We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandria V. Nolan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alexandria V., how has your background shaped the person you are today?

I’m originally from Flint, Michigan. Both of my parents worked for General Motors. I grew up in a very blue collar, hardworking middle class family, That said, my parents made it very clear that they wanted me to pursue what made me happy. I had a strong desire from a young age to read and tell stories. My parents greatest escapes from the grueling monotony of factory work was reading, painting, the arts. So that combination of willingness to work hard and pursue my goals, bolstered by the support of my family impacted my writing, my confidence and my willingness to share my work with others.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I write travel articles for online and print publications. I’m freelance, so I’ve had the opportunity to work with local and national publishers. But the travel writing is really just the advertisement, if you will, for my novels and short stories. I write historical fiction and historical fantasy novels largely set in my home state of Michigan. My motivation has always been to write the stories I want to read but haven’t seen anyone else write. If someone else hasn’t told the story I want to read yet, then I should probably get busy! I think what sets me apart as a writer is that my characters feel very real. I talk the dialogue out loud while I write, I act out the character’s actions to make sure that their tics, their facial expressions, their nervous habits feel natural, real, organic.

I think a lot of focus these past few years has been on non-fiction work. Memoirs, motivational memos, etc. But fiction is so important for your brain. Curling up with a good read, something suspenseful or romantic or magical gets us in touch with those parts of our imagination that make us human. A little escape from our own reality into someone else’s–I think my work exemplifies that.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So, I love talking about Houston. And I think that’s because the first 10 years I lived here I absolutely hated it. Then I relocated to Calgary, Alberta for two years and returned and I felt like my eyes had been opened and I fell head over heels for the city. I live in the Heights, so I’m pretty partial to a mosey down 19th any day. Stop in for lunch at Shandy’s, grab an ice cream at Jeni’s with my son, then head across the street to Torchy’s for a marg on the rocks with Tajin.

I love shopping at all of the antique shops in the Heights, but am happy to make a trek over to The Guild Shop in Montrose for some resale gems.
For art the MFAH is an obvious go-to, the permanent collection is gorgeous and the visiting exhibits are always exciting.

Whenever someone comes to visit I always take them to El Tiempo first and then usually over to Buffalo Bayou park for a bike ride or a long walk– providing, of course, that it isn’t melt-your-skin-off hot outside.

Other than that, some boutique shopping at Relic in Sunset Heights or Emerson Rose off 19th, a good bite to eat at literally anywhere because Houston is THE best food city. I’m not really an itinerary type, to be honest, and much prefer to explore the neighborhoods I am staying in– that’s how you find the best local treasures.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I got my start at MyCity magazine. They bought my freelance travel writing stories and really gave me the confidence I needed to make writing more than a hobby. Also, my ex-husband, father of my son and still close friend was very supportive of me giving up a full time job to make writing a priority and a career. And finally, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some amazing editors along the way that polished my work, and helped me grow as a writer and a professional in the literary world.

Website: www.alexandrianolan.com

Instagram: @alexandrianolan

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandria-pazienza-nolan-81966838

Twitter: @alexvnolan

Other: www.amazon.com/author/alexandrianolan

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