Jeff & Will are live from the Coastal Magic Convention! They open the show talking about a new Kickstarter campaign from Suzanne Brockmann and Jason T. Gaffney. They also discuss the Freeform film The Thing About Harry and the new CW series Katy Keene. They also reveal the highlights from their weekend at Coastal Magic.
Xio Axelrod talks to Jeff about her Frankie & Johnny books as well as Alt Er Love. Her musical background and love of the Norwegian show Skam are discussed as is how she got into writing romance. Jeff also finds out what’s coming up next for her.
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Here are the things we talk about in this episode. Please note, these links include affiliate links for which we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase.
- Marriage of Inconvenience Kickstarter on Kickstarter (runs until March 16, 2020)
- The Thing About Harry on Freeform (also on Hulu)
- Homophilia Podcast #132 with Peter Paige on Earwolf
- Katy Keene on the CW
- Coastal Magic Convention website
- Avery Flynn on Amazon
- Alyssa Day on Amazon
- Meghan Maslow on Amazon
- Episode 224 – Coastal Magic Featured Author Meghan Maslow Interview on BGFP
- Karen Rose on Amazon
- Cordelia Kingsbridge on Amazon
- Morgan Brice on Amazon
- Victoria Sue on Amazon
- Nancy Naigle on Amazon
- Xio Axelrod Interview
- Xio Axelrod: website | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
- When Frankie Meets Johnny by Xio Axelrod on Amazon
- Frankie and Johnny: Let the Music Play by Xio Axelrod on Amazon
- Frankie L – WKMP Playlist on Spotify
- Kristan Higgins on Amazon
- “I’ll Be Around” by The Spinners on YouTube
- Fast Forward: An Alt Er Love Novella by Xio Axelrod on Amazon
- Skam on IMDB
- Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy on Amazon
- The Calum by Xio Axelrod on Amazon
- Falling Stars by Xio Axelrod on Amazon
- Starlight by Xio Axelrod on Amazon
- J.R. Ward on Amazon
- Anne Rice on Amazon
- Jim Butcher on Amazon
- Camden by Xio Axelrod on Amazon
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast on Patreon.com
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast patrons on BGFP website
- Frolic Podcast Network website
Interview Transcript – Xio Axelrod
This transcript was made possible by our community on Patreon. You can get information on how to join them at patreon.com/biggayfictionpodcast.
Jeff: Xio, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast
Xio: Thanks for having me. I haven’t been really excited about this
Jeff: And for taking a little time out of your Coastal Magic weekend as well.
Xio: That’s been great.
Jeff: What have you thought of Coastal so far? We’re recording this on Friday afternoon, so it’s the end of day one essentially.
Xio: How’s it been so far? It’s been great. It’s my first time coming down. I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, and so, you know, I was really curious and excited to come down, but I got here last night, so I didn’t get to see. The first sort of evening of it. And so today was like, Whoa, you’re right in it.
But it was really cool. Really cool.
Jeff: Awesome. I’m so excited you’re here. We met at RWA last summer and your book, Frankie and Johnny that you had on the table, it just grabbed my eye. Your cover for that is so just… the music and the guy on the cover of the whole thing was like, I need to read that.
And then on Monday, this past week, you dropped Frankie and Johnny Let the Music Play, which is the sequel.
Xio: Yeah, it was my birthday, my birthday surprise.
Jeff: I felt like it was a big surprise to be like, Oh my God, the sequel! Tell us about Frankie and Johnny, these two books and about these characters that frankly I just fell madly in love with.
Xio: Oh, awesome. Yeah. It was one of those things where sometimes you work on a book and you kind of have a character in your head or or storyline or something.
You’re like, yeah, you tinker with it and you’re like, okay, where’s it going to be set and what’s going to be the, the, the black moment? What’s going to be the conflict or whatever. These two, Frankie actually just started talking to me one day. And it was because my laptop died…
Jeff: of all things…
Xio: Like literally my laptop died and I have in my music, I use Mac for everything, so I don’t write on the Mac. I’ll do like formatting on it. So I couldn’t do anything on my laptop. I sent it back to the manufacturer for fixing and I was like, okay, well what do I do? And so I was sitting in front of the Mac and I opened up the word document or pages, and just started typing.
And it was Frankie, like speaking in first-person, which I don’t really do. So he just sort of like landed in my head. He’s probably the closest character to me that I’ve written in that his relationship to music is similar to mine. I was like, well, who would he fall in love with?
