Interview with Jan M. Alexander

Do you remember the first story you ever heard or read, and the impact it had on you?
My earliest memories are of my mother reading to me, Hans Christian Andersen and Grimm fairy tales. These stories really had an impact on me, and I think that's why most of my fiction tends to be dark. I remember these stories mesmerizing me, and I think scaring me to some degree. But I couldn't stop thinking about them, and to this day, I enjoy reading them.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing all my life, but only recently have I taken myself seriously. I used to write poems and rock lyrics when I was a teenager. I still have them, and they are pretty embarrassing!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love writing because I love creating worlds. I'm sometimes surprised by what comes out on the page. I'll be clicking along on my computer and I'll stop to read what I've written and be like, Wow! I didn't know I thought that! It's surprising what's in my head, sometimes scary!
How do you approach writing your own stories?
My ideas come from everywhere. It could be as simple as a leaf blowing or as complicated as a myth. Once I get an idea, I jot down notes and do some research. I keep note books or scribble on scraps of paper (my desk is full of post-it notes) or I tap notes into my phone. I wish I could turn all my ideas into stories, but not all of them are suited for "story."
What makes your book Close To Dark unique?
It's a mix of things, really. When I set out to write CTD, I wanted to create something that mirrored the kinds of books I like to read, like paranormal romance with a mix of fantasy and mystery. I love YA (young adult) books—anything with magic, vampires, angels, you know, supernatural, something that takes me to a different world. I like to mix genres, and I’m always looking for something new. I tried to do that with CTD.
“Calling Gaia” is the prologue to CTD. Do readers have to read it first to understand what’s happening in CTD?
Actually, I wrote the prologue after I finished the novel. You absolutely don’t have to read it first to understand what’s happening in CTD. If you read it later, it might give you some “ah ha” moments, and I think it’s better that way, but it won’t spoil anything. Maybe it should have been an afterword!
Close To Dark is offered as a young adult book (YA), but can adults read it as well?
If the adults checking out my page are anything like me, they like to dip into YA books, children’s books and New Adult books because they haven’t lost their sense of wonder and fun. I love all of my characters: Alida, Pup, Sara, Teddy, even the evil characters, and I hope adults will like reading about them, too, and joining them in their world.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing the next book in the Close To Dark series, and another YA paranormal. I'm always writing short stories, too, but haven't yet published any of them. Maybe some day!
What do your fans mean to you?
There's only one word to describe what my fans mean to me. EVERYTHING! (Thanks for reading, guys!)
Published 2018-04-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Close To Dark
Price: $3.99 $0.99 USD. (75% off until May 09!) Words: 81,580. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
When your past is kept secret, who can you trust? Alida’s mother is driving her crazy. Until her mother disappears. Now Alida must face her divided lineage—her angel light and vampire dark—and decide whose side she’ll take when the war between The Tenebre Vampires and humankind begins.
Calling Gaia: the Close To Dark Prologue
Price: Free! Words: 22,740. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
When the Dark and the Light are after your baby, who can you trust? Ariel’s baby will soon be born. While hiding from Heaven and The Tenebre vampires, she meets a human man who shelters her as best he can. But Ariel must face a harsh reality when she conjures Gaia, and learns her baby’s fate.