About Alma Alexander:
Alma Alexander's life so far has prepared her very well for her chosen career. She was born in a country which no longer exists on the maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small
planes, swum with dolphins, touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon. She is a novelist, anthologist and short story writer who currently shares her life between the Pacific
Northwest of the USA (where she lives with two obligatory writer's cats) and the wonderful fantasy worlds of her own imagination.
What inspires you to write?
The need to do so. I know that sounds a little meta but for me writing is a little like breathing – I have to do it in order to stay alive and sane. If I don't do any for an extended period of time I start getting withdrawal symptoms, of a sort. It's something I'm not "inspired" to do, it's something I HAVE to do. It's in my DNA.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
That's way too long an answer. The list includes, but is not limited to, Roger Zelazny, Guy Gavriel Kay, Sharon Kay Penman, Ursula Le Guin, Howard Spring, J R R Tolkien, Cat Valente, Ray Bradbury, Spider Robinson, Matt Ruff…
Tell us about your writing process.
It varies with every single thing I write. I have wriitten novels that have taken me less than three months, I have written novels that have taken ten years to fully form; I write short stories when the muse thinks in those terms, and sometimes she wakes me up in the middle of the night with a story I then have to get up RIGHT NOW and put down. There's no "process". There is only the writing.
I am a full-on organic writer, a "pantser" if you want to call it that, and my brain thinks that, if I've written a detailed outline, that I've already written the story, and, well, loses interest. And concomitant with that, I don't "plan" characters, either. Most of the time they step out of the wall, shake my hand and introduce themselves, and then tell me to sit down and take dictation…
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, only all the time. People find it hard to believe when I tell them that one of my characters once sat on the side of my bed at 2 AM kicking the side of the mattress with his heel and insisting that no, he did NOT say what I said that he said and if he DID say it he certainly didn't say it "like that", and that I need to fix it, please. The worst of it was that he was right.
What advice would you give other writers?
Read. Read everything. If you don't have a book read magazines; if you don't have those read your cereal boxes. Interact with words every day all the time. You need to make words your best friends, the air that you breathe, something you can't live without. Only then will your urge to write – to PRODUCE words – be kicked into the high gear that it needs to be.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
That is at once too complex and too simple a question, especially in today's hybrid publishing climate which is considerably more layered than used to be the case even just a decade ago. With the consolidation of the Big Three, now, it's increasingly difficult to get into real trad publishing – but there are a lot of smaller presses now with good reputations. ANd it isn't like you can wash your hands of marketing if you trad-publish, again, like it used to be only a handful of years ago – these days you have to dig in yourself, it's expected, it's required, no matter who publishes you. Self publishing used to be a bigger stigma than it is today – but it is still fraught with a lot of perils and if you do decide to go that way for the love of all that is holy invest in an editor, and in a cover that doesn't look like your five-year-old drew it in kindergarten. First impressions are everything and you only have one shot at it. make it count.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There will always be tellers of tales and there will always be those who want to hear those tales. We are a storytelling species. But publishing as an industry is evolving, and it is hard to say what it will look like a decade from now. It certainly doesn't look like what it was a decade ago. It is the age of flux, and writers need to ride it as things change from underneath them, sometimes overnight.
What genres do you write?: fantasy (all subgenres – historical, epic, contemprary, YA), Science Fiction, Paranormal, Literary
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
Alma Alexander Home Page Link
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.