Like, who was he with now? Or what did he just, what was his situation? And, you know, he told me his story and I thought, man, this is really cool. And he’s such an unusual character for me, what he does and his relationship with the people in his life and also his relationship with music and how music sort of dictates his life.
You know. He built his life around it ? So, you know, that was the guy and he just sort of write my book.
Jeff: How did Johnny come into the equation?
Xio: So I thought, you know, I was a college DJ and I used to work the late shift, and I always loved it because even though we were college station, you know, they were preparing you to be out in the real world.
And so they gave you a playlist or whatever, and you had to log everything. But on the late shift and the weekend shifts, you could pretty much do whatever you want it to do. And so I thought that would be the perfect world for Frankie. Like nobody saying, here’s the songs you’re gonna play.
Here’s the top 40 or whatever it is. It was whatever. His extensive music knowledge, you know, his program director was like, I want to use that. Let’s just give you your own slot in this time that we’re not worried about, you know, making revenue. This is your baby. And so it’s his world. Like nobody else is in this station at that time of night.
Like it’s dark, except for his booth. He can take off his shoes, put his feet up on the desk, whatever. And so, what would be the worst, like the nightmare for him would be for someone else that he doesn’t know a stranger coming into that space, you know? And so I was like, okay, well, we’re going to have the station needs renovations as a station might.
And when would be the best time to do that when very few people are there. And when would that be? That would be during his shift. So, here’s this quiet guy to shows up and he’s very nice and everything. There’s nothing particularly unusual about him. He’s just there and does his work.
But for some reason, Frankie is intrigued by this person who doesn’t try to chat with him all the time and who everyone else seems to like, you know? And he’s like, well, maybe I need to get to know this guy. Maybe I, you know, been a little harsh on him because he’s been invading my space and maybe I’ll give him a break.
And he’s also super hot, so maybe, you know, maybe, maybe, maybe. So, yeah.
Jeff: The thing that struck me so much about the courtship here is that it again, relies so much on music because Frankie wants to play Johnny the song of his mood for the night and it’s, and it’s always Frankie’s thing that you can’t request the song.
You have to tell him your mood and he’ll figure it out. Now you’ve got a lot of singer, songwriter, family background in music. How did you structure those particular things to, this is going to be the mood and this is going to be the song, and weave that into the story in a way that the, that the readers could all go that, that song, I get it.
Xio: Right. It was interesting because you know, we have to be wary of using music in the books. We can’t use the lyrics and things like that, so I would like, Oh, mention something about the lyric or about the title or whatever, but I figured titles are fair game. You can use a title, you can use that. I, you know, when I wrote fan fiction, cause I started out writing Buffy fan fiction, I would use entire songs in there.
And you can do that and you call them songfic, you know, and everything, but you can’t do that when you’re publishing a book. So I was like, how can I capture the mood of the song or the meaning behind that song? There’s a scene when, and what does John say? There’s, you might remember, cause I haven’t read in a while.
But John says to him, he gives him a word and Frankie’s like stumped. And he’s like, well, what kind of mood is that? Like, I don’t know what to play for that. And John’s like, never mind. And he gives him another one. He’s like, no, no, no, no. You know, it’s like a challenge for him, you know? But the songs, they just popped into my head. Honestly, it was like, if I’m in this scene, and this was the word that somebody gave me, this was the song that I would play. You know, I would play this Massive Attack song, or I’d play this Fever Ray song, or I play this, you know, whatever. I have such an extensive catalog of music in my head all times that it’s not hard for me.
You know, and then don’t say that to sound like weird or arrogant or anything, but it’s just like songs. I can just pluck them out of my head and. So I gave Frankie that gift
Jeff: and I love that you did Spotify playlist because I could go, like if I didn’t know the song, it’s here and now I can just play that player.
Xio: one of my favorite things to do is to share music with people. And I love sharing super obscure Norwegian bands or whatever with people. When I was growing up, my dad, I grew up in the R&B soul world. And I was a rock baby. Like I loved rock. So we would sit literally for an afternoon on a Saturday and I would play stuff for him and he would go, well, that baseline is from this band from 1955 and that guitar lick is from the, and he would do that and sort of break it, like break it down.
