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Hi there

Categories: This Writer's Life.
Oh hello. Unless you unintentionally clicked on the link to my blog while searching for a place to post romantic poems to Kevin Alexander Clark-that sassy, pre-teen heartthrob drummer from School of Rock, I assume you know who I am. But in case you don´t, or you´ve decided to momentarily abandon your Kevin Alexander Clark obsession and read on, here´s a brief yet informative bio written really for no reason in 3rd person and the answer to an obvious follow up question:
Kevin Alexander is one of a tandem of “This Writer´s Life Columnists” for Writer´s Digest who, despite Kevin never having published a book, have combined to sell over 12 million copies of books worldwide. He´s also a frequent contributor to Boston Magazine and pursuing his MFA in Fiction at Emerson College in Boston (although he has taken a semester off and is currently in the throes of a quarter life crisis\self-discovery\travel writing trip through Western and Eastern Europe). A Gemini, Kevin enjoys watching “the View”, occasionally shaving and aggressively not wearing pants.

Brief, historical aside to answer the question, “How did you of all people get said column?”

Answer: About three years ago, I was finishing a grad degree in magazine journalism and for one of my classes, I wrote a satire of a self-help piece entitled, “How to Write a Literary Masterpiece; the Quick and Easy Way to Heaven” (see link at left for the original, unedited manuscript). Being young and overconfident and utterly clueless but motivated, I became convinced that this was the best thing ever produced and assumed nearly everyone else would as well. With that in mind, I began sending it out to writing magazines with the highest of expectations and was crushed when every one sent me back lengthy, slightly personal rejections, some of them even kind of mean. One started, “Mr. Alexander, This satire lacks any humor and would offend our readership”. 

Eventually, I tried to forget about it and move on with my life until one day, in what she assured me wasn´t a wrong number, I got a call from (then assistant editor!) Maria Schneider who told me that “while they weren’t going to buy the piece”, they were curious if I would write something else. So I did, and then I wrote another piece and then they asked, “Would you be interested in possibly writing a monthly column for us detailing your writing life?” and I told them, “No, of course not, I have way too many important things going on” and hung up. I kid. In reality, I accepted and began spontaneously dancing and trying to hug my roommate Ramsey, who proceeded to lock himself in his bedroom. And so for the past two years, I´ve been writing about writing triumphs and failures and Ramsey and The View and my father´s insistence that every reality show is (basically) Survivor. It continues to be one, long, happy ride or, as Maria would put it, “a very trying, crucial and expensive mistake for the magazine”.   

   Now that we´ve gotten through that, I should probably explain what this blog is going to be about. Really, how I envision it, is a combination of things. Since I´m what historians call somewhat of a renaissance man–I can do a mediocre job at nearly anything having to do with writing–the blog will serve as a place for me to A) talk about writing: what´s going on in the writing world, craft issues, things people should check out, etc, etc, B) answer any questions readers may have to the best of my obviously prodigious ability, C) compile pure, unedited, stream of conscious thoughts complete with misspellings (sp?) and glaring grammatical errors, D) entertain and encourage writing. Because really, friends, I´m here for you. I want everyone to be published, and at least some of you to be wealthy and famous so I can borrow your cars.

   For those of you who joined me on the forum, here are a few promises on how this will be 47 times better than said forum:

1. I´m dropping knowledge (i.e. posting) at least once a week, and while I can´t guarantee I´ll be interesting, at least the consistency is better.

2. It´ll be easier to see when a new post is up, which is good for my rapidly deteriorating eyes and apparently you can get an email alerting you to this monumental event. You lose again, Forum.

3. I can include pictures, which doesn t seem important, but for whatever reason, makes me very excited.

4. There will be a section, tentatively titled “Ramsey (might) solve your writing conundrum” in which I will actually solicit Ramsey´s advice to answer your writing questions. Not necessarily useful, but potentially entertaining.

5. Finally, instead of answering questions as posts like i did previously on the Forum, I will try and personally reply to people individually, or, if you ask a question that I think might be useful to a lot of people or common then I will put that up and you´ll win a free vintage poster of the cast of the View before Rosie was on the show. Or a copy of the School of Rock DVD with me forging a personal inscription from none other than Kevin Alexander Clark. Supplies limited. 

   Anyway, that´s pretty much it for now. So feel free to drop by occasionally or frequently or just keep this page open and hit refresh every few minutes, the choice is yours.

I love you all. Never change.

KA

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26 Responses to Hi there

  1. Amanda Smith says:

    Dear Mr. Kevin Alexander (the writer, not the heartthrob; well, still kind of heartthrobby but not that School of Rock kid anyway):

    I have made several attempts at writing my masterpiece, using your suggestions as a guideline. I am still unpublished, broke, and I suspect borderline insane. I’m also fatter and maybe even a criminal.

