My next victim is author Alex Rivera. He is a relatively new author with a burning desire to write. He loves his pets and most anything to do with the great outdoors. Smart, charming and a good sense of humor are all words I would use to describe him. So if you haven’t met him yet you must. Please take the time to get to know him and pick up one of his books. Don’t forget to leave a review. Please help we welcome Alex Rivera to Roadie Notes….
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I first became enamored with writing at the age of 15 or so. I got the fan fiction bug when I considered writing stories based on Dragon Ball Z (ha ha). Now, I first wrote my novel, Crimson Dusk when I was just a young buck—at the age of 21 in 2004-2005. But over the years, I’ve steadily labored on my craft and this book, I believe, reflects that. Keep in mind I am 33 now, so this book has been in the works (including countless revisions and editing) for about 12 years—a little over a decade! Now it’s been recently published under my own publishing brand and is available in both print and kindle formats on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. Yes, it has vampires but the book doesn’t stop there with that type of mythology. It’s quite epic in scope. Just read it and see for yourself. I am still open to publishing my work for other publishing companies though!
2. How many books have you written?
I co-wrote a non-fiction book with another author (Tracy R. Twyman), called “Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled.” It’s an historical account about the horned god/bearded head, Baphomet, the Knights Templar and all the occult and esoteric lore associated with them. We mined the depths of the Bible, the Kabbalah, witchcraft, alchemy, modern occult secret societies such as Freemasonry, Christianity, Gnosticism, Hermetism, Sufi Islam, etc., for such an exhaustive undertaking. It’s performed rather well and it has an increasing cult following. But besides that, Crimson Dusk would be my second published, sophomoric work. I am currently trying to finish a science fiction/cyber-punk thriller, tentatively called “Delta Heavy,” so hopefully, it would be my third, soon enough.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
That’s a good question and it’s honestly something I haven’t thought about. I’m not too keen on reading or writing westerns, although there are films and television shows that touch on that, that I do enjoy watching. I loved the Quentin Tarantino film, “The Hateful Eight” and the HBO show “Westworld.” I don’t think there’s many controversial subjects that I won’t tackle in both my fiction and non-fiction writing, really. I wouldn’t get in-depth into Marque De Sade type of behavior in my fiction though. But horror is something I don’t shy away from either.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
As stated earlier, I am currently 33. Am also single, unmarried, no kids, and I specialize in selling health and life insurance. I am also currently accepting qualified applicants for the wife position, however.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
I can’t say for certain. I think I need to write two or three more books to give a proper answer for this question.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
Believe it or not, I’d say the Bible. Originally, I didn’t write it not out of religious piety but genuine interest in biblical textual criticism. But somehow, this has changed. It’s hard to explain. Reading it has certainly left an effect on me in one way or another—enough so that I was inspired to write my own stories. The idea or archetype of dying and rising like how Christ accomplished and to renew your mind is a powerful one that I don’t think anyone should dismiss out of hand—whether you’re a believer or not. I’ll get into this more in-depth later. And you can feel the power of it when you’re creating a fictional story. It’s the power of creating a new myth based on the old ones. Writing fiction is different from the feeling together a nonfiction book, I must say. And people like Joseph Campbell must have recognized this, I think.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I love outdoor, physical activities such as jogging and hiking. I also like to read and research various topics pertaining to my interests.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
I like to go out and celebrate with friends, if I can. But as any writer can attest, to the book is never truly finished.
9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
I tend to write in my house with music. Writing is a very lonely endeavor, you know. Typically, I’d listen to ambient, chill out, orchestral/film soundtracks and industrial music for inspiration. Recently, the band Perturbator’s “Uncanny Valley” album has been on constant rotation on my stereo for a few days now.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
I always want to improve my writing, no matter what. It’s true what they say—your books are always a work in progress—even when they’ve been on the market or on the bestseller list for a while. As a writer, you always notice things that could have been improved or expanded on. Also, I want to write something in the YA or NA genres because they have a bigger mass appeal and audience with the millennial crowd. I want to do this so I can challenge myself to write something more mainstream. I’m not out to write the next “Twilight” or “Fifty Shades of Grey”. But you know, you do what you got do to pay the bills. I’d like to write something in the realm of my interests and giving it a wider appeal, somehow. That’s the challenge. I seek to enlighten not dumb down or patronize my audience.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I’d like to be a critically acclaimed one. Eventually I want to branch out in the entertainment industry and work on screenplays and perhaps even translate my work into other media, such as films, video games, etc. Dream big is my motto.
