FAQ: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here’s a compilation of the questions I most commonly hear from readers and aspiring authors. Do you have a question I didn’t answer? Let me know by sending me an email with the subject line “FAQ.” Thanks!
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I was born and raised in Marin County, Northern California. My singing career brought me to Los Angeles when I was 18, and then I had a stint in New York City in my early-mid twenties, while writing my Timeless series. I now live full-time in Los Angeles with my husband and baby boy, in the beachside neighborhood of Marina Del Rey.
I was 8 years old when I first started typing up my own stories and sending them to friends and relatives. But it wasn’t until my late-teens that I started to really consider writing as a career. I first pursued writing for film/TV, since I was already pretty immersed in the entertainment biz through my music. And then, when I was 22, I came up with the idea for my first book, Timeless—and the rest is history! 🙂
My writing process differs a bit with each book. Some novels, like The Final Six and Timeless, involved a TON of research and outlining before I even started drafting the manuscript. And then there are others, like The Girl in the Picture, where I jumped in headfirst and let my imagination lead the way, rather than plotting the story out ahead of time. Each book is its own animal and it’s fun to experiment with different processes. But I did find my 50-page outline for The Final Six to be SO helpful when I was in the drafting phase, so my goal is to outline this way for each book moving forward.
The most difficult part of the process is definitely the blank page, whether it’s figuring out what should happen next in the plot, or determining what this scene should look and feel like, etc. The easiest (and most fun!) is definitely the end of the revision process, when you’re 80-90% of the way there and you can enjoy how far you’ve come while adding extra polish to the prose!
This again depends on the book, but I wrote a first draft of The Final Six (including the outline) within 4 months, plus another 2-3 months of revisions.
My biggest advice is to spend at least an hour a day reading, and another hour a day writing—because it’s by studying other writers and practicing writing yourself that you develop your voice and stories. Even if you don’t have a particular book idea in mind, try keeping a diary and writing all about your day as if it’s a story—include dialogue from your friends and family, and describe the day as if it’s a scene in a book. I found that to be a really helpful way of developing my voice as a writer when I was starting out. As far as what to read, try dividing your time equally between the classics and the current titles and new releases that are making a splash now—that way you get the most well-rounded view.
My favorite character I’ve ever written is Naomi Ardalan from The Final Six. Not only is she brilliant, brave, and so much fun to write; but she is the first of my protagonists to share my Iranian-American heritage. I may not be the science genius she is, LOL—but there’s so much of me woven into the character of Naomi, that it’s made this character deeply personal to me.
My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere! I can be listening to the radio, walking the dog, or catching up with friends when inspiration strikes. I think the key is to keep your mind open, and always look for the story in everything you experience.
Sony Pictures has optioned the movie rights to The Final Six, so it’s very possible we could be seeing it on the big screen one day! Fingers crossed!
I’m currently writing the sequel to The Final Six, and developing some other projects that I’ll be sharing details on soon!
Yes, I am currently writing a sequel to THE FINAL SIX! Regarding my other books—there’s always the possibility of further sequels in the TIMELESS series, but that’s up to the publisher. I did add a new short story to the end of the paperback edition of TIMEKEEPER, so be sure to check that out! 🙂 SUSPICION and THE GIRL IN THE PICTURE are currently standalone novels.
I always have to list J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series, since those books caused me to fall in love with reading all over again, and inspired me to start writing YA literature myself. For adult fiction, I absolutely love the classic novels of Edith Wharton and Daphne du Maurier.
Yes! I love talking to students about my path to becoming a professional writer, and getting them inspired to pursue writing themselves. I am happy to donate my time, and just ask that the school purchase my books for the class prior to my visit.
For more information, please visit my website at www.alexandramonir.com/school-visits.
Yes! I absolutely LOVE hearing from my readers—it’s one of the very best parts of this job! Sometimes it can take me a while to respond, depending on book deadlines; but know that I will write back! You can email me at [email protected], or send regular mail to:
℅ The Gersh Agency
41 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10010
- Favorite Color: Turquoise
- Favorite Food: Italian—I’m a pizza/pasta girl!
- Favorite Dessert: Baskin Robbins ice-cream cake
- Coffee or Tea? Neither—I’m all about Diet Coke!
- Cats or Dogs? Dogs all the way
- What’s your favorite place in the world? Maui
- If you couldn’t be an author you’d be… Busy with my second career as a recording artist!