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Q&A with Neely Tubati Alexander - Love Buzz

Love Buzz - Neely Tubati

By Elle Summers

We are thrilled to welcome Neely Tubati Alexander to The Reading Corner to talk about her new release Love Buzz out on the 2nd of May 2023.

In this spectacularly enjoyable and serendipitous adventure, a chance romantic encounter during a wild night at a Mardi Gras bachelorette party sends strait-laced Serena Khan’s carefully constructed life into chaos.

Love Buzz

Hi Neely! I wanted to kick things off by saying how amazing it was to read Love

Buzz. The romance interwoven into the real life of Serena provides depth to the

novel that we so often miss with the romance genre! It was lovely to read about a lead female character pursuing both love and a career.

Thank you! I love romance but also wanted Serena's personal journey to be at the forefront of the story. I'm glad you resonated with it!

To get our questions started, could you please begin by giving us some insight into the writing process of crafting your novel?

Sure! I am 100% a pantser, which means I don't outline or know how the story is going to go, so it makes for an exciting journey but also a messy one. When I sit down to write it, I had a general idea of the story - that Serena and Julian would meet at Mardi Gras and then get separated, leading to a search on her part to find him. Beyond that, though, I really didn't know what would happen! As a result, the story evolved quite a bit from the first draft, which felt largely interior to Serena.

The concept of ‘love at first sight’ encompasses so many emotions in this book, from doubt to celebration, so I wanted to ask your opinion as the author - do you believe in love at first sight?

I don't know that I believe in love at first sight, but I definitely do believe in strong,

immediate connections. And these don't just have to be romantic! I've certainly had

people come into my life where I just knew we were meant to meet, where you share

the same energy or wavelength. Perhaps love at first sight is a version of this.

I found this novel to be so empowering as a young woman. I think sometimes we all need to be reminded that everyone is bumbling through and making it up as we go along! For this reason, I really connected with Serena and would love to learn more about her character - what inspiration did you draw on when crafting her personality?

When I graduated from college, I remember buying a book called What Should I Do

With My Life, looking desperately for answers. We graduate and are let out into the

world like we are supposed to know what to do, and I know I definitely did not. I fell

into a lot of the decisions I made-my career, where I lived, etc. It took a while to find

my footing and more often than not, I felt like I wasn't doing enough. I absolutely

related to Serena on this lack of clear direction. But, as I've gotten older I have also

learned that "success" is never a straight line.

Tell me more about the character of Odette, what was your inspiration for her wise words of wisdom?

Odette was one of my favorite characters to write! She has no filter, says what's on her mind and has a wealth of life experience swirling just under her crass surface. I think often in our society we cast away people, and women in particular, after a certain age as no longer valuable. In reality, I think Odette is a great reminder that the older we get, the more knowledge we obtain. And, we stop giving a f*ck what anyone else thinks. I wanted that freedom that Odette brought to the table to be liberating for Serena as well.

Of course, I can’t ask you these questions without mentioning the love of Serena’s (and I’m sure the reader’s!) life - Julian. How did this dream man come to be? And when writing his character, did you find yourself falling in love with him a bit too?

Well, if I don't find the main love interest attractive myself, I've got to be doing something wrong! Isn't that what book boyfriends are for!? Physically, Julian is just my type (tall, dark and handsome), but I also wanted him to be someone who could bring out immediate vulnerability in Serena, because this was something that was missing in her life. We often tend to think of men as closed off, unable to express emotion. I wanted Julian to be the opposite.

Being your debut novel, I would love to learn more about your experience of the publishing industry. How have you found the journey to publishing Love Buzz?

Pick a word, and it has been that at some point! Exciting, terrifying, anxiety-inducing, thrilling. It really is a roller coaster. More than anything, I have been so overwhelmed by the sense of community. From my agent to my editor, publicist to marketing team, you really do gain a little family. Everyone has one goal, which is to make the book a success. I will say it takes stamina, patience and a willingness to put yourself out there in an authentic way. Those things can be really hard, but so far, it's been so worth it!

Love Buzz is a “real” romance, as whilst it adheres to the genre, it does also provide the reader with a bit of a reality check! Where will people be able to find this wonderful book?

LOVE BUZZ is available online with all major book retailers! Though, I'd love for people to purchase through or in person at their local bookstore to support indie shops. Cheers to love!

Love Buzz

Neely Tubati Alexander is the author of women’s fiction with rom-com feels you can escape into with a smile. Originally from the Seattle area, she currently resides in Arizona with her husband and two elementary-aged children. If she's not tucked away at the little desk in her bedroom writing, you can find her at some kiddo activity, drinking wine, or watching reality television, usually the last two together.

Neely's Instagram: @neelyalexanderwrites


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