Alexis Marrero: Fantasy and discovery
Not all bartenders have a life of writing like Alexis Marrero, who works behind the counter when she’s not writing, reading or binge watching Netflix. As an avid fantasy and science fiction reader, Alexis loves discovering new authors and reading every book they have written. Writing has always been a passion she has pursued, and it’s something she strives to improve, according to Alexis. She
has a BA in Creative Writing degree from University of South Florida and dreams of being published and seeing her book in bookstores.
“I just want to walk into a Barnes & Noble and pull my book off a shelf. Right next to George R.R. Martin,” Alexis said.
Alexis wrote her first book when she was four years old, though it mostly included drawings and other scribblings but the story existed in Alexis’ head. The story was about a girl who didn’t listen to her mom and ended up traveling through time until she landed in a world of dinosaurs. After a while, she realized she didn’t want to stay there and found her way back home. She read the story to her parents who still have the “book,” and her writing has continued since then. In middle school, she wrote horror because she “liked killing people,” and in high school, Alexis drifted to romance with a paranormal element.
Currently, Alexis is working on a dystopian novel. According to Alexis, the name of the main character is “Tieran,” meaning “strong-willed and determined.”
“I once swore I would never write [a dystopian novel] because I feel it’s overdone, but here I am,” Alexis said. “I guess when you get an idea for a story, the story becomes like a weed in your mind. Once it has roots, it’s impossible to get the story out; you just have to let it grow.”
The current work-in-progress is the third novel Alexis has written. Set in a world where an epidemic kills half the human population and a discovered medicine (in the form of a pill) can save them, everyone who wants to live suffers the side-effects of this monopolized cure. One neurological side-effect is the inability to lie. The second varies in the form of a superpower, and society’s chosen “evil” superpowers are controlled by force. The main character, who still managed to have the ability to lie, uses her power to save her boyfriend, whose superpower is considered “evil” by the society they live in.
Before this dystopian novel, Alexis was working on a series she still plans on completing. However, since her first book of the series, “Ignited,” has yet to be picked up by an agent, she wants to first establish herself in the writing world before finishing the third book.
When writing, Alexis first forms a general idea in her head and works from it. Though she wishes she used outlines, she never does, and she draws her inspiration from her everyday life: in conversation, the environment and what she sees and hears.
“If something inspires me, I scribble down the idea in a notebook I carry around or on my phone’s notepad. I must have at least 50 or more story ideas just waiting for me to dig into them,” Alexis said.
Alexis looks to a few support groups when it comes to her writing, but Authors’ Tale is the only support group she subscribes to with any regularity, she said. A couple fellow authors are her source for honest feedback, and her sister endures hours of conversation and helps Alexis overcome plot issues in her writing.
“I think the biggest mistake I tend to make is not outlining my story so I often write myself into a corner. It’s moments like these that make my friendships so precious to me.”
According to Alexis, when she lets her characters have their own way and they surprise her, sometimes their actions don’t match the direction of the plot. To her, it means the plot needs re-working because although it changes her plan, she likes to give her characters the freedom to do what they want.
“I love seeing where the story takes me,” Alexis said. “My characters always surprise me.”
The best thing about creating new worlds, according to Alexis, is the power of being able to do what you want: creating new creatures, new lands and making something new and impossible that readers believe in.
Thank you so much Alexis, and thank you to those who took time to meet another wonderful writer. I have had the privilege of working with Alexis, and we helped each other with our first novel, reading each chapter and critiquing it through its development. She was one of the first writers I met and befriended and although I can’t remember how we met, I’m eternally grateful we did.
This was a unique interview because Alexis was the first to agree to a verbal interview, which was definitely a lot of fun. Initially, I had it decided that verbal interviews would be article format (with loose obedience to AP Style), and virtual interviews would be Q-A format, as you have seen with the majority of these interviews. However, now I think it would be best for you to decide. What do you think works best? What is more enjoyable to read? Which interview do you read all the way through? Ask yourself these questions and please vote on the format you like, below. Other than that, have a wonderful day!