About the Author:
A writer and editor for the past 30 years, Alexandra Sellers has written over two million words for print, both fiction and non-fiction, including articles, reviews, training material, brochures, websites, mini-series ‘bibles’, blurbs, obituaries, short stories, and over 35 books. Her novels have been translated into more than 15 languages. She has also written and produced murder mystery experiences, and for several years taught her own course in How to Write Romance.
Alexandra Sellers has been a full-time writer since the publication of her first novel in 1980, writing novels that are both spiritually and emotionally intense. In 1997, her novel A Nice Girl Like You was nominated by Romantic Times for a Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Silhouette Yours Truly. Three years later she received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy.
The common theme that runs through her novels is the cosmic union of male and female: the reuniting, through deep romantic love manifested in the sex act, of that universal soul which was divided into male and female at the moment of physical creation, and which has been searching for its other half ever since. Her novels also express a fundamental belief that love conquers all. Sellers is a writer who uses the canvas of romantic novels to present her ideas not only about love, but also about the world
MF: Your first novel was published in 1980 and you are still writing and selling books today. What keeps you going, inspires you to create new characters and new stories?
AS: There are so many characters out there who want to find the other half of their soul. If they come to me for help, how can I say no?
MF: Foreign languages are a hobby for you. You’ve studied French, Farsi, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Italian and Latin. Has the study of those languages helped your understanding of the English language?
AS: It has certainly helped me to understand the limitations of language, and to realize that every language has an inbuilt bias that affects the way its speakers think about reality. English no more than any other language is capable of expressing the full gamut of human experience and perception, however many modern technical terms it provides to the world. This can be a real limitation. If there is no word in your language for what you are experiencing, or for an idea or vision that comes to you, there’s a danger that you will dismiss what you have discovered. Is it possible to hold to an idea for which no word exists in your language? Every language has such gaps, in one area or another, I think.
MF: In 2000 you received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy. Do you feel it validated your work or was it more like a bonus to an already fulfilling career?
AS: I was very happy to receive that award. Also surprised. I wasn’t expecting it at all.
MF: Your website bio says you use ‘the canvas of romantic novels to present […] ideas not only about love, but also about the world.’ What are some of those ideas and do you feel you’ve achieved your goal?
AS: In general, like any writer, I think, I’d prefer to let the reader go to what I’ve written rather than report on my own performance. But since you ask, here’s a quick example: Season of Storm, my latest back-title release, was largely powered by outrage over two great injustices in Canada–the treatment of First Nation peoples by authority, and gross police violations of citizens’ civil rights. If your question is, was I able to express what I wanted to say in the book, then I think for the most part I was. And I got letters from readers who understood what I was saying and appreciated that I was saying it.
But: In 1982, when Season of Storm was written, First Nation rights were managed by the federal Department of Indian Affairs, and now it’s called the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. And I’m not sure that much else has changed in 30 years. And as for police corruption, racism and their violation of the civil rights they are meant to protect—well, I would say most of that is now significantly worse, not just in Canada, but all over the so-called free world. So insofar as my goal was not merely to blow off about issues that bothered me, but to try and make a difference, I would have to say no, I did not achieve my goal.
MF: Season of the Storm is your latest release. Tell us about the story and the inspiration behind it.
AS: Johnny Winterhawk is a First Nations man who has, on the face of it, successfully integrated into white society and as an innovative architect is the darling of Vancouver’s wealthy. Inwardly, he has never come to terms with his abandonment of and by his Indian heritage. Shulamith St. John is the daughter of a wealthy lumber baron whose chainsaws are threatening Johnny’s tribal lands. Johnny kidnaps her by mistake, and that mistake threatens everything in his life. Especially when the two fall in love.
As an aside: In 1982, when I wrote the book, ‘Indian’ was the generally accepted term used of and by First Nation peoples. I have revised the book, but not updated it—that is, the book still takes place in 1982. So I’ve retained the terminology that was in use at the time. I hope no one finds that questionable. I’ve never liked historical revisionism
MF: Many of your titles include Sheikh and Sultan. What is it about the Arabian culture that fascinates you?
AS: Everything! I’ve been interested in the richness and magic of the Middle East and Central Asian cultures ever since I was ten years old. I’ve grown to love the languages, the philosophy, the religions, the history, the archaeology, the architecture, the scenery and, most of all, the people.
MF: What do you read? What do you re-read?
AS: I can’t say for sure if I read more fiction or non-fiction, probably fiction. I do re-read a lot. The one writer I re-read most is Jane Austen. Like Sir Walter Eliot with the Baronetage, in Jane I find “occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there [my] faculties are aroused by admiration and respect”.
MF: Do you have any advice for other writers?
AS I think the publishing world is changing too hard and too fast for me to give advice. There are not many certainties anymore.
MF: If you could jump into a book, and live in that world … which would it be?
AS: Great question, and one I’ve never heard before! Probably The Thousand and One Nights. Flying carpets, caves of treasure and genies in lamps, not to mention wildly fascinating people who are always telling each other stories…that must be worth experiencing at first hand.
Shulamith St. John had lived with the threat of kidnapping for most of her life, but that didn’t make her situation when it happened any less terrifying. Especially as she knew what her kidnapper did not—that her father, the ruthless lumber baron Cordwainer St. John, would not pay one cent of ransom for her.
Johnny Winterhawk didn’t believe that—but he was no ordinary kidnapper. He didn’t want money, he wanted to protect his tribal lands from her father’s chainsaws. And then, it seemed…he wanted her.
Shulamith responded to her captor’s touch with a hunger that made her feel she could trust him with her life. Their deep passion shook her, body and soul. And that was the most terrifying thing of all…