Interview with Alex Apostol

When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in middle school. I can remember sitting at my computer in my room, working on a mystery-thriller and then forcing my best friend to read it and give me her feedback. I knew ever since then that I enjoyed writing and would want to keep it in my life somehow. I just didn't know then that it would become my career.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It was a long road to becoming an indie author, actually. When I'd finished Earth Angel years ago, I immediately sent it out to all the publishers, wanting to go the traditional route. Eventually, a small publisher in Tennessee took me on and started work on my book. Right away, she went into everything she wanted to change about it. Some things I was open to adjusting, but others I wasn't so sure about. I'd worked so hard and long on Earth Angel, it was hard for me to let another person come in and tell me to change it. When we got into the cover design, we had very different opinions on what it should look like. The story is kind of dark, yet romantic. It centers around a young woman who's fighting to get revenge on her son's killer. The covers she came up with seemed to have nothing to do with what the story was about. One of them actually featured a religious mural-type painting of two naked baby angels. I had to laugh at this one, because it was so completely opposite of what my story is about. When I told her this, she said she was not designing covers to represent my book, but rather her publishing company and that yes, she was showing me ahead of time her ideas, but ultimately it would be her final decision what the cover would be. We had so many differences and disagreements that in the end, we agreed it would be best for both parties if we just dropped the publishing contract all together. That's when I realized I wanted to independently publish my own books. I am a writer, but I am also an artist. I have my own visions of what my books will look like, as well as what they'll say. I love having the full creative freedom that being an indie author allows.
What is your writing process?
I started writing Earth Angel in 2009. I had absolutely no writing process back then. It's only been in the last year that I have adopted a process that seems to work well for me. I am doing my best to treat writing like a job. I wake up early every week day, do my morning routine and then by 9 a.m. I am sitting down at my desk, working on my book. I take a lunch break and get back to writing till about 3 or 4 p.m. I have gotten so much more done this way than just writing when I feel inspired, mainly because all my inspiration used to come to me when I got into bed to go to sleep. By then, I was too lazy or tired to get up and write down what I was thinking about.
As far as the actual writing, I like to be organized and detailed. I start a book off by writing out a long outline of where the story is going to go. I do not strictly lock myself into what I've laid out, but it helps me to stay on the path I want the series to take and then I can add to it as I go along. When I write, I like to just get it out. Usually my first draft is no more than 150 pages. It's during the editing, which I do by hand on printed pages, that all the great details come into play. I bulk up the story, add more emotions, more interactions, more background stories, and everything else that makes a story so wonderful during my editing. I enter this into the computer once I'm done and then I'll read it as a whole. Hopefully, this is where the writing process ends, but I'm not always so lucky. Sometimes it takes a few edits to get it just right.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing has always been my escape from my daily life. I started writing in journals when I was twelve-years-old. I've kept one ever since and often like to go back and read what I was doing years ago. I've found some great story ideas this way. Earth Angel was my first attempt at writing an entire book, instead of just poems and short stories which I did all throughout high school. I loved creating these characters and then getting to know them as if they were real people. When I wrote about them every day, it felt like I was visiting old friends. Watching them develop and grow into ways I'd never envisioned in the beginning has been one of the greatest joys of writing, so far. I feel really connected to all of them. I'm hoping that comes across in my writing and my readers will feel the same way.
What are you working on next?
