Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Alexis Goring {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Alexis...

Alexis A. Goring is a writer at heart and a journalist by profession. She loves the art of storytelling and is especially delighted to have released her first book, an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, in Sept. 2013. When Alexis is not working on her next book or chasing down the next big story for the newspaper where she works as a freelance reporter, she can be found listening to songs by her most admired musicians, enjoying the food in cafes/restaurants, shopping at her favorite malls and spending quality time with loved ones (family and friends).

Connect with Alexis...

Author page on Facebook,
Blog, “God is Love” -
Twitter handle, @pennedbyalex

Get to know Alexis...

You and Writing
How did you start writing? 
I started writing at age 9 after an impromptu storytelling activity between my grandfather, my brother and I. My grandfather created the activity to entertain us while he and my grandma were babysitting us. I do not think that he knew it would spark my dreams to be a writer.

What has kept you writing? 
My desire to write is as strong as my need to breathe.

What or who is the biggest influence in your writing? 
My faith in God. He keeps me creative and diligent.

Why do you write? 
Writing is like breathing for me. I love it that much. I want to create and publish stories that bring hope to people’s hearts and point them to Jesus Christ.

Your Writing

Why did you write it? 
I wrote my first book because I wanted to infuse hope into people’s hearts and let them know that no matter how dire a situation looks, there is always hope when God is in the picture…and God is ALWAYS in the picture!

What was a challenge you faced while writing it? 
Honestly, I didn’t have any challenges while writing it because it just flowed. However the challenge was to apply all of the content edits that my editor advised. The red marks on my manuscript (track changes on Microsoft Word) were so overwhelming that I did not even try to edit my manuscript for months. But when I finally decided to tackle it, I finished the edits in only three days. I have to admit that my editor knew what she was talking about because after the content edits were applied, my story read much better!

Were your characters easy to pin down or did you discover them along the way as you wrote the book?
My characters were easy to pin down. The story just flowed. There were no surprises this time though I have written stories before that turned out differently (and better) than I envisioned as digging deep into the Goals/Motivation/Conflict (GMC) of my characters created quite the unexpected adventure for me as the author.

What made you choose the setting for the book? 
I wanted to write a book with a local setting so I chose the DMV (Washington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia) area that I love.

What's the most random thing you had to Google for the story? 
Apart from baby names (for my characters)? Maybe language translations for the Italian restaurant scene in “Love Unexpected” which is the first story in my novella.

What’s your favorite snack while writing? 
Chocolate, black cake (it’s a Caribbean dessert), ginger ale and fried chicken.


Let’s talk about your writing life...

What’s your encouragement for younger writers aside from “keep writing”? 
It helps to study writing. I joined the Newspaper and Yearbook staff when I was a high school student. I majored in Print Journalism as a college student. Currently, I’m pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing. Studying the craft of writing has helped me to grow by leaps and bounds as a professional writer. I’d also tell young writers to apply for a mentorship with a seasoned book editor. I recently did that and have learned so much from my editor! She’s taught me the value of knowing the GMC of your main characters before you start to write the fictional story and she’s taught me so much more such as building tension with every scene. The lessons I’ve learned over the years of studying writing and learning new skills from my mentor are priceless and key to my success.

Are you a Panster or Plotter? 
I’m a little bit of both but partial to the pantser process. It’s much more fun. I feel bogged down after I plot a story out from start to finish. Plotting out every detail tends to drain me and deter me from wanting to go back and actually write the story using all of those details.

What does your writing process look like? 
I start with creating character sketches (profiles) that detail their name, age, ethnicity, background, family history, flaws, strengths and other details. Next, I fill out a GMC chart for each character. Then I turn on my favorite music playlist via Pandora or YouTube and start writing!

What is your favorite and least favorite part of the writing process?

My favorite part is writing the story. My least favorite part is applying content edits.

What did you learn along the path to publishing that you’d care to share as encouragement? 
I learned to not rush the process. It’s important to make sure that your final product is a good, solid story with no flaws and achieving that goal takes time.

Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? 
Everywhere! Music, movies, restaurants, the mall, family, friends, books and my imagination.

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, have a favorite artist or playlist to share? 
I do have several playlists. My favorite songs on YouTube include (but are not limited to): “St. Elmo’s Fire LOVE Theme Instrumental” from the movie St. Elmo’s Fire, “Through the Eyes of Love” performed by Britt Nicole from the movie Ice Castles (2010), “What A Feeling” by Irene Cara from the movie Flashdance and “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Crocker and Jennifer Warnes. I listen to a wide variety of artists on Pandora and have several playlists, too many to mention.

Are there any books or resources you could recommend to younger writers looking to grow in their craft? 
Yes! I have quite the list! Are you ready? Here is it is:

What is one thing you like to do to relax when you aren’t writing?

I like to read. I have a stack of books from my favorite authors that I received for free in exchange for my honest review on so that keeps me busy! I love it.

What are you currently reading?
The Woman Code: 20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life by Sophia A. Nelson. We’re reading it for the women’s book club that I co-lead with friends from my church. It’s a great read! Sophia is one of my favorite authors.

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