Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Faculty Interview: Alex Kourvo

By Jason Henry 

Are you excited? We certainly are! Why shouldn't we be? The 2015 Pikes Peak Writers Conference is just around the corner! It has been an absolute pleasure recruiting the incredible faculty that we have lined up for you this year and the workshops they will be teaching are proving to be just as amazing.

Pikes Peak Writers Conference is known as one of the best and friendliest conferences for many reasons. One of those reasons is that we provide as many opportunities as possible to not only learn from our faculty, but to get to know them. Keeping in the spirit of that very statement, we interviewed all of our faculty members to get inside their heads just a little. Really, we don't see the point in waiting until April. Do you?

Over the weeks to come, we will be posting those interviews along with the responses right here on the PPW Blog. Be sure to check in on Facebook and Twitter as well! We hope you enjoy reading these brief Q&As as much as we have!


Alex Kourvo – Writer/Editor - Michigan

1. What are the most compelling elements you feel are necessary for a good read? 
A character to care about, an exciting world to live in, and stakes that matter.

2. What do you see as the pleasures and difficulties of being a writer/artist in today's world?
This is the best time in history to be a writer. People are consuming stories in dozens of ways, from novels to short stories to movies, TV shows, podcasts, video games and comic books. Every medium needs writers. Living in the digital age means reaching fans in new ways, too. There are no limits to what a creative person can do today.

3. What is the best career/writing advice someone has given you?
Richard A. Thompson taught me about something called "the implied first act." With that one useful phrase, he explained the difference between movie structure and novel structure. Movies start before the big events, while in novels, the big things should start in Chapter One.

4. Would you pass on that same advice or alter it?
I share that advice every chance I get. I actually quote Rich Thompson a lot. He's a smart guy.

5. What do you love most about your career? 
I get to make up stories and put them on paper. Then, if I've done my job correctly, that same story appears in someone else's head. How cool is that?

6. What is something you wish everyone knew (or didn't know) about you? 
I'm an introvert, which nobody believes when they meet me because I adore people and I'm always the first one to introduce myself to someone new. But after a few hours of people-time, I'm ready for a nap.

7. Which fictional character do you relate to the most, and why? What character would your friends/family pick for you? 
I'm going to go with Camilla Figg, a character from the TV show Dexter. She and I share a passion for key lime pie. Of course, that's what killed her in the end but, if I could have the perfect slice of key lime pie, I could die a happy woman.

Quick Qs:

Pen or Keyboard? Keyboard

Plotter or Pantser? Plotter

Book or E-Book? Ebook. I never read paper anymore.

Spicy or Mild? Spicy

Sunrise or Sunset? Sunrise. I'm always eager to start a new day.

Mister Rogers or Sesame Street? Sesame Street. Even today, Grover still cracks me up.

Facebook or Twitter? Twitter is my second home. (find me @AlexKourvo) I don't understand Facebook at all.


Alex Kourvo is a writer, editor and teacher. She is the author of three novels (the Detroit Next series under the pen name M.H. Mead) and numerous short stories. She is the co-founder of the Emerging Writers Workshops at the Ann Arbor District Library and authors the popular “Writing Slices” blog, reviewing how-to books for writers. She lives in Michigan, where she reads, writes, and eats as much key lime pie as possible.

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