Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Author Interview: Alec Houze

Welcome Alec Houze, author of Shepherd's Gambit.

Describe your ideal writing space. How does it compare to reality?
My ideal writing space is any place where I can find my solitude and a flat surface. I write my first drafts longhand in a notebook, so the environments that I search for can take many shapes. In reality, I do most of my writing at a desk where I work. The only aspects that are vital are solitude and music.

What is the first story you remember writing and what was it about?
The first story I remember writing was entitled "The Lonely Christmas Tree." The title is not misleading. I was seven years old when I wrote it and have been trying to recapture my voice ever since.

Name a memorable book from your childhood. Why is it memorable?
Perhaps the most memorable book from when I was a child was "The Wind in the Willows." My parents read to me every night before I would go to sleep, and I asked for that to be read to me at least as often as everything else that filled my bookcases.

If you could ask any writer (living or dead) a question, who would it be and what would you ask?
I would want to ask Ernest Hemingway so very many questions, but, if I had to limit myself to only one, I would ask him if he could write himself out of his depression at the cost of his genius, would he?

If you could pick any of the worlds or characters you have created, which would you want to visit or spend a day with?
I recently finished a book about a man named Aaron Grant. He is the most personal character, that is, the most like me, that I have ever written. I would love the opportunity to spend the day with him as it would answer a myriad of questions that I have about myself.

What is one thing you like to do when you are not reading or writing?
If I am not reading/writing/working, I most enjoy spending time with my family. I would have no life, and no drive to write, if it they were not here.

What are you currently working on?
I am currently writing a novel about a man who works a strange type of collections called "The Collector of Broken Promises."

About Shepherd's Gambit:
The economy has fallen apart. With it so, too, has the country. Walls have been built up as the businesses, and the cities they called home, crumble. Jonathan Monroe, however, is doing just fine. He is a cleaner–a man whose task is to clear out the abandoned buildings that are becoming more and more prevalent. But a bar, that is not a bar, is the beginning of an explanation, and might help him understand why he woke up half-frozen underneath an interstate overpass.

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