About Alexander Kosoris:
Alexander was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He lived on residence in Toronto, Ontario while attending the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto between 2006 and 2010. While there, he discovered his love of writing, spending much of his free time writing short stories, most of which were experimental studies, ranging from inspirational poems to dark tales, as well as utter nonsense. The concept behind one such story grew on Alexander to the point that he expanded it, arriving at his first novel, Lucifer, which is out now.
Alexander posts reviews to the books he reads on kosoris.com and regularly contributes to the Thunder Bay arts and culture magazine, The Walleye.
What inspires you to write?
The biggest inspiration to write comes from reading, in two major ways. Firstly, reading fantastic literature tends to spur this, usually stories that do something exceptionally well, such as establishing an intense, emotional connection, or being unlike anything I’d read before; I realize the potential of storytelling, and it really, really makes me want to get to work. Secondly, if a book deals with a subject closely related to a project I have in mind, it’s likely that I’ll be wanting to drop the book and get back to the project.
Tell us about your writing process.
I usually have a loose idea of where I want a story to go, with only vivid, disconnected scenes in my head; I like to keep away from rigidity to allow the story and characters to grow organically and surprise me. Only recently, however, as my stories have grown in complexity, I’ve been finding that I have to be more disciplined in my approach: keeping my reading focused on useful stories and subjects; keeping better notes; developing character personalities more fully before having them interact; and generally laying out the plot more thoroughly, so as not to write myself into a corner. (So far, the planning stages have been carried out using MS Word files with headings and bullet points.)
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
This varies widely. For Lucifer, I listened, and watched, much more than anything. With the manuscript I’m currently working on, there’s much more talking involved. In fact, I’ve slowly been becoming a character; in my notes, I seem to be alternating between “the narrator” and “I” almost interchangeably. It’s getting a bit scary.
What advice would you give other writers?
There’s an important balance between consistently writing and actively reading, the latter meaning reflecting on the works in a discriminating way as you go. After I started writing reviews, I found that I had to pay better attention to what I read and look at things with a critical eye. As a result, I not only became able to understand why I enjoyed or hated certain books, but I was also better able to express this; I’m certain that this helped my writing improve immensely.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
That decision came rather unexpectedly. I originally intended to self-publish, but the editor I planned to hire owned a publishing company that liked the manuscript, and took it on. I think there’s validity to both traditional and self-publishing, with a very important “but”: From my brief experience on the literary scene, I’ve noticed that self-publishing lacks the important quality checks that traditional publishing carries. If you decide to go the self-published route, make sure you hire a professional editor and proof-reader. Ideally, no matter what direction you decide, you can find people whom you trust or respect and are willing to criticize your work; otherwise, you may learn a harsh lesson when your book is released.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t think traditional publishing will be disappearing anytime soon, but publishers are probably going to be getting increasingly cautious, especially with regards to the search for new talent. This could result in difficulties for new authors getting published, but I’m sure we’ll still have people exploding onto the scene, winning awards and generating buzz, landing publishing contracts with relative ease. The most successful publishers will probably be the ones who whole-heartedly embrace vehicles such as social media for promotion. Of course, promotions through magazines and newspapers will still be important, as I probably hear more about new releases through Maclean’s and The Globe and Mail than Goodreads, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Fiction, Fantasy
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.