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About Alexis Goring…
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.
About Hope in My Heart…
Hope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.
In “Love Unexpected,” a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.
Christmastime is the setting for the middle story, “The Best Gift.” Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.
In “Peace and Love,” three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.
Q&A with Alexis Goring
Why do you write?
I write because I need to breathe. Breathing is as essential as being creative through the power of my pen or computer keyboard. Writing is my oxygen.
Why young adult fiction? What is most appealing about writing for this demographic?
My target audience is women, ages 18 to 40. I think my fictional stories classify as New Adult but I most definitely have an interest in writing fiction for a younger audience too with not just young adult books but eventually children’s books. What I find most appealing about writing for young people is that I’m able to reach them in their struggles and provide hope through creative storytelling with characters who have been where they are and have not only survived but thrive.
What are your writing rituals, if any?
I don’t have any specific writing rituals. Music is my muse and plays a major role in the flow and direction of my stories. I listen to music every day and when a certain song inspires me to create a story, I get to work. When I write, I like to play music and be in the quiet of my room or kitchen by the windows. Sunshine streaming through the blinds is so beautiful and makes me feel more creative when writing a story. I start every new story with prayer because I want God to influence my writing and help my stories to be a source of encouragement to every reader.
Favorite Book/Author? Why?
Oh dear, I have many! Can I say more than one? My ultimate favorite book is The Holy Bible which was written by humans inspired by God. But if I were to pick just one favorite book apart from God’s Word (The Bible), I’d say my favorite book is My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade because I can completely relate to the main character Kate’s life story as we have similar challenges, hopes and dreams.
The best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is being able to share my heart, hopes, dreams and creative fictional stories with the world in a way that encourages people as they journey through life.
The worst thing about being a writer?
The worst thing about being a writer is when you have writer’s block and are on deadline.
What tools do you/have you used to study the craft of writing?
I studied Print Journalism in college which prepared me to be an excellent writer of feature and news stories. I learned so much about how to be a better writer in those classes and it shows in my work. My fictional stories are creative but also precise and concise. Journalists are trained to tell an entire story in 19 words or less (in the lead of every news article) which I think is why it’s easier for me to write novellas under 40,000 words than full-length novels of 80,000 or more words.
Would you rather read a good book or write a good book?
I’d rather write a good book, it’s much more fun!
Favorite literary character of all time and why?
My favorite literary character of all time is Jo March from the classic book Little Women (written by Louisa May Alcott) because as a writer, I totally relate to her story and struggles. I still recall the scene where Jo’s mom tells Jo that she is such an extraordinary person so why is she trying to live an ordinary life? I remember that line from the movie and it reminds me of what my own mom would say to me about not fitting in when you’re born to stand out.
Top three things every writer should have/do, in your opinion?
A writer should have a pen, a blog and a working computer.
Best time of day to write and why?
Anytime when I’m feeling inspired be it morning, noon or night.
Do you write by the seat of your pants, plot first, or a little bit of both?
I do a bit of both but mainly write as I would like to see the story play out on the movie screen.
What keeps you motivated?
My faith in God and His plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11) and of course, music!
What is your goal in writing?
My goal is to write my next book in one year.
Can you share a little bit about your newest release? Self-published or traditionally published? Which is better, in your opinion?
My first book is a novella called Hope in My Heart : A Collection of Heartwarming Stories and it was released by Crossbooks Publishing in Sept. 2013. All of my characters in the novella are hoping for a dream in their heart to come true. I self-published the book through Crossbooks which is an imprint of B&H Publishing Group (a traditional publisher) and I’m glad that I was able to start out this way. Self-publishing is a great way to start as a new author because you don’t need a blog following of 1,000 or more people, a book deal or an agent. All you need is money to pay for a publishing package and promotional services offered through your self-publisher of choice and you’re set.
I think a major benefit of self-publishing from what I know, is you’re allowed to keep the rights to your work. I think both options (self-publishing vs. traditional publishing) have their pros and cons. If you self-publish then you need to pay your way through the production process of your book. If you publish traditionally, all costs are covered. I think it’s ideal for writers to have an agent, sign a book deal and publish traditionally but I also think that self-publishing has its benefits. So to answer your question, I do not think that one is better than the other. I think it all depends what you as a writer are seeking.
How do you balance your writing life and everything else?
I work as a freelance writer so I create my fictional stories when I’m not on deadline.
Any words of wisdom you would like to share with aspiring YA authors, such as myself?
Yes, I would say to keep pushing for the dream on your heart to come true. You can do this by practicing your writing every day, networking, reading books about writing, blogging and of course praying to God for His will in your creative pursuits to be done.
A Bible verse that encourages you in your writing?
Name one thing you have learned in your growth as a writer.
I’ve grown in the research stage of being a writer not only in writing for print media but in creating characters for my fictional stories. Now instead of relying on my imagination or a Google search, I connect with people in the business of practicing in real life what I’m creating fictionally. Case in point, one of the stories I’m writing now revolves around a fictional five-star restaurant. God made a way for me to connect with people who have worked in the restaurant business and they’re giving me an inside scoop as to how it works. It’s been so helpful in creating real-life work situations for my characters.
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