And so Frankie’s thing is, he loves to share music with his audience and then with whoever he’s with, and that was one of the things that he butted heads with his ex about, was that Garrett didn’t really get the music thing, like he’s like, yeah, music is cool and everything, but why? Why are you so obsessed?
Like why is this your thing? So to have Johnny respond to him in that way and see how wonderful a gift it is, it was like, Oh my God, he gets me. You know what I mean? And he’s hot, so, yeah, it was important for them to share that.
Jeff: I’m about 25% in now to the sequel. And I’m happy to be back in that world and I can’t wait to see these two get their HEA.
I mean, there was a little hint at the end of the first book that there was at least a happy for now kind of lurking there
Xio: Cause they weren’t sure what John, what was going on with him. Yeah.
Xio: So where, where are you now?
Jeff: They’ve gone out to the big dinner
Xio: Which is at my favorite restaurant in Philly. And those edamame dumplings are ridiculous if you’re in Philadelphia commercial
Jeff: So I, they’ve just ended dinner.
Xio: Oh, okay. Oh,
Jeff: Okay. So Xio’s sitting here going, uh huh. I know exactly where you are and what you have yet to come.
What was it like getting back to the world?
Xio: It was wild, because I knew, I knew the story . I wrote the book on my Mac, I wrote, I think it was something like 35,000 words in three days.
Wow. It just poured out and then included some of book two. When I decided to put that story into the anthology last year, it needed to be 20,000 words. And literally what I had done was cut it right there. So it stopped at the end. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but it stopped. It stopped where it book one stop.
It was 20,000 words almost. Exactly. And I was like, Oh, okay. That works, you know? But coming back to them, getting back into Frankie’s head, was a lot of fun because even though I’m in music all the time, he’s not stuck, but he is a little bit obsessed with a certain period of time between like 1982 and like 1995.
Like he pulls a lot of music from that era. So going back into his playlists was a lot of fun, like pulling out the Massive Attack and pulling out, you know, old Cure or pulling out whatever it was. And so it was really fun going back into his wheelhouse.
Jeff: tSo far in the second book that was like, yeah, that actually made me go put it on the album was Prince’s Sign of the Times. Oh my gosh.
Jeff: I feel like that is like the most underrated of the Prince albums in that era.
Xio: There’s going to be more, like, obviously I’m going to continue in that we’re in this world, but, it won’t be centered on these two will be centered on Dyre and Dyre’s story. I can’t even tell you what it’s going to be about because it’s a huge spoiler. And I dropped a little bit of hint in the both of these books, but I don’t think anybody got it.
So I’m like, they’re going to be totally blindsided. It was just fun and scary at the same time. His thing with Prince will come into play again, his relationship with friends. But, so you said you were in the radio station scene when, when, they talk about Purple Rain or is that later?
Am I spoiling it? It can be spoiling it.
Jeff: I don’t think I’ve encountered Purple Rain yet. I think the first Prince that we’ve talked about in the book so far, when he plays for your “If I was Your Girlfriend.” Yeah. I was wondering what he would pick. And initially he was headed towards something I couldn’t remember…
Xio: …it was Dorothy Parker
Jeff: I actually had to go back to my copy and start playing it
Jeff: People who are listening to us are like, wow. But that was the thing. And I said it in my reviews. I shouldn’t be that surprising. Like I, I wanted to be a music journalist and I kind of wanted to be a DJ and that.
It’s probably why I have a podcast now. And so much of that book just clicked as things and you really make everything around the music of the radio station almost becomes its own. Mean, yeah, it’s really part of Frankie, but it’s almost its own.
Xio: It’s his found family as well, because he is an orphan here.
He moves from Scotland and moves to Philadelphia and he’s by himself. Even the people that he moved in with initially in the house are gone. So he’s kind of, you know, dire and Nicky and those guys are his family and he’s, when he was dating carrot. His friends became his friends, but they weren’t really his friends, you know.
So he really retreated into the music and music is his baby. And so he has these people that understand that they get it too on a different level. You know that music is there. Nikki is, runs the station because she loves music. Dyer’s a DJ. So those are his people, you know, and now he has, now he has Johnny.
Jeff: Why the Scottish for him? Where did that come from? Cause I get the Philly, cause you’re from Philly.
