- Name (or Pen name you want used): Alex Bailey and Hoot N. Holler
- Your city, state & country of residence: Maryland, USA
Alex Bailey was a bored writer/editor of documents as monotonous as vacuum cleaner manuals. She left that life behind to create more exciting worlds than the one she lived in, and now writes stories with a splash of magic. When Alex is not writing wild stories about her friend’s future, she tends to her organic garden while belting out show tunes. She also writes children’s books under the name of Hoot N. Holler. Some of her favorite hobbies include: embarrassing her children in public with her rhythmically-challenged dancing, cleaning the small disc around the stopper of the bathroom sink, and dallying.
- Titles & genres of your available books:
The Future Memoir of Ann Jones – women’s fiction/mystery/suspense/time travel romance, with a splash of magic
A Dream Come True Series: Romance (with a splash of magic) – Once Upon a Romance, Once Upon a Proposal
Terror in Boring Town (A Sam and Rex Adventure Book 1) – Children’s Mystery
- Links to your works on Amazon, B&N, etc:
The Future Memoir of Ann Jones – getbook.at/FutureMemoir
Once Upon a Romance – getbook.at/Romance
Once Upon a Proposal – getbook.at/Proposal
Terror in Boring Town(A Sam and Rex Adventure Book 1) –
- If you have more than one book, please highlight the book you are currently promoting on our site: The Future Memoir of Ann Jones
- Brief description/teaser/blurb of selected book.
How can Ann Jones be a widow before her husband’s even dead? Ann has a strange and foreboding glimpse of her future life—her beloved husband dies suddenly…and questionably, she finds love again and is deliriously happy. But at what price?
- Twitter handle: @AuthorAlexBaile
- Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexBailey
- Website address: http://alexbailey-writes.com/
- Any additional means of contact
- About your writing:
- What inspires you to write? Everything. Really, everywhere I look, everything I hear, everything is an inspiration. I’ll hear a line from a song and think it could be a story! Or I hear a piece of a conversation when out in public and think, that could be a story! I have two daughters who also write and they are constantly asking me how I come up with all these ideas—far more ideas than I have life left to write them. I don’t know. And it happened immediately. It wasn’t like I wrote my whole life, because I didn’t. I wasn’t a child who wrote stories. I remember being a kid and thinking I could write a song and then the next thought came to me was, “But all the songs have already been written.” So, I gave up on that idea. I never thought I had an ounce of creativity because I never did a single creative thing. Until one day…
- What do you love most about writing? I love that the story and the characters leave me alone once I write them down and finish their story. Otherwise, it’s like a constant tapping on the shoulder, kind of like an annoying little brother that I cannot shoo away.
- What’s the most challenging part? By far, the most challenging part of writing is marketing. How to get the word out about your story. I still don’t have a clue about this one.
- How do you craft your story & characters? I don’t craft them. They craft themselves and then wiggle their way up to the top of the barrel. Whoever is the strongest, emerges.
- How much research is involved? I’d say like any author, I spend time looking things up online, to get ideas, names, names of places, settings, etc. For A Dream Come True series, I visited WDW many times to get all the details, even though I’d been there over a hundred times before. And I recently travelled to New Bern, NC for the setting of an upcoming book because I’d never been there and wanted to get some details and the “feel” of the town.
- How long did it take from idea to finished book? It varies. It’s taken from six months to ten years. I may start a book, then put it down because another one wants out. The first book I wrote took a year and I wrote it long-hand on the metro to/from work and then at night I’d type it up.
- Do you have any writing rituals or habits? Who influences you the most? I don’t have any rituals other than making sure I have my 24oz mug of tea with me at all times. I know, I know. Some will never consider me an authentic writer because I don’t drink coffee. But there, my secret is forever out there in the cyber universe.
- What is your favorite theme/genre to write? My favorite genre is any that has a splash of magic. I’ve written many genres: romance, mystery, fantasy, suspense, thriller, but the magic always seems to creep into the story, whether I want it to or not.
- Which character you’ve created is your favorite? Why? There’s a recurring character, Madam Helga, who appears in all of my adult books so far. And she’s making another appearance in an upcoming story with a splash of magic because I adore her! She’s kooky, odd, different, and just wants to help people. I had a reader contact me recently and ask if she was a recurring character, since they’d read both of A Dream Come True series and I told her she was the first to notice! For my kids’ books, I’d say Rex’s grandmother, Yaya, for the same reasons—she’s kooky, odd, different.
