Interview with K. M. Alexander

What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a bunch of different things at the moment. First: I am in the process of finishing up my latest novel Old Broken Road which is coming out soon. Really excited about it. It continues the story setup in The Stars Were Right but also works as a stand alone book. I’m also in the middle of writing the third in that same series, keeping that pretty close to my chest for now. Finally I’m spending some time working on a new near future sci-fi currently being written under the working title Deep. Clearly, I’m a busy guy.
How does your work differ from others in the genre?
Most of my work I write is cross genre. So if you want to read something different, read my books. I write new weird, but it could also be described as urban fantasy or even post-apocalyptic sci-fi. I really strive to write prose that is easy and approachable. I like rich description woven into the story so I try to avoid info dumps and as a result my books are often fast paced, fun, easy reads. My influences are writers like H.P. Lovecraft, China Miéville, Neil Gaiman, Mark Twain, and Cormac McCarthy.
What are your top 3 reasons for choosing to self-publish?
First would be control. Control is a big one, but it also means a lot of work. The ability to choose my cover, decide my layout, and pick the audience to focus my marketing efforts on, is important to me. It’s hard to get that control as a new author. Since publishers are taking a risk, they will want to do things their way.

Second is speed. The old way of publishing is slow. Agents. Editors. Publishers. It can be effective but it’s a painfully and dreadfully inefficient process. I have a manuscript I have been shopping for a while and it boggles my mind how archaic the industry can be with new work. The submission process alone often feels like a relic from 1979.

Last would be rights. Being able to put my work where I want it, and when I want it, is a big deal for me. (See control.) Publishers foot the bill, but as a result new authors only get, like, 20% of the royalties and you don’t own the rights for a long time.
Why do you write what you write?
I like to write what I want to read. I write genre fiction but I get quickly bored with generic settings. I’m fascinated by crossover: books, film, television that can be firmly one thing and also something else. I think there’s a lot of room to explore those gray spaces that often fall through the cracks or are ignored.
How does your writing process work?
It’s going to be really hard to fit this into one small response, but I’ll try…

First: I write every damn day. Sometimes it’s hard, most of the time it’s sloppy, often it’s not a lot, but I still do it. I think that discipline is very important to success. I’m a planner but I am not as strict as I once was, so these days my outlines are fluid. I follow them until I see something that doesn’t work and I’m willing to make adjustments. I’m also not afraid to throw away work. Failure is a part of success, if something’s not working: cut it.

Second, and equally as important: I make it a point not to get hung up in what distracts me. Often aspiring writers spend too much time navel gazing and not enough time working on their craft. It’s a temptation for everyone in every creative field faces and I have forced myself to not get caught up in that and I try to channel that energy into my work. Here’s the best writing advice I can give anyone: go write.
Published 2014-04-14.
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