Author Interview: Alex R Carver

“The nervousness that had afflicted Lucy Goulding since she left her parents’ house seemed to grow with every step. She had set out with just a single butterfly fluttering about her stomach, but now she was almost at her destination her stomach roiled and churned with what seemed like thousands.” –Written in Blood by Alex R Carver

Meet Author Alex R Carver!

AlexCarver

Alex R Carver

Alex R 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.

Book 1 of the Inspector Stone Mysteries, Where There’s A Will, is already out, as is Written In Blood, a serial killer thriller set in a small English village, while Book 2, An Eye For An Eye, is due out in September.


Your new book, Written in Blood, is out! How’s that experience been? How did you know when that title was right for your story? What parts do you wait in glee for readers to get to? What are your secret or not-so-secret hopes for this thriller?

Originally the book was going to be called Murder In Oakhurst, but after discussing it in one of my writer’s group and being given a few options, I settled on Written In Blood, which I think is much better for attracting attention.

Obviously I’d love the book to become a top 100 on Amazon, or even a NYT bestseller, but I’d settle for making a little, that’s my hope, though it would be nice to do better.

You recently started a new author’s website, alexrcarver.wordpress.com. What made you decide to start over instead of rebranding / retooling your previously-existing site?

My research revealed that an author site is most effective when it has an author’s name as all or part of its web address, that wasn’t the case with my first site so I chose to start from scratch. It might have been better to rebrand/retool but I wanted to do things the way it is recommended they are done, plus I had a guide I was following which made it easier to begin again.

In a previous interview, you mentioned you put a real person in your writing. Would you ever do it again?

It’s likely that elements of real people will find their way into my writing from time to time, but I don’t intend to put anyone in in their entirety.

How do you maintain a full-time writing career? Was it a scary or exhilarating step to take?

I received a small inheritance that coincided with my losing a job, it’s enough money to keep me going for a while as I work to get my writing career up and running. It’s exhilarating but also very scary because I only have about two years worth of saving to start making a living, and if I don’t manage it in that time I will have to start looking for a job.

I’d much rather become a success with my writing.

You’ve got a solid core in crime and sci-fi. Do you ever see yourself branching out into other genres?

I’ve always wanted to write fantasy, it’s one of my favourite genres to read and I do have an idea for a fantasy novel/series. I have an idea for a romance story as well, but whether I’ll get around to writing them, I don’t know.

Besides making sure your books will look the way they should, what things about Amazon Publishing do you pay the most attention to (reviews, sales rank, what people buy after they buy your books, etc.)?

I have OCD, so I tend to pay more attention to my sales figures and rank than I should, but I don’t look at much else. I do need to start looking at what people buy after looking at/buying my book in order to help me improve my sales.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

During my first publishing career I obsessed far more than was good for me on the reviews I get, now I pay them less attention. I check to see if they say anything I need to deal with, but I have learned to look at them as personal opinions and nothing more.

When a new story comes to mind, do you see the whole high-level plot roll out before you, or do you see it as more of a first sentence / initial concept (or both, or something else)?

Generally I start out with just a concept, I have to sit down with pad and pen to flesh it out and decide if it’s viable, and where it’s going to go.

How do you feel about fan-fiction? Would you want people to write fan-fiction about your stories?

I’m torn on the fan-fiction matter, I’m not sure it’s something I would ever write myself, though I did have an idea for something in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer world once upon a time, but I appreciate that it would be flattering to have someone like my books enough to want to write fan-fiction involving them.

What are you planning to launch next?

Now that I’ve released Written In Blood I’m back to my Inspector Stone Series, I’m working on An Eye For An Eye, which is the 2nd book, tentatively it’s set for a September release.

Now for some just-for-fun challenge questions…

What type of book do you reach for to relax?

I read almost anything, with the exception of romance, but my favored genre is fantasy.

Name a movie adaptation that really should have stayed as a book.

There’s far too many to name. The Percy Jackson series is one of the worst though.

Do you listen to music as you write? Name some songs!

When I do listen to music it’s normally something like Pink Floyd, but mostly I watch TV while I write, it’s not a good habit, but I struggle to focus on one thing at a time.

When you get a story idea, do you scribble it on any scrap of paper or napkin you can find, or do you have a special notebook or online tool where you keep all the inspiration?

In the first instance it goes down on whatever piece of paper I have to hand, but I do have a notepad where I try to keep all of my ideas together, so I know where to find them when I need them.

While we’re not saying you need this, what one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

That’s a tough one. I don’t really have a lot to spare, unless you count the surplus around my waist, which I would happily give up to become a better writer. I would be prepared to live in a more unpleasant environment (think Dickens era poverty, but not quite that bad) to be a better writer.

Advice time–in reverse! If you could go back in time, what writerly advice would you give yourself?

So much, but mostly it would be to cut…cut…cut, I used to be a very wordy writer, but now I’ve learned to be more concise and avoid using 20 words when 5 will do.

 

Here’s where to find and follow Alex, and purchase his books!

 

 

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