Xio: I think that happened because I was working on another book and the characters were Scottish. And so this is kind of embarrassing, but, his head popped into my head with a Scottish accent. And so, when I was, when I finished the first draft, I guess it was, I had intended, I was going to release it as a different book that, like all everything that I had written was going to put that out. And so I started talking about it with friends and stuff. And a friend invited me to her Facebook group and said, you know, come in and talk about whatever book I had out and then talk about what you’re working on now.
And I was like, Oh, cool. And she was like, and do a reading. And I was like, well, do I read from the book that’s out or do I read from? Cause I was so in love with this story, and I was like, I’ll read this. So I read it in Frankie’s voice. And, Kristen Higgins tuned in, happened to like log on while I was doing it and she tweeted and was like, Oh my God, Xio is in this group reading this in this Scottish brogue.
I freaked out and I was like, Oh my God, somebody who’s listening and I’m getting about this, like, what? People are going to come hear this and it’s so awful. But I was so in love with Frankie at that time. But yeah, I don’t know why Scot and I guess just, you know, residual from the other books.
Jeff: Sure. And I was totally down with that too, cause I’ve had my Outlander phase, so you know I’m down with the Scottish guy.
Xio: I wanted him to feel a little bit othered in his life, you know, growing up in Glasgow looking like he does, there aren’t a lot of people around there that looked like that.
And so there’s a line in the first book where he says, it takes a lot more effort to be different here. Like there, I was automatically different here. It takes a lot more effort and I don’t bother to make that effort, you know, which is one of my favorite lines in that.
Jeff: It’s one of the things that I really like about him too, is that.
He’s inhabited things in the U S so well and he didn’t have that in his home country. It’s more,
Xio: he feels way more at home here.
Jeff: It’s another element of that found family.
Xio: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Especially Philadelphia in that area. He talks about it as if he grew up there and he talks about the neighborhood, the neighboring areas.
Especially in book two, the drive up and down and where he likes to walk and and all that stuff. Much more. You don’t hear him talk about Glasgow that way?
Jeff: No, you really don’t. It’s like, Oh, I grew up,
Xio: I grew up over there with those people, whatever. I’m here now. Yeah.
Jeff: You mentioned a little bit your, your massive music vocabulary and everything, and we were tweeting a few weeks back and you revealed that your father actually is a co-writer on one of the Spinners biggest songs, I’ll be around.
You’ve been around music forever and you songwrite too all of this creativity is so is, so also, how is it two distinctive things for you to be a songwriter and a fiction writer or do they really come together more then people might think?
Xio: I think it depends on the writing style. Like for me, I think I write somewhat lyrically, like melodically, the way the rhythm of my words will go, and I didn’t notice that somebody pointed it out to me after like my second or third book, and they were like, I can tell that you were a songwriter or a poet or something, because just the cadence of the words was a little bit different, you know?
And I’ll, I’ll chop sentences up and do things and stuff that’s completely grammatically incorrect, but it works in your, when you’re you know, the mouth feel is great or it works well in your brain.
Jeff: You just have to train your editor to deal with it.
Xio: Yeah. I remember back, we’re going back to the fanfiction thing.
I remember one of the fic writers asked me to write poetry for her series. She was like, you know, you’re a songwriter, write poetry. And I was like, I’ve never written poetry. She’s like, you’re a songwriter, you can write poetry. And I was like, Oh, I didn’t think of that. And it was the same thing with this.
It was like. How do I go from writing songs? Cause fanfic was fanfic, you know, you’re playing in someone else’s sandbox, but how do I go from writing songs to writing long form fiction? And that transition was easier than I thought it was going to be. You know, just because I could translate that musicality to the cadence of the words, if that makes sense.
Jeff: I think so. It kind of clicks in my brain.
Xio: Yeah. Yeah.
Jeff: So when do we get Dyer’s book? Do you have a rough projection on that?
Xio: I don’t know. I want to get it out this year cause I’m in sort of a limbo right now with my publisher cause I have a four book series coming out with Sourcebooks and I’m trying to figure out what that scheduling is going to be like.
I have like a queue of books lined up that are coming out. The alter loves series is in the wings. And I think I told you earlier that, Frankie and Johnny, his second book was not supposed to come out this week. It was later this month, the second book in the alter love series was going to come out.
Jeff: But you know, it’s my fault if you’re an “Alt Er Love” fan and you’re like, where’s that book?
