Exclusive interview to Alex Blades, Author
Hello Alex, first of all thank you so much for accepting this interview with Mr&Mr world. Since I have heard from your Friend Drummond (@drummondculture) about your new book I was thrilled. We would like to know everything about you. Can you please introduce yourself:
Hi, my name is Alex Blades, although that's primarily my pen name and the name I use with the online world and friends. To my family, I'm just Cody. I live in a small town in Central Illinois and I just earned my bachelor's degree in English from Illinois State University, so now I'm trying to figure out post-grad life while still finding the time to do what I love most in the world.
Is this your first Book? Can you tell us more, the title etc:
Confessions of a Teenage Closet Case is actually not my first book. The first time I ever published something was back when I was about 13 years old. It was the start of a fantasy series, but I quickly realized I was out of my league and spent the next few years strengthening my skills as a writer. That book has since been taken out of circulation, although there are a few copies are there somewhere still. Back in 2019 was when I published my first official book. It's called If I Fall and it's in the New Adult genre (although many people would argue that's not a real genre). It's a story that focuses on a recent college grad and his friends as they navigate their new lives in New York City. It's been called somewhat of an LGBT take on The Devil Wears Prada in the literary world rather than in the world of fashion. As of now, I'm working on the development of my third release.
When will it be released and can we pre-order it? where?
As of now, Confessions is completely finished and just waiting for release day. It's set for a June 1st release because I really wanted to make it a Pride month release since it's a story focusing on two closeted seniors struggling to accept themselves for who they really are. You can pre-order the book up to May 31st on Amazon and other online book retailers such as Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and IndieBound.
How long does it take you to write a book and what is your work schedule like when you're writing?
There's really no precise answer for this one if I'm being honest. For me it just depends on the book. If I Fall only took me a little over a year to write, most of which was written in the span of 30 days. I started writing it in May 2018, finished the first draft in June 2019, and it was published that same October. Confessions of a Teenage Closet case was a bit different, and I think part of the reason is because it's not only longer but also it's written entirely from two different perspectives and I had to make sure to get it right. The idea for the story came to me in August 2019 and it slowly progressed from there. As far as my work schedule goes, I generally have a daily word count goal rather than a daily time limit per day. Some days I'll write 500 words and then others I can crank out like 5k. It just depends on my creative juice levels.
The main reason you decided to write "Confessions of a teenage closet case" I wrote it because I felt that it was a story that genuinely needed to be told. Growing up, I didn't have a lot of access to stories or media featuring characters that were going through a lot of the same things I was as a closeted kid. It's so great that there are so many queer role models and characters out in the world now, but we're still trying to play catch up and I want to do my part to help bridge that gap in literature. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I think part of me kind of always knew I wanted to be a writer. It first manifested itself in being an avid reader and as I got older, I realized that these stories I loved so much were being created by people and I wanted to be one of those people. I remember writing short stories as a kid, but it wasn't until my teens that I began tinkering with the idea of writing a full novel. What do you like to do when you're not writing? When I'm not writing I can usually be found consuming a lot of different types of literature and media. Reading is a form of therapy for me and helps me calm my anxiety on a rough day. It's also a great escape from the world when things are just a little too bleak. Some of my favorite books include Becky Albertali's Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and What if it's Us (co-written by Adam Silvera), and Jordon Greene's A Mark on My Soul. I also watch a lot of movies, which is made apparent by the A Cinderella Story parallels in Confessions of a Teenage Closet Case. Rom-Coms are probably my favorite, but I'm also a bit of a Marvel nerd. Apart from literature and media though, I also spend a lot of my time cooking and perfecting different recipes. Before COVID-19, I liked to spend any chance I could get with my family and friends.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family has always been so supportive of my writing and they wish me success in everything that I do. My friends too, for that matter. I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by some pretty amazing people, some of which have become my sort of tester audience for new stories and ideas.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I've always had my head in the clouds, and that mentality showed in all the ambitions I had. Once I figured out that books didn't just happen on their own, becoming an author was the main dream. I also wanted to get into acting, which I finally did my senior year of high school when I did theatre. There's just something about telling a story--either in written form or orally--that's always made me happy. I can't picture myself doing anything else.