Jean Marie Brown / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“The Green-Eyed Doll” by Jerrie Alexander (Wild Rose Press, $14.99)

Jerrie Alexander answered her phone one afternoon and was greeted by a retired FBI agent.

She was working on a novel and had written the bureau a series of questions about profiling and what pushed people to commit heinous crimes.

As the caller introduced himself, Alexander said she immediately jumped to the conclusion that he was calling to tell her no answers would be forthcoming. Instead, he patiently answered her questions.

What she learned helped the Fort Worth native develop the storyline for her first book, “The Green-Eyed Doll,” which was released earlier this month by Wild Rose Press. It’s a romantic thriller set in a small Texas town, where the sheriff has to make sure the woman he’s falling for doesn’t become the next victim of a serial killer who paints his victims’ faces so that they resemble porcelain dolls.

“The story came from reading horrific profiler stories,” Alexander said.

She recalled that she had just finished two contemporary romance stories — “they’re the worst I’ve written” — when she stumbled on the idea of trying her hand at romantic suspense.

“I decided romantic suspense was where I belong,” she said.

Alexander figures between stops and starts it took about two years to complete “The Green-Eyed Doll.” The most time-consuming part of writing for her is the research she undertakes beforehand.

“I have 100 pages’ worth of research before I start writing,” she said.