Alan Baxter lives in Australia, which goes to show how international the Wily Writers are. He’s an up-and-coming writer with two fun and scary-as-Hell novels under his belt as well as numerous short stories. His stories have been chosen for publication at Wily Writers, with two different celebrity editors doing the choosing each time, and once for the “Best of” anthology.
I interviewed Alan to see what made him tick as a writer, and here’s what he told me:
What made you become a writer?
That’s like asking what made me start breathing. I’ve always been drawn to stories and always wanted to tell stories. I can’t imagine not being a writer.
What has been the most thrilling moment for you, so far, as a writer?
Every success in writing is absolutely thrilling, but at this stage, it would have to be the publication of my novel duology, RealmShift and MageSign. Hopefully I’ll get many more thrills like that during my career.
What’s the one thing you want people to know about your story in Night-Mantled?
This story features Isiah, the protagonist from RealmShift and MageSign. It was cool to be able to write a piece of short fiction with a character I know and love so well. While it’s a story in its own right, it’s also part of a larger mythology, so I hope people enjoy that aspect too. I’ve actually been asked to write another Isiah short story which will be out soon in “The Game” anthology from Seven Realms Publishing, so Isiah is getting a lot of work right now.
Do you have any pets that keep your feet warm while you’re writing?
My dog, Penry, is always nearby. He’s my best mate and an absolute joy to have around. A home is not complete without a dog in my mind. We also have a cat called Magda, who is just as lovely and often warms my lap while I write. Whether I want her to or not.
What writing organizations do you belong to?
I’m a member of the Australian Horror Writers Association, the International Thriller Writers, the Clan Destine Portal and the NSW Writers Centre. And of course, I’m a very proud Wily Writer. I don’t hold any particular office, but I do co-ordinate a writers’ critique group for AHWA members.
What’s the area of expertise you bring to your writing?
My “day job” is as a martial arts instructor. I’ve been a martial artist since I was a kid and now run the Illawarra Kung Fu Academy. Over the years I’ve developed a reputation for writing good fight scenes, and I also run workshops at conventions teaching people what makes a good fight scene in fiction. I’m actually working on a short ebook right now based on that workshop which I hope to make available soon. On top of that, I’m fascinated by mythology, religion, folklore, and so on, and use that stuff a lot in my writing. I’m not sure I’m an expert there, but I am something of a self-taught afficianado.
What do you think of the trend toward e-books and away from paper books?
I love ebooks and have no doubt that they’ll be mainstream very soon. The generation growing up now will look at print books the same way we look at 8-Track music players.
If you blog, what kind of information do you share on your blog?
I’ve blogged regularly since 2006 – www.alanbaxteronline.com – I blog about writing and publishing and anything vaguely story related. I love the avenue for expression and interaction that blogging allows.
Which authors have influenced your writing the most?
So many people influence me, but the ones that spring immediately to mind are Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, William Gibson, Iain M Banks, H P Lovecraft, Stephen King, Garth Ennis… I could go on and on! Someone once compared my first novel to Gaiman’s “American Gods” in an Amazon review and that was probably the highest compliment I ever had.
Writers spend long hours alone. Does this bother you, and how do you overcome it, if so?
I actually love the solitude of writing. I interact a lot with people in my job as a martial arts instructor and love to spend time with my family and friends, but I’d go mad without time to myself. Sitting alone in my study (my wife calls it my cave!) and creating stories is a personal heaven.
Alan is an author living on the south coast of NSW, Australia. He writes dark fantasy, sci fi and horror, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. Read extracts from his novels, a novella and short stories at his website, and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.
Alan Baxter is the author of the dark fantasy thrillers RealmShift and MageSign.
RealmShift has been described as:
- “thought provoking”
- “a novel I am loathe to put down”
- “fast paced and full of vibrancy”
MageSign has been called:
- “a fast-paced ride through a visceral reality which holds a mirror up to today’s apathetic society”
- “a fast paced supernatural adventure that will leave readers rethinking how they view the Cosmos”
- “…a gritty tale of blood rituals, mystery, and mysticism… grabs hold of the reader and doesn’t let go”
Both books are available from publisher Gryphonwood Press and in multiple formats at multiple locations:
- Print editions from Amazon.com
- Kindle editions from Amazon.com
- Print editions at Amazon.co.uk
- Visit Alan’s website, where you can:
- Read his blog.
- Read more of his free fiction: short stories, a novella and the first three chapters of both RealmShift and MageSign.