“No-one has the right to tell you what to write or try and shame you because of what you like writing.” —Donna-Maria MearTweet
What is your name, where are you from and what are your hobbies?
My real name is Donna but I write under the pen name Alexia Lockhart. I live in the UK. My hobbies are riding my motorbike, water sports, watching racing specifically F1 and motor GP, I am a huge fan of Olivers Mount racing which features in my books. I’m an adrenaline junkie so if it is high, fast, scary or involves water I’m in! I love nature and love to sit somewhere peaceful usually by the sea or in the countryside and watch the birds and write.
How did growing up as a writer looked like for you?
Growing up writing was an escape. I would write my thoughts and feelings in journals and would write poems and short stories. Only one friend got the opportunity to read my writings, and he always inspired me and kept me going, and kept me writing. The only other person who read my writings was my husband. It has only been the past 4 years that I have unleashed my writing on the world.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Depends on what I am writing. Some scenes energize me and make me feel alive, some scenes really take it out of me. I have been writing some very difficult scenes lately and have found they have caused migraines. I’ve since learned to limit time spent on those scenes and move to an alternate scene and take breaks to prevent making myself ill.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I do. I write under the name Alexia Lockhart.
How did publishing your first book (If you have any) change your process of writing?
The first book I published was good but I realized after that it needed more, it needed to be perfect. I am a lot harder on myself now, I won’t publish till it is the best it can be.
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
My books are mainly based on me, my best friend and my husband.
My best friend—I owe him my life. I wouldn’t be here if it had not been for his love and support and his refusal to give up on me. I mainly write to honour him.
My husband—I owe him massively for his patience, his love and his never-ending support.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I can’t help but let bad ones affect me. I’m a perfectionist. Good ones give me a buzz and help me to keep going.
What inspires you to write?
Writing was always a release.
My husband inspired my first published novel, a romance which was originally written for him but later edited and adapted to be published, but in more recent years I have been inspired to write by the memory of my best friend. He died suddenly two years ago. I want the world to know what type of man he was and how he saved me, and maybe his story might also save others.
How do you expect your book (If you have any) to connect with your readers?
I hope that the story touches them, that they fall in love with my characters but what I want most is for the story to resonate with them on a personal level. I want it to help people in those situations but also help others understand the mindset and hurdles faced by the characters, so they can be better friends/support to those facing similar issues.
What was your hardest scene to write in one of your books (If you have any)?
I am currently writing a death scene along with some very deep grieving scenes. These scenes have at times caused migraines and effected my own mental health. In my published books I have had to write some difficult scenes based on my life which has meant opening doors which I’d kept closed.
Why should I purchase your book (If you have any)?
You should definitely buy nobody’s hero! It is an inspirational story based on the life of a real man who never saw himself as a hero but saved a broken girl. He will challenge you to change how you act and how you think. It is also full of wild adventures. It will have you laughing and crying.
Do you want each of the book you write (If you have any) to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Nobody’s hero can stand alone but is a cross-over book with my wildflower series. Reading the wildflower series gives different view points to some scenes in nobody’s hero while also going into depth on the secrets Rob keeps. I wouldn’t recommend reading the wildflower series without reading Nobody’s Hero either before or after.
Book 2 of the wildflower series can be read as a stand-alone book, it is classed as an erotic romance due to some content. Those who don’t like this genre can skip it and pick up on the story through the other books.
What do you believe are the common traps for aspiring writers?
Having an idea but struggling to put it down onto paper. Being able to show rather than tell. Not seeking beta readers and an ‘editor’. I always self edit but always seek beta readers and give my manuscript to someone with a good eye, sometimes an editor or sometimes a student or someone with editorial skills. As long as it is another honest diligent pair of eyes as our eyes deceive us. The biggest trap though is self-doubt. A young singer-songwriter managed to portray this perfectly. Check out toxic thoughts by Faith Marie.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t destroy your work even if someone tells you too, or if you feel it isn’t good enough. Writing is a journey. No-one has the right to tell you what to write or try and shame you because of what you like writing. Believe in yourself, If you must listen to someone else’s opinions, listen to the wild handsome biker… Trust in him, and everything that tells you.
But most of all love yourself and never stop writing!