About Brand J. Alexander:
Brand J. Alexander is an American author of Epic Fantasy from small-town Indiana. He grew up losing himself in the created worlds of Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks and dreaming of one day being an author in that same literary style and tradition. After the shock of Jordan’s death and a trying battle with stage four cancer, he quickly discovered the imperative of capturing one’s dreams now before time runs out.
With that newfound wisdom, he got to work and, within a year, published the first two novels in his debut epic fantasy series Tears of Hatsunae. Rise of Tears and Fall of Tears. Emboldened by those successes, he has continued to create and develop new stories and series for the Universe of Brand J. Alexander, always pursuing his dream to share as many of his worlds and adventures as possible with the gift of time that fortune has granted him.
What inspires you to write?
When I was little, my mother used to make up bedtime stories with me about my stuffed dragon Dragodoon. When I was seven, my father handed me the first book from his massive fantasy novel collection, the Hobbit. I was hooked. One parent taught me a love for making up stories, and the other showed the vast potential to do so.
I have been writing stories ever since. I love creating worlds and imagining the different creatures, people, and cultures that live there. Having the ability to share those creations with others is truly one of the greatest feelings I can imagine.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Terry Brooks, and Melanie Rawn, are my current top shelf authors. Although, I am always looking for new ones.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have always exhibited a bit of both. When I begin a story, I often already know the main events that take place through to the end and a fairly fleshed out idea of the characters. However, I let the characters and their adventures guide me through the story in between those main events. Things change. Characters adapt and evolve.
I never do outlines, but I record notebooks full of plot notes and character profiles to help keep everything on track. I think of it as building a lattice frame with the main plot points, then planting the seeds of the characters, infused with all of their potential, and letting them grow and fill it out with life and beauty.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I have never talked to my characters directly, but I frequently envision their dialog in my head. I play out the different scenes between the characters in my mind, imagining how they would respond and what emotions they would convey.
What advice would you give other writers?
The biggest lesson learned on my path to becoming an author was just to write. I began quite a few books over the years, but life, computer errors, and numerous other excuses always got in the way. I could begin stories, but I never finished them.
After Robert Jordan's passing and a battle with stage 4 cancer, I realized just how short my time could be. That fear of never telling my stories drove me to finish my first two full length novels. It proved to me that I could do it, and that strengthened my resolve to keep going.
So, my advice to aspiring writers is to just sit down and write it. Writing will never really be easy, but once you have that first achievement, staying focused and completing others does become less difficult.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I chose to self-publish due to my personal circumstances. I am disabled and have to work within a lot of limitations. Choosing my own deadlines and defining my successes within those limitations is very important to my ability to keep going.
Furthermore, my format and the type of stories I want to tell do not generally fit into the trade publishing mold. I once dreamed of writing for Del Rey or Tor publishing. But I have found happiness controlling my own destiny and having final say on how the Universe of Brand J. Alexander evolves.
For new authors, I would encourage you to explore both sides and see what fits your style and the type of author you want to be. Self-publishing is a lot of work with not a lot of immediate reward, but it does offer a freedom that might not be possible with a publisher. Really think about your expectations and choose the best path for you to reach those goals.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
With the expanding options for self-publishing and the ease of finding niche markets online for any taste, I believe the future of book publishing is going to continue to evolve. I feel pretty certain that trade publishing will continue as a main force within the writing community, however, I do believe they may have to adapt to compete with the expanding markets.
More people are discovering the variety and uniqueness of self-published authors who might never have been recognized by trade publishers, and I expect that to continue and take a bite out of the market. And I think that is wonderful.
We need more variety out there. We need more people's visions to have a chance to be recognized in the form they were intended. Otherwise, all you experience is what an exclusive class of gatekeepers decide is marketable.
What genres do you write?: Epic Fantasy, Dark 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.