Local writer helping teens find 'inner author'
KINGMAN - A local fantasy fiction author who enjoys helping local teens find their inner author is reaching out to those same teens for help in a video trailer for her latest book.
Alexandra Livingston, 28, started writing stories about her favorite TV characters in high school. She started writing her first e-book, "Defy the Gods," right after graduating from high school and self-published it in 2005.
Livingston enjoys writing about other worlds and other creatures. "Defy the Gods" is based on the mythology of Japan. In the story, an angel and a demon work together to recapture three demons who have escaped from the underworld.
Livingston's second book, "Warriors of Sirei" deals with an entirely different world. Where a race of beings created by a goddess are nearly hunted to extinction and the last of them must save civilization.
"I really got into creating characters that people can relate to," Livingston said. She remembers how difficult it can be to be a young adult, and the life struggles her characters go through reflect that and help teach youths self-confidence and morals.
Livingston also acknowledged how difficult it can be to be an author in high school.
"I was lucky because I had a lot of positive re-enforcement," she said. She read everything to her mom, her first editor. Her grandfather was another big supporter of her work.
"He told me, 'find something you like to do and you won't have to work a day in your life.' I could write all day," Livingston said. She lost her grandfather in 2004 and her mom in 2005.
But a lot of students don't have that kind of support base, and that's where Livingston wanted to help. She started a creative writing program for youths at the Kingman branch of the Mohave County Library and has donated some of the proceeds from her two books to several schools and the library. She speaks at literacy events geared to young adults, such as the Kingman Area Books Are Magic festival, she will be a featured author at the festival this year.
"Writing is a kind of getaway. It's a very good outlet. I want to show people that getting published isn't as difficult as they might think," she said.
Livingston's third book, "Rising Moon," which is in the works, is the first in a two-part series about a young mage who wants to become a warrior, but village customs will not let him. While writing the book, Livingston saw a video trailer for the "Immortal" book series by Alyson Noel. Livingston thought it would be a great way to promote her new book and engage the youth of the community.
She contacted the Kingman Unified School District's drama teacher Harry Schueren, created a script and conducted a casting call. Livingston and the students started production on the trailer last week. The main characters in the book are played by Michael Jaramillo, Liana Lyster, Logan Donaldson, Rikki Konek, Jeremy Oscar, and Carlos Rooks.
The students chosen for the parts are great to work with and "it's cool to see my characters in real life," she said.
Livingston's next Desert Phoenix adult writer's group is at 6:30 p.m. today at the Kathryn Heidenreich Adult Center, 1776 Airway Ave. For this particular writing group, you must be over 21.
Livingston's books are available at amazon.com and lulu.com. Her website, where she updates her work on her books and the movie trailer, is alexandralivingston.webs.com.