I’m Alexandra Martinez and I’m currently living between Miami, Florida and Guadalajara, Mexico. Now this might sound a bit outrageous, but I’m actually not a professional writer. I’m a Marketing graduate and I recently went through a very painful and disorienting time in my life, which is what surprisingly led me to writing.
1. Tell us about your latest book.
The Mustard Seed is a very small book that talks about my own research, my own little manual that meticulously describes what pursuing Greatness in a Guitar Hero coolness factor-Match.com problem solver- American Idol wannabe- Globalizing Google- Daily tall caramel macchiato- Prada shoes, Chloe bag must haves- culture is all about.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
The Mustard Seed has actually been the very best therapy of my life. My father went to be with the Lord six months ago. He had a very serious case of bone cancer. Throughout the excruciating chemo-circus, when the time came that he could not get out of bed anymore, I somehow strangely found my heart and mind racing in very unexpected speeds and directions; entering undiscovered lands filled with spiritual and philosophical questions that I decided to write down as therapy. My family and I were going through extremely painful times, and somehow writing began to feel like a completely safe refuge of my own. Rivers of word began to pour out me like waterfalls in the middle of countless spiritual nights where vague ideas where replaced by chapters, fears were replaced by overwhelming discoveries and hours were replaced by seconds. Timeless grieving nights went by when suddenly, before I knew it, my beat-up eight year-old PC was holding my very own life manual, one that I now wish to share with whoever feels in need.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
Well, things have changed in my life. I no longer make plans. I now know what I want out of life, I know the kind of person I want to become and the kind of things I wish to create, feel, and experience. I now know where I’m headed, but as for the rest of it, I no longer make plans, I actually like to be surprised. I like the idea of staying open to every possibility. I’m currently working on a design-photography-culinary book project which takes up most of my day. I like to work out in the mornings while I listen to my music in volumes that might leave me deaf, but sure make me feel alive. I then enjoy my almost religious morning coffee like you have no idea, I guess it has to do something with being a 100% morning person. I then begin the more “professional” part of my day, I go to work, take pictures, meet with my team, see what other creative ideas we can add to the book. I lunch with my family, friends, or teammates, and get back to work. In the afternoons, if I´m not going somewhere like the movies, the theatre, an art opening, or just dinner with some friends, I like to go somewhere quiet and read. I love spending time alone, I like to think about my day, my week, my month and the upcoming events. I guess what I want to say is that I try to live every day in a way where if I happen to die, well, I died experiencing the life I wanted to live.
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
A mess! I’ve got famous quotes, pictures, pieces of fabric, postcards, cool photography, magazine cut-outs, pictures of places I want to go to, or moments I love to remember. Anything that inspires me!
5. Favorite books
The Alchemist, Pride and Prejudice, The Shack, Break of Dawn, Eat Pray Love
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you
I`m a very extreme person, and not in the x-games kind of way. I`m very profound and I love to analyze life`s mysteries and enigmas. There are very few thing I enjoy more then a deep meaningful conversation, even if it`s only with myself. HOWEVER, I´m also sort of a party gal. I love parties! I love to laugh, I love to dress up, I love to be with my friends and just enjoy our company. I looove to go out and explore the night, see where it takes you, or who you meet, I love it! Some of my most interesting experiences have been nocturnal. And when I question myself about this contradiction, my answer has always something to do with: “I guess I´ve got so much energy and emotions on the inside that dressing up, partying, joking, and laughing with my friends, is just another way of expressing them. Now how I manage to be both profound and a party-girl is the story of my life. Because I most certainly cannot live without either one, they`re both part of my essential nature, it´s what makes me…me.”
7. Favorite quote
“God doesn’t play dice” Albert Einstein
8. Best and worst part of being a writer
Best: WRITING!!! Finding a way to express the gigantic amounts of energy, feelings, ideas, visions, etc, inside of you is in my opinion one of life’s best experiences!
Worst: Promoting. Since I did not write this book to make money out of it, I feel very odd promoting it. I don’t really care if it sells, I care if it helps people and I care that it can be available for people who might need it.
9. Advice for other writers
Don’t try to copy other successful writers’ technique. Don’t write thinking about the reader, or sales, or reviews. Just write down what comes out of your heart, regardless of what happens. Write it for you! Write for the thrill of writing itself. Then will a very authentic piece come out you, even if nobody but you gets it. Remember, many successful people were never understood, yet they changed the world by creating such wonderfully unique things.
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
When I was writing this book, since it wasn´t meant to be a book but rather a therapy, I started out questioning myself: what was I really afraid of ? What was really bothering me? What was I really crying and grieving about? What was my life about or life itself about? Every night I would turn on my computer infuriated, I would begin writing with complete and utter rage, and as the time passed and the words started to more easily flow through me, as I started to get some answers and come across some very similar stories, as I little by little began to discover my refuge, a strange yet overwhelming peaceful comfort would ardently run through me. Major problems would remarkably feel like insignificant parts of the joyride of life. And as the sun would begin to rise, so would my mood. My family would begin to wake up and find me laughing or just filled with utter joy. Something that was not very well taken in the middle of such a chaotic family crisis.
Where can people buy your book?