    In trying to adopt a better-than-you attitude, I succeeded only in losing all my friends, and thus, potential babysitters. Now my kids are around all the time, and I can’t stand to look at them. I tried using drugs, but since I don’t actually know any drug dealers, I settled for Ambien—and embarked on a sleep-walking-driving-eating adventure. Once, during an Ambien-fueled outing, I removed the license plates from my car. I never did find them, and I now wonder if I possibly murdered someone? I called all the people I used to stalk, just to be sure, but most of their numbers had been changed.

    When I attempted to speak in fake French, the person I was trying to impress laughed and made fun of me in (I assume) real French. Flashbacks of junior high taunted me and I began eating everything in sight; my anxiety proved overwhelming. To take the edge off, I started drinking scotch. That brought on a whole new set of problems! While it did succeed in giving me an excuse as to why I wasn’t writing very well, it also caused me to pass out facedown on my keyboard. When I awoke, my otherwise breathtakingly lovely face resembled an ashen, oval waffle. Have you ever stood in line (sporting your fat pants) for new plates at the DMV with waffle face, a hangover, and two hyperactive children?

    Despite my difficulties, a winning opening popped right into my head—probably thanks to the Ambien/scotch combo:

    On a dark and stormy night, Ishmael cried out, “Are you there God? It’s me, Ishmael.” He fell into the hot-tub and drowned…

    My writing critique group cut it to shreds! I even delivered it in my best Australian affectation, but they still hated the prose. Amateurs. I continued reading my nuggets of literary genius, but they said my sentence structure didn’t make sense, was way too long, and that I had clearly used a thesaurus when I used the word “patulous” to describe a briefcase the killer had planted to frame the protagonist; my newfound sesquipedalianism did not fair well, to say the least. I also used half a page on exclamation points alone, and made especially good use of ellipses for dramatic effect. The group threatened to ban me from future critique sessions, claiming I had “wasted their time”.

    Oprah didn’t return my calls. Or e-mails. Or letters. WTF??? I suspect she struggled to find the right words to express her complete and utter amazement at my erudite work, or that it confused her. I’m going to keep trying my hand at this writing thing, but…I think next time I’ll just wing it. Thanks for the advice, though. Really.

    Sincerely,
    Amanda Smith
    Mother, storyteller, cake/diet soda combo believer
    St. Louis

  2. Krysta Stacey says:

    Hey Kevin,
    New fan here….just wanted to give a shout out, i enjoy your work. You crack me up, i love it! Keep it up!

    Warmest Regard, Krysta

  3. Hi Kevin,
    I´m from Brazil. I send to you my site andrewriter.multiply.com
    the stories are in section Blog
    I´m a new young writer.
    Regards, André

  4. Dana Davis says:

    Hi, Kevin. I just read your article on "Writing a Literary Masterpiece" and I laughed my a** off. Thanks for helping me lose weight!

  5. Lisa Abeyta says:

    At 40 years old, I am too old to be a groupie and too young to be your mom.

    Nonetheless, let me say congratulations on scoring not only a column but a blog as well.

  6. Lisa says:

    Awesome! Consider me one of your followers!

  7. Kandi says:

    The heck with the advice. I want the photos of agressively not wearing pants….

  8. Karen says:

    Kevin, your irreverent style brings to mind Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird. We writers take ourselves way too seriously. Thanks for what you’re doing here.

  9. Halima says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I subscribe to WD and have read some of your articles. I think it’s cool that you are able to provide readers a look inside the life of a writer. Plus, the fact that you’re young helps aspiring writers such as myself share in your journey. Keep up the good work, and I’ll try to check for new posts as they arrive.

  10. Irish Brown says:

    Hey, man…Good for you. I’ve read your columns a few times. I enjoy your writing style, its comical. Keep doing what your doing. Peace.

  11. GT says:

    Weird thing is, when I STARTED reading Writer’s Digest, I hated your guts. Your column on how you spend most of your time checking your email (twice a day) and getting the newspaper in a ripped green shirt your mama tried to throw away was pathetic. Weirdly, I later read your columns and laughed out loud. And your ‘are you ever going to finish that novel?’ quiz was terrific. I got mostly Bs, but I’m not convinced, because I’ve put off revising chapter 2 since the beginning of january and I’m wasting time typing this.
    Awesome that you got a blog. Will Ramsey read it?

