Bella Books is pleased to announce that Alex Marcoux's Façades and her mystery/paranormal investigations Back to Salem and A Matter of Degrees will be released by Bella Books in both print and ebook editions.
Growing up with a hankering to be a police detective, trained for a career in food science and technology, Alex Marcoux found her true calling in writing. Inspired by the political climate of her new home in Colorado, her debut novel, Façades was published by the prestigious Haworth Press. She has been a finalist for both Lambda Literary and Gaylactica/Spectrum awards. She lives in the Denver area with her partner, son and a Shih Tzu named Maxie.
For those readers not familiar with Alex's work, we have an extensive interview with her on how she began writing and her work; just click below to read more.
Interview with Alex Marcoux
Bella Books will be releasing your novels - Facades, Back to Salem and A Matter of Degrees - what can you share with us to help introduce your books to any readers who may not be familiar with your titles?
Well, I wasn’t always a writer, nor did I even aspire to be one. In fact I was a scientist, but what moved me was the political environment in Colorado during the ‘90s when Amendment 2, the anti-gay & lesbian initiative passed. At the time, I was new to the state, and horrified when the amendment won. I wanted to do something, anything, but I didn’t quite fit the typical gay activist mold. I lived in a conservative area in the foothills and in ’94 I became a new mother. But somehow, this horrendous event caused me to turn inward, and soon the genesis of my first novel was formed. Facades is a story about the tragic masks we wear, and sacrifices we make to keep our secrets and it also dabbles into the politics of Amendment 2.
Having never written even a short story before this, I wasn’t sure if Facades would get published. But, the first time I sent the manuscript to a publisher, the editor asked if I had any other manuscripts. I always thought I only had one story in me, until that moment when my editor let me know I was a good storyteller.
My second novel, Back to Salem is the first Jessie Mercer Mystery and A Matter of Degrees follows. Both of these are paranormal mysteries which delve into karma and solving a mystery which is linked to a past life, a previous incarnation of the protagonist. In Back to Salem, I explore the 17th century Salem witch trials and in A Matter of Degrees dive into a past life in ancient Egypt. They both explore soul families, about how souls travel in groups, as well as that love that transcends time and space.
In all my stories there’s suspense, and some romance. Back to Salem is a mystery and A Matter of Degrees could even be considered a thriller. There are lesbian and straight characters and escalating degrees of spiritual and metaphysical concepts.
Everybody has their own story about how they found it - found lesbian writing and fiction. What was your first reading experience that was about lesbians? Did a particular book or author inspire you to write about lesbians primarily for lesbian readers?
Like I said, I wasn’t a writer so when I first read lesbian fiction in the mid-80s the last thing I was thinking about was writing. I’m trying to remember back then (OMG – am I that old?) … there was Katherine Forrest, Dorothy Allison, Claire McNab, I even read some of Ann Bannon’s reprints and I think the first gay novel I read was The Frontrunner by Patricia Nell Warren. But like I mentioned what inspired me to write about lesbians were the events of Colorado’s Amendment 2 ordeal.
You've written a romantic novel and two mysteries that are all interwoven. How do you decide what kind of story you want to tell?
Excellent question! I don’t decide – I let the Universe decide. I didn’t even realize the stories were interwoven until I wrote them. While, Facades has been categorized as a romance, I never looked at it that way either, I always thought of it as suspense with some romantic subplots.
When I begin a fiction project I usually have a concept only. Then I imagine and pretend and watch what happens in my own life, and somehow the Universe gives me the story.
Your books have an element of spirituality that adds unusual layers to the stories and characters. How do themes like reincarnation and precognition influence your writing?
Hmm … interesting question.
I think people write about things they’re familiar with or interested in. While I don’t consider myself to be religious or a follower of a dogmatic faith, I am spiritual. Over the years I’ve learned to turn inward through meditation and prayer and tap into what I call my inner guidance system, which some may call intuition. Certainly, many of my own experiences contribute to the stories I write, as well as subjects like reincarnation and precognition. Both of which I believe in or have had some experience with.
I have a somewhat unique creative spiritual process which I alluded to in your previous question. When I write I follow the Universe’s lead and that’s how I get my story … essentially the Universe tells me the story, and I just write it. But that’s a book in itself and the subject matter of my first nonfiction book in which I hope to announce publication details soon.
One of your novels was made into a short film? Which one? What's it about?
That novel is Back to Salem, my second novel and first Jessie Mercer mystery. The novel itself is about love knowing no boundaries. It’s about two lovers connecting across time and space to break a karmic cycle which has ended in the brutal murder of one of the soul mates in other lifetimes. The lifetime explored of course is during the Salem witch trials.
The short film is based on a segment of the novel where Jessie is haunted by a nightmare of a witch being dragged to gallows, followed by baffling events throughout her day, which lure her back to her distant past – Salem. The short film is more like a trailer of a larger project, which was what it was intended for. The film is being submitted to select film festivals but its primary purpose is to be part of a package used to develop the full-length version of Back to Salem.
Readers always want to know about pets and people in author's lives. Care to share?
I have a wonderful partner; we’ve been together since early 2007. She’s a talented writer and communications professional. I’m blessed with a fantastic son, who is brilliant only I don’t tell him because I don’t want it to go to his head. How lucky I am to have a terrific teenager who at 16 doesn’t look at me (yet) as if I have two heads. LOL.
Pets? I love animals. Over the years I’ve had Shih Tzus and we currently have one that’s seven years old. While I have a dog, I absolutely consider myself to be a cat person. We just lost our little furry friend, so we currently don’t have one, but that will probably change in the very near future.