Xio: Yeah, sorry. I thought this is really cool. I’m just gonna do this. So I, you know, went back in and cleaned it up and hopefully didn’t mess it up. You put it out. I have to get two of the “Alt Er Love” books out before June because I’m going to Oslow for an event there and they’re big fans of that series.
And, so maybe after that, then I’ll get to Dyer’s such like late summer, early fall, something like that. Not too far away. Not that far. Yeah.
Jeff: So let’s talk about “Alt Er Love.” That was a nice segue right there to turn that corner. Tell me about that series.
Xio: So, and in case you haven’t figured this out, I’m a big fandom girl.
I’m actually only ever been in two fandoms. One was Buffy this, and the one I’m in now is a TV show from Norway called scum. S-K-A-M if you’re looking it up. and I totally fell in love with it. That’s why I’m learning Norwegian. There have been learning Norwegian and I write fanfic in that world. And those readers, you know, they want more and more and more.
And so I thought, we’ll take sort of the Norwegian aspect of this and I’ll see what I can do in a series. And again, here we are in music twin brothers, Norwegian rock stars, you know, the first book. They’re on the rise. They’re just sort of starting out and they’re doing the college circuit.
And they landed this, university of Philadelphia made up university of Philadelphia where one of the heroes is still a student. He’s a grad student there and you know, they meet and it’s, it’s like insta love, which I don’t like to write a lot of insta love, but it’s definitely like, they connect right away and it’s like, burn hot and fast. Jessen is pulled away by his duties to the rock, to the band and stuff, and he sort of leaves Ian behind. So you pick up in the book when he comes back to say, Hey, I made the mistake and I’m here and let’s figure this out, kind of thing. But yeah, that whole series was inspired by my love of Skam and Norway and the region.
And. Oh, that and then the music stuff. So that
Jeff: is very cool. And it explains why before we hit the record button, she actually was learning a little bit about our region before we started out. All kind of, it all makes sense.
Xio: Yeah. I have that app on my phone that everyone has where you’re learning a new language, but yeah,
Jeff: these “Al Er Love” and “Frankie and Johnny” are your first m/m books. What brought you in to the m/m universe after several books that were m/f?
Xio: Yeah. I guess I’ve always read m/m or as in the fic world, they call it slash fiction, and just never read it in publishing. I just never read published books. I just, I don’t know. I don’t know why. You would probably know better than I what year it was and be 2016 when “Him” came out.
And I absolutely loved the book and told everybody that I knew to buy it. And then at the RITA awards, when they won, neither of them were there. And so I took a picture of the screen with their name on it and read and everything, and I sent it to her and she was like, Oh my God, thank you so much.
And I just, you know, that was like my gateway drug was that particular book. I had in my head, my very first book, which was m/f “The Calum.” Was suppose was initially going to be a series and the antagonist in that first book was going to get his own book and it was going to be my first MM.
And I said to my readers, like, you never know if anybody’s going to be weird and whatever. But they’re like, yeah, that would be awesome. And so that was going to be it. And then I sort of like got away from that series completely. So when, when scam happened and this series alter, I love parts.
Popped into my head, I was like, Ooh, here we go. Okay. You know? And, yeah. So that’s how it started. And now I’m, I’ve been on this kick for awhile. Frankie and Johnny happened and, you know, so yeah. I love
Jeff: kind of splitting between MF and, mm.
Xio: Yeah. Yeah. although, you know, I have a, I’ve always had, queer characters in my books, even “Falling Stars” has some, and my series with Sourcebooks will have some too. So it’s not like I’m getting away from the community completely. It’s just they want, it’s very specific story, you know? So they get that and I get to have my boys and I’m happier that way cause I have more freedom. I can’t imagine writing Frankie and Johnny for a publisher cause there’s so much music in there and there’s so much, you know, exposition and everything. So I’m not sure how they would feel about that. So
Jeff: it’s hard to say cause I mean, you stay away from the stuff that they would absolutely hate. Like you mentioned putting lyrics in it. Yeah. But there is a lot there. and going back to the music because we keep going back there, did you worry about like setting it too much in a specific timeframe or does it work?
I guess. For Frankie and Johnny at least, because that’s Frankie’s realm of music. And do you have any of the same issues in “Alt Er Love” of referencing things that people just may not know?
