Meow! Today my guest is author Alex Erickson!
has always wanted to write, even at a young, impressionable age. He’s always had an interest in the motive behind murder, which has led him down his current path. He’s always ready with a witty—at least in his opinion—quip, and tries to keep every conversation light and friendly. Alex lives in Ohio with his family and resident felines, who provide endless amounts of inspiration.
Tell us a little about your background, Alex
There’s not a lot to say! I went to Ohio University for Telecommunications, and then did nothing with it. I decided to focus on my writing instead, and well, here we are!
Tell us a bit about your latest book
The Pomeranian Always Barks Twice is a new series that is a Barnes and Noble exclusive for the first year. Like my Bookstore Café series, it’s a cozy mystery. It’s set in yet another small town, and the heroine owns a pet rescue that finds homes for “unwanted” pets. You know, the kind often overlooked in shelters because they are too old, or have health issues, or what have you. Since this is a mystery, not everything goes to plan and someone up and dies on her. But hey, that’s when the fun starts, right?
How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
My characters tend to let me know about them as I go. Sometimes, it takes time before I get it right. I don’t try to come up with personalities beforehand or anything like that. I figure out the plot and then let the characters develop from there. If I try to force it, the characters come off as flat or unlikeable. I’ve learned to go by feel.
How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
I take a ton of notes before I write, most of which, I toss out once I actually start plotting things out. I typically try to get the first five to ten chapters fully plotted out. Then, I make a list of plot points I still need to hit that develops as I write. By the time I’m finished with the first five chapters or so, I’ll have everything I need to plot out the next five. I do that all the way until the end.
Which do you consider more important, plot or character?
Character. Plot is important, of course, but if you have a great plot, but terrible characters, then no one is going to care. I believe you can sometimes skate by with a weaker plot if the characters are amazing. It’s not ideal, of course. Best case, you have both a fantastic plot and superb characters. In the end, though, I do think it is the characters that stick with people the most.
What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
More Bookstore Café and more Furever Pets, of course! Both take up quite a bit of my writing time, but I do hope to work on a lot more in the future. I would like to explore other genres, write epic fantasies and hard-boiled detectives. I enjoy so many different genres, I can’t help but want to work in them.
What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?
Never give up. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or inferior. We all suffer it, no matter how much success we have. People are going to say hurtful things. You’re going to get rejections. It’s all part of the process. Stick with it, dedicate yourself to being the best you can possible be, and you will succeed.
What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I spend far too much time playing games. Be it video games, board games, phone games, it’s what I do to relieve stress, to have some fun. And, yeah, I tend to be competitive in them as well. Not rude or mean, but man, I always feel the need to be the best I can be. It’s the same approach I take to my writing, actually. It doesn’t always work out the way I want it to, but I refuse to give up and settle.
Where can we learn more about you and your books?
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Night
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Cat, of course!
Beach or Pool? Beach
Steak or salad? Salad
Favorite Drink? Don’t really have one, but I’ll go with orange juice since I drink a glass daily.
Favorite Book? All of them? I love too many to name just one. Or ten. Or even three dozen.
Favorite TV Series? Right now, I’d say The Expanse, though I do really enjoy a lot of shows. Most of them are foreign crime shows with subtitles. I find them to be far more intriguing that what we get on network television here.
Favorite Movie? Once again, I can’t just name one. I do tend to lean toward Sci-fi or horror movies when given the chance to choose.
Favorite Actor: None. I often prefer unknown actors in roles. I find it far better to see the character and not the actor. Put a well known actor in a role, and I tend to expect them to act like, well, them.
Favorite Actress: Same as above. Give me an unknown who can act!
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Neither. I don’t drink *hides*
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii. Hate the cold.
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Stephen King. He is the one who inspired me to write.
If I had just one wish, it would be to get to keep doing what I’m doing. Sure, world peace would be nice. The cure to all diseases, but if I’m allowed to be selfish here, I don’t ever want to change my life.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be no one! Like above, I like my life and hope to keep living it. Besides, other people have their own set of problems. I’d prefer to deal with the problems I know, rather than a fresh new set!
Thank you, Alex!
Alex will give away a copy of The Pomeranian Always Barks Twice to one lucky commenter! To enter, leave your name and address in our comments section. US entries only, please. Winner will be selected at random. Contest closes June 22.