Interview with Alexis Jacobs

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the creative process, especially when it comes to building characters. I imagine them to be like children. You can only guide and influence them for so long, but after a while they find their own voices and start living their own truths. That's the most exciting part for me - when my characters (or the world they live in) begin to feel as if they could exist on their own, without my constant input.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on two books. One is about sisters whose past comes back to confront them - not through a curse, like in For Better or Curse, but through repeating their parents' mistakes. Like my current book, the new one is about how difficult it is to break away from our legacies, even when we know better. My other book is about a woman who learns that the answers to solving her waking life problems and finding her purpose, may lie in the lucid dreams she has at night.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love authors who invite us into worlds and cultures that show how similar we all are, under the different clothes. Writers like Zadie Smith, who wrote "White Teeth" and Jhumpa Lahiri, who wrote a short story collection about Indian culture, do an amazing job of helping us to see the world through the eyes of characters who seem all too real and familiar.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Sometimes when I'm deep in the groove of writing, the story seems to be coming through me, and not from me. I love sitting before a story in the morning, eager to see what will appear on the computer screen. Sometimes it's surprising, and all I can think is, "Where did that come from?"
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love exploring - discovering new places or noticing things I never noticed before. At those times I try to live in the moment, experiencing the scene around me with all five senses, and even more on an intuitive level. Whether I'm in a cute little cafe in the city, or in a quirky neighborhood, I want to soak it all in. It's what helps to feed my writing.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I find ebooks by searching for authors I like, or by looking up what books are out there based on my favorite subjects.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was a kid, I wrote a short story about Santa Claus' son, who was a rebellious kid who felt embarrassed about what his father did for a living. I also vaguely recall writing a story for a classmate who said she didn't know how to write. Then I remember feeling upset because the teacher liked her story better than mine. I had to keep my mouth shut.
How do you approach cover design?
In creating a cover for my current book, I thought about the impression I wanted to give a potential reader. Although it's a story about someone trying to break a potentially deadly curse, I wanted the cover to reflect some of the story's quirkiness, instead of being too dark.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up mostly in Toronto, Canada, and as a kid my friends and classmates were so diverse, I felt compelled to write short profiles about them. There were also a lot of parks around us, and we used to go adventuring, which meant searching for new parks to play in. This inspired me to want to write stories that had a sense of adventure. Especially ones about exploration and discovery.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was around 8, starting with limericks and other easy rhymes, then graduating to short stories. Before then, I was a rabid reader. When I was 4, I begged my grandmother to teach me to read, because my cousin had a ton of children's books that I loved and I got tired of nagging other people to read them to me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When my older sisters were little, my mother took them from England to Jamaica; and a woman approached them on a bus and told my mother some things that really disturbed her for years. The woman pointed to my sisters and said one of them would turn out well, but the other would chase the wrong things and have a terrible life. I heard that story a lot over the years, and the woman's predictions seemed to play out very close to reality. It made me wonder about the power of words spoken over someone. Could curses really have power, or do we just tend to internalize and then act on strong words people say about us?
Published 2014-01-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

For Better or Curse
Price: Free! Words: 96,270. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
(5.00)
When her fiancé mysteriously abandons her before their wedding, Manda Love learns it's the result of an Obeah curse that came about before she and her sister, Sierra, were even born. Now Manda leaves London and goes to New York, on a mission to save herself and Sierra from the curse that is supposed to ruin her life and end her sister's own before her 35th birthday. But can she really stop it