Wordy Wednesday with Ned Alexander

Welcome one and all to Wordy Wednesday this week with Ned Alexander, I asked him to introduce himself, to you and to me, as he's a new author to me. Ned is a  watch manager in the London Fire brigade, married and living in Kent. And I was immediately pleased to see he's a Ray Bradbury fan. So here is what Ned has to say about his books.

I have written the first two parts of a science fiction trilogy called the Martin Chronicles (An homage to the Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury). In the first part, Existential Anger, we are introduced to Martin as he is posted to his first Fire Station in a near future London. But things are not what they seem and soon Martin and his new colleagues find themselves struggling against corporate corruption and Government greed in order to uncover the truth behind Martins’ past in order that he may secure his future.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41bCkuhgQXL._UY200_.jpgThe sequel, Shaking Libya (which is actually a prequel) is based on the Martian base Libya. This time Martin is faced with a very different enemy all together and we learn of his background and discover the drivers that have made him who he is. War ravages the surface of Mars and those who are unfortunate enough to be station there live by the saying “Better dead than red!”

Homeless, was my first Children’s book and is an introduction to The Stories of Amber and William. Amber is assigned by her teacher to bring a member of the community to a show and tell as part of a school project. To get back at her teacher she decides to bring in a group of “smelly old tramps” and press gangs William into assisting her. They befriend a group of homeless people but soon find their neighbourhood under attack and Amber is forced to approach the very people she had planned to exploit in order to help defend the families' homes.

My latest book, Paradigm Paralysis is the first in the Book of Jacob trilogy. Jacob, a highly weaponised Bishop, lives in an alternate London known as Landing Town. Here he is charged by the Church with patrolling his region in order to ward off pagan hordes. Conflicts rage between these hordes and legions of the Salvation Army whilst behind the scenes the Church continues to fight to protect a secret it keeps from all but the highest of its ranks.

And then I grilled him ...

Why did you start writing?
I had an idea for a story some years ago, “Existential Anger” that I wanted desperately to get out of my head. I began writing it and showed it to someone who’s opinion I respected. They then verbally ripped up what I had written and told me to start all over again. I did, about ten years later and now, here I am. My previous hobby was cartooning but, though I was okay at it, I was never able to produce what I had planned in my head. I began writing ideas for books again and it seemed that as soon as I started writing the story just spilled out onto the page so I just let it happen.

What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good days writing?
Peace. Some good music (preferably without words or where I can’t be distracted by the lyrics hence why I love writing to Sigur Ros, and Icelandic group). Some sleep.

Do you write to a schedule, eg every day or three times a week, set times, etc or do you write as and when the mood strikes?
I’d love to be able to. Unfortunately 2015 has really had it in for my Wife and I what with her broken elbow, her Mum’s broken hip and…should I go on? No? Oh. Before all this I had a two day a week target which I was able to do around my shifts at the Brigade. In 2016 I aim to return to that target as it’s a good amount of time for me to get really stuck in whilst also freeing up time for other commitments.

What are your favourite biscuits?
A couple of years ago I most definitely would have said Jaffa cakes but since I’ve since discovered that they were proven to be cakes in a court of law so I don’t want to risk being hauled away by the biscuit police. That said, my second choice would probably be just as dodgy legally as my favourite biscuits now are free biscuits. Any biscuits offered to me, or not adequately guarded, are my favourites. I know, it’s wrong, I feel bad about it but if they’re not nailed down I’m having them. Readers, be warned. If you invite me round to tea and you haven’t chained up your bickies then be it on your own heads! Free biscuits are a brilliant choice!

Where do you do most of your writing?
Indoors in my lounge. In 2016 I hope to decorate the den and have a proper desk fitted onto which I can put my laptop and all of my paperwork etc. I’d love to write somewhere that had a great view though.

What book are you reading at the moment?
I’ve just started re-reading Dune by Frank Herbert, again. What an incredible book. It would very likely make my list of top one books of all time. Admittedly a short but very prestigious list.

Do you use social media (facebook, twitter, instagram etc) to engage with your audience, do you think it helps sales and do you find it fun or a chore?
I’m still getting the hang of Twitter, which my wife helps me with, but I have taken to blogging in a big way. You can’t shut me up! You sound made for twitter then! ha!

I’m too new to it to be able to say whether or not it is making any difference but I enjoy the process and appreciate any feedback, positive or negative, that I get back.

What was your last dream about?
*Shrugs* Honestly, I can’t tell you. Not because it’s a secret but because I simply don’t remember any of my dreams. I know, it’s a bummer! ☹

If reading and writing were banned, what would you do instead?
I would have to perform my stories in the medium of DANCE! Actually I’m lucky because I could fall back onto my cartooning. I really wouldn’t be happy about having to stop writing though. I could only hope that if reading and writing were banned that it would then be very difficult for the government to pass the law and to then let anyone know about it. That is cunning - I hadn't considered that sneaky legal conundrum

If you could cross a fruit or a vegetable with an animal what would you pick and why? I am going with a runner bean antelope this week, too fast to catch, but stringy when you do.
I think I would cross a chicken with a banana just so that they were nice and easy to peel.

Who would you like to play you in a film of your life? Feel free to add supporting roles and actors for other family members...
That’s a great question by the way. I’ve wondered in the past who would play certain characters from my books but never who would play me, though perhaps that would be a little sad if I had. I would like to think Simon Pegg, mainly because I’d actually like to meet him, rather than just bumping into him as he walked out of the O2 at a Star Wars soundtrack evening. Also I think he would be a great match looks wise, other than my bald head, gut, and completely different face of course. 

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Thanks as always to our Wordy Wednesday author. I hope you enjoyed the read, and are tempted to delve into his writings.

You can buy Ned's books on amazon, and find out more about him.

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