I always love having fellow authors on the blog, but today’s especially awesome because Lexi George is here to celebrate her new book Demon Hunting With a Dixie Deb. Not only is Lexi an extremely talented writer, a very funny and smart woman, but also a friend. Not the “I chat with her on Facebook” kind of friend but the kind who actually lives nearby. Oh, the bitch-session emails we have had!
I first met Lexi about five years ago when some wise soul paired us to co-sponsor a table at the Southern Magic RWA Luncheon. Now we each have our own tables but we still have time to conspire about a collaboration. We’re two or three chapters into a co-authored book that we shall, one of these days, finish, barring the Second Coming or the zombie apocalypse.
But in the meantime, enjoy Lexi and her wonderful sense of humor. ’Cause we grow ’em funny here in Alabama. (And read on for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!)
ABOUT LEXI: Lexi George writes snarky, Southern-fried paranormal romance for Kensington. Her debut novel, Demon Hunting in Dixie, was released in 2011, and a novella and two more demon hunter books followed. Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar, the third book in the series, was nominated for a RITA in 2014. The fourth book, Demon Hunting With a Dixie Deb, is due to be released May 24, 2016. Lexi enjoys reading and writing romance, but her first love is fantasy. A Meddle of Wizards is the story of Raine Stewart, a sheltered, sickly young woman who comes into her own when she’s transported to a magical world, discovers her burgeoning powers as an adept, and faces the evil wizard who killed her parents.
Lexi’s day job as an appellate attorney requires reading transcripts filled with murder, mayhem, and worse. Perhaps this is why she enjoys stories filled with humor, action, adventure, and magical creatures. She has a violent aversion to sad movies, having been scarred by Old Yeller at the age of nine. She drinks tea, not coffee, and has never seen The Exorcist because she is a world-class chicken. She is the third of four children, with all the attendant neuroses.
ABOUT DEMON HUNTING WITH A DIXIE DEB: Deep South legends. Deep fried curses. Deep dish revenge . . .This Debutante Is Having A Ball! Way down south in the land of cotton, one belle’s plans are soon forgotten–when Sassy Peterson drives her Maserati off the road to avoid a deer and lands smack-dab in the proverbial creek without a paddle. The Alabama heiress should have known something weird was going on when she saw the deer’s ginormous fangs. Hello, Predator Bambi!…..But nothing can prepare her for the leather-clad, muscle-bound, golden-eyed sex god who rescues her. Who wears leather in May? That’s just the first of many questions Sassy has when her savior reveals he’s a demon hunter named Grim. Also: Why would a troop of fairies want to give her magical powers and rainbow hair? Why would a style-challenged beast called the Howling Hag want to hunt her down?…..Most importantly, what’s a nice debutante like Sassy doing in a place like this anyway? Besides feeling Grim . . .
And now, here’s Lexi!
Southern Eccentrics: Writing Funny When Life Isn’t
I had to smile when I saw the title of this blog post. Ah, Madame Johnson, you know me too well!
Hi, I’m Lexi George, and I write funny. Or, at least, I hope I do. But, as the title of this post suggests, life isn’t always funny. So, why humor?
Because my day job involves the ugly underbelly of mankind. I’m a criminal appellate lawyer for a large state agency, a prosecutor on paper. That means I spend my days reading criminal transcripts that set out, in graphic detail, the various, inventive, and extremely rude things humans do to one another. Humor is a coping mechanism that keeps me sane.
Because my dad was a very funny guy. When a young cousin of mine died and we were left sweltering in a hot car outside the funeral home while the grieving mother said her last goodbyes over the casket, my daddy quipped, “When I die, shove a hambone up my ass and let the dogs drag me off.”
(Turns out, Daddy didn’t get that funeral. We couldn’t afford it. He was a big guy, and three-dog funerals are pricey. We cremated him, instead, and threw ink pens into the hole when we buried his ashes. But, that’s another story . . .)
Because I was a tall, skinny, awkward teenager with big feet and glasses. Think Olive Oyl from Popeye with pale skin and dirty-blond hair. Humor was my way of fitting in. If I laughed at myself, that was okay. Far better to make the joke than be the joke.
Because Southerners are funny people and I was raised Southern. We talk funny, slow and sweet, like caramel, and we have a funny way of looking at things, and an encyclopedia of funny expressions. Southerners are highly descriptive and full of wise sayings. We can’t just say somebody’s ugly. We say, “She’s uglier ʼn a mud fence daubed with lizards.” We don’t say someone lacks intelligence. We say, “He’s dumber ʼn a bag of frog turds.” Southerners can’t get right to the point. Language is the point, and ours is rich and colorful, and ever-changing. We don’t talk. We sing, slow and syrupy, our voices caressing each word and drawing it out, taking a one-syllable word and making it into a sonnet. “Damn,” becomes day-yumm. “Lord,” becomes Low-ward-duh, and “hell”, becomes hay-yull. And don’t even get me started on the “S” word. That one goes on for days.
I tried to write dark and angsty. I really did. When I sat down to write Demon Hunting in Dixie, the first book in the demon hunter series, I thought it was going to be a different book, brooding and dramatic. Gothic, even. Dark Encounter was the original name. Hoo boy, talk about your epic fails. When the dog starting talking, I knew I was toast.
Humor took a backseat to life in 2013, when I went through a divorce. I had started Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb. Having worried myself to a frazzle over book three, I was excited about book four. This one was going to be a piece of cake. Easy. Lighthearted. The words were going to flow. A few chapters in, my life imploded, and I became the poster child for the writer no one wants to be, the one who misses her deadline. By, like, a year and four months. The writing stopped and the muse went to Albuquerque. For a while there, I didn’t think she was going to come back. When she did slink home, she was bloated and sulky, and her tail feathers were dragging. To this day, I don’t know what she did in Albuquerque, but whatever it was made her cranky as . . . well, as hay-yull.
We finished the book, by the hardest, and I found my laugh track again.
See why she’s kinda my hero? I too tried to write angsty with my Sentinels series—it was about Hurricane Katrina, for goodness’ sake. But the funny just won’t contain itself. So we laugh.
Although Lexi will be off during the day dealing with legal mayhem, please leave questions or comments. In addition to entering for the gift card Rafflecopter giveaway below, I’ll provide one commenter with a choice of one of the earlier books in the Demon Hunting series. I’ll even get it signed!