Occasionally on the blog we will talk with one of our author friends, gaining valuable insights into their behind the scene world. Today we meet with J.A. Alexsoo, a brilliant writer and friend of the blog.
- Dan: What’s your favorite genre and is that the genre you write in?
J. A. Alexsoo: Fantasy, but science fiction is a close second. The Knights of Mythreth series is fantasy, but I have a science fiction story simmering until it’s ready. I’ve explored many genres, but I enjoy fantasy and science fiction the most.
- What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Dragonlance: The Legend of Huma.
As a youngster, reading was more of a chore than a pleasure, until this book. Dragonlance was given to me and was the first novel I read. it ignited my passion for fiction and fantasy. Richard A. Knaak had me so emotionally invested in the character. Falling in love with the genre was inevitable.
- Best book to movie you’ve seen?
Lord of the Rings. In the book, at the part where they fight in Moria, I remember wishing I was there. It sounded so exciting. Then the movie came out and changed my mind. I didn’t have any nightmares, but looking back, it’s funny how my perspective did a one-eighty.
- Have you had any nightmares because of fiction?
When I was young, I had a nightmare about mummies. It bothered me that they couldn’t be destroyed. That wasn’t true for all mummies, but it was for this one.
And dinosaurs. I’ve also had nightmares about being chased by them. Silly as that is. I probably had recently watched Jurassic Park.
- How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
As a child, my head was always in the clouds. It still is a lot of the time.
I would create my own character in the fiction I read or the shows I watched, and imagined a role I would play in the story.
I love watching clouds and staring at the stars at night. I think about how tiny we are in the universe and it blows my mind. It would be fascinating to explore other planets and solar systems.
More with the imagination than actual traveling. I’ve been a fan of all things fantasy and science fiction since I was young. Games, movies, shows, books. It didn’t matter. So long as it had a satisfying story, then I loved it.
- How did becoming a writer change you?
I’ve had to pay more attention to the details of the world and people. It helps to create more realistic characters and interesting adventures. I’m also happier, doing what I love.
- Do you have any regrets?
Not starting sooner. Sometimes I wonder if I would’ve been an author earlier if I’d gone into the arts instead of science. But at the same time, my science background has influenced my writing and ideas. So, it’s actually a treasured resource.
- What was your favorite subject in school?
Physics! Just kidding. I took calculus.
My favorite was English. Not for the grammar— I hold a profound respect for all those editors out there— but for the story assignments. I always had fun with that.
In university, I took biology and environmental studies. The environmental courses were especially valuable.
- What’s one adventure you’ve had?
I have snorkeled with sharks and sting rays during a vacation. The sharks weren’t the big scary kind. But, the sting rays were huge!
- Have you ever broken a bone?
I was quite the climber and fell from a tree and broke my wrist. The hazards of being active and adventurous.
- Indie publishing has become quite popular. How did you first learn about it?
The Martian was coming to theaters… It introduced me to the world of indie publishing.
The Martian was coming to theaters, based on Andy Weir’s novel. I was curious as to how he managed to have his book made into a movie and did some background research. It introduced me to the world of indie publishing.
I was still writing my first book and had no knowledge of the publishing world. It opened my eyes to the possibilities and gave me hope. The movie was great by-the-way! The book is in my “To Read” pile for sure!
- Your first book, The Knight’s Order, was published last year in October. What did you learn from the experience?
A lot! From writing and editing to publishing and marketing. I jumped head first into the indie publishing world, and the learning curve was steep. It still is some days, but I keep learning and improving.
- What’s your best piece of advice for a new writer?
Surround yourself with supportive people. Friends, family, readers. You may be one of those people who says they can do it alone, no matter what people think. But,
support is important. It can really help on those dark days. It can drive your enthusiasm!
Doesn’t your motivation skyrocket when someone wants to know what happens next? Find those people who enjoy your stories. Nothing is better than that.
- What’s your favorite social media?
Pinterest! I love browsing it every day. The images are beautiful and inspiring.
- Where can readers connect with you?
Well, you can find me on Pinterest of course, but I also have a little corner of the web at JAAlexsoo.com. I like to post updates about my books and other fantasy, science fiction, and reading related topics. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter if you don’t want to miss any updates. It’s my hub, so you can find all my links there.
If you like Facebook, I have a page I dedicate to all things fantasy and science fiction. Some other reading and book related topics slip in there as well.
And don’t forget Goodreads too!
Before I go, I’d just like to thank Dan for this opportunity. I’m new to the author community, so I appreciate the interest. Thanks Dan!
It was my pleasure, J.A.! Readers of the blog enjoy seeing the writerly process from different viewpoints.
Gang, J.A. will be back next week to share some insights on how to find the perfect