Name Alexander Wallis

Age 46

Where are you from

I work with young people with behavioural or learning difficulties, helping them to develop socially and emotionally. I studied at the University of Chichester and currently work in Portsmouth. I use drama, creative writing and group work to engage students and help them to see themselves and the world from different perspectives.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I was recently a winner in the ‘Write Across Sussex’ short story competition presented by novelist Kate Mosse.

My story followed a young woman struggling with a cruel, withholding mother. Working within social care, I had sometimes encountered Narcissistic parenting styles leading to attachment disorders. This is a theme that deserves more attention because the abuse is often covert, hard for professionals to pick up on and recognize.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

‘The Way Knight’ tackles a host of controversial themes that arose from working with damaged young people. It follows the story of a young woman seeking justice in a world, very much like our own, that makes no sense to her morally or ethically.

Writing The Way Knight was a way for me to explore these challenging themes and expose a host of evil practices and personalities of which we should be more aware.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The Way Knight poses questions rather than asserts opinions. Is certainty better than doubt? Is violence the best answer to violence? How do we form our beliefs? And so forth.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Ricky Fleet is a new author to watch. Like myself, Fleet uses genre fiction to explore social and personal themes. His first novel Hellspawn is zombie-apocalypse fiction. Thematically he explores the relationship between a functional family and the son of a violent, cruel father. Fleet raises some chilling questions as we discover which different aptitudes keep the group alive – both emotionally and practically.

Fiona: What are your current projects?

Two short stories set in the world of The Way Knight, exploring culture, alienation, and conflicting views of professionalism.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

‘No matter how often he saw it, Goodkin was always appalled by his own face.’

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?