Interview with Alexander Gordon, author of “Chronicles of Eden”

What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?

It’s reflective of the style and storytelling of what got me into writing in the first place. It was actually seeing an anime of the same genre that led me to where I am now, as after watching the anime, reading all the manga, and then going online to find fanfiction stories about these unique and colorful characters and world I decided to take matters into my own hands and write my own stories. First with fanfiction with those same characters I loved, and then I branched off and created original stories that led to my book series being born.

What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?

Computer. Need to use a keyboard and computer to type, I’m not a fan of writing in pen/pencil/stylus.

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

As I said in my first answer it was the urge to create more stories and adventures for an existing character set and world that I fell in love with.

What inspires you to write?

It is a great feeling to create a wonderful world with interesting characters and events, and watching it unfold as time goes on. I draw inspiration from media and stories of similar genres, as well as the wild ideas I have swirling around in my head.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?

I suppose it would be when I feel inspired that I decide to do it, then again I’m inspired every day so my schedule to write is every day.

How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?

Not at all. I’m telling a story I like and want to share, so it’s very easy to write about it.

Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?

Each of my chapters for my series are at least ten thousand words, I try to get at least half that each day if I can.

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I have a main storyline in my mind, and as I write I flesh it out with subplots or new ideas that don’t deter from the final goal.

Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last?

Only one instance, and that was mostly from me working so hard that I needed to take a break. After I spent some time unwinding, I got back into the swing of things.

Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?

Just take a step back and relax your mind. Go outside, read a book, visit family and friends. Let your mind rest, don’t try and force work to come out otherwise it’s not going to be very good and you’ll only grow more distraught.

Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?

Everything. From sentence structure and grammar to story and character developments, everything has become better over time.

Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

I do it myself. Aside from the artwork that comes with my books, everything is from me. I do my best to make it as ‘perfect’ as I can, but I sleep easy at night knowing that the books I put out are the way I wanted it, and I’m proud of what I’ve created.

What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?

You don’t want to cheap out on getting a good cover and title, since that’s what will catch the reader’s attention first. However you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on it either.

Have you ever designed your own book cover?

Yes. All my covers and character art I have my artists create are commissioned to be specific for how I want them to look.

Does a bad review affect your writing?

Not at all. There’s no shortage of opinions out there. Some will be good, some will be bad. You can’t please everyone. If someone loves my book, then great, I’m happy for them. If they hated it then alright, they can find another book to like I’m sure. I love what I’ve created, and no review or amount of negative reviews will ever get me to stop writing.

Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?

If you have a story you want to write, then do it. Don’t let anyone stop you or tell you it’s not good enough. As long as you love what you create then it’s already a work of art. There will be people out there that will hate what you create simply because it’s not something they like, however there will be people out there who will love what you write and will be thankful you shared your story with them. Do it for yourself and those who want to see your story, and pay no mind to the people who try to bring you down. Writers make words, they aren’t beaten with them.

Do you read any of your own work?

I do reread my stories, it’s nice to see where I’ve come from and where I’m going.

Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?

My style of writing is close to that of Japanese light novels, as it reads and plays out like a manga or anime rather than a western novel. The way the characters interact and are visualized sticks with that genre closely.

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Yes, I have. Someone who was close in my life had a character modeled after them and was supposed to have been around in the story for longer. However after that someone betrayed me and left my life I had the character killed off in the story so not to have them in my life at all anymore.

How realistic are your books?

They are somewhat realistic; however there is an element of unrealism in them for either comedic effect or story progression. Again, it is written in the style and pacing most manga and anime are in, so there are some things that are either glossed over or simply ignored as far as reality goes.

Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?

I am currently having a video game being made for my Chronicles of Eden series. A two player fighting game with the characters from the story, simply for the purpose of having a fighting match and nothing else. If the readers liked the characters of the story they’ll soon be able to play as them in battles against each other.

Who are your books mostly dedicated to?

The only dedication made so far is to that of my brother, Daniel Gordon, who the main character has the name of Daniel from. My second brother, Benjamin, will be put into the series in the eighth book.

It is often believed that almost all writers have had their hearts broken at some point in time, does that remain true for you as well?

Who doesn’t experience that? So yes, that has been true for me too, thought that’s regardless of the fact of me being a writer.

Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?

Everyone. Even though my story is a little raunchy everyone supports my decision to write and what I create. Though that doesn’t mean they read it, which I’m fine with.

When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?

No, nobody from my friends or family or even myself saw this coming in my life.

Do you have a daily habit of writing?

Yes, and I’m happy with that.

Is it true that anyone can be a writer?

Yes. Anyone can write a story. Anyone can do this. The trick is to have the motivation to actually do it.

Do you reply back to your fans and admirers personally?

I do have a blog and other websites where fans and readers can send in emails and questions, and I answer every one.