Halo me lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Grea Alexander
If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it? Because I’m an intensely private person.
Grea Alexander can belong to the world. I only want to belong to myself.
When did you decide to become a writer? I don’t actually remember an explicit moment of revelation or making the conscientious decision to become a writer. I’ve simply always been one.
I’ve enjoyed writing fiction since I first learned how to string words together and create full sentences. What I do now is simply a natural progression of what has always come innately to me.
How long does it usually take you to complete a book? It really depends on my mood and book length. It can be as little as 7 days if I work on it like 8-10 hours per day. Fortunately, I’m a BIG procrastinator so I usually take WAY longer than that.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? No. I don’t like to manage my creativity. When I feel compelled to write or there is far too much going on inside of my head (at any given time I have 2-3 stories writing themselves in my brain), I let it out. Right now there are 3 that are spitting out bits and pieces at all hours of the day and night. Great for my fans. Not so great for my sleeping pattern.
Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? No. Even if something is going in the background I have an extreme ability to completely block out everything but the words I’m putting to page.
What have you written?
Amarna Book I: Book of Ida
Amarna Book II: Book of Hawara
Amarna Book III: Book of Raia
Amarna: The Complete Series
Rebellion Book I: Book of Quay
Rebellion Book II: Book of Soung
Rebellion Book III: Book of Choi
Rebellion: The Complete Series
Cabello (Book 1)
The Pack: Addison (Book 1)
Miael: Family (Book 1)
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? Both. I have a general plot or outline to begin with; however, I tend to let my stories and characters take me where ever they want to take me and modify accordingly.
My characters are complete people in my world with their own thoughts, feelings and motivations, who are simply reacting to the situations I put before them.
While my books have plenty of action, I am very much a character driven author. I am very interested in actions, motivations, character growth and character evolution.
Any advice for aspiring authors? Be true to yourself. Don’t try to fit into someone else’s mold or write in someone else’s style. Write what YOU know and what YOU feel in YOUR way. All else will fall in line…..eventually….I hope…if you’re lucky…..and good at what you do.
What is the hardest thing about writing? Finding the time and choosing which book to write next. I have ideas that I haven’t started developing yet, others that are marinating in my brain and others still that are actively expressing themselves at the most inconvenient of times. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to choose between them. It’s like picking which one of your pets or your children to lavish with attention and which to neglect – all the while hoping the neglected ones won’t turn into the Menéndez brothers.
What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing? I think they both have their pluses and minuses.
I personally self-publish because I want to have complete creative control over my work. I want my vision to remain my raw, honest vision – not something Frankensteined into being in the name of increased commerciality/marketability.
I also hate the practice of padding and the thought that though I did the lion’s share of the work, others will get the lion’s share of the benefits from said work. I’d rather do the work myself and donate portions of my profits to charity. I’d rather build a brand that stands for what I actually stand for rather than enable one that stands for what some random group of executives stand for.
Even if I don’t become financially successful at it, I’d rather stay true to my art.
Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published? Definitely. 100%. Because it’s so easy to self-publish now and virtually risk free (if you utilize free platforms), everyone and their dog is doing it and thus flooding the market with some books that should never have even been conceived of let alone shown the light of day. (To be fair, I’ve seen traditionally published books that are just as questionable.) However, the self-published books of which I speak, in addition to being artistic abominations, have a lot of formatting and mechanical errors as well. This tends to off-put readers who then tend to clunk all indies in that same chum bucket.
As I used to tell my students: Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Everyone has things they are good at, but this honey, just isn’t one of yours. And that’s perfectly ok.
That being said, I have personally have found a lot of indies in a lot of artistic forums that I have found to be tremendously talented and worthwhile. Unfortunately, just as we have people who don’t seem to understand that you don’t have to vote Democrat or Republican or that third-party candidates do indeed exist, you have people that will only give credence to “brand names”. In the writing world, these are authors and publishers that have certain reputations or a bazillion reviews (proof of concept/social validation). They are unwilling to step outside of their comfort zones and give new-comers a chance unless they can get something for free or at a greatly reduced price.
However, I do believe that as more “brand name” authors, etc. step out on the indie/self-publication limb, it will gradually grow to become less stigmatized. In essence, it will become “a real boy”.
Thanks so much Grea that was a blast! For more about Grea and her work, follow the links below: