Alexis Marie Chute, Author of Expecting Sunshine (non-fiction) and The 8th Island Trilogy (fiction)

Alexis Marie Chute is a SparkPress sister that releases her third book in her series The 8th Island Trilogy in 2020. Below are a few questions and answers to get to know the author behind the books.

What was your greatest challenge in writing your books?

My greatest challenge in writing any book is getting my bum in the chair, overcoming that procrastination. Once I’ve gotten over the initial hump, and am in the flow, I’m good to go—until, that is, the end. Endings are just as challenging as beginnings. Then the next struggle is when to stop editing. I am a relentless, picky, and perfectionist kind of editor. There comes a point, however, when I need to hold back and declare a book, “FINISHED!!”

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I learned that books are hard to make and yet tremendously rewarding and fulfilling. Creating books, for me, is akin to getting tattoos. I am terrified of needles, and thus do not have a tattoo of my own (one day!!), but my friends who get tattoos always tell me it’s addictive. You can never only get one! That’s how I feel about writing books. I’m addicted!

What inspired your stories?

My memoir, Expecting Sunshine, arose out of the anxiety and introspection of my own life. I wanted to survive my pregnancy after loss and not go crazy in the process. Coming out of it on the other side, sane and with a living baby gave me hope that perhaps I had done something right. I wanted to share that hope with others who struggle with loss and growing their family in the midst of the storm of grief.

My 8th Island Trilogy was inspired by the belief that we go to extreme lengths to protect those we love. The three unlikely heroes learn that their past selves do not define their present bravery. They rally against insurmountable odds and discover that they possess strength they never imagined. In many ways, the trilogy is a fictionalized look at the resiliency of the human spirit. That is a topic I am obsessed with and optimistic about!

The order of the trilogy is:

Above the Star

Below the Moon

Inside the Sun

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story has characters that are simultaneously loveable and deplorable. The plot is unexpected and varied. There is a lot at stake, and the risks and rewards are always in flux. I can always tell a story is good when it keeps me up at night, lingers long after the last page, and I wish I had thought it up!

What is the one book no writer should be without?

A dictionary and thesaurus. Though I use these tools online now, I am constantly referring to them while writing my books.

Is there a message/theme in your novels that you want readers to grasp?

The resiliency of the human spirit is what percolates up in most of my work. It’s the dogged determinedness that I see in so many people, no matter the hardships they face. They inspire me, and because of them, I want my work to inspire others.

All images provided by and property of Alexis Marie Chute

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