• Amy's Bookshelf Reviews

Featured Author: Alex Guest

Q: In one sentence, tell me something that describes you as a person?

A: Soul of an aged folk singer, mind of an experienced serial killer.

Q: How many books have you written? How many of those are published?

A: Just one.

Q: Do you have an upcoming release? If yes, tell me the title and impending release date.

A: Nothing immediate, but I am in the process of a supernatural noir type thing (Graveyard Webs) as well as the sequel to my first book. Probably this year?

Q: Tell me about how you come up with your titles for your stories. Do you create the title before or after you write the book, and does it ever change from the initial title?

A: I needed a title for it, so I just made something up right on the spot that seemed relevant. Usually I just finish a story then ponder briefly an apt title, followed by a shrug and permanence.

Q: Out of all your characters in all of your books, who/what (sometimes a setting can also be an important “character”) do you think is the most interesting and why?

A: Jonas. It’s difficult to say, the way I write I just view my characters as people and never consider changing dialogue or choices. Jonas is a complete maniac that is equally dangerous as he is oblivious. Not to mention heavily misguided. It’s very enjoyable to throw him into unfavorable situations to see what he does. He’s a lovable self-absorbed petty sociopath.

Q: If you could “create” your own genre of what you write, what would you call your books?

A: Crooksploitation

Q: Without quoting your back cover synopsis, tell me about the last book you published.

A: The journey of a man with a destroyed mind as he comes across miscreants and troublemakers alike on the path of enlightenment through nature. Essentially it is the tale of two mad men and the siblings caught between them.

Q: Tell me something about yourself that is separate from writing.

A: My mind is barely active and at times I feel as if I’m brain dead. Either there’s so much going on I can’t mentally grasp the rapid swamps, or I’ve got some vacancy.

Q: Who is your favorite Author?

A: Freud

Q: What is the last book that you read? (Not counting anything you wrote)

A: Honkytonk Samurai

Q: When writing, do you have a system or something you plan, or do you just write?

A: I have many worlds in my head that are ongoing stories I tell myself. I am not conscious of the inner workings and my brain bleeds itself of imagination by crafting this long tales that eventually prepare themselves. Then like a film reel they play out. I use these as a blue print when they happen. I just go. I don’t question anything and see where the story might take me. I keep moving as I figure out how to connect things logically as well as organically. I have a borderline fetish for backstory, so I weave things together naturally to ensure it all makes sense, no matter how hellish or uncouth.

Q: Why do you write?

A: I wanted to share some of the worlds that exist inside of my head that plague me as a person. My creativity is my greatest gift but also my greatest curse. The make-believe inspires and exhilarates me much more than reality. Writing is playing God. Logic and reason bow to you as you are only limited by imagination. It can be fun to sculpt delicate creatures and decide whether to rip them apart piece by piece or let them shine in the sun. Though I take my deity duties with neutrality, letting the story flow as it pleases. It’s damn fun, and hey, maybe it keeps me out of the straitjacket a few more years.

Q: Do you read your own work a lot? If so, what does it do for you?

A: Not especially. I rarely can enjoy my own work, though I do like my book. I know all my tricks and how I think. Nothing I do is a mystery to myself. It isn’t boring but it’s impossible to view it as a newcomer without seeing all the hidden pulleys and gears moving in rhythm. I would love to read my book completely ignorant. When my clothing is mostly drool I hope my aid will read it to me, so I can experience it as I always intended.

Q: What is your favorite type of music? Is there one genre (or song, band etc...) that brings out your creativeness more than others?

A: Seventies rock. I wouldn’t say it brings out my creativeness, I usually zone out to it and just leave my surroundings entirely to focus on writing for a good five to six hours without moving. Which is not particularly healthy. Far too many talented artists to ever pick a favorite. That time feels to me like an arms race of brilliant musicians. Everyone of them thought they could be the absolute greatest. You can hear the confidence and the talent blazing.

Q: As an author, I find that the hardest thing to write (for me) is the synopsis that will be on the back cover or book’s description. When you write, what is the hardest line to write, the first line, the last line or the synopsis for the book?

A: I don’t think any of it is hard. The difficult part is drowning the internal laziness to actually begin writing. Then I can go throw myself into the story without worrying about existence. Writer’s block is a psychological construct that didn’t exist until it was coined by someone who didn’t look out the window.

Q: If you could sit down and have a coffee (or whatever beverage) with anyone, living or dead, from any era, any time, who would it be and why? (You can pick up to 3 persons).

A: Freud. I think he’s the greatest comedian of all time. The fact people take the nonsense he said seriously while he was on coke is brilliant. I doubt he would reveal that to me, but I’d love to see him tell me I want to kill my father and bed my mother with a straight face as his nostrils turn white.

H.H. Holmes. Who wouldn’t want to hear his stories?

Q: What does it mean to be a “successful” writer?

A: To have people who want to read the crazy stuff you write. And to be able to write how you want. I despise the notion of demographics and formulas. I think being able to tell a story free of constraints and rules to just pour gasoline all over someone’s imagination and let them loose in your world is fantastic. I have no interest of ever simplifying or adhering to focus groups. The feeling of telling a campfire story out in the woods to interested listeners as nature howls.

Q: What do you want to accomplish, so when you look back at your life, you can say “I did that”?

A: Have a complete version of the world in my head regarding my book, which will take years and years to accomplish. I don’t really care about fame, I mean it’d be nice but, I write for myself. I want to know more about my own story. I’d like to know I at least left behind a full telling of the story I speak to myself for someone to absorb entirely. Whoever reads it will genuinely have a different interpretation. I love the idea of people having alternate memories as they fill in the blanks.

Q: Any final thoughts that you want to give to your fans or even future authors?

A: Cover the pages in sin. There are many sins, I’m sure you have a few to utilize. I’m not a very good example of a conventional writer. I want to say write for an audience and aim for something specific, but I don’t believe in any of that garbage. Write the stories that flood your subconscious every night. That your dreams try to hide from you. Don’t limit yourself to any genre, the words bend to you, not the other way around. Have fun with it, imagination can strangle you dead or suffocate you gently. It’s all perspective. Respect your story but appreciate the flaws.



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