by Claire Main

#109, 10 December 2007

Interview with Wendy Alec

UK Bookselling

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So here I am preparing to interview this most perceptive of authors. So what to wear? I decide on pure white, but decline a veil although I was tempted by a wimple. I walk to the front door and ring the doorbell. Just for a moment I think I hear the sound of an angelic choir. The door opens, the interview begins.

BOOKTHINK: Where are you from?

ALEC I was born in the very centre of London, England, grew up on the shores of the Indian Ocean in Durban, South Africa and am now living in Cornwall, England.

BOOKTHINK: When and why did you begin writing?

ALEC I started writing my first rock opera - "Take the Pill Marked 'X'," when I was just nineteen, just fresh out of drama school - to me it incorporated my two great loves - music and drama. Writing found a way to transcribe everything I visualised in my head down on paper - it's the same today!

BOOKTHINK: What inspired you to write your first book?

ALEC I had started writing the screenplay called "Brothers" - a concept about three Archangel brothers (I was lucky enough to have been trained in my twenties by a specialist screenplay tutor from Hollywood) and was on about my fortieth rewrite for a concept I'd conceived for years when I was forced to take a long hard look at my day-to-day schedule and realised that, with my intensely frenetic day job of running the programming and network side of a multinational television channel, it was unlikely the film would get into development/pre-production until around five years later. Screenplay writing is a completely different genre to writing a novel - lean and mean versus a far freer reign. So in my down time I decided to turn the concept into a fantasy novel - purely to get the burgeoning storyline in my head down onto paper.

BOOKTHINK: Who or what has influenced your writing?

ALEC My father was an amazingly gifted man. He was a doctor who practised in London's Wimpole street for years but also played the violin, studied Russian and most of all had an incredible sense of life, people and humour. He urged me to write more than anyone, especially before he died! I remember him saying with profound passion: "Wendy - write. You have to write." He felt that it was destiny for me.