Alex Sumner – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

It is called The Magus. It is a tale of black magic and murder set in contemporary London, UK.

Police are called to a murder scene in Fulham. They find a dead body – but no evidence of murder… Two detectives struggle to find out the truth of the matter. But when a mysterious old man claims that the victim was killed by a Satanist, little do they know their lives will be changed forever…

Tell us something about yourself.

I am a practising occultist. I have been writing about the subject for around ten years: I started off by contributing several non-fiction articles for the “Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition” which is an ezine (www.jwmt.org). I am a Tarot reader, astrologer, lucid dreamer, and ceremonial magician. I am also a member of several recondite and mysterious organisations, the least secret of which is Freemasonry.

What inspired you to write this book?

Dan Brown. Reading The Da Vinci Code made me want to come up with a thriller that was just as gripping, but had more sex. And was better researched.

How did you publish this book? Why did you decide to self-publish?

I self-published via Lulu. It was taking me forever to try and get myself a deal with an actual publisher, so I went for it.

How do you do research for your books?

There is a reason why my novel is themed about black magic and so forth – it is stuff with which I am involved in real-life. Not necessarily “black” magic per se, but when one hangs around in circles as dubious as I do, you get to hear quite a few anecdotes down the pub.

Also a certain amount of experimentation is involved in the privacy of ones own home – or more often in a hotel bedroom, because someone else has the job of cleaning it up.

There is one stomach-churning scene in the novel, which when I devised it, I was thinking: “what is the sickest, most deviant behaviour I can have this character perform?” Some time after finishing the novel, I found out that acquaintances of mine were in an organisation that had claimed to have done it for real. There is nothing new under the sun.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?

Basically I learnt the whole art of creative writing whilst writing it. I educated myself on the whole topic as I went along.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

Books about Magic, the occult, spirituality, and related subjects. In terms of fiction, my current favourites are Dan Brown (whom I have already mentioned) and Christine Feehan. There are a load of other authors whom I like, such as Dion Fortune, Michael Moorcock and H P Lovecraft.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I have already finished the manuscript for my second book, and am working on the third. They are the second and third parts of a trilogy: “The Magus” is the first part.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Creative Writing is an art which can be learnt, and which will make things immensely easier for you. There are plenty of resources both online and available from your local library which you can look-up. The best thing I learnt from this is the importance of Structure – it truly is the writer’s friend. If you can fit the germ of a plot idea into a decent structure, the rest of the novel practically writes itself.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book

“The Magus” is available from Amazon.com.

My own website is here:

http://www.solascendans.com