Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Q&A with Felix Alexander

Felix Alexander (1976-Present) is a Mexican-born, American-raised novelist, and poet of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent.

Acclaimed by readers for his poetic prose, his indie releases include: Dear Love: Diary of a Man's Desire, a collection of love letters and poems; and The Romantic, a novel.

After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, he embarked on the long and arduous journey of a writer. Having made a name for himself during his tenure, serving his country, he vowed to himself and his fellow soldiers that he would answer his true calling.

1.       What inspired the idea for THE ROMANTIC?

I originally wrote the first draft several years ago, during my separation. It was an outlet for the myriad of emotions I felt at the time. Years later, after I concluded revisions on a different novel, I sat at my desk with the windows open. My home office overlooks a water fountain, and the new beginning simply came to me.



2.       What was your writing process like?

I began each day with a can of Starbucks Double Shot Espresso. I’d re-read what I had already written to recapture my momentum. Whenever I hit “writer’s block,” I’d simply read. At the time, I was reading the first Game of Thrones book, and I merely immersed myself in another story instead of panicking the way I had in years past.



3.       How did you come up with the character of Hadriel Alighieri?

In many respects, his character was a reflection of who I was. Although the name Hadriel was fabricated, the surname Alighieri was derived from Dante Alighieri, because of his epic poem. To a romantic, love is heaven. The absence of it—in the case of Hadriel—was his own personal hell. The story was his journey during the stages of his life. Until he reconciles his differences with God, and finds his angel. 



4.       How different do you think this story would be had you written from a female perspective?

I daresay that writing it from a woman’s perspective would have forced me to essentially face my greatest fear. What I mean by that is… in order to tap into the depth of such sadness—with regard to unrequited love—I believe I would have to see love through my daughter’s eyes, because my greatest hope, and my greatest fear is that she will find her true love.



5.       Do you consider this to be a romance story? How so?

Yes, because even though there are scenes that depict intimate encounters, the main premise of the story centers on the emotions that create conflict in our love life.



6.       What message did you want to convey with this story?

I believe the message I hope to convey stems from advice my dad shared with us growing up: When you love someone, take your time. When you love someone, get to know who he or she truly is. When someone truly loves you, they will show you. And when you have fallen in love, don’t be afraid to say it…because tomorrow is promised to no one.



7.       What do you hope readers will gain from this book?

I hope they will draw wisdom about love and relationships. I hope they will draw inspiration to tell their own love stories. I hope they will discover that Latinos are great storytellers, too!



8.       Do you feel your story is an inspiration to Latinos?

I hope it will be. Many of us know someone who migrated to America. Many of us have tasted love on foreign soil. Many of us feel deeply, and passionately about love. I hope that The Romantic will encourage more Latinos to read and write, so that we—as a community—pursue academic endeavors to raise the standard for future generations.



9.       What books do you like to read?

I love to read anything I can get my hands on! Fantasy; Romance (paranormal, contemporary, literary); Historical epics; Sci-Fi; Mystery and books on mythology/ancient civilizations.



10.   Are you working on any other stories?

I am currently working on a mystery novel. I am also waiting to hear back from a publisher about a fantasy novel, which will be the first in a series.



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