Thank you for letting us ask you a couple of questions! Would you briefly introduce yourself, tell us who K.R. Alexander is? What do you do in everyday life? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures you’d like to share?
Thanks for asking them! My real name is Alex Kahler, though I write creepy kids books as K.R. Alexander. I also work as a scriptwriter for Warner Bros Games.
A few years ago, I would have said I spend a lot of time climbing, hiking, traveling the world, and even performing in the circus. Now, however, my days are mostly spent writing, reading, playing video games, and going on long walks with my pup. I do still love traveling and try to explore as much as I can. As for guilty pleasures…all the sweets! Ice cream, cake, cookies, you name it. Plus, binging reality design shows like Project Runway.
And I don’t feel guilty about that at all. 😉
When and why did you start writing? Is this something you’ve always wanted to do?
I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember. I still have short story collections from when I was eight. (Thankfully, my writing skills have improved since then. My drawing skills?… Not so much.) I wanted to be a lot of things when I was younger—and I still do want to be a lot of things!—but telling stories was always one of my main passions.
Was it a conscious choice to publish children’s book under a pseudonym? If so, why?
It was indeed a conscious choice to publish these books under a pseudonym. The irony is, I partly did it because – if they didn’t do well – I didn’t want it to negatively impact my YA/adult writing. Instead, they became hits! You might notice that in my bio for The Collector, it is very vague, with no mention of who I really was or how I could be contacted. I made sure we changed that in later books, because I wanted readers to be able to find me!
It was also just a wise marketing choice, since they are very different from the books I’d been writing outside of children’s horror.
What genre do you enjoy writing more, children’s horror or fantasy/horror for adults? Is one or the other easier to write?
Oof, that’s a hard one. Honestly, I’m a scaredy-cat, so I don’t like being scared. I’ve also always been a huge fantasy nerd, so that is my first love. That said, writing horror is fun in its own strange way, and since these books are a lot shorter than the adult or YA books I was writing, they’re a lot faster and easier to write, too. I hope I can always do a little of both genres!
Why do you prefer fantasy/horror?
I grew up reading all sorts of nerdy books about dragons and wizards. I always wanted to run away to live in a castle in the Scottish highlands and craft potions over a big fire, preferably with a dragon as a familiar. I’ve also always had an overactive imagination. I was the kid staring out the window and daydreaming in class. So, fantasy has always been a part of my internal world.
Where do you get your ideas for stories? What does your writing process look like? Do you have everything clearly mapped out before you start writing?
I wish I knew where my ideas came from—then I might be able to gather them more regularly! I think I just absorb story ideas from everyday life, and my subconscious starts putting the pieces together. I have a ton of notes on my phone and computer (and scattered throughout my house) with ideas I’ve jotted down and don’t want to forget.
My process is pretty simple: I set out a number of words I want to write each day, and I don’t stop until I’ve written them! Most of the time, I like having a clear outline or synopsis beforehand, because I can sometimes get lost in the details or in side stories and forget where I was going. But I have definitely written many books without an outline. They just require a lot of editing afterward!
Do you like to read? What genre? Is there a book that is your all-time favorite?
I do! I read more as a kid when I had more free time, but I still like to read. Honestly? I try not to read too much fantasy or horror, because I get jealous of how good other people can write! So I read a lot of nonfiction or literary fiction nowadays, though I’m always on the lookout for really good fantasy.
Despite all the controversy, Harry Potter is still one of my favorite books/series. Reading it always feels like coming home.
Your latest book Escape was released in February. Can you tell us a little bit about writing this book? What is it about?
Escape was a lot of fun to write! It’s about a super-exclusive, ultra-high-tech theme park where only the coolest kids (and a handful of normals like me!) get invited to the opening weekend. It promises everything: you can fly, use magic, fight zombies, ride thrilling rides in outer space, all through augmented reality. It’s supposed to be every kid’s wildest dream—no adults allowed, no rules except ‘have fun’ and everything is free. So, of course, it becomes a nightmare.
I’ve always been fascinated with practical effects and theme parks—even though I’m too scared to go on a lot of the rides! One of those things I wanted to be as a kid was a special/monster effects creator for movies.
So it was fun getting to let my imagination run wild with what ifs.
And finally, what can we always wake you up for, even if it’s the middle of the night?
That’s a tough one, because I love my sleep! But…hmmm…. I’ll wake up for a good cup of coffee. Preferably with ice cream. 😉
Thank you so much for letting us interview you and indulging our curiosity. Until next time (we hope)!
Thank you! I am looking forward to it! <3