So Who is this Alex bloke anyway?
An interview from BookCountry.
What were your favorite books in school?
AM: Hmm, tough one. At school, we were forced to read all kinds of stuff that I was not interested in. I can’t honestly remember reading anything at school, novel wise. Home was different. I was quite a bookworm for fiction as a kid.
The first ‘real’ novel I read was LORD OF THE SPIDERS by Harry Harrison. I was about eight or nine. I loved it. I then went on to read other adventures/fantasy. Stuff like BATTLE CIRCLE and the big four ‘Tolkiens,’ but then I found SciFi. By age twelve, I was into Niven and Pournelle. FOOTFALL and LEGACY OF HEOROT come to mind.
As a gangly 14-year old, my dad gave me a book called TITUS GROAN by Mervyn Peake, a trilogy which will stay with me for the rest of my life. Steerpike is, to me anyway, the best of the best when it comes to being a villain.
But then I found horror. I’ll never forget what happened the day I found horror. It was a hot summer morning, and I had severe gastro. With nothing to read, I grabbed the first book off the shelf. It was James Herbert’s THE RATS.
You could say that it literally scared the crap out of me.
What mistakes did you make when you first started writing?
AM: I still consider myself starting out.
I guess the first piece I ever wrote was SOULWEAVER – I’m thinking the biggest mistake I made with it was taking on a project FAR bigger than I have talent for. I am still going to finish that one off – but I’m ‘gunna need me some learnin’ first before I tackle that bad boy again.
My SPaG is awful, and I have very little attention to detail. However, I have been told by more than a few that I can tell a decent story (once all of the SPaG issues have been ironed out). Also, I’ve been told that I can write characters that feel real. So I’ll take that as a win.
Fortunately, I’ve been in the creative world as a graphic designer for a long time, and I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to criticism.
So with plenty of encouragement, I’ve stuck at it with the hope that one day someone may read something that I’ve written and hit me with a “hey, that was cool. I liked that.” Then I’d be a happy little vegemite.
I’m not out to be the next King or Herbert. I’m just having fun trying to stay crazy in a sane world.
Actually for a bit of fun, here’s a link to a super scary short movie (with some fabulous acting) I made with the kids while camping.
What drew you to write horror?
AM: After the great toilet incident of 94 (possibly more horrific for the plumber actually!), I read all the horror books I could get my hands on. Stephen King, James Herbert and Clive Barker come to mind.
I still love the cleverness of SciFi, but I’m not clever enough to write it and make it believable.
I’m too cynical for romance – my romantic couple would be walking along the beach at sunset and step in a dog turd.
Erotica… I know it’s a big market – thrusting off the climactic success of the novel that shall not be named, but seriously! “Take this throbbing love pump and…” No… just no…
I’ve tried a couple of times to do fantasy, but they just come out as pure cheese and comical. Plus, Mr. Martin has that genre covered.
Horror is just what came out when I sat down, sliced open a vein and started writing something that I would want to read and what I thought my wife and sister would enjoy. They are also both King fans.
I also wanted a distinct Aussie feel to it.
About Alex Maher
Alex was born and raised in England. When he was sixteen, his family moved to Australia where he learned how to surf, joined a rock band and rode his motorcycle to shows. Alex currently lives with his wife, three beautiful kids, two dogs, three cats, several parrots and a fish tank.