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Keir Alexander - Author

About the Author

Keir Alexander was once an actor and stage manager before working in film as a writer and director. He is now an English teacher living in Sussex where he plays cricket as often as he can. This is his first novel.

 

Below is a Q & A with this author.

 

Is The Ruby Slippers based on a true story?

It's not, but there are three true stories in it. The most poignant event in the story is true. The most troubled character is someone close to me, and Rosa’s ‘condition’ is something I have first-hand experience of. Beyond that I cannot go.

 

The novel is at times funny, yet it deals with serious and tragic events. How do you arrive at the bittersweet tone?

I don't know. I think it reflects my philosophical outlook which recognises that suffering and joy are often strangely intertwined.

 

What were some difficulties you faced writing from a female perspective?

I didn't find it difficult, particularly, but that's not to say I succeeded; readers will make their own judgement of that. I know lots of females and find them intriguing. I work in a girls' school in fact, and never cease to be amazed by the insight and humour of women - and their togetherness compared to us dysfunctional males. In a way, writing about women is one way of celebrating them. I hope that doesn't sound condescending, it's not meant to be.

 

Which writers inspired you to write?

They didn't. If I relied on great writing for my writing I would probably have to chuck my laptop in the bin and give up altogether. When I'm in the middle of writing, I deliberately read nothing for months on end, except maybe anodyne thrillers. It's simply to stop myself from being influenced by anyone else.

 

What is your favourite novel?

War and Peace, followed by The Great Gatsby. John Steinbeck is my favourite writer: America’s Zola but with greater compassion and less visibly polemical.

 

Where do you write?

In a small study-cum-spare bedroom in our little house in a village near Hastings in Sussex.

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