Welcome to Important Pictures of My Cats!
Perhaps you’re wondering about the name. Will I in fact post nothing but cat pictures? Probably not!
For those who have day jobs or are waiting on line for coffee, here’s my new, short bio:
Kim Alexander grew up in the wilds of Long Island, NY and slowly drifted south until she reached Key West. After spending ten years working as a disc jockey in the Keys, she moved to Washington DC, where she reported the traffic and spun the Oldies. After a career upgrade, she became the co-programmer of Sirius XM Book Radio, which gave her the opportunity to interview some of her writing heroes, including Anne Rice, George RR Martin, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King and Margaret Atwood, among many hundreds of others. She began writing when she ran out of authors to interview (and they pulled the plug on her channel.)
She currently lives with two cats, an angry fish, and her extremely patient husband close enough to the National Zoo to hear the lions and the monkeys, at least she hopes that’s what those noises are.
THE SAND PRINCE (Booktrope) is Kim’s first novel and begins a fantasy series called THE DEMON DOOR. Her husband tells her she needs to write at least ten more books if she intends to retire in Thailand, so thank you for your patronage.
Below you’ll find bios that are, shall we say, pining for the fjords.
(***We interrupt this update for an update of the update! When I wrote this post back in those long ago, golden hued days of two months ago, things at Sirius XM Book Radio were going swimmingly – OR SO I THOUGHT! DUN DUN DUN!
As I was soon to learn, Book Radio’s days were numbered, (and so were mine) for reasons I am assuming were purely financial and made perfect sense and I didn’t take it personally ONE BIT. And thank you, that severance is DELICIOUS. Since they no longer need my help, I’ve disconnected all the links to Sirius XM. If you want to find them, I bet you can! Now, lets get back to that now somewhat out of date update!)
In fact, I’ll mostly be posting book reviews and some audio snips of interviews I’ve done with authors. If my cats start reviewing books, we’ll have to rethink the concept.
This site began its life as my web page in those long ago, golden hued days of 2008 (I think – there was an interweb in 2008, right?) I had a book review show on Sirius XM (at the time – golden hued – it was just XM) and it seemed like the thing to do to have a web presence. My show was -and still is, stunningly enough- called Fiction Nation.
Turning the clock back even a bit further, I dreamed up the idea of a book review show while I was working as a traffic reporter – updating Philly, Miami and Seattle for 8 hours a day, 4 times an hour. As a traffic reporter you don’t have much free time, really just enough to fantasize about the day you’ll no longer be a traffic reporter.(Briefly: no I didn’t go up in a helicopter every day, and yes, its both hard and boring.) My imaginary show was going to focus on science fiction and fantasy, since I felt the nerd population was badly underserved. (Still do.) After about a year of pitching everyone in the building (“Lady, I’m just delivering pizza! And I hate your ideas!”) I tried it out on Amy Reyer, who ran Take Five, the fairly short lived women’s talk channel. She decided to put my show on the air, for which I am very grateful. Fiction Nation first aired as one-minute reviewlettes in September of 2005, the first half hour show aired (with my girl Brenda Scott Royce as my first guest) on January 20th 2007, and my first hour long show ran on July 9th 2008. It went on hiatus for about a year as I toiled in the Book Mines. But now its back! (Aaaaand its gone again.)
You can hear Fiction Nation on Sirius XM Book Radio channel 80 every Thursday night at 10 pm E, Fridays at 6am E, and Sundays at 5pm E. I also do a live talk show called Cover to Cover on Tuesdays at 3pm E, and I host This Is Audible, a magazine style look at the good works of friends at Audible.com which runs several times throughout the week. (None of this is true at all.)As you have probably gathered, I have expanded my focus dramatically away from just SF&F, but a good space opera or vampire story will still win my heart. (This is all still true.)
So feel free to poke around. If you’re looking for a book I talked about on SXM, it’ll be in Reviews. Essays used to be called ‘rambling diatribes’ but we decided that was too long. With the holidays approaching (this will be correct once a year, kind of like a stopped watch) I offer Holiday Gift Guides (this will be updated before land on Mars, I promise.) We are still in the process of building the Audio Archive. The Back of the Stacks is where you’ll find reviews of Audible audio books along with a couple of my personal favorites.
And because we have to be in ten places at once, you can find me on Twitter @kimalexander80, @SXMBookRadio, our homebase web page, and on Facebook (god help us) at Sirius XM Book Radio. (You can still find me on Twitter @kimalexander80. Thus endeth the update. Thanks for visiting!)
I wrote this essay in 2007, when the site went live. Since then, I’ve married The Prince and traveled the world, but the real me can be found between the covers of my books, unchanged. And so I left this piece alone.
I blame Harlan Ellison.
He was my first literary crush. Picture all those little 6th grade girls, talking about the Partridge Family and trying out for cheerleading, and then add me in, dragging around my dog-eared copy of I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream. Hey, maybe I didn’t get to wear the kicky outfit, but come on — that was a really good book!
It just got deeper from there, my love affair with words. Fortunately, my asthma was severe enough to get me out of gym class and into the library, where I pounded the last nail into the coffin of my social life by reading exclusively everything in the science fiction section.
As I got older, I learned to mix with my own kind. We could be spotted by our inability to tan (or play dodgeball) and our desire to somehow share what we had read. I remember the summer I read The Mists of Avalon,or as my mother calls it, “that book you love and everyone else hates that you try to get everyone to read.” At the time I truly thought if only I could get people to read it, everything would change. (See here for the fate of that particular book.)
Eventually, friends stepped in to get me to look at books not set in 1) the Middle Ages or 2) on a spaceship. I will always be grateful to the friend who pressed Jane Austen into my trembling hand. Pride and Prejudice is now one of my favorites, but she went too far when she gave me Mansfield Park. Should’ve left well enough alone.
When I moved to Key West, I got a job as a disc jockey, and believe me, if you work as a DJ in the Keys, you have a part time job unless you like living in a refrigerator box. I was lucky enough to work at Key West Island Books, where I was introduced to folks like Jim Hall, Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen. When it was time to move on, I found that friends didn’t want to help me move (again) because of the inevitable mountain of cartons full of books, and writing ‘fragile’ on them? Isn’t fooling anyone, at least not more than once.
These days I have bookshelves in every room of the house, including the bathroom. Amazon sends me birthday cards. Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night just to look at them all, all my friends, each one its own adventure. So while my resume looks like I played Jimmy Buffet records for tourists and went on to talk about the traffic, my real life is on those shelves. I used to believe that if you could get someone to read, it could change things.
Now I’m absolutely certain it’s true.