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Writer vs. Writer: Alex Dew

In this post, we are chatting with an artist of all trades, Alex Dew. Alex is a full-time freelance singer-songwriter for producers globally, from EDM to Rock, so according to him, he is always writing lyrics and for him "Song lyrics are like mini-stories!". I found him through his novel which he advertised as transgressive fiction so, as I was curious, I thought you may be too. Let's get to know this mysterious guy.

Hi Alex. Glad to have you here for this chat. Let’s start with your novel. Tell us why did you write it?

The drive behind writing my novel came from the fact that as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to complete a novel. Being a song-writer I am always writing, so a “Word-Smith” of sorts but lyric writing is very similar to writing poetry, a short form so to speak.

Without spoilers, can you tell us what is this book about?

I am very “Cinematically” minded, I just love films, which was also part of my inspiration. As I went on the journey of writing my book there was a part of me that was thinking like a film director, maybe Tarantino? And in the more surreal parts David Lynch!

Writing The Guy was a form of therapy, a release of sorts after my Roller-Coaster” ride of a life… I am very much an automatic-writer, The Guy was not planned at all… I just set aside an hour a day (I used a stopwatch) and just wrote, I guess just letting it evolve itself.

The Guy is a UK “Freelance” assassin for various criminal gangs within Europe, he is also a part-time singer in a covers band, just for “Ego” reasons! He is most definitely on the ‘Spectrum’, has OCD (Times everything with a stopwatch) and it’s never 100% clear if he is a true “Sociopath”, yes he has a tendency to be “Ultra-Violent” but he is also very empathetic in many aspects, maybe too much so! Perhaps a highly sensitive emapth.

The Guy is Jason Bourne meets American Psycho with Tarantino directing. In places darkly funny. His journey within the book twists and turns, as he finds himself embroiled in inter-gang politics and has to negotiate his way out of some life or death situations with both cunning and violence.

The story is told through The Guy’s eyes and is interwoven with the most surreal daydreams and “Dreamscapes”.

The end chapter leaves more questions on the table than answers.

For me Transgressive fiction and non-fiction are the best way to express oneself and what is wrong with our society. Do you reason to categorize your writings under this genre? If yes, why?

I feel Transgressive writing lends itself very much to commentating on how confused today's society is!

The Guy explores a lot of the “Plastic” elements of modern life and details these observations and feelings he has towards them. Has technology set us free? Is modern days society’s obsession with safety truly damaging to the collective consciousness? used against us as a means of control for authoritarian bodies with riches promised. Society has always been this way but it seems recent the amplification is immense! …. Highlighted of course by the Pandemic.

Transgressive writing seems the only true genre that enables an authentic exploration of these matters, but even with widely accepted “Self-publishing” there is always a danger of “Cancellation”.

Who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to writing?

I don’t have one writer who is my main inspiration, my mind is a little bit too, shall we say Mercurial, to be that decisive!

But within the more “Left-field” genres, as a teenager, books by William S. Burroughs and Charles Bukowski struck a chord. In stark contrast, I am a big fan of the Uk writer Alan Bennet for his honest, straightforward observational style!

Are you currently working on other books? Can you tell us about your future or current projects?

I am currently sketching out an idea for a book based on the “Ancient Astronaut” theory, the working title is “The Return”, it is set in the near future and is about the prophesied return of the legendary civilization known as the Anunnaki, prophesied in the ancient tablets found in Sumeria (Now Iraq), this is a massive topic with books written by Zecharia Sitchin (The 12th Planet) and Erich von Däniken (Chariots of the Gods) amongst many others including of course the highly popular Ancient Aliens TV series.

The book will explore the incredible effect on humanity with our “Seeding” forefathers' return, how they interact and the consequences upon global governments faced with the arrival of a much more advanced civilization.

I am an “All things” Alien fanatic so I’m hoping the book will be deliciously self-indulgent! LOL

Unlike “The Guy” it will require much research and a much more intricate plat outline, it’s at this stage at the moment.

About the publishing process. Would you mind explaining how the did you get your book published? As Transgressive genre is quite a difficult and risky genre to publish classically, I’m curious to know more about your experience in this field?

In regards to publishing The Guy, you are so right about the apprehension and acknowledgment of risk in publishing anything Transgressive, particularly in the wider phenomenon of “Cancel Culture”, for a start my book title: The Guy, the title alone could, tenuously I must say, be controversial with the Transgender activists! …. Which seems to me ridiculous as The Guy is a nickname of my anti-hero and has no direction or even inference towards any gender classification issues!

I published through Amazon KDP, self-published. I self-edited the book myself and one of the thing that was hard was the editing process, and proofreading, yes there are probably mistakes but that striving for “Perfection” can be a stalling block, so I’d say, do your best and don’t be scared to make mistakes.

The KDP process is pretty simple, edit a Word document, check it and upload it, definitely check it through with the mock Kindle viewer tool.

As my book is very violent in places and contains many curse words, I assigned it to the adult content section. I also added a text warning about not reading it if one is offended by violence and swear words.

When I pressed “Publish” after setting the price (A varying degrees of options on this!) I was apprehensive Amazon would “Red flag” the book, but they didn’t!

The Guy is currently on Amazon to purchase with a Free short sample and to be honest I am still planning a promotional campaign for 2022.

So in summary my advice is you want to go down the KDP Amazon path, just “Start” and maybe give oneself a deadline!

I feel Transgressive writing lends itself very much to commentating on how confused today's society is!

What advice would you offer to writers, many of whom are struggling to be creative right now, on how to keep momentum on the work when the world around feels somewhat stranger than fiction?

My advice to writers struggling to be creative is very simple: Decide then commit to writing a book, step back and realistically assess how much time one can spend writing the book on a daily basis, 30 minutes, 1 hour? Get a stopwatch and sit down and write every day, with no expectations. Perhaps allot 2 sessions a week to brainstorming, researching, but again with a stop-watch as per the allotted time. No social media distractions in this block of time, no distractions and in the words of Nike “Just do it”. Sometimes one has to “Go against oneself” to achieve goals.

Finally, be honest are you writing for fame and fortune? Or because you love the creative process of creating the “Writers” world? If your answer is predominantly the former and you don’t particularly like the creative process, as in writing a book strokes your ego, seriously look at why you are writing!!

Thank you Alex for this interesting chat. Look forward to future collaborations.

If you're interested to know more about Alex and his book, here's some links to follow:

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