12. Where do you live?
I live in the sunny wastelands of Orlando, Florida.
I have an old dog, Rocky and three cats—Felix, Mama, and Honey. The first two are mother and son. I’ve had my black cat Felix since he was born.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
As I stated earlier, writing fiction is a bit like crafting a new mythology for a new audience. I guess you can say it’s repacking old ideas into new models but I think it’s deeper than that. The psychoanalyst Carl Jung spoke often about the concept of “archetypes” in his “Depth Psychology,” and “Active Imagination” work. Archetypes as essentially an imprint or the “typos”—a concept that goes back to Greek philosophy of Plato and the ideal world of forms. It’s also a definite grouping of archaic characters as well as meaningful, repeating, mythological motifs found in world religions, fairy tales, legends, and folklore. Archetypes are also a technical term for the primordial aeonic manifestations from the Godhead, that we see in ancient Gnostic religions. Carl Jung was big on Gnosticism. Terms such as “aeon,” “image,” “form,” “seal,” and “depth” are all extant in their literature. And that’s where I get the name for my website, by the way. “Archetype” and “aeon” mean the same thing, basically. I feel like there is great power in these ideas and that reaches the audience in one way or another.
Now, I know some people have problems with Joseph Campbell but I think his literary models are useful. In Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” and the “Monomyth,” we see many variations of the hero archetype journeying to an unknown, hidden realm to confront the gods, monsters, wise old men, demons, seductress, etc. This realm may be associated with the imaginal realm, which can be more real than the manifest word. There the hero must battle these beings, as they basically manifestations of his own inner demons. But most often, they are also external or perhaps a mirror of the hero’s psyche or soul. The hero battles these villains and eventually gains a magical treasure of some type and returns to the normal world to share what the hero has gained. Sometimes, the hero remains on the other side and starts a revolution there. There’s always some mysterious guide for the hero to beckon or show them the way to this other side, kind of like how the White Rabbit leads Alice down the rabbit hole or how Morpheus leads Neo when he swallows the red pill, only to be flushed out from the false world of the Matrix and into the grim reality of being.
I feel like I am doing the same with my stories—I am tapping into something primordial that existed before the world and engaging in the same type of myth-making that countless others have done throughout the ages. In a way, stories are eternal and will outlast even me. When I die, I’d love to be buried as an Egyptian pharaoh and take my books with me to the realm of the gods! In a way, being a writer is much like being a high priest—we are providing an almost sacramental service for the collective consciousness of the world, by feeding the imaginations of the reader.
I am reminded of a quote by Chuck Palahniuk. It goes like this:
“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”
And I think that’s more true than anything else, in this world at least.
15. What is coming next for you?
I am working on a novella based on Crimson Dusk that expands on the back story on some of the main characters and explains their dark histories more in-depth. And as I said earlier, I am working on a science fiction thriller set in the future. It also touches on a lot of events that are happening and soon to happen in our current Zeitgeist. It’s tentatively called Delta Heavy and I can give you a short teaser:
“In the year 2079, Darren Ramirez is called to lead a covert military task force investigating a top-secret corporate-military project, headed by a rogue researcher who has mysteriously disappeared. Meanwhile, a mysterious, clandestine group seeks to resurrect a lost, secret civilization threatening to alter the course of history and the future.”
As always, thank you for letting us get to know you better. I wish you much success and happiness.
You can connect with Alex Rivera here:
I am also the author of the website: TheAeonEye.com.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015ALLVPQ
Author Website: https://theaeoneye.com/
Crimson Dusk (Print): http://amzn.to/2dSmKxB
Crimson Dusk (Kindle Edition) http://amzn.to/2eKhZcP
Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled: http://amzn.to/2f7j4YW