By JT Ellison
Kim Alexander once called my work morbidly elegant, which strikes me as possibly the highest praise one can give a thriller novelist. Kim and I go back to MY debut novel, to her days as the hostess with the mostest of Fiction Nation on Sirius XM radio. She very kindly had me on the show, we realized we were both in love with Baldwin, and a friendship was born. Kim and I got to talk twice a year for several years, and those chats were ones I always looked forward to. Now, Kim has hung up her microphone and is writing some seriously cool fantasy, major world-building stuff. I loved her THE SAND PRINCE (I mean, really, just LOOK at that cover!) and I’m so happy she’s here today to talk about it.
Welcome to MY little slice of the internet, Miss Kim! And congratulations on your big debut!
Set your music to shuffle and hit play. What’s the first song that comes up?
Tom Petty – “Here Comes My Girl.” But I don’t usually listen to music while I’m working, I find it too distracting. I prefer the gentle rhythms of the never-ending construction project going on in the apartment unit above my head. Today is “throw 2X4’s at the floor as hard as you can” day!
Now that we’ve set the mood, what are you working on today?
I’m editing and revising the second book in my fantasy series. Its working title is THE UNHAUNTED WORLD.
What’s your latest book about?
THE SAND PRINCE is my debut novel. It’s the story of two worlds, magic, war, betrayal, sex, bad parenting, bad decisions, and a mysterious romance novel within the book. The hero is a half-human demon with social anxiety and a drinking problem. (I should probably mention that it’s not a comedy.) It’s also about finding your place in the world, and since this is a fantasy, my hero has multiple worlds to choose from.
TL:DR- It’s like DUNE with more sex.
Where do you write, and what tools do you use?
I just got a chair! I no longer hunch like a fell beast on the couch, I sit upright like a fully-formed human and look out the window at the National Zoo. I take copious notes (this is really just an excuse to feed my handmade notebook and pretty pen addiction) but I do most of my work on my laptop.
What was your favorite book as a child?
The oldest book I own, and still one of my favorites, is THE LAST UNICORN by Peter Beagle. I’ve had my copy since 1968. It’s falling apart but I couldn’t part with it.
What’s your secret talent?
I have an actual license to sail anything under 23 feet (if it’s a boat and it’s on water, I should add.)
What book are you reading now?
THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO THE APOCALYPSE by my friend and fellow Booktrope author Daphne Lamb, and my new Peterman catalogue.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I was really young, like just old enough to read myself. Although it took me many years to try it for real—I didn’t trust that I could do it. I also have to thank my husband for having the faith I lacked and supporting my new job—honey, it only LOOKS like I’m staring out the window all day.
Who is your writing idol? Have you met him/her? If so, did you completely nerd out or keep your cool?
ONE TIME I GOT TO INTERVIEW THIS FABULOUS BABE NAMED JT . . .
[editor’s note: see why I love her?]
Also, the first time I interviewed Neil Gaiman, it was over the phone. For the first five minutes I mainly tried not to have a heart attack. I kept saying to myself, “Just be cool! Everything’s fine!” But he’s so lovely that I calmed down and we had a great chat about THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. When I finally met Stephen King, it was my very last interview for Sirius XM, so it was exciting but also quite bittersweet.
What’s your favorite bit of writing advice?
I have to mention XM Radio again. When I started there, on everyone’s badge was the phrase “AFDI” which stood for “Actually F-ing Do It.” That resonated with me, and I try to AFDI every day. I didn’t know how to write a book when I started—just over two years ago, wow! But I took the coagulated (that may not be the right word) advice of the literally hundreds of authors, artists and actors (including JT) I’d interviewed, and I sat down and began.
What do you do if the words aren’t flowing?
Go back and edit something I did the day or week before. There’s always something to fix, and if not, there’s Pinterest.
Are you creatively satisfied?
Well, I would be more satisfied if I looked out the window and saw Tahiti, but for the moment, I’m thrilled to be writing my own work about characters I adore.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I raise cats with impeccable manners, and I can fold a fitted sheet.
,Alright, now for the really important questions:
Beach or mountains? Beach!
Coffee or tea? Coffee. Espresso with a splash of half and half, if you have it.
Skydive or bungee jump? Why would I jump out of a perfectly good plane? I don’t even like getting off my couch.
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.
Winter or summer? Summer—I am an obsessed rooftop gardener.
Cake or pie? Pie, I think. I make a mean Key Lime pie.
Cats or dogs? Leeloo and Onion are looking over my shoulder, reminding me of the inherent superiority of cats.
Pens or pencils? Pens, I collect them.
Truth or dare? Truth. How bad can it be?
Print or ebook? I moved 13 times after I got out of college, that’s a strong argument for ebooks.
Kim Alexander grew up in the wilds of Long Island, NY and slowly drifted south until she reached Key West. After spending ten years working as a disc jockey in the Keys, she moved to Washington, DC, where she reported the traffic and spun the Oldies. After a career upgrade, she became the co-programmer of Sirius XM Book Radio, which gave her the opportunity to interview some of her writing heroes, including Anne Rice, George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King and Margaret Atwood, among many hundreds of others. She began writing when she ran out of authors to interview (and they pulled the plug on her channel.)
She currently lives with two cats, an angry fish, and her extremely patient husband close enough to the National Zoo to hear the lions and the monkeys, at least she hopes that’s what those noises are.
THE SAND PRINCE (Booktrope) is Kim’s first novel and begins a fantasy series called THE DEMON DOOR. Her husband tells her she needs to write at least ten more books if she intends to retire in Thailand, so thank you for your patronage.
And here’s a little more about Kim’s debut novel THE SAND PRINCE:
“When the storm came, it was made of magic, not rain, and when it had passed, the life and the city Hellne knew were changed forever.”
In Kim Alexander’s debut novel she weaves a witty, epic fantasy brimming with diverse characters and plenty of intrigue.
On the war-ravaged demon world of Eriis, Hellne, the fierce young queen, fights to keep her people alive.
On the green and gentle human world of Mistra, the demons have faded into myth. Only a handful of old men and children still guard The Door between the worlds.
Bound by magic
Rhuun, the Prince of Eriis, uncovers a sultry book written by a human, sparking an obsession with the other world. When he is forced to flee Eriis he must escape through The Door or pay the price in blood.
Divided by a door
The humans of Mistra are not what Rhuun was expecting—and one insufferable young woman in particular is about to find out that the demons of Eriis are not mythological after all . . .
Via: JT Ellison