I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to updating my blog. I need shooting!
As promised – although it’s taken me some time – I’ve managed to make a condensed list of the various questions I’ve received about Alex in my inbox. If your question isn’t included, please forgive me. I have, however, included a selection I hope will be of the best interest for most of you out there. Before I begin, thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to get in touch.
1. “Where did you get the idea for the book?”
Parts of this story have always existed in me, I guess. I’ve always been interested by the criminal mind and what ‘evil’ really is. Why do people commit evil? Where does evil come from? I’m someone who thinks a lot – and with this curse comes the thirst for knowledge. Mine is with the human condition. As for the setting of the book and the unfolding events, what can I say? They were simply thoughts which flew into my head on a daily basis that soon turned into a story.
2. “Was anyone in real life the inspiration for the character Alex?”
It would be impossible for any writer to come up with a character without having drawn from the world around him at some point to begin with. But the answer is mostly no. He is a fictional character created by myself.
3. “Do you ever get apprehensive about revealing the more detestable attributes of your characters?”
This is literally how the question was sent to me. I like the wording here a lot! To be totally honest, though, no. I’m not the first person to say this, but I truly believe there’s no point in writing anything in fiction, especially when it comes to characters, if you’re afraid to be honest about them. The characters I write are human, and so of course, are built and apt to feel, say, and do things you wouldn’t in church. We’re all detestable in our own ways, after all, aren’t we?
4. “Don’t you worry that the subject matter of this book is a little controversial?”
I got a lot of these kinds of questions. The word ‘controversial’ gets thrown around a lot in fiction. But in answer to the question, no. Anything that’s in this book has either already happened or is already happening on earth. The job of a writer is surely to comment on culture and life, and I take my writing very seriously. If I had to worry about censorship and helping to reassure that the world’s a perfect place, I don’t think I would have written a single word of Alex to be honest. I’ve always felt that by writing about the things we’re afraid to talk about in society, it breaks down barriers and helps us to hopefully understand the world better.
5. “This book didn’t really seem to fit the rhythm and pattern I was used to (in a good way). Was this deliberate? Did you consciously try to make it different and less predictable?”
Firstly, I’m flattered if people found it unpredictable. That means I must have been doing something right! As for the rhythm and pattern, that is probably just down to my style. As a reader of both literary and genre fiction, this may be the reason, as I tend to write ‘read-between-the-lines’ characters inside a ‘structure-based plot’ common in genre fiction. I didn’t set out to deliberately be different, though. This is just how I write.
6. “Are you writing a sequel or another title at the moment?”
I am working on another…but I can’t reveal anything too much at this time! Thanks for the interest, though. I’ll keep you all up to date when it gets a little nearer to completion. If you’ve read ALEX and enjoyed it, posting a quick 10 second review on Amazon will get you my second novel absolutely FREE when it’s released soon – before it’s available to Amazon customers! (For more info, click this free Kindle books link)
7. “When did you start writing?”
I started writing seriously (in fiction) about five years ago, after accidentally rekindling my childhood fascination with creative writing. I’m glad I did…
8. “Is it true that all authors actually write the last chapter first?”
I can’t speak for other writers…because in reality, from speaking to ones I know, we all tend to do things a little differently. For me, this wasn’t the case. I firstly had an idea and immediately wrote out a page to explore the thought I’d had. After reading it back to myself, it was then that I realised I could make it into a story. I created a loose structure for the book’s events, and then started at chapter one. I may not have typed the last chapter first, but I knew absolutely where the book was going; writing a book without knowing your ending is like driving to the airport without a plane ticket – you don’t know where you’re going, what you’ll need, and how long it might last.
9. “Any secrets on how to finish a novel without giving up?”
I don’t think there are any real secrets. It’s a long, demanding process that’ll take up a lot of your time and energy, and so, without sounding like Churchill, never, ever, ever give up! If you’re serious about your writing and believe people will enjoy what you have to offer, go for it. Easier said than done, of course! It may take you a year, two, or even three. Sacrifice and dedication are essential in the slow lane of writing, so remember to kill your TV if you’re a screen addict. By killing it, I mean throwing it from your bedroom window. (I’m kidding!) The best way to moderate your intake is not by hiding the remote, but by willingly avoiding it more than usual. Trust me, once stuck into your writing, you’ll realise your work is of far more importance than knowing who the latest celebrity was to be voted off Dancing on Ice. Not that I’m against these kinds of shows (I love a bit of TV) – I’m merely saying your writing productivity can improve tenfold if you get the balance just right.
Article feedback as always is very welcome, everyone! Was there something else you’d like to know about Alex, writing, or my free promotion? Enter your comments below and I’d be delighted to get back to you!
ALEX, the Kindle #1 Thrillers & Suspense Best Seller, is available on Amazon UK, US and worldwide – it’s also part of Amazon’s Free Kindle Books collection if you’re a Prime Member.