For those of you who like their computer games, here's some of the titles that Alex has worked on: Waterworld, Evolva, The Thing, Spartan, Gates of Troy, Legion Arena. In 2005, he got his first book deal with Orion, writing adult thrillers. And in 2009 he signed up with Puffin to write the TimeRiders series. Now, he spends most of his time in various cafes and coffee bars sipping lattes, tapping keys on his laptop.
In the near future, Alex will be researching his next thriller, and also some screenplays. Right now, he's really happy to be where he is, writing his series books, and does occasionally kick himself for not having succumbed to the writing bug much earlier in life.
Author's Comment: Q. Where do some of your best ideas for your stories come from? What was your inspiration for writing TimeRiders?
Alex: My last job before being a writer, was a computer games designer...and there were plenty of games designs I came up with, which never went into production and ended up as 'mothballed' concepts. Thing was...there were plenty of really neat ideas tucked away there, never getting the chance to see the light of day. And so, over the last few years those ideas have been gradually re-emerging as, well, basically TimeRiders!
Q: Have you got any author idols?
Alex: As a kid and young man I read a lot of Stephen King. Less so now. I think I OD'd. But, thinking about it, I do have an enduring respect and appreciation for Nevil Shute, who wrote some wartime/early cold war era novels that depicted characters so incredibly vividly. Now that guy was good...really good at depicting a complete character with no more than a dozen words.
Q. Do you have any tips on how to write an absorbing book that would also make the reader feel as if they're involved in the book as well?
Alex: Characters. That's it. Characters. If they're cheesy, two-dimensional, unconvincing stereotypical cliches...then it really doesn't matter what escapes you put them through, no one's going to care. However, make 'em real and when they bleed, the reader bleeds.