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Indie Author Interview: Mx. Alex Hanson

Hi again my Bookish Gremlins! I'm here to bless you with another amazing Indie Author interview. Today's Author is Mx. Alex Hanson the Author of such titles as Lady of the Mark, Beauty's Beasts and their upcoming title Ruthless Tides: Book two in the Primordial Gates Universe.


Working with Alex was a true pleasure as I'm sure you've seen my rave review of their Most recent book, Beauty's Beasts. It was a five start read and getting to delve into their brain after having fallen so in love with their work was a dream come true. So without further ado let's get to this interview!

Animated photo of a masculine person wearing goggles and a high necked coat as the Author Alex Hanson

Let us get to know you:


1. Where are you from? Does that have any impact on your writing?

a. I live in northwestern Pennsylvania now, but I lived in Alaska for most of my

childhood. Living in AK definitely gave me a love for adventure. I’m sure that has

probably spilled over into my craft.


2. How old were you when you first started writing your own stories?

a. I’ve been writing stories since I was a child. Most of them were just for myself to

enjoy. I didn’t start sharing my work with anyone until high school.


3. What do you do to relax?

a. I play a lot of video games. I’m in the middle of Baldur’s Gate 3 right now and

loving it. I also like to do crafts and read.


4. Was there any one moment in your life that made you want to become an author?

a. When I was in 5 th grade, my elementary school was having a writing contest, and

the winners from each class got to be published in a book together. As soon as I

heard that, I wanted nothing more than to be published in a real book. I won the

contest for my class and was published for the first time that year. It’s been my

dream ever since to be a published author.


5. How many unfinished novel ideas do you have lying around?

a.Not many, to be honest. When I get new ideas, they tend to really take hold of my

brain and refuse to let go until I finish them, which is why I have books published

under so many different subgenres of romance.   


6. While I love to rep all Indie Authors I like to spotlight those that are part of

marginalized communities, would you say you are a part of such a demographic?

How do you think this influences your writing?

a. I’m trans, pan, and ace, so I’m a proud member of the LGBTQ community. My

writing almost always has a queer element because I like to showcase true love

and acceptance that the real world often lacks. I’m also part of the BDSM

community and like to write safe, sane, and consensual kink into a lot of my

work.


7. Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

a. Definitely more of an introvert. I don’t people well lol.


A bit about your writing:


8. How do you go about writing? Are you a planner or do you just write?

a. No planning here. I’m a pantser through and through. I often know how a story

ends, but the journey there is all a surprise for me. I like to think of it like the

characters tell me their stories and I just write them down. I never know what

twists will come until they happen. 


9. Do you have a preferred writing environment? Such as a Cafe, home office, or just

anywhere?

a. I can write almost anywhere, but I have a home office that’s my favorite place. I

take a tablet with me whenever I’m out of the house so I can jot down any ideas I

get when I’m out and about. I do a lot of brainstorming when I’m driving so that

happens a lot.


10. Are you a full-time or a part-time writer? How do you think that affects your

writing?

a. I’m fortunate that I can be a full-time writer. I honestly don’t know how I’d survive

if I wasn’t. If I don’t get to write regularly, I get depressed.  


11. What do you find to be the most difficult part about writing? The easiest?

a. The most difficult thing for me is naming people and places lol. I hate coming up

with names. But the easiest thing for me are the characters. I can create

engaging and relatable characters with ease. 


12. What comes first, plot or characters?

a. Characters. Characters’ personalities, dialog, motivations, struggles, and

triumphs are my strengths. My characters are often larger than life, and the plot

sort of just forms around them.  


13. Is there any writing advice you would like to give to a writer working on their first

novel?

a. Don’t publish the first one, at least not right away. Write the next one then

another before you think about sending one out into the world. Your style will

change, your craft will improve, and by your third or fourth book, you’ll no doubt

look back at that first one and not even recognize the writing style. Writing is

something that improves with practice, so think of your first couple of manuscripts

as practice. You can always come back to them and revise them later. I wrote

about five full-length novels before I published my debut.