Xio: Yeah, what I try to do when I write stuff that’s in an industry that everyone knows about, but don’t know about, you know, like the behind the scenes stuff, I’ll give them a glimpse inside, behind the curtain and try to explain things and not like a, academic way, but just sort of like, this is through plot or through conversation, what’s happening rather than saying, and here’s a thing that does the thing and thing the thing. You know what I mean? Cause that just gets boring. It’s like it becomes a manual at that point.
I try to give that in contextual, you know, descriptions of what’s going on or what, you know, when he’s working in the console, I can try to keep it in a way that anybody could picture that console and doesn’t get too technical, you know, or the station identification that has to happen in once an hour, you know, things like that.
Just to make it part of the conversation he’s either having with John or in his head or whatever it is. Like I almost missed the cue for the station identification, you know what I mean?
Jeff: Totally correct the first part of the new book, because it’s like, that could have been automated, but that’s not how he does, not how
Xio: he works and the fact that he does it so effortlessly.
It’s like breathing to him doing this and that. John throws him off like he forgets to listen for the end of a song. He forgets, he gets so flustered. You know what I mean? And he’s like, I’m not like this. Why? Why is this happening? You know? So
Jeff: how did you find your way to romance writing? So, either I could tell by that
There’s a story there. I accidentally wrote a book. I was on the road. I used to tour in the UK, in Portugal with my band. And I would get bored between shows or whatever. And so I started like just tinkering on my blog. And I think I wrote, I don’t know, 500 words or a thousand words of this like, what if situation between these two actors and people really like the 30 followers I had on Tumblr were like, Oh, I like that. And so I wrote some more, it’s more 200,000 words later and nine months later I had this giant thing which became “Falling Stars” and “Starlight.” They’d read it and it had gone viral, like people were talking about on Twitter that I didn’t know.
And I remember going on Twitter one day and a friend of mine was like discussing the chapter that I had just posted with her friend. And I was like, what are you talking about? And she was like, Oh my gosh, this woman writes this thing and it comes out. And I was like, that’s mine. And she didn’t believe me.
So I sent her the next chapter and she was like, Oh my God, I don’t know. So I had no idea. and then I asked a friend of mine, who was in this world, I was like, what do I do with this? She was like, publish it. And I’m like, but they just read it for free. Like why would they want to pay for it?
She dragged me to the RWA conference, and. I knew nothing about anything, nothing. And she said, I had never read a romance, and she was like, here are some titles that you can check out, you know? And they were all over the place. They were like a sweet beach read. There were some really high heat stuff, you know, everything in between.
I think JR Ward was in there somewhere, you know? And I was like, I read like three of them. And I was like, Oh my God, this is not what I thought. And then went, and that was sort of, it went there and said, okay, maybe I can do this.
Jeff: So you hadn’t even really read romance.
Xio: I hadn’t read romance. I was a high fantasy person.
I was a huge Anne Rice fan growing up. I read a lot of science fiction. and even now I read a lot of urban fantasy, like Jim Butcher and stuff like that. So yeah, I was not a romance person. And then once of course I discovered it. I just read everything I could get my hands on, but like, yeah. But yeah, it was definitely stumbling into it.
Jeff: Were you writing fanfic before you wrote this long?
Xio: I hadn’t written fanfic. In like six years or something. Buffy, I don’t know if you ever watched Buffy, like, yeah, there’s a lot. Spike was my favorite character. I was this Buffy. and I wrote a lot of, fic where like, I didn’t like the way things happen with Spike and Buffy.
So I would fix that. And then after the series ended, I wrote a couple of long pieces about what could have happened afterward that didn’t happen. Like things on the show didn’t happen that way. This is how it should have gone kind of thing, you know? I’d even writing those things. And I think my longest piece was probably 60,000 words, but even having written that, I didn’t think, Oh, I could write a book.
Do you know what I mean? Even though you’d written, even though, even though I’d written book links, and it was, it’s crazy to think about that now because there were so many authors that come out of fandom, you know, the Twilight fandom alone has birthed, I don’t know how many authors. Right. You know, so it’s weird for me to think in retrospect that, but that’s how, that was my view.
I was like, I don’t worry. I’m not a writer. I’m an author. She’s like, you just wrote 200,000 words. Like what are you talking about?
Jeff: Yeah. And here you are.
Xio: So many years later, not quite seven years later. Yeah.
Jeff: That’s amazing. I’ve heard so many stories over the course of this show and that’s when you just kind of stumbled into it cause you were just writing. Is there another type of romantic genre that you want to write in that you haven’t done yet?
