Mug Shot: Alex Segura
Miami native Alex Segura is a novelist and comic book writer. He is the author of the Miami crime novels featuring Pete Fernandez, Silent City, and Down the Darkest Street. The latest Fernandez mystery, Dangerous Ends, was released in April. He has also written a number of comic books, including the best-selling and critically acclaimed Archie Meets Kiss storyline, the "Occupy Riverdale" story, and Archie Meets Ramones. He lives in New York with his wife and son.
Tell us about your latest work.
Down the Darkest Street is the second Pete Fernandez mystery. Pete is a washed-up journalist trying to not only decide if he wants to be a PI, but struggling to stay sober. The book finds Pete paired with a woman he saved in the pages of the first book, Silent City, as they try to solve a string of murders that are eerily reminiscent of a long-dead serial killer. The books are set in my hometown of Miami. Place is a big part of the books, and I really strive to showcase the Miami that tourists don't see.
When and how do you find time to write?
It's all about pockets of time. I wish I had a more ceremonial writing routine, but with a day job, baby, and life in general, it's really about just maximizing the time as I find it. Though, more often than not, I'm writing after dinner — when the kid is asleep and the house is relatively quiet.
In terms of finding time — it's about desire. I want to finish my book and get on to the next one so I put in the time. I don't believe in writer's block, either. You sit down and write and hope the words are good. If they words are bad, you power through them and hope the next batch is better.
How much and what kinds of marketing do you personally do?
I'm a publicity and marketing person by day, so I think I do more than the average author. I'm active on Twitter and my Facebook author page, I also try to send out a newsletter at least once a month. The biggest piece of advice I'd share is authors should strive to make their "content" as organic as possible. No one wants to read a dozen tweets to your book. Engage with readers. Support other authors. Post regularly. Be yourself. People want to get to know you via social media. If they like that, they might consider buying your book — but it's not a one-for-one trade.
What writers have inspired you?
So many. Lots of the classics, like Chandler, Millar, MacDonald, Thompson, Highsmith. Authors like Lehane, Block, Coleman, Lippman, Pelecanos, Connelly — that made setting prominent and important parts of their series. Noir masters like Megan Abbott and James Ellroy. I read books by these authors and I get motivated. I want to strive for those heights. That's what it's all about, I think.
In five words or less, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write and read a lot.