Meet Alix Rickloff

Critically acclaimed author of historical fiction, Alix Rickloff’s family tree includes a knight who fought during the Wars of the Roses (his brass rubbing hangs in her dining room) and a soldier who sided with Charles I during the English Civil War (hence the family's hasty emigration to America). With inspiration like that, what else could she do but start writing her own stories?

She lives in Maryland in a house that’s seen its own share of history so when she’s not writing, she can usually be found trying to keep it from falling down. The Way to London is her latest release.

Alix Rickloff was featured in the December 2016 Adult box for her novel, Secrets of Nanreath Hall. The box hint was "Secrets of a Nurse's Identity".

A Conversation with Alix Rickloff

Author Alix Rickloff was interviewed by booknotions.com regarding her writing process, as well as answered some FAQs on her website, alixrickloff.com. Please enjoy these two transcriptions below to learn more about Alix!

Book Notions (BN): At what point in your life did you realize your calling was to be an author?
Alix Rickloff (AR): I’ve always been a storyteller, but my first attempt at putting pen to paper came about in the fourth grade when I wrote (and illustrated) an entire series about The Fuzzy Family. These masterpieces remain in a box in my attic for the day when my unpublished writings bring millions for my heirs at auction. As a teen and into college, I was always scribbling snippets of stories in notebooks and journals and then on early computers—I’m talking dot matrix printers and floppy disks. But it wasn’t until my husband challenged me to “put up or shut up” that I knuckled down and pursued publication in a meaningful way.

BN: Since you write three genres which are paranormal romance, historical romance, and historical fiction, what do you like most about writing all three genres? What do you dislike most about writing in all three genres?
AR: I got my start in this business writing Regency-set historical and paranormal romance, but with my last three releases I’ve shifted my focus exclusively to historical fiction. Obviously, the thread that connects all three genres is my love of history. More specifically, those points in history where great societal changes create all kinds of possibilities for conflict; and we all know that conflict is key to making a good story great. That’s not to say I’ve completely turned my back on my romance roots. I can’t write a book that doesn’t involve a “happy ever after” for at least one of my characters.

BN: What advice do you have for anyone who feels the call to be an author as you did? What advice do you give to anyone who struggles with writers block?
LN: An author needs both the stubbornness to keep getting up no matter how many times they get knocked down and the adaptability to change on a dime in order to stay relevant and saleable in an ever-changing publishing landscape. I would also say that finding a writer tribe will go a long way to making the hard times easier to bear and the good times a lot more fun. As for writer’s block, we all have those days when every word is like slogging through mud. When that happens to me, I return to the basics; dialogue between two characters, a snippet of description to flesh out my world, a character’s internal thoughts that may make it into the book or might end up in the trash; anything that keeps the words flowing. If that doesn’t help, I’ll shut my laptop completely and go for a walk, read a book, or watch a TV show. Usually that’s all it takes to give my unconscious brain the down-time it needs to refocus.

BN: Are you writing a new novel now? If so can you spoil a little bit about it?
AR: My next release is tentatively titled The Last Light Over Oslo and is slated for publication in Fall 2023. It’s based around the story of socialite and suffragette Daisy Harriman, FDR’s US ambassador to Norway. She’s unexpectedly caught up in the war when Germany invades and she’s tasked with helping the Crown Princess and her children escape to America. I’m really excited to be able to tell her story and pay tribute to an amazing and capable woman who led such an incredible life of public service.

BN: If you had to collaborate with another author, who would it be and why?
AR: Oh my goodness, that’s a tough question since I’m in awe of authors who can work together to create a book. I think I’m too much of a control freak while also being a less than organized writer so if I had to collaborate, I’d either kill them or they’d kill me. All that being said, I have an amazing group of writer friends, and I would be honored to work with any one of them.

How long does it take you to write a book?
AR: It usually takes me a year to eighteen months from the initial spark of inspiration to handing it off to my editor. And then more time to go through revisions and edits to get it to bookstore shelves.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
AR: The list is an extremely long one, but I have to give top billing to Mary Stewart, Jane Austen, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Robin McKinley. Four very different genres with four very different styles, but they are all amazing!

A special thank you to booknotions.com and alixrickloff.com for posting these conversations.

Featured Books

Secrets of Nanreath Hall

This incredible debut historical novel—in the tradition of Beatriz Williams and Jennifer Robson—tells the fascinating story of a young mother who flees her home on the rocky cliffs of Cornwall and the daughter who finds her way back, seeking answers. Featured in December 2016.

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