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A little bit about Alexis...
Alexis A. Goring is a college graduate with a degree in print journalism from Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland. Writing is her passion. She hopes that her stories will touch hearts, bring smiles to faces, and inspire minds to seek God whose love for humanity is unfailing.
How to connect with Alexis...
Author Interview | Alexis A. Goring
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...My name is Alexis and I love to write! I started writing fictional stories for fun at the age of 9 after a creative storytelling activity for me and my brother led by my grandpa one day at my grandma and grandpa’s house (they were our babysitters when we were children). My grandpa said, “Let’s create a story” and he gave us five minutes to think of one then we each shared it verbally. After returning home that evening, I started typing and elaborating my story into the family computer’s word processor and it became my summer project. By the end of summer, I’d finished my story, printed it out on paper, bound it like a real book using staples and then illustrated it from cover to cover. I’ve kept writing ever since because to me, my need to write is as important and necessary as my need to breathe.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...I’ve only written one book thus far and it is one of my favorites because the stories remind me to keep hope alive. But if I may add, one of my favorite books I’ve recently read is Meant to Be Mine by Becky Wade because I relate to the leading lady Celia Park. We share similar insecurities, dreams and a passion for baking!
What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...My first book is an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories. It was released in Sept. 2013 through Crossbooks Publishing which is an imprint of B&H Publishing Group. The hardest thing about publishing was financing my book project from start to finish. Since Crossbooks is a self-publishing company, I had to pay for my book to be produced by their services and as a person living on a freelance writer income that was not easy, at all. But it was worth it!
Tell us a little bit about your book. Why are did you write it?
...My novella is about hope because all of my main characters are hoping for a dream of their heart to come true. When people ask me, “What’s your book about?” I give them a synopsis of “Peace and Love” which is the third and final story in my novella.
“Peace and Love” is set at Christmastime and the story revolves around the lives of three main characters: Elle, Kristine and Eric. Elle is a starving artist from Michigan and she drove down to the D.C. metropolitan area during the holiday season because she has interviews for jobs in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Elle is hoping one of those interviews will turn into her first full-time job with a steady paycheck. Kristine is adopted and though she loves her adoptive parents, she hopes to find and build a relationship with her birth mom before she marries her college sweetheart on Valentine’s Day in the New Year. So in order to achieve her dream, Kristine hires a private investigator whom she hopes will locate her birth mom. Finally, there’s Eric. He’s a family law attorney who specializes in divorce cases and since he’s still reeling from his own parents’ divorce which happened at Christmastime when Eric was growing up, Eric can be a real Scrooge for the entire month of December. Eric realizes his issues with his parents’ divorce are eating him alive so he decides to deal with it and reach out to his dad. The process of reconciliation and forgiveness is not easy but Eric hopes it will work.
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...I hope my readers will take away one main theme in my book and that is HOPE. My goal in writing the book was to infuse real-life situations with hope which in turn, should give my readers hope that any situation, especially the ones that seem impossible, can work out for the good of those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28).
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...My characters are based on pure imagination with inspiration from real life situations.
When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...When I write, my overall intention with my stories is to encourage, inspire and uplift my readers. I want to show my readers that with God in the picture, no situation is entirely hopeless.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...I would tell aspiring authors to keep writing and pursuing your passion and pray about it because God can take you where you need to be, according to His will. So if God wants you to be a creative professional/writer and you’re walking in His purpose for you, your dream will come true! I would also say to get involved on social media—start a blog, Twitter feed and Facebook page about yourself as an aspiring writer. It helps people to get to know you as a creative and once you start publishing your work, you will find it to be a vital part of your book’s success. Meanwhile, I would say go to join writer organizations such as American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and attend writers’ conferences where you can pitch your manuscript to literary agents. Self-publishing is wonderful and I do recommend it if you’re with a great company like Crossbooks (or another reputable imprint). But I do think that traditional publishing still has more benefits such as having costs covered for publishing your book. Ultimately it depends on who you are as a writer and what you want. If you want to be traditionally published, you should attend and participate in writers’ conferences where you can pitch your book to the agents and find a good editor. You also need to start the query letter process which is what you do to submit your work to agents before or even after attending the writers conference(s).
How are you making the most of your time this summer for writing and relaxing? Do you do anything different in the summer months?
...As a freelance writer who writes for several clients, I work throughout the year so my work schedule does not change too drastically in the summertime. I spend my free time working on my (new) collection of creative stories and every now and then, I relax at the spa.
Do you enjoy hot weather or cold better?
...Neither. I love cool, breezy weather with warm sunshine and vibrant foliage which is why my favorite season is Autumn!
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog Alexis! I can relate with you seeing as I stayed with my grandparents when I was growing up as well! My grandpa always shared such great stories - I'm sure it helped my creativity! "Peace and Love" sounds great and I love that you like relaxing at the spa - best way to unwind, right?
So, dear readers, don't forget to comment below for a chance to win a copy of Hope In My Heart - I'll be announcing the winner next Tuesday!