  12. TraciG says:

    Kevin,
    I LOVE YOU!!! :::squeals in delight:::
    Whew. Sorry. I don’t know where that came from.
    You are freakin’ hilarious!
    I’ve been reading the caseyhurleyexpirament, too. And, yes, I still love you! I miss Frank.
    I’ll be checking this blog every week. (Actually, I’ll be sitting in anticipation, hitting the refresh button every few minutes.)
    Traci

  13. Hugh says:

    I just read your "Writing a Literary Masterpiece…"
    I am not understanding "Writer’s Digest" comment about "…the one we couldn’t print."
    What’s up with that?

  14. Pamela Beers says:

    Looking forward to your blog on a regular basis. I always enjoy what you have to say. Thanks for the laughs.

  15. AquariusSal says:

    Ha! Look forward to reading more of your ramblings! :)

  16. Heather Cook says:

    Can’t wait to read more from you! Keep up the good work!

  17. E. J. Manor says:

    I just finished reading your "Writing A Literary Masterpiece" article, and I’m still red in the face from laughter. Thanks for the funny.

  18. Jerry Aragon says:

    I’m not the fastest horse in the race, so when I came online, I thought a cursor was a person who cussed a lot; I thought a megabyte is what is done to a slice of pizza; and I thought a blog was located between the pancreas and the appendix…silly me!

    Happy blogging…

    Jer/The Humor Doctor

  19. Trina says:

    Hello there! I am a ‘newbie’ to your greatness, and thank you for the laugh. :) I am looking forward to frequent posts from you.
    (Though I am completely confused as to why you like The View???!!!)
    I am 21 and pretty new to the world of writing, so have a stupid question: I heard that it was less appealing to an editor to receive a query/manuscript that is being simultaneously submitted. If the magazine editor is cruel and unkind enough NOT to accept my article, or at least to return a rejection in my SASE, how long should I wait before sending it out to another magazine?
    Thanks so much for your time!
    Thanks to whoever decided to give you a blog spot… I firmly believe that writers need a laugh every now and then…
    PS – ‘How to Write a Literary Masterpiece’ was an amazing literary masterpiece!!!!!!!!! (See, I am taking your advice with the exclamation points!!!!!!!) :)

  20. Sweet! I just realized this was you, Kevin Alexander. I love your columns. Hope you post more than once per week.

    Drop the knowledge, dude. Drop the knowledge.

    Blog on,
    Paula
    http://paulamooney.blogspot.com

  21. Pamela says:

    Kevin,
    Best wishes with this endeavor. I look forward to your postings and what I may glean from them. Your being affiliated with Writer’s Digest says lots, of course. Happy writing.

  22. sognatrice says:

    Hi Kevin, just wanted to welcome you as well! Looking forward to your insights :)

  23. Paige says:

    Well, well Kevin you have finally made it to the blogspher. Caution it can become additive and take up way too much time from writing. Perhaps you will be able to overcome such a minor problem. If you will post and let the rest of know how to put a halt {slow down} to the crazy internet phenomenon.

    Yes , as a matter of fact I did find a link to you from the WD forum.

    Best wishes for a successful blog.

  24. Hi, Kevin!

    Welcome to the blogosphere! I’ll be checking back every week and am excited to read your thoughts. :)

  25. Kendra says:

    Kevin, I posted this on your thread but Maria said you had come over here. I am excited to be the first to comment! I just hope you want us to comment, with our questions/comments, praises of your brilliance, etc.

    I have been reading your articles with great excitement every month. You have a wonderful witty and ironic humor that has me cracking up every time I read it!

    I am almost 21 and have a self published book called The South Crawley Kids that has sold pretty well in the last three months, has been in two newspapers and was featured in Country Weekly magazine. I share a lot of your frustrations, though about seeming to get nowhere sometimes. I know you are working on that book and have been for a long time. Have you ever considered self publishing? You have a huge following and I know that you have a fanbase big enough to support you if you self published. I self published in June through Infinity and it has been a wonderful process. I have loved working with them and bookstores have loved the quality of Infinity’s books! I had one bookstore say Infinity made better books than most traditional publishers. That brought a smile to my face!

    I have been serializing several novels on my website’s message board, mostly screwball comedy fairytales, that have become very, very popular. Should I decide to get those published, I have a built in group of people who already have read and loved them.

    Kevin, my biggest question for you is, how would you suggest I get some quotes from other authors, experts, etc? I have a good long set of reviews from readers on my website but besides the newspapers and magazine, I haven’t gotten anymore. What would be the best way to get some more reviews from magazines, for instance? Would book store owners be a good source for quotes? Librarians?

    Anything you have to say about this would be much appreciated and conversely, I would love to talk with you about self publishing if you ever consider it. I could answer any questions you might have about it! :D

    Thank you and hope you are enjoying beer in Mexico or wine in the basement or whatever you are enjoying at this moment :D

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