- Do any of your life experiences worm their way into your books? Absolutely! Some of the “incidents” in The Future Memoir of Ann Jones were taken from my life and if you’ve read that one, you know how tragic that is. And of course, the books set in WDW are mostly based on my personal opinions, but just whose POV, I won’t tell!
- How do you like to connect with readers? I get wonderful emails telling me how much they’ve enjoyed one of my books. I recently had a reader ask for a sequel to one of my children’s books who said she doesn’t even have kids but loved the book!
- What do you hope readers take away from your books? That magic happens. It happens in the everyday, mundane lives of people who simply have their eyes open to it.
- Who helps you with the critique and editing process? Do you ever hate something you’ve written? I have a wonderful author critique group, with an eclectic bunch of writers that help tremendously flesh out plot, character, and the details. We get along tremendously, and have been together for about four or five years. I never read much historical fiction before, but since two of them write in that genre, I’m learning to love it. I also have a wonderful editor who also catches many of the same types of issues, and of course, the grammar! If I hate something I’ve written, it doesn’t make the light of day. I have many works in progress that are in that category.
- How do you overcome any nagging self-doubt that inevitably creeps in? Of course, this happens to most writers. Sometimes when this occurs, I’ll win an award, or get a lovely review, or someone will ask for the next book in a series and I’ll pop out of it. And if the universe doesn’t throw something at me to break it, sometimes I take a break from writing. I’ve taken a break for as long as a year before that nagging feeling returns and I feel I must write. But so far, I’ve always popped out.
- Do you read all reviews? I sure do and I appreciate every single one, because it takes valuable time out of someone’s day for a reader to write a review.
- Why are reviews important? Reviews are valuable pieces of feedback. Many reviewers will offer their opinions on what they liked, didn’t like, and ways to change something. I do that as well as a reader/reviewer. Just as I appreciate feedback, I receive from my writer’s critique group, I appreciate the time a reader spends in writing a review.
- What advice would you give aspiring writers? Join a critique group. You’ll learn so much from other authors’ critiques, but also, you’ll learn about your own writing when you critique someone else’s writing.
- What can you tell us about what we’ll see from you next? I always have multiple projects going at the same time. I never know which one will make it to the finish line first. I’m writing the next in the series of both of my children’s series. And I’ve got two books (one with a splash of magic) I’m working on for adults. It’s hard to tell which one will rear its head first.
- About Indie Publishing
- Why did you choose to publish as an Indie Author? What obstacles have you encountered? Marketing and promotion are costly in both time and money. I tried for twenty years querying agents with many asking for partials or full manuscripts and then reject me. I understood that what I write is different and would be difficult for them to sell to a publisher. But, I was at the point of thinking I’d never be read by anyone, until I joined an author critique group that encouraged me to do it. At the time, several of the authors in the group were indie, but I wasn’t sure if I could do it, if anyone would read my books, or even how to go about it.
- How did you overcome those challenges.? What has been the highlight of this journey? That would have to be the day Wham! became #1 on Amazon. I took several classes on publishing from different instructors at our local college, one was a former editor at a large NY publishing firm, some were traditionally-published authors, and one was an indie author. After taking the last class from an indie author, which was a year-long course, I felt as if I had at least the beginnings of enough knowledge to try it. The highlight has to be when I started getting reviews from actual readers and two of my books won awards. The other highlight was the day Wham! became #1 on Amazon because that means I know a #1 bestselling author!
- Any tips for someone considering going Indie vs Traditional Publishing? Join author groups on Facebook and Twitter that can help you, because it’s a tough road. You need support when you fall, fail, flounder. You will have so many questions, get frustrated, want to quit, but other authors are there to pick you up. Authors, I’ve found, are the most supportive people on the earth! I seriously mean that. I’ve had authors from other countries offer me to come visit them when I was in a writing funk. I’ve gotten many questions answered that I didn’t even know I needed because someone else had asked. You need a pack surrounding you. The other thing I suggest is to always help your fellow authors. Pay it forward. Because one day you’ll be the one with the answer or shoulder, and there’s no feeling in the world like helping others.