Alma Alexander


Alma Alexander is a fantasy and alternate history novelist, the author of the internationally acclaimed "The Secrets of Jin Shei". Her work crosses genres and target audiences, and she has now stepped into the world of YA fiction with her latest trilogy, "Worldweavers", the first volume of which ("Gift of the Unmage") has been released in March 2007 with volume 2, "Spellspam", due out in the spring of 2008. She lives in the American Pacific Northwest with her husband, two cats, and assorted wildlife regularly visiting her back yard.


I was born with ink in my veins, in a town on the banks of an ancient river, in a country which no longer exists.  I lived in three different homes before I was ten years old, and then left the country of my birth, never to live there again.  In the years that followed I attended six or seven different schools and a university famous for being linked to the hospital where the world's first heart transplant took place, learned to speak three-and-a-smattering languages and write fluently in two of them, and lived in five different countries.  I once described myself as a professional tumbleweed, but the term probably doesn't being to cover my voyaging.  I was, as the song goes, born under a wan'dring star.  I am a voracious reader of anything book-shaped, but I have a particular soft spot for fantasy and science fiction, which is probably why I ended up writing it myself.  I have probably written more than a million words in my lifetime so far, at a conservative estimate -- two of the novels that I have finished weigh in at about 250,000 words apiece.  One of these megavolumes is being published in a two-part series by HarperCollins.  In the meantime, I have published 250+ book reviews in various newspapers and magazines on three different continents, made an appearance in various story and poetry anthologies (including one published to mark the 30th anniversary of the prestigious "London Magazine" in England, and had three books published, a set of three fairy tales (published in the UK by Longman) and an autobiographical book about my years in Africa (published in New Zealand), both of these coming out in 1995 which was an auspicious year for me.  The third was an e-mail novel co-written with the man who subsequently became my husband (“Letters from the Fire”, Harper Collins, 1999).  One of my short stories, “The Painting”, recently won an international BBC-sponsored competition and was read on air in the UK in January 2001.  I have a cat named Murphy and a thoroughly soppy big dog called Ari, whom I tend to describe as being a cross between german shepherd,rottweiler, marshmallow and mule.  Since moving to the States, I’ve also acquired a black-and-white feline con artist by the name of Domino.  I like books, embroidery, music ranging from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" to Dvorak's New World Symphony and "La Traviata", animals, coffee, chocolate, snow, velvet -- and, in people, loyalty, kindness and intelligence (and an off-the-wall sense of humor helps).  I dislike snakes, things with crunchy exoskeletons or more than four legs, high humidity, asparagus, mud, waiting, modern art - and, in people, pretentiousness, cruelty and high-handed arrogance.  I am a punaholic, a chronic worrier, one of those people who proves that real pessimists are truly born and not made, very shy with strangers (which I have trained myself to hide reasonably well), sometimes honest to the point of being tactless.  I'm sentimental and I possess (sometimes to my detriment) an incredible memory for detailed trivia like dates, old song lyrics, the occasional complete movie (which sometimes annoys friends who mutter darkly about muzzles in dim cinemas) and other irrelevant facts.  It is a quirk of this memory that I can remember phone numbers of ten or twenty years ago, and I still have to look up the current phone numbers of my closest friends.  There IS a system of pigeonholes in my chaotic mind, it just isn't obvious to anyone else at all.  I was born on the fifth day of July (the day after America), six years before man walked on the moon, which makes me cancer according to the western horoscope and a water rabbit according to the chinese one, for those who into such things.  (I'd be happy to send you a high-res publicity photo by email on request)

Recently published - "The Secrets of Jin Shei", "Embers of Heaven", "Hidden Queen", "Changer of Days" Newest book: "Worldweavers#1:Gift of the Unmage" (YA trilogy from Harper Collins)

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DayTimeTitleDescriptionParticipants
Thu1300Readings Alma ALEXANDER
Fri1000Autographs Alma ALEXANDER
Fri1200Unexplored Alternate HistoriesWhat makes for a good alternate history? Are WWII, Rome, and the US Civil wars all overused? Are there other overlooked but interesting possibilities? If so, why aren't they being used?Alma ALEXANDER, Ben YALOW, Linda ROBINETT, Robert Charles WILSON, Edward JAMES
Sat1000Research 101Writers must know what they are writing about: or must they? How much research is enough? Must you know and identify your target audience (hard science/trek/fantasy) first? Is there a minimum amount of science a SF author needs to know.Alma ALEXANDER, Jon COURTENAY GRIMWOOD, Stanley SCHMIDT
Sat1400Making Writing More Vivid and MemorableHow can a writer make their story particularly vivid or memorable? Show, don't tell? How else do writers bring their writing to life? Why do some passages stay with us after the book is done, but others are gone a month later. Panelists are welcome to bring their favorite passages.Alma ALEXANDER, Jean LORRAH, Kirsten (KJ) BISHOP, Jay LAKE
Sun1200Interstitial Arts Foundation"Art that crosses boundaries." What does this mean? What does it include? Why does it need a Foundation? What can the Foundation accomplish? A talk about the Foundation, it's accomplishments and goals. http://www.interstitialarts.org/ Alma ALEXANDER, Delia SHERMAN, Ellen KUSHNER, Stephen SEGAL
Sun1600Kaffeeklatsche Alma ALEXANDER