July-2010 Interview 1.When you were growing up,did being a author ever come into your mind? I have always WRITTEN. The idea of being a WRITER, for a living, for a career, crystallised during a school visit by author Lynne Reid Banks to my school when I was 15 (I wrote about it recently, here: http://www.redroom.com/blog/alma-alexander/the-letter-i-should-have-written-a-long-time-ago - for those who want to know the details...) But writing has always been in my blood, and it was encouraged and nurtured by my family - in particluar, my grandfather, who was a published poet who thought it was thoroughly wonderful that his granddaughter was following in his footsteps and bequeathed all his love of language and literature to me. He's been gone these many years now, and yet I still "tell" him of my successes when they come to me, because he is so much a part of what made me who I am today. 2.What college did you go to? I went to the University of Cape Town in South Africa - and achieved a Masters degree in Moelcular Biology and Microbiology there. I only worked in the labs as a researcher for a handful of years, though, before I segued sideways first into medical writing and editing and then into more mainstream kind of stuff until I ended up writing for a living instead. 3.Growing up, what kind of book's did you read? EVERYTHING. My house was full of books growing up and I devoured them all. I went through thechildren's section of my local library before I was ten years old and had my parents okay them giving me a grown-up card long before kids were normally granted them. But i grew up in Europe and I read a lot of writers who are unknown and unloved in the States. While there are some who might have heard about Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking series, I am sure there would be very few who would have heard of Polish writer and Nobel laureate Henryk Sienkiewicz whose children's books, and then subsequently his historical novels, I devoured as a child. I read deeply and widely - historical novels, mythology, fantasy, contemporary stuff, anything with words in it. When I learned English (it's my second language) I began with things like Narnia and then went into The Lord of the RIngs, and from there into Roger Zelazny's work, and Michael Moorcock's, but by that stage I really WAS all growed-up already. But the rule in my house was, "if you can read it, and if it interests you, you may." I've never lived to regret that. 4.What gives you ideas when you write? I like to tell people I have an idea tree in the back yard - when an idea gets ripe I just go out there and pluck it and all is well... The truth is that ideas are all around you. Just keep your eyes and ears open, and your imagination sharp. 5.What is you series Worldweavers young adult trilogy about? Remember Harry Potter and the Boy Who Lived? Well, Thea Winthrop is the Girl Who Couldn't - she is a double seventh, a seventh child of two seventh children, and she is supposed to be the most magical of all creatures... and yet she cannot do any magic at all. Or can she?... These books are the story of Thea's finding out just who and what she really is - that she is one of the most unique creatures ever to walk her magical world. The books feature Native American mythology, a bunch of misfit kids from the Last Ditch School of Incurably Incompetent, a race of Elves with the souls of Star Trek's rapacious Ferengi, and Nikola Tesla. You can find more about them - inccluding exceprts, and a book trailer video - at their own website, at www.WorldWeaversWeb.com 6.What authors inspire you? Any good writer does. I can't play favorites. I have a library full of books - THOUSANDS of them - and I love them all else they wouldn't be there. And I do re-read bits of books I remember well when I need to take another sip at the well of inspiration - excellence has always inspired me! 7.what is your fav. book as a child? Again, can't really say. I read so widely, and so much. But they tend to have one thing in common - they were not preachy books, they were not books that talked down to me or treated me like a species of idiot beneath an adult's notice, they had solid plots and interesting characters. These are things that remain criteria for picking a good book even long after I grew up. 8.How much time in your life do you spend writing novel's? My life IS writing novels [grin] so you might say say that I literally DO spend my life writing them. Oh, that doesn't always mean sitting in front of a computer and typing. Sometimes it means reading research material. Sometimes it means noodling out back story while I am taking a long walk or having a shower or making breakfast or just waking up from a dream which gave me the answers that I was waiting for. A writer's life is a writer's life. Everything in it is connected. 9.What are your upcoming project's you are working on? Actually, starting work on a brand new YA series right now... but can't say much about it at the moment. But watch my website (www.AlmaAlexander.com), and my blog (http://anghara.livejournal.com), and my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alma-Alexander/67938071280) - when things begin to take shape, that's where I'll be talking about it.... 10.Thank's so much!What else would you like to say or like me to post to for your fans? I always love hearing from readers. So if you've read my books, drop me a note and say hi!
Check out more about author Alma Alexander at her blog (http://anghara.livejournal.com), Her website (www.AlmaAlexander.com), and facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alma-Alexander/67938071280) !