Author Marcus Alexander spoke to students about his travels and his philosophy on life when he visited Brooke Weston recently. He has spent years travelling the world, running businesses and doing sports including martial arts, gymnastics and free running. So far he has written three books. His first self-published title ‘Who is Charlie Keeper’ led to critical success and his first book deal. Since then he has written three books in the Keeper of the Realms series and he spoke to our students about the importance of having creativity and a zest for life.
He said: ‘I am just hungry for life and that reflects everything I do. When I was a kid books were always my thing. When you read a book with a hero or heroine and they have this amazing life you lose yourself in the adventures they get up to. It suddenly dawned on me that I could spend my life mundanely as a normal adult or I could live like these heroes and heroines and go out and have an amazing life. So these books inspired me to go travelling in search of my own adventures because I have had such a crazy lifestyle, travelling in Bangkok, sandboarding in the Sahara and I used to fight in the Golden Triangle plus I had businesses at home and overseas. Life really is so short and I am just keen to chase it and live it.
‘I never knew what I wanted to do in life. The only things that screamed out to me was to be my own boss and be creative. I had a business in Chiang Mai running a DJ bar. Then I came back home, still had the desire to do something creative and be my own boss and I have been a French-trained chef and have a first class diploma in food and wine, and opened up my own restaurant with a business partner aged 24 in Chiswick.
‘My mum started nagging me to consider writing and so to get her off my back I said I would sit down for an hour and write. I absolutely loved it and decided I wanted to be an author. The first book took me a few months. I sold 1500 units to prove its validity and gave away 500 for marketing. Out of 20 reviews I got one really scathing review but 19 banging ones. I got really lucky with my core following in London. Armed with all my sales figures I went straight to Puffin without an agent, asked them to take a look and they signed me.
‘Keeper of the Realms is the umbrella series title. The first one is Crow’s Revenge, the second is the Dark Army which was followed by Blood and Fire. I want to start a new fantasy series aimed at an older age group from 12 to 16.
'Books and libraries are the source and birthing place for creativity and imagination but travel, get outside your circle, get outside your box. You have no choice but to integrate with other people, ask them questions, see how they live, live as they live and the more you experience you can’t help but have your vision changed.
‘Do things that are not necessarily easy. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes because they teach you so much and you adapt because of them. I always tell students to experience as much as possible, go out there, try things that they are scared of, that challenge them.’