I am very scatter-brained. I think of an idea for a book and then before I've even started working on it, I have at least three more ideas pop into my head. Continuing The Kamlyn Paige Novels will be my number one priority with writing right now, just because I have already put so much effort and time into it and I feel it is truly a great story. I don't want to lock myself into just one genre of writing, though, since I don't tend to read just one genre of books either. I am also working on a compilation of short stories, called Short Shorts. It is a humorous novel about these two girls traveling the country together and getting into all kinds of trouble. I was inspired to write this purely from my own personal friendships and experiences, though it's too embarrassing to reveal which stories actually happened and which ones I have created. I'll let the readers decide for themselves. I've laughed out loud a lot sitting at my desk writing these shorts. I do feel a great connection to strong female characters and unbreakable friendships and bonds, so I think those are the things that will find their way into everything I write.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean the world to me and that's why I love to hear from them. I stay connected personally on all my social network sites. I not only like to hear praises for my books, but I like to know what they're up to, what else they're reading, and what they're generally like as people. I don't want to just put out books and market them. I want my books to be interactive. That's why after the release of Earth Angel and Hunted Angel, I am going to be starting an Exclusive Content website specifically for The Kamlyn Paige Novel series. Fans will be able to go there and read more in-depth about the characters. There'll be stories that didn't make it into the novels, mainly detailed backgrounds of the characters and the monsters that Kamlyn has to face. I think it will add a depth to the world I'm creating that many authors don't take advantage of. For me, the book doesn't end once it's published. That's just the beginning. There's so much more an author can do to get their fans involved and hooked on what they've written. I owe everything to my fans and want to keep them engaged.
Describe your desk
My desk is always changing, mainly because I'm always moving. I've lived in seven states in the last six years. My desk seems to change with each move I make. For the longest time, I didn't even write at a desk. I would sit on the couch in front of the television and write. It was so unproductive. Now, I like to keep my desk simple. I have my laptop and printer set up and a place to keep my many notebooks, containing the details my writing. I always have my bookshelves of novels and reference writing close by, as well. There's a coffee mug holding my dry erase board markers, pens, and highlighters and another coffee mug that holds all my loose change. I don't know why that last one is up there.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
This is a tricky one, because I used to have the worst sleeping habits. I would sleep until noon and then when it came time for bed, I would lie awake for hours, not being able to fall asleep. It wasn't until I became pregnant with my first child that I adopted better sleeping habits. I knew eventually if I didn't do it myself, my baby would do it for me. Treating writing more like a real job has been the best inspiration for me to get out of bed early each day. Knowing what I am going to be doing the next day prevents me from rolling over and sleeping in. I have writing, taking care of the house, running errands, as well as taking care of myself while I'm pregnant to fill an entire day before my fiancee gets home from work. When he's home, I like to be done with everything so we can have quality time together and I can also unwind before bed with a good book. To be able to do all this, I need an early start. In short, my writing and family gets me up every day and keeps me going,
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
There's so much I like to do. During the week, I use my evenings to cook for my family, spend time with them, catch up on shows or movies I want to see, knit, and read. On the weekend is usually when we really get to go out to do the fun stuff. I like going to concerts, local festivals, museums, zoos, and art galleries. Hiking trails are always a great way to unwind and get some disguised exercise, though there's not many around where I live now. Recently, my fiancee has gotten me involved in target practice and we've been taking advantage of date night at the local shooting galleries and skeet ranges.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am always trying to read as much as I can. I don't like to focus on just one genre. Of course, like everyone else, I have to keep up with the best-sellers and the books that are being adapted into movies. These are probably what I tend to read most. Right now I am re-reading the Harry Potter books and catching up on the extra writing J.K. Rowling has on It's so amazing, the world she's created and how it's been almost twenty years since the first book came out and people are still obsessed with the stories. Whenever my favorite author, Haruki Murakami, comes out with a new book, I always have to buy it and read it. The same goes for Chelsea Handler. I love a book that can bring out my emotions, whether I am crying or laughing out loud because of it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have been making a lot of interactions with readers on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. It's a great way to connect with fans and draw them into the book instead of just being another author they don't know.
Published 2014-11-01.
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Books by This Author

Broken Angel (Book 1 in the Chronicles of a Supernatural Huntsman series)
Price: Free! Words: 65,460. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
Kamlyn Paige joins a group of supernatural hunters to find her son's killer. When a mysterious neighbor sees her weeping on a sidewalk, he picks her up and introduces her to a new world. She goes with him to the Chamber of Darkness, and underground society, where she learns to fight evil beings and creatures as a Huntsman. But is there a traitor among them?