UPDATE: This week kicked off to a great start, we’ve reached our first milestone on Kickstarter – over £800 funded since Thursday 8th of February !
As part of our campaign we will be introducing you to our contributors – the fabulous, creative and talented people we’ve recruited for this project.
First up is Frederick “Freddie” Alexander, a writer and events organiser based in Edinburgh.
Since 2013 he has been an organiser and host of the Inky Fingers Open Mic night, and has been an organiser of the University of Edinburgh’s Soapbox Open Mic. In 2014 he coordinated and hosted the second National UK University Poetry Slam. He currently works for the National Library of Scotland, and has been a freelance writer for Broadway Baby, Scotsgay, and Gutter Magazine.
When Freddie is not dwelling in library archives you can find him at @FredRAlexander (Twitter)
[Knight Errant Press]: Is gender identity a theme that comes up a lot in your writing? If not, what pushed you to explore it this time around?
[Freddie]: Gender identity is not something that I necessarily write about in an explicit sense. Having said that, much of my writing does orbit around forms of masculine identity. I am very interested in interrogating masculine forms of self identity, and sometimes pushing that into uncomfortable spaces.
[KEP]: Has exploring gender affected your worldview and your writing and reading habits?
[F]: I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint any specific way that has impacted my worldview, as it is very difficult to disentangle gender from how my own worldview is constructed. It is a very large thing, which is why it inspires so much art. Art is a way of refracting these large ideas through a prism. I’m always trying to turn this prism to see what new colours and shapes come out of it.
[KEP]: Was there a particular book, short story, poem or event in your life that inspired you to write your own?
[F]: The entire culture of fan fiction is something that I am hugely interested in. I don’t write it myself, but I find the attention and care that people put into these characters very inspiring. Add to that the often irreverent shipping that writers will employ with their characters, I find it very fun to read.
[KEP]: What author or book do you think is most underrated? And why? (Prime time for some reading recommendations.)
[F]: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin is an enormously under-exposed book in the West. It is a dystopian novel that was written in the early years of the Soviet revolution, and is simply brilliant. I think it is under-exposed in the UK because of the attention we like to give to George Orwell. 1984 is good, but We is simply outstanding, and it contains one of my favourite paragraphs of inner monologue in all of fiction. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in dystopian or political fiction.
[KEP]: What’s the most famous book you haven’t read?/play you haven’t seen?/album you haven’t listened to?/film and TV series you haven’t watched?
[F]: I have never finished Pride and Prejudice. I keep getting about a quarter of the way through it and then am distracted by something or another. This is my boyfriend’s favourite book, and I feel terrible that I struggle with it so much.
[KEP]: Do you ever feel like you have book FOMO (fear of missing out) because of a famous title you haven’t had the chance to read, if so, which one?
[F]: I feel like I should enjoy David Mitchell more than I do. I have Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks on my shelf at home, and I find them fascinating as concepts, but every time I try to read them I find them just a little bit too difficult. I also vastly enjoy the Wachowski’s film adaptation of Cloud Atlas, so I feel that sometimes gets in my way.
[KEP]: Tea or coffee?
[F]: Tea. Preferably rooibos.
[KEP]: Early morning or late into the night?
[F]: Late into the night, but rarely past midnight. If there is a WWE pay-per-view you may find me staying up until 4am though.
[KEP]: Digital or analogue?
[F]: I find it easier to organise myself in analogue, but I often choose digital out of expediency. I’m making the move to analogue though, as I keep on losing things…
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