I'm really happy to have Alex guest on Chimeras today because I've been meaning to ask him about the IWSG and his books. So, welcome, Alex!
EEG: Tell us a bit about your background. In particular, how do computer graphics and/or your passion for music influence your writing?
AJC: My work with graphics, web design, and technical instruction gave me structure and the desire for perfection, not to mention it allows for creativity. I’ve been a musician for forty years, not to mention I’ve always loved music, and that’s had an even bigger impact on my writing. Music is such a driving force when it comes to moods. It can set the tone and inspire.
EEG: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I read on your blog that you set aside the first draft of your bestselling book, CassaStar, for many years, before going back and deciding to finish it. What was the impetus that made you go back?
AJC: I wrote a really rough first draft when I was a teen and then forgot about it for almost thirty years. I happened to find it again several years ago. The story and writing were awful, but the characters were solid. It was one of those ‘why not?’ moments, so I rewrote it and my wife prodded me to pursue publication.
EEG: What's your writing process? Do you outline? If not, how do you develop your plots?
AJC: I have to outline! I spend more time working on the outline and character details than I do writing the first draft. It’s always the ending that comes to me first and I work back to the beginning. The story usually plays in my head a few times, like I’m watching a movie, before I begin committing it to paper.
EEG: What are you currently working on ?
AJC: I’ve spent this year writing and revising a story outside my Cassa trilogy that was inspired by a song. Fingers crossed my publisher likes it.
EEG: When was the Insecure Writer's Support Group born and what gave you the idea for it?
AJC: The idea for the IWSG came to me August 2011 when I told a fellow writer he needed such a support group. I started mulling over the concept and finally announced it on my blog. The first Wednesday of September 2011, we had our first post – almost exactly three years ago! Last year we set up the website and Facebook group. The IWSG means more to me than even my books because it’s had such an impact on others.
EEG: Wow, that's so wonderful to hear, Alex. Thank you so much for bringing authors together like this.
AJC: Thanks, EE!
Remember, you can join IWSG by signing up here. Next post will be up on October 1st. Alex loves to hear from new followers, so go say hi on his blog or follow him on Twitter. I don't know how he does it, but he responds to every one!