Spotlight on Xio Axelrod


January 2, 2024

Our January Spotlight Author in Romance, Xio Axelrod, tells us a little about herself, her writing and her influences.

BingeBooks: Where and when do you like to write?

Xio Axelrod: I used to be a night owl but that changed when everyone was in lockdown. Time became a construct. Ha!

Now, I write when I know I’ll have several hours without interruptions. That’s usually weekday mornings and afternoons. If I’m not up against a fast deadline, I sit on the couch. During crunch time, I strap myself to my desk.

BB: Is there anything - furnishings, art, equipment, etc - you always like to have around you when you write?

XA: Mood lighting and mood music. I’m not one of those authors who can write in coffee shops, but I do need music. I have one of those star projector lights as well that gives my “writing cave” an atmospheric feel that I love.

BB: Who are your influences? 

XA: I didn’t grow up reading romance, so I used to cite authors like Anne Rice, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Heinlein, and Shakepeare.

Now that I’ve been writing in the genre for a while, I marvel at what writers like Kennedy Ryan, Sierra Simone, Beverly Jenkins, Katee Robert, Roan Parrish and so many others can do with a sentence. Talia Hibbert is younger than me, but I want to write like her when I grow up.

BB: What are you reading right now? 

XA: I just finished The Geek who Saved Christmas by Annabeth Albert which was a delightful grumpy-meets-sunshine romp. I’m in the middle of A Wedding in Lake Como by Jennifer Probst, a moving portrait of friendship, and next up is Fake It Til You Make It by Siera London, which I’m really looking forward to reading.

BB: Looking to sunnier times, what book would you recommend for a great late summer read?

XA: I really loved Timonthy Janovsky’s debut, Never Been Kissed. It’s set at a drive-in theater and what screams summertime more than that?

BB: Have any of your characters ever surprised you? How?

XA: All of them, often. Haha!

Most recently, I was completely taken aback by some of the characters in Girls with Bad Reputations. The male love interest, Ty, came out of nowhere and stole my heart. My main character, Kayla, had been holding out on me as well. She hadn’t even told me her real name in book one! I live for the surprises, though. They keep things interesting.

BB: Cat or Dog?

XA: I’m allergic to both but my husband, Mr. X, is a cat whisperer. We have two part-time felines that live in a heated cat condo complex that we (read: he) built for them out back. They’re living their best lives.

BB: Tea or Coffee?

XA: Tea

BB: Tell us in one sentence why readers should read or reread The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes.

XA: I often refer to The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes (GWISHE for short) as my rock-and-roll fairytale. It’s a childhood friend-to-enemies-to-friends-to-lovers, second-chance romance with a healthy dose of friendship fiction, women kicking butt, and music. Lots, and lots of music. I tried to place the reader on stage and in the studio with the band.

BB: Tell us in one sentence why you love writing - in general, and in your specific genre

XA: It’s been said before but it’s true: romance is the genre of hope.

Everyone - no matter their race, religion, colour, creed, sexual orientation, gender expression, or able-bodiedness – everyone is worthy of their happy-ever-after. Romance promises that and I love it.

Fun Facts about Xio

* I didn’t read my first romance until 2013, after I accidentally wrote one. *

* I studied Norwegian so that I could watch my favourite TV show without subtitles. *

* I made my professional recording debut at the age of four. *


Bring your questions for Xio as she discusses her move from indie to published author with Alessandra Torre for Authors A.I. on Friday, Jan 12.

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