Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
True story, I started writing 20 years ago, when I walked into a mystical fog on the National Mall and came out the other side with a complete first novel in tact. I’d never written anything! Never had an idea for a book. Never had an inkling of desire to write. I’d taken the minimum requirements of English in college and dreaded every minute.
So, what’s a person to do with this weird experience? Push it aside. Squelch the compelling feeling to write it down until it boiled over. I finally gave in and bought a ton of books on how to write. Took some courses and off I went. From time to time, I’d again reject the compulsion and walked away. Just for it to follow me. Capture me, swing me around until I cried, “Uncle!” I’ve completely given up and given in. I decided to get serious, take more courses, join a critique group, and finally get to publishing these stories that are now constantly filling my inner ether.
I can’t count how many books I’ve written over the years, I can’t even remember them all. But I have three books in print, one under the pen name, Alex Bailey and two under the pen name, Hoot N. Holler.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Future Memoir of Ann Jones was the debut novel for the pen name, Alex Bailey. I wrote it several years ago and pushed it aside, with a mountain of others. I only recently picked it back up, polished it off, and sent it out into the world. It’s hard to say what inspired it, as ideas swirl in my head constantly. Including. All. Night. Long. Yes, even waking me with their insistence on being heard!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I wrote my first book, The Peacemaker, never to see the light of day, as it was, after all, my first book completely on the Washington D.C. metro riding to and from work. It took a year and it was back before laptops were a thing, and so it was completely pen/ink in a notebook. I’d rush home and type that day’s creation. There were many days I was stared at and pitied, while tears strolled down my cheeks. I felt like Joan Wilder in “Romancing the Stone” only I was in public!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have read every Cecelia Ahern book she’s written with a touch of magic, as I aspire to be her! My tastes are widely varied and I read everything, except Horror, thanks to Stephen King’s cure of me of ever wanting to read horror again, though I recently read 11/23/63 (again with the magic) and am currently reading many, but two are Tomi Adeyemi’s, “Children of Blood and Bone” and LJ Ryan’s, “The View from our Window.”
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on several novels, as Alex Bailey, both of which are chick lit with a touch of magic, as that seems to be the category that is most often stabbing my heart to escape. Also, as Hoot N. Holler, I’m working on sequels to both children’s book series that are currently out – Skerry Island: The Prince and the Pirate Book One and Terror in Boring Town: A Sam and Rex Adventure.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’ve only just started promoting, so I’m no expert at any superlative when it comes to book promotion.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write! Keep writing! And write some more! And if you attempt to give up and something feels like a physical hand on your back pushing you along, give in and get back to writing!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Read everything you can get your hands on.
What are you reading now?
Tomi Adeyemi’s, “Children of Blood and Bone” and LJ Ryan’s, “The View from our Window.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Working on the marketing end and trying to squeeze in some writing. This marketing stuff is tough. Much more so than writing!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens would always always always be my first choice whether desert island, highest mountain, or the rain forest!
The entire Harry Potter series I consider 1 book, so that may be cheating, but I’d try to sneak them in.
Skerry Island: The Prince and the Pirate Book One because there may be some good ideas if I get caught having to survive on that island.