by Cyrus Webb
Over the past eight years I have interviewed over a thousand authors, each with their own ability to tell a story that they believe in and hope readers will enjoy. One such individual who delivers time and again is Alex Bledsoe.
He is able to harness the talent he has and deliver what is nothing short of a work of literary art that will keep you flipping the pages, enthralled with the characters and attempting to see where he will take us next. In this conversation he talks with readers about the gift, why it is so important to be passionate about what you do and what you can expect next from him.
Alex, thank you for taking out the time to share with our readers. For those who don't know, I first interviewed you on Conversations LIVE in 2011 while you were promoting your book THE HUM AND THE SHIVER. I'm curious. When did you realize that writing was going to be the avenue that you were going to speak to the world?
Looking back over your career so far and the way you have been received by avid readers and even your peers, has it changed your idea of what success is as a writer?
I think every unpublished writer considers publication to be the threshold of "success," and I was no different. I mean, I was 44 when my first book came out, so I'd anticipated that moment for a LONG TIME. And it was wonderful: getting the big box of books from the publisher, getting the first reviews, getting those first fan e-mails from people I didn't know. Especially since my first book was kind of a genre hybrid, I worried that people wouldn't "get" it. Finding out they did was great.
Ah, that way lie the dangerous shoals of pretentiousness. My only job is to tell a story, and to use my skill and experience to tell it well. The goal is to be honest to the story, and the characters. For example, In my novels Blood Groove and The Girls with Games of Blood, my vampires are not romantic, not endearing, and definitely not safe to be around. They are pure nihilists, divorced entirely from human morality. So the story about them does not embrace that morality, either. And I've caught some flack, because readers have been unprepared for that. But it's true to the characters and their story.
I have asked you this question before, but I think it bears repeating here for our readers: What advice do you have for anyone out there who has a passion for something and aren't sure they should pursue it?
If you can walk away from it, you probably should. You may be missing your true passion by insisting on something you think you should be passionate about, but really aren't. You need to feel about your passion the same way Robert Mitchum does about Jane Greer in Out of the Past: when she confesses that she actually did shoot her boyfriend, steal the money, and lie to him, Mitchum replies, "Baby, I don't care." I know that, whether I'd ever sold a novel or not, I'd still be writing. You need that kind of blind desire, I think.