Interview with Gabriel Alex

What is your writing process?
My writing process begins with a thrill. I usually find a title which can in some ways, illuminate a subject. The thrill comes when I imagine what I can write. I visualize a lot when I write, and I see everything beforehand and try to interpret my thoughts and ideas and make them substantial enough to be put down on paper. I can circle an idea in my head for months before writing a paragraph, but when I start I can't stop until I'm done.
Describe your desk
I don't have a desk. I have one for my PC, but I seldom use it for anything else than a TV-device so I sit in my couch with my Mac instead, surrounded by notebooks, sketchbooks, bottles of water, cups and such. I'm good at nesting, I guess that's what I do, and I seldom sit the same place when I write or read. I like to move around and use my apartment to suit my mood.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It was probably what you call a fanfiction nowadays. It was a story about Annatar, the elven-form of Sauron, the Dark Lord from The Lord of the Rings, of which I was very fond at that time. It was short and written in hand, describing a trip he made from some elven kingdom and back towards Mordor. During the story he killed his servant for being disobedient. I regard this as the initial seed for my writing, although I had, around the same time, written a short-story about two detectives who were attacked by a god-like figure, and were chased to a desolate valley where they lived forever after, but in constant fear.
My stories back then showed clear signs of a lively but morbid imagination, and suffering from a severe depression since I was 9, the stories helped cleanse my head and make every-day life managable, though still dull. I found out that I could escape the grey, trivial world, and so I did.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The feeling of thrill, the butterflies rumbling around in your stomach when you're on a spree. The moment when you re-read a sentence and you're filled with belief that this will be appreciated.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing at the age of 11 or 12, I sincerely can't remember which one of them. I was in 4th grade or so.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Denmark, in the next-largest city of the country. I suppose it influenced me to some degree; life was boring, I was in a rather harsh elementary school and suffered from bullying. However I don't think my country/city had as much influence on my writing as my traveling had. My parents traveled with me and my elder brothers the first time when I was three and a half, and ever since we've been abroad every year at least once. When I got older I took up traveling on my own, but occasionally my family still travels together. The things and places I've seen when I was abroad have burned themselves into my dreams and remained there as my eternal inspiration, through the eyes of a child and, gradually, through the eyes of an adult.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The prospect of achievement at the end of the day. If I haven't achieved anything, the day is fruitless and therefore has no value. I need goals and I set them, even if they merely consist of doing the laundry, my dishes, cleaning or brainstorming for a new project. Everything is an achievement, even the smallest of achievement, and they make up your life.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I used to be very anti-social and kept to myself in the past, indulging in alcohol and cigarettes, but in recent years I've managed to put that behavior behind me and have developed a network of inspiring people around me. However, I still enjoy evenings on my own, being an introvert person by nature, and sitting at home, listening to music, watching movies and writing or making a graphical project is just as good as being with friends and having fun with them.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft", short-stories, and among them "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" - because I love his toying with the senses, the prickling, teasing of your imagination as you race page past page to find the source of all the madness, and yet slowly realize that there is no possible escape or no discernible explanation to his stories. There is logic at work which is not of this world, and you gradually give yourself over to this rampant universe, expanding further and further.
"The Fellowship of the Ring", by J.R.R. Tolkien - because it was - and still is - one of the most captivating introductions to a tale I've ever read. I've studied Tolkien's works at a very young age, even wrote my BA about his use of historical parallels, and when I was in grade school I took down notes in Elvish, just because I could. The man is a genius and his stories just as well, beautifully carven tales interwoven and complex and yet still detailed and always true to its original content.
"The Witching Hour", by Anne Rice, and her Mayfair Chronicles in their entirety - because of its sophisticated, well-written plot and the characters therein and their interactions. I love her early works and how she revived the Gothic genre.
"Lolita", by Vladimir Nabokov - because, well, it's hard to describe. This tragic, dark, comical, classic tale of obscene devotion to a single person is truly fascinating and so frustrating. You cringe, you clench your fist, you want to put it down but you can't; you have to keep reading until at the heart-breaking end of the story, and yet still you don't know where your sympathy lies.
"Hannibal the Cannibal", by Thomas Harris - because of its portrayal of an unlikely connection between two souls so different and yet so alike in the end that you wonder whether they are two sides of the same coin. Corruption and sexism floods the plot where a woman fights for what she's believed is the truth all of her life until she finds that the world is not what it seemed, and her decisions and their consequences will affect the world entirely.
What do you read for pleasure?
Short-stories and shorter novels, Lovecraft, Poe and others. I find it hard to sit down and read a longer novel these days due to a stressful life. I mostly pick up genres like science-fiction, drama and fantasy, ideally with a twist of the bizarre and morbid content. I enjoy a thriller with a hint of dark humor.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Most of the ebooks I've read, I've been introduced to beforehand by friends or family, but I have yet to discover ebooks on my own.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Samsung Galaxy Tab. 7. Before I got that one I read my e-books on my Samsung Galaxy SIII, but I much prefer my tablet as the reading-device. I've read plenty of material on my Mac, but it was mostly for studying. When I began my new education as a media graphic designer I suddenly found a lot more spare-time for reading and bought my tablet which is always in my bag or on my nightstand.
What are you working on next?
I always work on something, there is no next. When I write a poem, it joins the others, when I write a short-story, it become part of my collection. Nothing has an end, my repertoire is ever-expanding and thus there can never be no 'next'.
Published 2013-11-20.
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