Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Meet Alex Carver

1- Did you pick your genre or did your genre pick you? Explain.
I guess my genre (mystery/crime) picked me. I’ve always wanted to write fantasy, it’s my favourite genre, but I haven’t been able to come up with a good, workable story; I can come up with plenty of ideas for crime novels, though.

2- Where do you get your stories- are they ripped from the headlines or drummed up in your brain?
I am constantly being struck by new ideas, they come from all directions, anything and everything I see is likely to spark a notion for a book; sometimes the ideas pan out and can be fleshed into a novel, otherwise they’re just a spark.

3- Do you consult with police for accuracy and will you sacrifice realism for drama?
I haven’t consulted with the police, but I find that isn’t as necessary as it once was for an author to speak directly to a professional about a subject, thanks to Google and the large amount of information that can be found on the ‘net and in books. I would prefer to be as realistic as possible in my writing, but there are occasions when realism must be sacrificed for the story.
Case in point, I have a scene in a short story where I have been accused of inaccuracy by having a window smashed with a tennis ball thrown by a young woman; it was suggested by a reviewer that a golf ball would have been more accurate. A golf ball is more likely to break a window than a tennis ball, but to me it seemed more likely that a young woman would have tennis equipment in her bedroom than golf equipment, so a slight suspension of disbelief is required there. I hope readers will be able to make it and accept this minor detail.

4- What do you see long term for Inspector Stone? Who would play him in a movie?
I have a few plot points coming through in books I have already written, but not yet published, which includes some heartache for Inspector Stone, and hopefully some more positive moments moving forward. I have nothing specific in mind for him long-term, other than a continuation of him solving crimes and coming across as human as possible.
I’m not sure who would play him, but if I’m honest I think the character and the stories would better suit a TV series than a film.

5- Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I would like to see all of the books I currently have on paper released and selling decently; ideally I will be making enough money from my books to make a living and to enjoy some pleasant holidays around the world.

6- What has been the hardest part of being an indie author?
Learning to promote, no doubt about it, promoting requires either money or good social skills, and normally both, since I am not overly burdened with either I struggle, but I am getting better, I think.

7- If you could do something over in your writing career, what would it be?
I first publishing 5 or 6 years ago, and I made so many mistakes then, I’d like to go back to the beginning with the knowledge I now have, I’m confident I could have a moderately successful career by now if I could do that.

8- What are you working on now?
Two books, the 2nd book in my Inspector Stone series, that’s temporarily on hold but is in 1st draft stage, and Written In Blood, a thriller about a serial killer terrorising a small English village.

9- What advice would you give an aspiring indie writer?
I would have to say ‘read all you can’, reading novels by other authors will help you to hone your craft, but you should also read up on how to do things other than write so that once you have your book out there you can get it the attention it deserves. Being an author requires many skills beyond simply writing, and while you can pay for many of those skills, nothing beats having them yourself.

10- What should someone expect reading an Alex Carver novel? What do you want them to take away from it?

That’s a toughie. I hope that people will expect a reasonable degree of accuracy when it comes to the technical side of things, obviously accuracy sometimes has to be put aside for the sake of the story, and engaging characters. Mostly what I want them to take away is a sense of pleasure, that they’ve passed the time enjoyably and not that they’ve wasted the time spent on my book.

Alex Carver has worked a number of jobs over the years, none of which provided the satisfaction he got from writing, and he has now given up the day jobs to write full-time. Primarily he writes crime fiction, reflecting his interest in the seedy underbelly of life, but science fiction and kids adventure have featured in his writing, with books in those genres on the long list of titles he is preparing for release. 

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