Meet the other half of my brain. Honorary Chick today is Xio Axelrod and I swear we were separated at birth. Let me give you the official bio before we get to know her a bit better.
Philadelphia native and global citizen, Xio Axelrod, is an author of love stories, contemporary romance and (what she likes to call) strange, twisted tales. She also writes erotica and women’s fiction.
Xio grew up in the music industry and began recording at a young age. When she isn’t writing stories, she can be found in the studio, writing songs, or performing on international stages (under a different, super-secret name of course). She lives in Philadelphia with one full-time husband and one part-time cat.
Xio is a big proponent of what she calls “diversity in romance”, and I’m going to ask her to explain what that means to her.
As you know, I’m fairly new to the romance genre – both as a reader and as a writer. As I started to consume all of the wonderful stories out there, one thing that really stood out to me is that they’re pretty…well…homogenous. Do a quick search for “romance novel” on Google and you’ll see exactly what I mean. As a person that lives, breathes and celebrates diversity, I found it shocking. Okay, I realize that not everyone lives in such a culturally diverse place as my hometown of Philadelphia, but it still surprises me how under-represented huge swaths of the population are in mainstream romance. And worst, novels written by people of colour are often shelved differently in bookstores. You have to wander, often to the back of the store, to find these “special” sections. As if a story with an Asian or African-American protagonist wouldn’t appeal to all readers. (Don’t even get me started on books by LGBT authors.)
It’s sad, really. Love is universal and, as an industry, we have a wonderful opportunity to open the hearts and minds of our readers. I’ve always maintained that art is the perfect tool to teach tolerance. What a beautiful, complex, diverse world we live in. Why don’t we celebrate it? I certainly do, and I am not alone in that, thank goodness.
Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite Things: Summer rain, travel, and languages. And custard.
Pet Peeves: Intolerance, auto-tune, and the sound of other people chewing. (Drives me crazy, lol.)
Addictions: Genre television (Outlander!!), angsty love stories, and music (obviously).
Kick Ass Superpower: I can write a sentence that will make you laugh, make you cry, or make you… blush. (What did you think I was going to say? Naughty.)
Your best book boyfriend:
- For the night: Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files)
- For a dirty weekend: Cole “Deuce” West (The Undeniable Series)
- To have and to hold: Duh! Jamie Fraser (Outlander)
Early in the fall, Xio will release her long-awaited novel, Falling Stars, a story about finding the right person at the wrong time. It is book one in a series that she promises will be exciting, sexy, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting. Click on the image to find out more.