Tuesday, September 20, 2011



[image] [image]

After looking over your Wordpress blog: http://alexadena.wordpress.com/about/ What caught my attention the most and really had me amused was 'cat herder.' Can you tell us about cat herding?

(Laughs.) Well, anyone who has a cat knows what an absurd notion that is -- cats do what they please, when they please. Humans worshiped cats in ancient times and I'm pretty sure all four of my cats are quite aware of this.

When was the first time you decided that you needed to write a book?

After I had dabbled in just about every other form of writing. I wrote a few plays and had two of them produced. Then I wrote some screenplays, of which "Signs and Wonders" was one. (If any film producers out there are reading this, call me.) When I learned about the Kindle and e-books, that's when I thought I would take a stab at writing a book and I used the storyline I had already developed for "Signs and Wonders."

Tell us about your book "Signs and Wonders" how did you get the idea for it?

I was flipping channels one day and came across Benny Hinn's program. He's a flashy faith-healer who fills arenas and claims that he can heal people because God has granted him this gift. Now I don't believe Benny Hinn can heal the sick but I wondered what kind of spiritual journey someone would have if they really COULD heal people, especially after they've spent their life being a fraud. Then I decided I would make my faith healer a woman because I'm a big believer of creating complicated, intriguing female characters for the screen. There's so little for actresses after they turn 35 or 40. (Remember, "Signs and Wonders" started out as a screenplay.) Finally, I thought it would be interesting to create a family dynasty, because having Annie feel obligated to spend her life like this would make her more sympathetic to readers.

Who are some of the major supporters in your life as far as your writing goes?

My wife, Stephanie, for sure. Ever since I went to her six years ago and said I was going to write a play, she's been so supportive. We have a deal -- I don't grumble when she buys shoes and she doesn't complain when I enter another writing contest. As far as other people, my parents have supported me ever since I went to them in the seventh grade and told them I wanted to be a newspaper reporter. I've also had some readers in the past few months who have been incredibly nice and helpful to me. They've really gone out of their way to let people know about "Signs and Wonders."

Tell us a little about your childhood, what were some of the creative things you did?

Well, I couldn't draw to save my life but I was blessed with a musical ear. (Thanks mom!) So I picked up the trumpet in elementary school and took lessons and became pretty good at it. As far as creative writing, I never even tried until I was in my mid-30. As a journalist, I had been telling other other people's stories for 15 years. Why not make up a few of my own?

Tell us about your family now.

The brains in the family, my wife Stephanie, just left her job in publishing to go to nursing school and eventually become a nurse anesthetist. We have four cats -- Agatha, Henry, Wallace and Larry -- and a big yellow German shepherd/Chow mix named Harper. We also adopted a run-down bungalow four years ago and have been bringing it back to life one room at a time.

Do you have any ideas for a new novel and if so can you give us an idea what it's going to be about?

There's definitely a full-length sequel to "Signs and Wonders" that I'm going to start any day and hopefully publish in 2012. Then, a sweet romantic comedy involving minor league baseball. After that, hopefully another novel involving Annie Grace from "Signs and Wonders" if I can come up with a good story.

What is your most favorite thing to do when you have spare time?

What's that? Oh, I like gardening with my wife and I love traveling when I have the time and can afford it. (New Zealand and London are two of my favorite places in the world.) My favorite guilty pleasure is playing videogames on my Sony Playstation late at night. I'm from that generation that grew up with an Atari hooked up to the television, so I'll probably be playing Uncharted XXXIV from my wheelchair in the nursing home.

Would you describe yourself as a multi-genre novelist or do you intend to stick to one area of expertise?

I'm focusing on what I call "family friendly" fiction for the next few years -- books that you're okay with your mom and dad reading. I think there's a market for stuff that's thoughtful without being shocking or mean-spirited. There's too much shouting going on in the world these days and not enough listening. "Bark less, wag more," as the saying goes.

If you had any advice you'd like to share with other aspiring authors, what would that be?

Two words that start with P -- Patience and Perseverance. Be patient with your storyline and don't rush it. If you give it time it will eventually find the right course. Second, persevere -- don't give up! Success as a writer is a marathon, not a sprint. Every writer who went on to have a blockbuster (John Locke, Victorine Lieske, J. Carson Black) had a first month where they sold seven copies. But they stuck at it. They learned from their mistakes. There's no reason you can't follow in their steps as long as you don't give up.

Thank you so much for your time with this interview Alex and thank you for being a part of our fantastic community.

For more information on Alex and his books please visit: http://alexadena.wordpress.com/about/

Read more: http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=interviews&action=display&thread=641#ixzz1YWPP2m3r