Alex Bledsoe, who once hailed from a small town in Tennessee and now resides in a village overrun by trolls in Wisconsin, is a father, husband, friend, and writer. For the purposes of this post, we will focus on the writer aspect of the man called “Prentiss” by those who call him by his middle name.
The creator of the sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse, the mystical Tufa people, a certain witch, and a rather menacing group of vampires, Alex has written 12 books and over 200 short stories. His latest book,Long Black Curl, came out May 26th and continues the much beloved saga of the Tufas. I was fortunate to read an early copy of it. I can honestly say that it’s my favorite Tufa novel, and I’ve liked them all.
Alex was gracious enough to sit down with me recently and answer some questions. Okay, actually I sent him the questions by email and he sent them back to me. Answered. We do have coffee on Tuesdays at Sjolinds Chocolate House, but we’re much too busy discussing our families, bad movies, and Kevin Sorbo to do any interviewing.
So let’s get to it. And after you’re done reading the interview, rush out and pick up a copy of Long Black Curl and read it. It will be the best thing you’ve ever done in your life. Or at least top 5, depending on how awesome your life.
1. You have a new book out, Long Black Curl, which continues to expand the world of the Tufas. When you started exploring this world, did you have a long term goal of where you wanted to go, or are you discovering it as you write?
In the case of these books, there’s not really an overarching story. There are recurring characters, and they change and evolve, but each book is meant to be a self-contained story.
2. In our conversations, you have stressed how you wanted each book to be a standalone story. Why is that important to you?
Because as a reader, I’ve been frustrated too many times by picking up a book that looks interesting, only to discover that it’s book 3 in a series and absolutely indecipherable unless you’ve read the preceding novels. I want to make it easy for readers to get into my books, not harder.
3. As a creator of several different worlds, do you ever see a when where certain characters might come into contact with each other? I only ask because I think it would be awesome to see a certain vampire enter the world of the Tufas . . .
Ha! Well, I wouldn’t say, “never,” but each world seems more powerful to me if it exists on its own. There are plenty of authors who disagree and populate their worlds with all sorts of supernatural beings, but to me, it weakens the power of the story.
4. As a writer and a teacher of writing, what advice would you give to an aspiring writer of any age?
Write every day. Just like an athlete practices every day to be ready for the big game, a writer has to practice every day to be ready for the big idea.
5. You once told me that you don’t believe in writer’s block, which has helped me immensely as a writer because it removed an out for me. Could you talk about writer’s block and your feelings on it?
Well, when writing is your job--and I firmly believe you should approach it as a job--you don’t have time for blocks. Do electricians get electrician’s block? Do mechanics? Sure, some days will be easier than others, but the point is, you go to work every day no matter how you may feel about it. Same thing with writing: you do it every day, even when you don’t feel like it.
6. What surprises can your readers expect from Long Black Curl?
It’s the longest book I’ve written so far, so you get more words.
1. Favorite writer when you were a child: Edgar Rice Burroughs
2. Best line from a story other than yours: “Next time, why don’t you just mail me your guns?” That line is hysterical in context.
3. Favorite line that you have written: “If a rattlesnake bites you, you don’t blame the rattlesnake.”
4. Favorite flavor of Pop-tarts: Blueberry
5. Are you fan of grits? I won’t change the channel if they’re on.
6. If you were any superhero, who would you be? Batman.
7. If you could be any character from your books, who would it be? Jane Argo.
8. Favorite member of the Bee Gees? Maurice.
9. If you lived in the world of cartoons, what type of character would you be and what would your name be? I’d be the guy who finds Michigan J. Frog. Poor bastard never got a name.
10. Of all of your uncles, who has the best name? Nuell.
Now that you're done reading this interview, be sure to pick up a copy of Long Black Curl. It's available everywhere books are sold and in all formats. And if you can pick up a copy at a local bookstore . . . all the better.
You can find out more information about Alex and his books at his website alexbledsoe.com.
Here it is. Steven's blog, where his thoughts about things are revealed. Good luck.