Interview with John Alexander

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I began writing poetry in the spring of 2017. It grew out of some tough times, and the stories in the rhymes I wrote helped me to cope.
When did you first start writing?
I coauthored two technical books in 2001 and 2004. I completed a mystery suspense novel in 2010. I began writing children's books in 2014, completing a four book mystery series. I began writing stories in rhyme in the spring of 2017, releasing my debut book of ten poems August 12, 2018.
What's the story behind your latest book, Timeless Tales?
My journey into poetry began in the waiting room of a doctor’s office during my wife’s office visit, one of many during the past months. I was feeling sorry for myself and our situation, and a poem rose within me and caused me to smile. I write the first poem, Mouse in a Dumpster, in doctor’s office waiting rooms over the course of the next two days. My love of writing stories in rhyme was born out of that experience.
What kind(s) of writing do you do?
I co-authored two technical books. I wrote a mystery/suspense novel. I have half of a science fiction on the shelf. I wrote four chapter books in the Amber-Autumn mystery series. I began writing stories in rhyme the spring of 2017, with the release of the first book of poetry, Timeless Tales, August 12, 2018.
How does your book relate to your [faith, spiritual practice, or life path]?
All of my books I would categorize as wholesome. The Amber-Autumn series presents the values of integrity and desire to help others. My poems/rhymes represent faith, hope and Christian values.
What do you think most characterizes your writing?
To inspire others to be all that God created them to be and to do all that God created them to do.
What was the hardest part of writing Timeless Tales?
I enjoyed writing the stories and the rhyme and rhythm seemed to flow easily for me. I guess the hardest part was coming up with an appropriate title.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Feedback from others about my rhymes.
Who are some of the authors you feel were influential in your work?
I love the rhyme and rhythm found in the works of Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr. Seuss.
Which character from your rhymes is most and least like you?
I identify the most with the duck in Yellow Duck Tale. Having the freedom to write provides me the opportunity to try my new wings in my writing. I identify the least with the donkey in Donkey Tales. However, I’m sure there’s a bit of me in all of the rhymes.
What did you find most useful in learning to write for publication? What was least useful or most destructive?
Meeting peers and writing professionals are critical. Critique groups provide valuable feedback. Working with Audrey Owen at Writer’s Helper to edit my stories has been very fruitful. She loved my rhyme and rhythm but provided much needed critiques of the stories themselves. SCBWI events provide valuable learning opportunities. Conferences provide exposure to industry professionals.
Everything I have leveraged so far has been valuable.
What are some day jobs that you have held? Have any of them impacted your writing?
I spent many years in high tech. The values I learned (creativity (5 patents), integrity, respect for others, completing projects on time) all serve me well in my writing career.
How has your formal education influenced or impacted your writing?
BS in Physics, BA in Math, and an MBA are not the typical route to a literary career, but they did stimulate creativity and prepared me to be unafraid to tackle something new.
What do you like to read in your free time?
I am reading rhymes, my latest endeavor, such as those by Dr. Seuss.
What projects are you working on at the present?
Rhyming stories designed to inspire a moral compass for our next generation.
What do your plans for future projects include?
Find an agent or publisher to turn one of my story rhymes into a picture book.
What does your perfect writing spot look like? Is that what your ACTUAL writing spot looks like?
I am fortunate to be able to write in my office. I have my laptop on my desk facing a window with bookshelves behind me. It is my special place.
What book do you wish you could have written?
The Velveteen Rabbit – what a wonderful story with such a deep underlying story.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
I've been to many places: Germany, Italy, France, Croatia, Spain, Switzerland, England, India, South Africa, Australia, Japan, and others; but I've never visited the Holy Land. I would love to visit there.
What’s something interesting, fun, or funny that most people don’t know about you?
I was part of the engineering team of twelve people who created the first voice mail system.
Do you have a mantra for writing?
Inspire others.
Published 2018-07-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.