Alexa Riley is the author of over 100-plus romance stories, but most people don’t realize it’s actually two people! When Melissa King and Lea Robinson bonded over romance books almost six years ago they never imagined where it would lead. Now, this sassy duo churns out between two and four books a month that always end with a Happily Ever After. They are both married moms who love football, donuts, and dirty books… not necessarily in that order. If you want it short and filthy, these two are the queens of quick, dirty and over-the-top.
As you can imagine, they get asked a lot of questions online and at book signings, but they’ve never interviewed each other. So, we thought we’d turn the tables and ask them to interview each other. To keep it extra fun they didn’t show the questions to each other before hand and answered them via FaceTime.
Here’s how it went down:
Lea: Shit… we’re recording. Okay, so do you want to start or me?
Mel: (laugh) I’ll start. When did you fall into reading romance?
Lea: Oh gosh, around Fifty Shades but maybe before that. I read dirty books when I was younger but I never knew about romance. Does that make sense?
Lea: Like, I would find sex scenes in books and read it like 75 times. But I didn’t know that romance was a thing until my 20s.
(lots of giggling because we’re like kids when we get together)
Lea: Okay, what’s the audio book you’ve listened to the most?
Mel: Fury by Laurann Dohner. I can tell you when I open it up, and I know exactly where to start it to go to the scene I want.
Lea: That’s adorable.
Mel: That or maybe Valiant by Laurann Dohner, too. But I had to stop, because I knew it so well I got bored. I knew the whole book by heart.
Lea: If you could write with anyone else besides me who would you write with?
Mel: Hmmm. Probably Jessica Clare.
Lea: Yeah, that’s actually really true. You guys would be great together because you write alike.
Mel: What’s a saying you try to live by?
Lea: That’s tough. One of my favorite sayings is ‘with change comes opportunity.’ Because I hate change, and it makes me so miserable, but I know that with it is an opportunity for something better to happen. So, I just try to remember that when I’m pissed.
Mel: I like that.
Lea: If you had to eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life where would it be?
Mel: Probably at like 54th street.
Lea: What is that?
Mel: It’s like a sports bar they have a lot of stuff.
Lea: You should have said The Cheesecake Factory.
Mel: Damn it! I should have! That’s a good one.
Lea: What’s been the biggest accomplishment in your writing you are the most proud of?
Mel: Probably getting New York Times best seller. That’s an easy one! But I do think sometimes just being able to write as much as we do is an accomplishment. Remember when we first started, and we would die trying to get a thousand words each?
Lea: Yeah, that’s a great point. Can you imagine talking to yourself years ago and being like, ‘One day, you’re going to write five thousand words a day?’ There’s no way!
Mel: No, I can’t. Okay, what’s your favorite re-read?
Lea: Harry Potter! (super-quick response) Should I pick something romance, though? That would have to be Laurann Dohner’s Mating Heat series. If I try to think of something besides that, it’s still a book by her that I’ve read the most.
(lots of laughter, because we are both obsessed with her)
Lea: What’s your favorite thing about being an author?
Mel: That you can work at your own pace.
Lea: That is really nice. Or not wear pants.
Mel: Like I’m doing right now.
Lea: I put on pants for this!
Mel: What inspires you?
Lea: Love and friendship. It’s easy for me to write a love story because I’m so in love with my husband. And it’s easy for me to write great women because I’m surround by them. I think my life around me is what does it.
Lea: What makes a great romance?
Mel: Why do I get all the hard questions!? Hmmm. I think super possessive is what makes it for me. When everything is all about her and the hero can’t function without her.
Lea: (dreamily) That sounds so wonderful.
Mel: And I love a good grovel. I’ll seek out books on Goodreads that say ‘good grovel,’ and I’ll go crazy. As long as what the guy did isn’t too bad. And he can’t come back from it.
Mel: Describe the color pink to someone who is blind.
Lea: What the fuck? I mean… I guess maybe smooth, warm and sticky?
Mel: Sticky!?!? (lots of laughing)
Lea: Everything I like that’s pink is sticky! Donuts, candy, icing.
Lea: What’s your favorite place to vacation?
Mel: A crystal clear beach.
Lea: That makes me want to go to the beach.
Mel: Have you always been comfortable in your skin? If not, how did you get there?
Lea: Yeah, I think I have been comfortable for the most part. I had a grandmother who was shaped like me, and she was really proud of her body and her curves. She helped me see that feeling sexy was good, and she made me see myself as beautiful.
Lea: What’s your favorite trope?
Mel: (instantly) secret baby.
Lea: Stop it! Really? I thought you’d say blackmail or cowboys. But I guess you can have a secret baby in those.
Mel: I love it! Like when she finds out she’s pregnant and then takes off and the hero has to chase her.
Lea: You love when they run.
Mel: I do! I love a hero in pursuit. That’s the best.
Lea: It really is.
Mel: If someone wanted to get into romance where would you tell them to start?
Lea: If they wanted to start with ours I’d tell them to read P.S. You’re Mine. It’s perfect to dip your toes into Alexa Riley. Outside of us? Maya Banks is always a great place to start.
Mel: Yes! I was just thinking about rereading her Burn series the other day.
Lea: Sierra Cartwright was the first filthy series I read and devoured, but they’re heavy on the sex and could turn people off if it’s too much too soon. But I picked up Maya Banks after that and it was so good.
Mel: Maya was the first one I discovered in romance and I was all — what the heck is this?! I was hooked.
Lea: We should do a re-read together.
Mel: We should.
Lea: Okay, I’ve got one more. What’s been your greatest author moment for you?
Mel: Probably just feeling like your more involved in the reading community. I’m always really shy when it comes talking and new people. But if you talk about books, I’m good to go. That’s one thing I like about being an author. That now I can be more social with people and talk books.
Lea: You really are! It’s like you flip a switch when someone talks about books!
Mel: I know!
Lea: I think that’s it!
Mel: We’re done?
Lea: Yep. That was fun!
Mel: If you’ve got questions you want us to answer, send us and email or shout at us on social media! We love interacting with readers and talking about what we love to do. For more information on our books and where to find them, visit us at alexariley.com.
About the Author:
Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.
They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!
Find them here: