Hi Alex! Welcome to my blog. Tell me, what made you decide to become a writer?
There was no decision. It was something I’d always wanted to do. As an only child who grew up in the era when children’s TV was one hour a day and there were no computer games, I relied upon Lego and my imagination to entertain myself. At some point, I don’t remember when exactly, I started writing down some of the stories I made up, and have been doing so ever since.
I remember those days. I looked forward to Sesame Street in the afternoons. How long did it take to get published the first time and how did it happen?
Ten years from finishing my first book, completing a Creative Writing course and receiving some very brutal rejection letters. My breakthrough came when I discovered NaNoWriMo, and I entered my finished novel, “The Demon Magician” into a competition. I didn’t win, but the publisher was impressed and a year later offered me a publishing contract.
That’s awesome! I remember the first and only time I did NaNoWriMo and I finished a 30,000 word novel in 30 days. The goal was 50,000 words but my story was finished at the lower number. That’s now my second book in my series. The interesting thing I learned was that I actually CAN write a book in 30 days. So, would you do anything differently the next time? If so, what would it be?
I don’t know. I’ve recently signed up with Wattpad and have been toying with the idea of developing my story online. Getting constant feedback is a good way to see what does and does not work, and for some authors, this has helped them grow readership. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year.
Well, growing your readership is a good thing. And NaNoWriMo was good discipline for me. I remember looking forward to writing each night. Alex, what advice would you give an aspiring author?
Exactly what other authors told me (not all of which I listened to at the beginning): read, read extensively the genres you’re writing in. Join a writing circle and listen to each other’s feedback. Don’t be afraid to experiment or go back to school (I did a distance learning course with London School of Journalism that was excellent). Get a great cover, don’t shy away from promoting your book or yourself and have patience. Only the lucky few have instant success.
So true. Who or what inspires or influences your writing, Alex?
That’s easy. Classic Horror Movies, Star Trek (especially DS9), Ursula K leGuin and Alchemy. I’ve also loved diving, so the underwater world is a huge influence on the new novel I’m currently working on.
Being underwater is so much like being in space, I think. Can you tell us a little about your latest releases and when or where can we find them?
Sure. I have three YA Books that are available now on Amazon, and a 4th I’m planning to release in December. I’m incredibly proud of all of them and have been getting excellent reviews.
Reviews are great to have for any book.
Crazy for Alice and Demon Magician are firmly in the horror/fantasy genre. School Monitor is a gritty mystery interwoven with elements of bullying and twisted jealousy, and Dating Down is a good old fashioned romance with a sprinkling of angst.
You can read all the opening chapters at my website: http://www.alexdunnauthor.com/ and if you sign up for my mailing list, there will be a special Christmas present coming your way.
That’s cool. So, your first book was traditionally published. What about your other books?
My first book, “The Demon Magician” was published by a small UK based publisher. Like most first time authors, I expected the publisher would have done more to promote me, so the experience was disappointing when I discovered most things were left to me. I did, however, enjoy the sense of accomplishment at seeing myself on Amazon, so made the decision to self-publish my next novel. I’ve really enjoyed the creative freedom and constantly amazed at the support and knowledge within the online and local writing community.
I’ve heard the same thing over the years from writer friends, so I went straight to self-publishing my first novel. And like you, I’ve learned that there are a lot of support groups or forums for self-pubbed authors. So, Alex, how long have you been writing professionally and do you write full-time or part-time?
I have a very demanding day job, so writing happens in between that and family commitments. When you want something bad enough, you find the time, I just wish I could find more of it.
I know what you mean about time. So what do you do for fun when you aren’t writing?
I love diving and have recently come back from an amazing holiday in The Maldives where I was lucky enough to see giant manta rays. I’m also a detox junkie, love juicing and experimenting with my own raw food recipes.
You mentioned London. Are you from there?
I’m originally from the UK, but have lived in Hong Kong for the last 10 years. I love everything about Hong Kong, especially the tea and dim sum.
That’s interesting. Do you have any appearances or book signings scheduled this year?
No. In Hong Kong you have no space so I’ve focus on writing and promoting eBooks. That said, I would love to get involved with some of the local schools as the children here love to read.
Thank you Alex for spending time with me. I wish you luck with your books. You can find Alex on the following sites (and she is very busy!)
website: http://www.alexdunnauthor.com/ Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/alexdunnauthor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexdunnbooks Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alexdunnauthor/ Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/alexdunnbooks Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/AlexDunnAuthor LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dunnkathy Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AlexDunn Smashwords: https://www/smashwords.com/profile/view/AlexDunn