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Alexa Donne Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Brightly Burning (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Stars We Steal (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Alexa Donne
Author Alexa Donne was born in Washington, D. C. She is a Ravenclaw that wears a lot of hats, which include: teen mentoring, fan convention organizing, YouTube-ing and podcasting, and college admissions essay consulting.

When she is not writing fantasy and science fiction for teen readers, she works in international television marketing.

Alexa is a proud Boston University Terrier, she lives in Los Angeles, California with two fluffy ginger kitties named after young adult literature characters.

She got the idea for “Brightly Burning” in the shower. She was wondering why there weren’t too many young adult retellings of “Jane Eyre”, one of Alexa’s all time favorite novels. Alexa then got to thinking about how she would translate the Gothic elements found in the novel in a modern young adult retelling. All of a sudden it hit her that you just set it in space.

When she set out to write “The Stars We Steal”, she was hoping to write a companion piece to her debut and Jane Austen seemed the way to go. Since her favorite novel by Jane Austen is “Persuasion”, she worked on that and set it in the same universe as her debut. The novel evolved into a broader homage to the other novels Jane Austen wrote, mashed up with the courtship tropes of The Selection or The Bachelor.

Alexa’s cast are a lot of “Persuasion”, a dash of “Sense & Sensibility”, a touch of “Emma”, and a little of “Pride & Prejudice”. She mixed up her favorite Austen archetypes with a bit of sci-fi ethical conflicts, natural with generation ships, and she added in a courtship ritual, just to spice things up.

She dealt with the classic “second book syndrome” problems. “The Stars We Steal” was an especially tough challenge for her to write since adapting “Persuasion” needed more diversions from the source material than she was required to do for “Brightly Burning”. She also wanted to nail the romantic tension arc, to the point to where she wound up rewriting it two times.

Alexa notes that she was lucky to have a rather fantastic editor, longtime friends and critique partners, and a rock of an agent that read drafts of the novel and allowed her to bounce revision ideas off of them. She finds it necessary to push a book until it is done, and use all of her support systems in order to not feel totally alone while she is writing something.

Alexa gets inspired to write with music, especially movie scores. She will pick scores from movies with similar tones that she is aiming for, and quickly after putting them on, the words start flowing. She will use “Atonement” by Dario Marianelli for action scenes/crisp narration, “The Hours” by Philip Glass for contemplative/sad/dramatic scenes, and “A Beautiful Mind” by James Horner for intrigue/romance/whimsy etc.

A lot of her writing process has evolved, but she is, by and large, a pantser. Or a discovery writer. She did a lot of freewheeling while she wrote her first two novels within the confines of two retellings. The romantic arcs that were already there helped guide her through. However in both cases she found something major that impacted the overall structure and plot when she was about sixty percent of the way done.

Fortunately, she adores the revision process, and so the challenge of incorporating new ideas into a novel is not daunting to her. While she moves forward writing thrillers, she will plot ahead of time, however she is unsure if she ever will plot a second act out fully in advance. She does like to have an idea right ahead of the big set piece and the twist in the third act before she starts working. This includes the build up for act one, which gives her a twist/motive to write to.

Alexa’s debut novel, called “Brightly Burning”, was released in the year 2018. Her work is from the young adult fantasy genre.

“Brightly Burning” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2018. Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind her after quitting her engineering gig aboard the Stalwart in order to become a governess on somebody’s private ship. While on the Rochester, there are more books than a single person could read in a lifetime, there isn’t any water ration, and an AI that seems to be more friend than mere robot. However there is something rather sinister lurking under the Rochester’s immaculate facade.

Stella meets the nineteen year old captain who helms the ship, named Hugo, she discovers that she is drawn to this enigmatic boy that is just as broody and unpredictable as he is kind. Stella’s suspicions against Hugo start to mount while the ship gets plagued by some ghostly hauntings and lethal assassination attempts. She has to choose between listening to her head and following her own heart.

This is a swoony romance with a brooding gothic mystery, all of which is set in outer space. This is one twisty, atmospheric update of a cherished classic that is sure to keep you up late into the night.

“The Stars We Steal” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2020. This is the story of a young girl’s quest to save her family from ruin that is set in a dazzling world of lost love and royal intrigue.

Engagement season is currently in the air. Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, age eigteen, is heir to the faded European spaceship and has just a single thing on her mind. Which lucky bachelor is going to save her family from the financial ruin they are currently facing?

Elliot, Leo’s first love and childhood friend, returns, now the captain of a succesful whiskey ship, it all changes. Elliot was the guy the got away, the boy that Leo’s family deemed to be most unsuitable for marriage. Now he is the biggest catch of the entire season and he appears to be determined to make Leo’s life as miserable as possible. Old habits die hard, however, and while Leo is navigating through the glittering balls of the Valg season, she finds that she is falling for her first love in a game of lies, love, and past regrets.

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