Alex is a writer based in the Bay Area and has an MFA in screenwriting. He worked as a Story Assistant for film and TV production in Los Angeles before working as an Assistant Producer at LucasArts in San Francisco. He’s querying his first novel, a Middle Grade adventure! He’s inspired by the creativity of others and enjoys theater, movies, reading and finding time to practice his green thumb when he’s not hiking.
Tell us about when you first knew you were a writer.
The first time I felt like a writer was long after I first knew I was a writer. I didn’t think of myself as a writer until I was about nineteen or twenty, but grew to realize the creative source of my ad-libbed projects were a form of writing which could benefit from, you know, writing down ahead of time. When my friends told me they hoped to use a story I’d written as the basis for a student film they wanted to create, I knew there was some potential in a future as a writer. The first time I felt like a writer was years later, after struggling with revisions and finally receiving praise on a draft of my novel from a total stranger. There is much more room for me to grow as a writer, but watching ideas come to life through revision reminds me that I am one.
What three books do you wish you had written and why?
Thinking back on books that I still love no matter how much time passes, my top three are Jurassic Park, The Eye of the World, and Snow Crash. They are a combination of fantastical, surreal, and contain such breathtaking adventures that I remember them 10, 20, even 30 years after reading them. There are many more on my list, but these three have served as creative inspiration for basically my whole writing life.
What’s something you have learned while mentoring youth writers?
One of the most unexpected but valuable things I’ve learned working with youth writers is that we all have similar creative issues. I spent years being frustrated by road blocks or creative lulls, but once I learned tools and techniques to push through common creative issues, I’ve had a lot more luck in exploring my story ideas. Youth writers are amazingly creative, and working with young writers on the same problems I faced, and still face, often reminds me that remaining inspired is hard work, but worth it!
Beyond writing books, what is another way you express your creative voice?
One of my main creative passions outside of writing is photography. When I was in 6th grade my dad taught me how to develop black and white film at home, and I went on to major in photography and film production in college. Eventually my interests turned to writing as I realized that was the best way for me to improve the projects I was creating. I still love taking pictures both as a passion on backcountry camping trips, and part time profession back home.
What are you working on now in your own writing?
My writing these days is heavily revision focused. I am going through the process of workshopping my pages with a small group of writing friends. It’s a long and complicated process, but gets easier each time! Every story is different, so it’s just as much work, but I have the confidence knowing that revision will take my story to the next level.
We each have stories to tell.
Plus, our own unique ways of telling them.
That’s why we personalize each mentorship at Society of Young Inklings. Our mentors are professional writers, storytellers, and illustrators who help students understand how they think, learn, and best achieve momentum. Our mentorships are designed for writers ages 8+ who are ready for a challenge.