After being laid off in 2009 and facing serious health challenges shortly after, Alexandra's passion for writing has allowed her to survive and to even look to the future. A lifetime working history in the professional business world in three different countries continuously aids her in copy writing. Expressing herself through writing has been a lifetime dream, and Alexandra was thrilled to experience financial rewards shortly after making the decision to adopt a writing career. - Alexandra Heep
Hi Alex. Welcome to Mandy’s Pages. This interview is long overdue, so first, I’d like to apologize for this delay. I know you to be an incredibly talented writer, a wonderful friend and a passionate cat lover. However, for my readers out there, how would you sum yourself up? What would you like them to know about yourself?
I find this actually difficult to answer right off the bat! My pen name is Alexandra Heep. Unlike many other writers, I did not think I was born to write and got started late in life. It's been a lifesaver at first when I was laid off from a day job, and I have been a full-time writer only since 2011 because I can't do much else as far as earning goes because of health reasons. English is also my second language, so I must admit I sometimes wonder if I am good enough. I really have a hard time narrowing down who I am in a few sentences because I think there are many layers and facets to me. I always try to do the best job that I can.
For those who do not know Alex (as we fondly call her), she is the poet / author of the book Love, Life and Time.
Alex, what motivated you to start writing? When did you venture out into this ‘writer’ journey?
I remember the exact date: June 13, 2007. I was at my regular day job and had to research something on the Internet. I came across an article, and a "write to this subject" link. I knew I could do a better job, so I signed up for the website. That is when I realized that the Internet had websites that catered to people who wanted to start out as writers, and I signed up for two more. From there, I established an online portfolio of articles that I used to land paid writing assignments. A book was the next logical step. Self-publication made this possible, since I am pressed for time and energy.
Give us the back-cover version of the book Love, Life and Time.
A collection of 20 poems, mostly freestyle, written by Alexandra Heep. Some are illustrated with photos taken by Alexandra. Full color.
Behind every successful writer is...
… a support system. Writing can be a lonely endeavor: but what is the point of writing if there is no audience? A support system, however, not only includes readers, but editors, other writers, promoters, and friends among the non-writers who actually make an effort to understand the material. I find the latter to be especially important.
5. I am impressed, that despite so many hurdles in your day to day routine, you have still had the focus and determination to work on this book. How much time do you spend writing?
Just about every waking hour. Since I have sleep problems, that is a lot! It's not always for pay, although that is the majority, but I do a lot of networking and socializing online as well--and that amounts for quite a bit of writing.
6. What makes this book (Love, Life and Time) special to you?
Every detail really. I know that books should please an audience (or they won't be successful), but I have particularly satisfied my own need to express words in poetry. Also, for decades I wrote only dark stuff, and this is my first open journey into the light. Being my first book, this is very special too.
7. How is your book different from other books in this genre?
It's short, but deep (to adapt a cliché). I also used a few of my own photographs for illustrations, which was not easy without expensive equipment. I like to think it's the kind of booklet you can keep around and dig out when you only have a few minutes to spare in your busy life for a quick pick-me-up.
People who look for something positive and inspiring, but don't have a lot of time for reading, and people who love ‘love’.
9. What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Don't burn any bridges and never hesitate to seek advice from better writers and editors. In addition, know the difference between proper marketing and spamming.
10. Are you working on anything now? Do you have plans for any more books?
I had started a novella years ago, but life happens … I also have a ton of ideas in my head, but for now have to focus on the almighty dollar and so I still write mostly web content.
11. What is the scope of this book Love, Life and Time?
It follows the title of the book—I think that love and time are two important components of life, so poems can be categorized under those titles.
12. Why did you create this book? Would you like to credit anyone in particular?
Love, Life and Time was inspired by my boyfriend Tom and a product of a dream. Due to time constraints and other responsibilities (like keeping a roof over the cat's head), it's short, but I like to think that sometimes that can be a good thing.
Thank you Alex. you have been wonderful with this interview. From all of here at Mandy's Pages, I wish you the very best.
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