RU Crew, today we’ve snagged a fascinating interview subject, Alex Maddow, the hero in Tawny Weber’s September release RIDING THE WAVES. Alex is here with me on a beautiful beach at the Sea of Cortez (near Baja California for the geographically-challenged ). Feel free to ask Alex questions of your own in the comments, and don’t forget that Tawny will also drop by to chat throughout the day!
Kelsey: Alex, I understand you’re an astrophysicist. #1: What is an astrophysicist? And #2: What inspires a guy to become one? (We’ve settled onto a couple of colorful beach towels facing the surf, and I’m trying not to stare. This guy—with his killer body—looks nothing like any science nerd I ever knew in school!)
Alex: (He leans back on his elbows, totally unaware of how this showcases his abs.) Astrophysics is basically the study of physics in space. The project I just assisted Drucilla studied the interplay of cosmic strings, hydrogen gas and gravitational influences. My dad and grandfather were astrophysicists, so you could say it’s a family thing. I don’t remember ever wanting to be anything else. I fast tracked through school – I started college at sixteen.
Kelsey: You’re obviously a smart guy, which means you were a smart kid. Tell me a little about how other kids treated you.
Alex: (His auburn hair reflects the intense mid-day sunlight.) I never quite fit in with the other kids. I had friends. Usually kids on the beach, in the neighborhood who liked to play ball. That kind of thing. I was always into sports, so that helped people ignore the brainiac tendencies, making it easier to fit in.
Kelsey: Your profession sounds intense. How do you chill out in your spare time?
Alex: (He turns to me, pulls off his sunglasses and smiles. I knew it! Warm brown eyes that crinkle slightly at the corners.) I surf. I spend at least three months a year hitting the waves. Nothing brings life back into perspective than flying through the ocean mist. It used to be, the only time I felt at peace was when I was surfing. Now? It’s amazing how great I feel just being around Drucilla. The woman is amazing!
Kelsey: You sound pretty well-rounded—smarts and surfing. So what scares you to death?
Alex: (He frowns and covers up those incredible eyes with his shades.) Following in my father’s footsteps. Being all about the work, locked up in a lab somewhere, ignoring life around me. I love what I do, but it’s easy to obsess with a theory. The men in my family suck at relationships, too. I don’t want to end up ruining the best thing that’s ever happened to me. But my mom rocks, and she’s always been there to teach me balance.
Kelsey: I’ve heard psychologists say that men are often attracted to women who remind them of their mothers? Would you agree?
Alex: (Huffs out a little laugh.) Now that’s not an image I want to consider for too long. I mean, I love my mom and all, but attraction? Other than maybe their sweet nature, Drucilla and my mom are nothing alike. Dru is a little obsessive about the work. She’s more like my dad when it comes to that – totally focused on success. I’ve been there, seen that, though, so I’m good at talking her off that ledge and back to the fun side of life.
Kelsey: What’s the one question you hoped I wouldn’t ask in this interview?
Alex: (He ducks his head and then looks back up at me.) Well, I was hoping we could sidestep that whole ‘why did you almost ruin the best relationship of your life and blow it with Drucilla’ question.
Kelsey: (From the intensity in every line in his body, I can tell this Drucilla is one lucky woman.) And the answer is?
Alex: (Shakes his head.) Aww man, I really don’t know. I mean, maybe it’s like Dru says, maybe I was so afraid of being like my father and hurting people who loved me, that I sorta sabotaged things so she wouldn’t get hurt. But see, that makes me sound like an idiot. I hurt her so she wouldn’t get hurt? Yeah, really dumb.
Kelsey: Thanks so much for the interview, Alex. Good luck with that Dru problem!
Alex: Thanks. Later, Kels.
Okay, RU Crew. This is your chance to grill Alex. What’s really going on with him and Drucilla? What’s he doing hanging out at the Sea of Cortez instead of working in his lab? And feel free to toss out questions to Tawny as well!
Join us Friday when Laurie Schnebly Campbell talks about creating your hero’s fatal flaw. (Hmm…wonder what Alex’s fatal flaw is??)
Tawny Weber is usually found dreaming up stories in her California home, surrounded by dogs, cats and kids. When she’s not writing hot, spicy stories for Harlequin Blaze, she’s shopping for the perfect pair of boots or drooling over Johnny Depp pictures (when her husband isn’t looking, of course). In September 2010, her eighth Blaze, RIDING THE WAVES hits the bookshelves. Come by and visit her on the web at www.tawnyweber.com.
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