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Help author’s dreams come true

Pursing passion: Samuel Alexander is asking for a 99 cent donation — from all of us. The 34-year-old has spent more than a decade trying to make a name as an author

All Samuel Alexander is asking for is a 99 cent donation — from all of us.

The 34-year-old has spent more than a decade trying to make a name as an author.

Seven books in, he’s begging the public to help him get there.

“It was so much fun in the beginning,” he said.

“Random people were stopping me and saying it was great what I was doing but, five books in, I started thinking that if they were that excited, they’d actually buy a book.

“It only costs 99 cents on Amazon. They don’t even have to receive it, just click on a button.

“What I find really difficult is that people buy things all the time they know they will never use. Why can’t they just add my 99 cents to the never-use pile? If nobody said anything good to me, I would probably still be writing books. What I need from people is that confidence, their 99 cents that says it’s all worth it.”

He’s now plugging Brothers and Frenemies, the book he self-published this year. Mr Alexander describes it as a “coming of age story about four bullies who take on one of their victims as a friend”.

The dynamic of the group changes as a result; the book follows their journey into adulthood.

It took him roughly five months to write the 450-page novel. More than a year had passed by the time he was finished editing.

“I usually stay up until 4 o’clock or so in the morning,” said Mr Alexander, whose day job as a potwasher typically spans 12 hours.

“I sometimes start work at 7.30 in the morning, sometimes 9. Either way, I have to be up early because I catch the bus.”

On a good day, he’ll hit the gym after the long shift. And then start writing.

“Absolutely, positively, I am sleep deprived,” Mr Alexander admitted. “I only have about three cups of coffee a day.

“I don’t know how I’m surviving. But, I’m an artist; that’s what you do. The reality of the situation is, even if you have children, we all spend a lot of time doing nothing.

“It’s during moments when you literally have nothing to do, when you’re watching TV, going for a walk in the park or whatever, that’s usually what someone who wants to be a writer, a singer, an actor, a dancer is actually doing.

“There’s always time. You just have to choose whether to use it or not, and most people choose not to. I would never have completed writing a book if I actually slept.”

He continues despite the limited success because “in the back of my mind, I realise writing is what I enjoy — although it gives me the most stress”.

That he’s had mainly positive responses about his books so far is another reason he soldiers on.

“My problem isn’t that people don’t like my books, the problem is my books aren’t mainstream per se [although] people tell me that’s part of their appeal.

“Usually, when other writers say [what they think] they have legitimate reasons and I have to decide whether it’s the book that’s bad or it’s a personal choice. It’s the same way I approach positive reviews.

“And, depending on what they say, I take it from there. Based on what people have liked or hated I have changed things, come up with a better way of doing what I do.”

Ten years from now he hopes he is making a living as an author.

“With every book I have to convince myself that this book is ‘the book’. People are liking them more and I enjoy it so much.

“Ten years from now, I woud like to be making money off writing, but I said that with my first book so, realistically, I’d like to finish paying off my mortgage.

“I would like to have a house before I’m wiped off this Earth. It’s a goal I’m working towards.”

Buy the book here: amazon.com/dp/B01IOBIKAI?tag=geolinker-20