Tuesday, February 20, 2018

K.I.A. by Alexander Charalambides


Welcome!  Thanks for this opportunity to get to learn a little about you and your work.  When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I try to start early, take a long lunch, tackle something else in the afternoon, and then get back to writing. I think I have an easier time focusing late at night, too.
This only really applies when i’m writing out first drafts, though, if I’m editing I try to fill every spare second with it.

Who is your favourite Author?
I’d have to say George Grosz, even though he’s more of an artist. This’ll come up in the next question, but I have a hard time being personal when I write, but Grosz’s A little Yes and a Big No is a really affecting autobiography with a ton of unique character.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?
I think I have this in common with most people, but it’s just getting started. Other than that, like I said, I have a tough time putting myself into my writing, even though I know it’ll get in there anyway.

Do you have critique partners of beta readers?
Of course! To be honest, I have no idea how people get by without them. If you want to publish something, but don’t want anyone to see it, who is it really for?

What was one of the most surprising things you learned?
This is relevant to the previous question, I think. The most surprising thing I’ve learned in writing in general is how differently the author and the reader can think of the same story.

How do you describe your writing style?
I would say slim? My writing’s primarily a vehicle for the story, so my aim is to communicate plot, character and atmosphere as efficiently as possible. I think to some people it can read as bare or rushed, and I’m still learning the balancing act of prose to plot.

Plotter or pantser? Why?
Anything a pantser writes can be improved by thinking things through. Throwing things together just leads to a frustrating juggling act in later drafts. The only advantage to spontaneity in writing is that some people might have more fun.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? What are they?
It’s tricky to give advice to new writers because storytelling itself is complex enough without having to take into account medium or genre.
I think I’ll narrow it down to three pieces of advice.
First: if you’re serious about writing, get some education, learn fundamentals. If you’re still in school and have your choice of classes, take some writing ones. Yes, most of these are boring, but putting in the time is vital to any art form.
Second: you have to read to write, and cultivating varied influences is really important, but don’t forget that what you take in is what you put out, if you don’t keep your standards up and only read works that are poorly written, your own work will suffer.
Third and final: daydream. Stretch your imagination, do improv theatre, play board games or tabletop RPGS, something that forces you to be creative.

If you put all these things together, you’ll have a sturdy foundation to build your fiction on.  

by Alexander Charalambides

GENRE: Thriller/NA


Hildegard lives in a real-life dollhouse, surrounded by prop houses and actors who play friends, teachers and foster parents. Only one man ever seemed real, and after his disappearance, she’s had enough playing along. As Hildegard makes her final preparations to run away from home, a swarm of black clad soldiers appear, controlling the police and swarming across her home town. She can evade them for now, but after learning their mission, she decides to play along one last time, following them to Truman Academy, a lonely building on a freezing aleutian island. Hildegard knows it for what it is: just another prop, but not everyone feels the same way. Through the hell of endless drills and marching, Hildegard befriends the stealthy Grace and bloodthirsty David, and enlists them in an effort to unravel the plan of the man called G and his monstrous menagerie of inhuman soldiers.


Kneeling against the open door, I can hear voices, but not clearly enough to tell what they’re saying.

The garage is crowded, though; too many footsteps.

From here, I can see about half the room. The ramp leading down to the ambulance, the open gate, and some piles of stretchers and medical supplies. It’s completely dark, apart from the distant rays of street lights filtering in past the ambulance. Somewhere on the wall I can’t see is a light source, and since I hear but don’t see people, I’m going to assume that’s where they’re standing.

I test the floor; it changes from plastic tile to concrete at the threshold. Not really ideal. I lay flat on the ground, and try to crawl, as slowly as possible, on elbows and knees. The railings on the ramp to the ambulance, combined with the darkness, should keep me hidden, as long as the people in here keep talking, I might even be able to listen in.

It feels as if my heart should be beating out of my chest, whatever that means, but to be honest, I think I’d prefer that. What it actually feels like, as the ambulance inches closer, is freezing to death in a blizzard. Each time my heart beats, there’s a second of suspense as I wait for the next one.

I can’t stand up. It’s too low, they’ll see me. I’ll have to crawl all the way.

“All teams, reporting in for the fifth sweep.”


“Still nothing.” 

I want to turn on my side, watch them, but I can see enough in my peripheral vision. Five men, standing in a group, one holds a small light, strapped to the forest of pouches and armor on his chest. The others peer into a variety of equipment, propped up on black plastic legs or resting on piles of bags and boxes.

The ambulance’s tire is by my hand. The back of my neck hasn’t stopped itching.

It’s getting worse, in fact.

“It may be time to consider the possibility we were misinformed. Should’ve brought dogs.”


I’m under the ambulance now. Five feet to go. I turn on my side, to watch them.

“She’s not here. How is she not here?”

Leaning against the far rail is a man with the proportions of a spider monkey, equipment hanging off him like autumn leaves on a tree. He’s looking right at me.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Alexander Charalambides was born in London and grew up in Berkshire in the UK.
He studied Creative Writing, and graduated from the Open University.

As a freelance writer Alexander enjoys storytelling just as much as editing and analysis, but often takes time off to enjoy wind surfing, do the sickest of motorcycle flips, wrestle with deadly animals and lie about his hobbies.

In 2008 he moved to the USA and now lives in New Hampshire’s beautiful White Mountains with his family and two dogs, Gwynne and Gimli.

Website: AlexanderCharalambides.com
Facebook: facebook.com/ajcharalambides
Twitter: twitter.com/ajcharalambides


Alexander Charalambides will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Lisa Brown said...

I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour and I hope it is a fun one for you :)

Alexander Charalambides said...

Hi, and thanks for featuring my book on your blog.

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing the great post!

Joseph Wallace said...

I know someone who would really like this book. Thanks for sharing. I hope that I win. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Nikolina Vukelic said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt, thank you.

Karen H said...

Sorry I couldn't be here the day of the party. I got sidetracked now I'm playing catch-up!