IRDA Winning Author Kerri McLoone: “It’s incredible to have so…control over the entire [publishing] process…”

My Name Is Not Alexa Pearce was the winner in the NEW ADULT category of the 2020 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Kerri McLoone.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The book is called My Name Is Not Alexa PearceIt is the first book in a trilogy and was published on May 7, 2019.

What’s the book’s first line?

Ever since I was little, my parents would tell me stories about good versus evil. How good was made up of love and light, and evil of hate and darkness. While my friends were hearing bedtime stories about princesses being saved from the tall towers of a nasty queen’s castle, I was told stories about a princess who saves the world.

What’s the book about?

Alexa Pearce looks like your everyday twenty-something librarian when she’s anything but. The fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, she’s hiding in plain sight, searching for the key to saving the world as we know it while balancing something a social life to boot. Alexa can hardly remember which secrets she’s keeping and which lies she’s telling, but will she find what she’s looking for in time?

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

I came up with the idea of Alexa Pearce and the world she occupies over a decade ago when I was in college. I’ve always been creative by nature. In fact, I was majoring in Songwriting at the time, but a novel was way outside of my creative wheelhouse. I returned to the idea on and off over the following years; still, I wasn’t really inspired to give it serious thought until I was recovering from surgery to treat a severe back injury. I had been reading a lot to occupy my time, and a very dear friend said I should try writing something myself. I gave it serious consideration and realized that if ever I was going to have the time to do it, it was then. So I gave it a go and the rest, as they say, is history.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who – real or fiction – would you say the character reminds you of?

Alexa’s most defining characteristic is her courage. She was thrust onto this path with only a letter as guidance and her dog, Milo, for company. She has to trust her instincts as she searches for what she needs while also hiding her true identity at all costs. Up until the point we catch up with her in the book, it’s been a lonely and sometimes terrifying existence but, she’s never wavered in her commitment to her responsibilities.

I would have to say that Alexa most reminds me of Zoe Saldana in Avatar, though, I’m not sure Alexa could ever remind me of just one person. She is more of a representation of dedicated, powerful women everywhere.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

My Name Is Not Alexa Pearce has something in it for everyone. However, the main reason to read it is that it’s a story about one of the oldest battles that all humans face – good versus evil – retold from a new and inclusive perspective. Alexa’s journey is a magical one, but she approaches it always from the most human of places.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

When I sit down to write, I have a goal in mind of what I want to accomplish, but I try not to have any time constraints set for myself. I enjoy it when I get really into what I’m creating and then realize four or five hours have passed. On average, though, I’d say I spend at least two to three hours a day when writing the first draft.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best and hardest part of being an indie is that you’re on your own. All of your successes and all of your failures fall on no one else but yourself. It’s incredible to have so much latitude and complete control over the entire process, from concept to publishing. Still, if it doesn’t perform how you anticipate, you have to hold yourself accountable to that.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?

If a publisher became interested, I would certainly consider going the traditional route as long as there was the possibility I could still have a deciding role throughout the process. I think it would be great to maintain some of that independent feel while seizing the opportunity to connect My Name Is Not Alexa Pearce with a broader audience.