s hard, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but the moment you hold that book in your hand…it’s amazing. The feeling of “I did this”. There’s nothing better than that.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Lexi: You guys are what makes us do this. The feedback readers give to authors is so beyond amazing. You guys have no idea how much we love it. Even a simple “I loved this book” gives me butterflies.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Lexi: I’m so slow with reading because of school, work and writing, but I’m starting 13 Reasons Why.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Lexi: Probably Twilight back in 2007. I was in 7th grade and was never into reading before then.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Lexi: A variety of things do.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Lexi: Ellen Degeneres. She’s someone I’ve looked up to for so many years.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Lexi: “Laugh with me, love with me”. I’ve always loved that quote. Laughter is sometime I think everyone needs in their life. It just…it makes you smile.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Lexi: Reading, of course. I also love exercise and cooking. Oh, and binge watching TV shows on Netflix!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Lexi: One of my favorite shows is Switched at Birth. Sign language is probably my favorite language, so the show is so great with showing asl to everyone. I have a long list of favorite movies, though, and they vary in so many different genres!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music?
Lexi: Love Italian and Mexican foods! My favorite color changes so much, but black seems to be what it usually is. My music ranges from old rock to classical and some indie thrown in there. Really, it’s all over the place!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Lexi: Professional food tester. Is that a thing? Because if not, it totally should be!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Lexi: Currently I don’t have a website, but I try to stay active on all social media platforms.
Amazon Authors page