Xio: I’ve written one hockey romance. I love hockey. It’s one of my favorite sports, and it’s m/f and I want to write more m/f hockey, but I also wanna write an m/m hockey.
Not, not taking off a Serena and Elle’s and stuff, but I would love to write in my Maki. I think there’s a lot of potential there for beautiful relationships.
At one point I tinker, I thought about writing a soccer romance. It was during the world cup. And I was like, I wonder if this is a thing, you know, cause I like soccer as well, but yeah, I’m a sports person to watch, not to perform, to watch the sport my husband plays like in a soccer league and you know, it could be your league or whatever, but yeah, I’ll just sit in the sidelines and watch or write about it or both.
Or both. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. But yeah, I think hockey is probably my next one after, after I finish a couple of them. The lines I have going now.
Jeff: I know what to ask you for now in 2021.
So we’ve talked a little bit about more Frankie and Johnny, more “Alt Er Love.” What else is on your horizon, whether it’s m/m or m/f?
Xio: I have a book. I mean, I do, I write a lot of standalones within series, you know, like, I don’t like cliffhangers that much, even though Falling Stars and Starlight when they were cut it was a huge cliffhanger. I couldn’t even call Falling Stars a romance because of the way it ended. Which I didn’t know that either, you know, at the time. Camden, which was sort of my light romantic suspense, book has two other books planned for that. So, and there are people who are waiting patiently for those books.
I have to get back to those as well. alter love is my focus this year and I’ll probably do another sequel to Camden this year as well. And then I’ll finish up Frankie and Johnny’s world. It’s funny cause like I put it out as a duo now cause there was no series name, you know, and now once Dyer’s book comes out, it’s going to be Frankie and Johnny.
It’s going to be something else. So I have to come up with like a different series name or something. So I might do an omnibus Frankie and Johnny and then make that part of this series. Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. And there’s a character that I mentioned in there, Simon. Who’s he’s the, he’s a DJ. He is the one who’s responsible for most of the revenue of the station cause he’s syndicated.
He is a former music star who fell on hard times through his own doing like party too hard. And his, I’m spoiling the totally, so don’t listen if you don’t want to be spoiled. But his band leaves him in his hotel room. They’re sick of him. So they leave him in his hotel room night of like whatever.
They cut him out of the band, he gets written out of the band, they send them a check, they say, you’ll get your royalties and that’s it. They’re done. So he’s gets stranded in a hotel room in Philadelphia and spends all his money, like living in this hotel. And ends up a DJ at the same station that Frankie .
Jeff: He’s got a story with that whole abandoned in the hotel. I can’t think of a band breakup story that’s gone quite that hard at the top of my head.
Xio: He was, he, he earned it. Honestly, he’s, he’s a hard person to, to like even in his own book.
2020 is pretty solid right now, especially with the Sourcebook stuff. Those are big books. It’s really in my wheelhouse. It’s an all female rock band. The lead singer again is Norwegian, but the first book is not about her. It’s about this woman who grew up loving music, she’s incredibly talented. Her mother is semi famous, and so she hates her mother’s desire.
She would do anything to be famous, and so she grows up with this abhorrence for fame and then ends up in a situation that could help her achieve her real dream with this band who’s on the cusp of stardom and she’s like torn between doing this thing that could get her what she wants or just like going, no, no, no I can’t deal with that. So yeah, it’s interesting. But yeah, it’s it’s set in that in my world is right in my world. Nice. Yeah.
Jeff: So much good stuff going on. What is the best way for everyone to keep up with you online so they know when all this is happening and coming out?
Xio: Well, I am a social media butterfly, so you can catch me everywhere is Xio Axlerod Instagram is my main one.
Twitter, of course. XioAxelrod.com and if you’re feeling really brave and want to know more about “Skam,” I’m on Tumblr but that’s like only for the brave cause it’s a rabbit hole.
Jeff: We will link to all of those good things. I will say from an Instagram standpoint that you never know when she may ask to get your mood and have a little Frankie and Johnny moment.
Xio: There’s going to be more of that.
Jeff: Get your mood and send you a song. I got a great Police song just a few days ago
Xio: Cause he’s obsessed with them right.
Jeff: He really is. Xio thank you so much for spending some of your Coastal Magic time with us and for such wonderful books.
Xio: Really, really appreciate you having me.