Author Spotlight: Alex Marestaing

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Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from the last Author Spotlight giveaway is JODY MOREENPlease email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com with your mailing address to claim your prize.

This week we are featuring Alex Marestaing, author of I’m Nobody: The Lost Pages! To enter to win a copy of I’m Nobody, leave a comment on this post. 

AlexMarestaing

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester?

If I only had one sentence to define myself it would go something like this:

I’m husband to a way “out of my league” wife, a father to three children that have given me way more joy than I deserve, and friend of a God who must have been smiling when he blessed me with them all.

Oh….and I’m a writer.

Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?

Good question. One thing that being a writer has taught me is that that life’s priorities—faith, family, and  friends—don’t naturally float to the top of our ‘to do’ lists. They must be carefully placed there. So time management is definitely one of the most difficult aspects of being an author, one that I’m still trying to come to grips with.

This quickly became evident when I started writing my first YA books series for Thomas Nelson. My schedule was getting so hectic that I had to brainstorm a way to allocate my limited time resources. In that case,  I decided to individually take each of my kids out to Starbucks or some other place to connect at least once a week. They needed to know that they were priority number one, my primary calling in life, and spending individual time with them definitely helped me keep in touch.

At the moment, I get up around five each morning, when the house is still sleeping, and work on marketing. Then, in the afternoon and at night, I’ll work on the more creative side of the craft, the side that I love . . . which is writing.

Can you share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

I’m primarily a YA and middle grade writer, which means I write for young adults, or teens. I love the vibrancy and creativity found in the youth market and still find myself joyfully reading comics and kids lit. Thanks to The Walt Disney Company, which gave me my first freelance writing gig out of college, I’ve been able to make my biggest inroads in that genre.

In a market that has gotten kind of dark in recent years,  I write books that are full of hope and possibility, books about underdogs, books that ask the broken, How long has it been since you believed in magic?

Though my books are real, honest, and relevant to teens, I always make sure to keep them ‘parent’ friendly as well (since I’m a parent myself).

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author? I'm Nobody-The Lost Pages Cover

I would have to say my biggest break came when Disney hired me to work on a writing project related to Beauty and the Beast.  That was kind of a “miracle” job really because I didn’t even have an agent at the time. I had heard that they wanted to publish a new line of products, so I just wrote them a letter introducing myself.  A few weeks later, I got the call that changed the trajectory of my writing career forever.

I’ll always be thankful to Disney for giving an young, unknown writer a shot because having that name on my writing credits really helped me move forward in the industry. I would love to say it was all my hard work and mad, Hemingway-like writing skills that scored me that job (ha ha), but in the end it was mostly  prayer that opened the door and put me in the right place at exactly the right time.

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well?

Definitely music. I don’t think anything inspires me more than hearing a song that moves me, whether it be instrumental or lyrical. For some reason, songs just open up the side of my brain where possibility and wonder hide, both essential ingredients when it comes to penning a good tale.

But whether I’m inspired or not, I keep writing. Writing “through the silence” is a necessity in this job.

What advice would you give to new writers?

On a practical level, I would tell them that they need to memorize one word – TENACITY. I speak at writing conferences and one thing I tell my audiences is that it is impossible to succeed in this business without being tenacious. Every great author has had to have tenacity it huge doses. Whether it be Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries, who kept all her rejection letters in a bag under her bed until the bag became too heavy to lift, or C.S. Lewis who was said to have been rejected over 800 times before The Chronicles of Narnia was published, grabbing hold of that dream and never letting go is an absolute must.

On a spiritual level, as writers we need to realize that the longing to write is there for a reason. And, though some may think that our writing dreams are silly, God doesn’t. So as writers, the best thing we can do with that dream is give it over to the one who cares . . . God.

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.

Title: I’m Nobody: The Lost Pages

Emily meets Caleb, Caleb meets Iris…and a broken world turns Technicolor.

What’s on the book horizon for you?  

Other than a major blog tour for I’m Nobody: The Lost Pages, I’m putting the finishing touches on my latest YA book series (working title Sketched). I can’t wait to tell readers about this one, but I can’t divulge any plot information yet.  More news to come on that front!

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

Readers can find my books online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or order them from their local bookstore.  To catch my latest news they can check out:

alexmarestaingbooks.com

Facebook.com/alexmarestaingbooks

Twitter: @alexmarestaing


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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Comments

  1. Connie Hendryx says:

    Great interview! Thanks!!

  2. Melissa L. says:

    This books sounds really interesting. I have always loved “ghost story” type books. Thank you for the opportunity. Great interview.

  3. Patricia Schultz says:

    Great interview….. book sounds very interesting!!

  4. Naomi Musch says:

    Very interesting interview. The part about your first gig being for Disney was what drew me. I have my own retelling of Beauty & the Beast coming out in a couple days (Desert Breeze Pub.) and I’m always curious about everything B&B. Enjoyed reading about your journey. Blessings~

  5. Connie Porter Saunders says:

    I enjoyed getting to know Alex through this interview and especially appreciated that he is writing YA fiction that is uplifting and inspiring, instead of leaning toward the,darkness..

    Thanks for a chance to win his book.

  6. felecia says:

    Sounds very interesting. I would love to read it.

  7. Nancy Farley says:

    Thank you Suzanne for recommending another new author (to me that is). Great interview and a very intriguing sounding book. Love reading mysteries as well as the great Amish books

  8. Sally Davison says:

    Good and unique interview! I’d love to read his book!

  9. Debra Bearden says:

    Loved the blog. I would love to win this book.

  10. Renee says:

    I would love to read this book and then pass it on to my 2 boys to read.

  11. John says:

    Great interview! The book sounds interesting.

  12. Lisa Watson says:

    This would be a book out of my normal reading genre, but one I think I would enjoy.

  13. Jane says:

    I loved this interview. I feel like I was led to read this article. I have been seriously thinking about writing, and Alex gave me a boost of motivation. Thanks for posting this!

  14. Natalie J Vandenberghe says:

    I love how Alex defines himself 😉

  15. Charlotte says:

    I enjoyed the interview and meeting Alex. I’m glad to hear he’s writing books for that genre that aren’t so dark. It seems many of them are dark and not what I want my grandkids and kids reading. Would like to read Alex’s books.

  16. Sparkle says:

    It is always good when great things happen to good people. The interview was very interesting. I love that he referenced Hemingway. He was one of my favorite authors.

  17. Linda Kish says:

    Sounds interesting. I’d love to read it.

  18. Sierra Faith says:

    The book looks really good!! I would love to read it!