14. Why did you choose to self-publish?

a. I tried the querying game and hated every minute of it. The constant submissions

only to receive rejection after rejection without any input on what exactly I was

doing wrong… It’s maddening. I got a couple of full manuscript requests only for

those agents to tell me I needed to change my entire story to fit what they wanted

it to be. In the meantime, I kept writing and eventually wrote Rescue, my debut

MM sci-fi romance novel. It was so different from the epic fantasy stuff I was used

to writing, so I self-published it on a whim. I was frustrated that I was creating all

this art and no one was able to enjoy it, so I sort of threw Rescue out into the

world to see what would happen. To my surprise, it did very well. That was when

I realized I didn’t need an agent or a publisher, especially if they weren’t going to

let me publish the stories I wanted to publish. So I invested in myself. Self-

publishing is a lot more work, but I love every aspect of the job and don’t regret

leaving trad publishing behind in the slightest. I get to write what I want and find

readers who love my work every day.



Non-binary main character surrounded by four large gargoyles, the book cover of Beauty's Beasts by Alex Hanson
Book Cover of Beauty's Beasts by Alex Hanson

Book Specific:


15. Was it planned for this to be a beauty and the beast reimagining? Or did it just

evolve into that as you were writing?

a. It was a Beauty and the Beast retelling from the start. I knew I wanted a why

choose BATB, and I asked myself how I could make the why choose aspect more

interesting. I love the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, I even have them

tattooed on my arm, so I thought it would be fun to mix the two. Funny enough, I

don’t usually write in first person, but Evangeline’s voice felt right in that POV.

They sort of took control of the story and said, ‘We’re doing this.’ Who was I to

argue lol. 




 16. What was your inspiration for this book? 

a. You know that moment at the end of the movie where Beast turns human again?

Yeah, I hated it. I wanted to fix it. So I did.


17. Do you have a favorite character? Scene?  Personally I love Fenmire. He’s just

so…dreamy isn’t the word but a tortured soul perhaps? I can’t express my love for

him enough. 

a. I do have a favorite of the Gryxen, but I won’t tell. Trust me, I’ve been asked

haha. I love watching readers guess though. I don’t know that I can choose a

favorite scene out of all of them, but the one that punches me right in the feels

every time I read it is at the very end during the little private moment between

Evangeline and Seerraf (IYKYK). It’s such a telling moment of true love.  


18. You cover some sensitive topics in this book, the two most obvious being

religious trauma and blatant homophobia, both of which are revealed early on and

play an important role in the book itself. Is there something you hope your readers

gain by including these topics as part of the book?


a. The entire message behind the religious and homophobic themes throughout

Beauty’s Beasts can be summed up by the dedication at the start of the book:

“For the gays and the theys. You are not broken. You are not damned.

Remember who the real beasts are.” This book is for those of us who grew up

being told we were wrong or evil or broken for simply being who we are. The

people who told us those things often used religion or the bible as a weapon or a

shield. This book is all about seeing that sort of behavior for what it is: ignorance

and hate. You can have faith and you can be queer. Those two things don’t

contradict each other, and those who say they do are wrong.


19. There were a few surprises in the book (Don’t want to spoil them for other

readers) I have to know did any of the twists surprise you while you were writing? 

a. I’m always surprised by the twists. Some of the scenes I write out beforehand

and put in order later, but for the most part, the twists just pop up out of nowhere

and shock me even as I’m writing them. 


20. Were there any parts of the novel you found challenging to write? 

a. There wasn’t any specific part that was difficult, but the whole book itself was a

significant challenge. I’m used to writing books in a month or two, but Beauty’s

Beasts took me almost a year. It’s quite a bit longer than anything I’ve written

before, and I burnt myself out twice working on it (I will never do NaNoWriMo

again lol). Seeing everyone love it so much has made all that hard work worth it,

but I’m looking forward to switching gears for a change and working on

something different.


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