Today I bring you an interview with Alex Blachernae. Author of 'Love In Different Shades'.
Tell me about yourself.
Hi! I’m Alex, but my friends also call me Bread or Baguette (given my lifelong love for goods of the baked variety). I am an author who primarily writes Fantasy and Romance and often loves to combine the two.
I am also a designer with my own small business. In my free time, I can be found sharing quality memes on Twitter or scrolling through adorable animal pictures on Instagram.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing on and off since I was about 15. At first, it was simply unserious doodling or stories for the enjoyment of my friends. I picked up writing as a serious hobby in College, where I found it to be a wonderful stressbuster. From there it was a gradual transition to learning more about the industry and professional writing.
Do you have a favourite book?
I’d say this is a question I’ve always struggled with. My favorites vary with mood and funnily, also what I’m personally working on at the time. I’d say a perennial favorite would always be Lord of the Rings, the series that actually got me interested in Literature, Stories, and Writing.
Currently, I’m in love with Time Binge, a story about two Paranormal Detectives by Martina Fetzer. Of the recent books I’ve read my favorites include Candle Lake by Rachel Campbell and Time to Wake by K. Thomas.
Tell me about ‘Love in Different Shades’
Love In Different Shades is, to put it simply, a collection of love stories. It is the result of a conversation I had with the author of a book called ‘From A Heart-Shaped Box’ wherein we discussed the singular focus of most literature and media on romantic love, which, more often than not focuses on cishet couples.
My book has stories exploring everything from platonic to familial to yes, romantic love. It has stories about grief and hope, love and healing, and the happy endings we all hope for in our own lives.
I’m not the best at talking about my own book, so I’ll let this graphic do the talking for me:
What inspired you to write it?
My biggest inspiration for the stories in this book was my despair at how fiction is often not indicative of the reality all of us live in. I wanted to write a book that truly captured the essence of all emotions we as humans feel and include the constellation of people that we encounter in our lives.
What was your journey to publication?
I am proud to say that I am an Indie Author. Love In Different Shades was such a unique book that I felt it would not be suitable for Traditional Publishing. I wanted to stay true to my vision for the book and did not want to make the sort of compromises the industry would have inevitably demanded to increase the marketability of my debut. I was lucky enough to find and get to work with a small team of consummate professionals who ensured that my book was on par with any you’d find on Amazon or in a Book Store.
That being said I do plan to query one of the books I’m currently working on in the latter half of 2023.
Are you working on anything new?
Alongside setting up my own small business I am currently working on two projects. My first WIP is a Steamy Contemporary Romance and I am currently in the process of writing it. My other project is an Urban Fantasy that is still being plotted.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I think my biggest Kryptonite is what a very good friend calls ‘squirrel brain’. My inner muse refuses to focus on a single project for the time required to write a novel and write it well. I guess that’s part of the allure of short stories and anthologies for me. However, I fight this weakness with one of the most important traits any storyteller must possess: Discipline. That, along with a healthy amount of grumbling and a folder full of story ideas creatively titled ‘Do Not Open Right Now!’ has enabled me to be on track to finish and hopefully publish my first full-length novel this year!
What does literary success look like to you?
I think my goal is very similar to many other writers and creatives. I’d love to get to a point where I can dedicate the majority of my time to my craft. To me, literary success is mostly about writing stories from the heart and reaching readers who truly enjoy my books.
What advice would you give a first-time author?
I think the best advice I can give them is to remind them that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Rejection is part and parcel of our world but the key thing is not to give up. At the same time, I’d want them to realize that we are all human and none of us are infallible. Reject the trolls (of which you will find many) but never turn a blind eye to constructive criticism. It has made me a better author and I’m certain it will do the same for you.
One last bit of advice that I’ll give is to write what you enjoy instead of chasing trends. Readers crave authenticity, which you can only provide if you stay true to your voice.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing or reading I love to spend my time making new designs (successfully) or learning to cook (unsuccessfully).
I run my own Independent Store that has T-Shirts, Hoodies, Mugs, and much more in designs ranging from cute to gothic! I also help friends with custom projects (like bookmarks for their book boxes) and special merch for events (like the limited edition items I have for Pride Month!). I’d love it if you visited and gave it some love.
Thanks to Alex for sharing with us. If you would like to check out the authors work, click on the links below :