Alexander teams up on new book
Lake Oswego High grad finding fertile writing fields in Los Angeles
Jessica Kirby Alexander is still a Lake Oswego girl at heart. But she has found that Los Angeles is a great place to be a writer.
I always miss Lake Oswego so much, said Alexander, who graduated from Lake Oswego High School in 1999. LA couldnt be more different.
As far as living goes, Alexander traded a garden for a traffic jam. But the soil for writers is rich in Southern California, and she has teamed up with her writing partner Dana Melton to produce Autumn in the Dark Meadows, the second book of a trilogy. Together the two young women write under the pen name of Kirby Howell.
Whereas their first book, Autumn in the City of Angels was an urban science fiction drama, the second book goes outdoors, where people are forced to learn survival skills. A teenager named Autumn Winters must learn how to survive when Doomsday strikes.
Dystopian (the near future) fiction is really big right now, Alexander said. Our book has an apocalyptic theme, something like The Stand By Stephen King. Its sort of science fiction lite. Its not too heavy.
Alexanders drive to become a writer started as soon as she met Melton when they were freshmen at the University of Alabama in 2000.
They clicked so well that they teamed up to write a script that took a national award in a prestigious student script writing contest.
We decided we were just right together, Alexander said.
The professional bond grew tighter when they both moved to California at the same time and entered the television industry. They wrote up a storm for a lot of TV programs. This was fun but not quite satisfying.
Four years ago we decided to abandon scripts and write novels, Alexander said. We thought, Oh my gosh! This is much better.
While Kirby Howells main target is teenage girls, they have discovered a wide range of readers who like their books.
Women of all ages like them, Alexander said. Even men like them. Women like the romance, and men like the science fiction elements.
Alexander married her husband Brian (also a television writer) five years ago because he was such an inept driver of golf carts. While tooling around a course with Melton he crashed a cart, causing her to suffer a concussion. The person Melton listed to call in an emergency was Alexander, and Brian called her. From bad driving a romance bloomed.
It just might make a good incident for one of Kirby Howells future books.
For more information, go to kirbyhowell.com.
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