Alex Grass is The Author of The Week
Hello author Alex Grass, welcome to BrandEducation. Tell us what drives you to write? Your motivation and the purpose of your book(s)?
When I started writing horror fiction, I thought of the feeling I would get when I read another author’s work. There have been books that have excited me, even changed the way I view the world around me—The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky, Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, Anathem by Neal Stephenson—and I thought that if I could find even one reader who got the same out of one of my books, that would mean a great success.
The purpose of the stories is to explore the things I don’t understand, and will probably never understand—what or who G-d is, how good people with bad lives rise to the occasion (fair or not), the reasons behind evil in the world. Every time I write a book, I’m trying to explore things that much smarter people have explored before, but colored with my idiosyncrasies, my ideas about religion, physics, theodicy.
What do you hope readers will get out of your books? How will they feel or be different after reading it?
I hope they have fun reading it. That more than anything. I hope that a reader can get sucked into the story so that they’re turning pages trying to get to the next scene.When I read books I love, I get a feeling—something between fulfillment and happiness. If I can get one reader to feel that way, that’s good enough for me.
What books did you read as a kid/young adult? What are you reading today? How have other authors inspired your writing?
I read a lot about athletes. I was very big into basketball, so I would read sports biographies. Also, fantasy. I remember digging into Tolkien at a pretty young age. Then, there were comic books—X-Men, Sandman, Savage Dragon, Prime. When I was in high school, I read musicians biographies and historical thrillers. A real mixed bag. In my early twenties, I read all non-fiction, mostly American History, particularly the Civil War/Antebellum era. Then, the Great Man staples—lots of stuff from Ron Chernow and Robert Caro. Every few years my reading list does a complete 360, and I’m reading something completely different.
What is one thing in your book that will surprise readers? (no spoilers though)
That the most grotesque scenes sometimes have the people with the strongest characters and moral compasses.
What are you working on next? More books?
My editors are working on two books right now. Hopefully both will have been released in the next nine months or so. If you read this interview and then have a baby when the book after next is released, send me an email and let me know that I kept my promise.