About Alex Pearl:
I am a slightly shambolic and extremely short-sighted advertising copywriter with aspirations to write stories. My first work of fiction was originally written for my kids and published by Pen Press in 2011 to raise money for homeless kids and the charity Centrepoint. The second edition was published through CreateSpace in 2015. In 2014, my short story, ‘Scared to Death’ was accepted by Mardibooks in its anthology of short stories, ‘The Clock Struck War’ to mark the centenary of the First World War. I’m currently working on a modern-day thriller, which should be out some time in 2017. I live in NW London with my wife and two children. My claim to fame is that I’m almost certainly the only human being on this planet to have been accidentally locked in a record shop on Christmas Eve.
What inspires you to write?
The thrill of creating characters and events out of thin air is the ultimate inspiration. As a writer it’s thrilling to be in control of your own little world. But it’s also massively challenging to make that world compelling and convincing. And of course, reading some of the best names in this business does tend to spur you on.
Tell us about your writing process.
For me, the hardest part is formulating a story that you think can work. You need to hook the reader at every stage, and you don’t want them to guess what happens before they get there. In this respect, the ending is crucial. It must be surprising and credible. When I started writing ‘Sleeping with the Blackbirds’ I knew exactly how it was going to end, but the story evolved as I wrote. And the thriller I’m writing now is the same. I know exactly how it’s going to end, and I don’t think the reader is going to see it coming. I start by writing a synopsis, which I invariably share with family and friends for their opinions. This can be really useful. Because writing in a vacuum can be difficult, and very often other people spot things and have ideas that you wouldn’t have.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I generally find that my characters develop as I write. I have a rough idea of their character but this can sometimes change as they interact with other characters. Inevitably, you often base characters on people you have encountered in the real world.
What advice would you give other writers?
Listen to criticism, but never be governed by it. Enjoy your writing, and don’t write to a formula, because there isn’t one. Carry a notebook and pen at all times and make notes whenever ideas or observations come to you. Because if you don’t make a note of them, they’ll evaporate like dreams.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
By all means try to approach literary agents, but be prepared to receive standard rejection letters. Agents are invariably very cautious and unlikely to take on a risky unknown author. Self-publishing through CreateSpace is simple alternative approach and puts you fairly and squarely in the driving seat. And it needn’t cost you anything. This said, I use a professional for book formatting to get the typesetting looking as it should. And I would certainly suggest a cover designer to give your book a professional look.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future has never looked brighter for new writers. The undiscovered author can now write his masterpiece and publish it on CreateSpace, and have it appear globally through Amazon. The internet has been an empowering tool for writers – both new and established. As technology evolves so too will the opportunities for budding new authors.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: YA, historical, thrillers
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.