A Different Kind of Hero – Author Alex London Speaks with FHC Students

Posted on 09/26/2018
Author Alex London signs books for FHC students

Alex London, writer of children’s, young adult, and adult fiction, recently visited the FHC Learning Commons. As part of the visit, he shared his writing process, how he writes the stories that he needed as a child, and his newest novel Black Wings Beating. His stories have been featured on several ‘Best of’ lists, and his novel Proxy was a nominee for the 2015-16 Gateway Reader Awards.

“The magic of writing is that I have the same toolkit that a 14 year-old does,” said London. “The blank page looks the same to me as it does to them. The same 26 letters rearranged in a limited number of ways to make some magic happen on a page.”

London captured his audience with his quirky, bubbly, and animated personality by sharing personal details about his life growing up. He decided to write the stories that he needed to read while growing up in a conservative community as a closeted gay teenager. Not stories about hatred, fear, anger, and sickness, but stories about strong teenagers who are just like everyone else. Stories that can make others feel a little less alone. Stories that champion a different kind of hero than readers might be used to seeing.

He believes that representation of all types of people can save lives. London focuses his stories on revolutionary teens, seeing it not as fiction, but as the reality we are living in today. Pulling from his experiences as a journalist, London writes stories to honor the lives of the children and teens he has met during his time in war-ravaged areas and refugee camps.

Author Alex London speaks to FHC students“Some students may never have the opportunity to hear from a published author,” said FHC Media Specialist Andrea Head. “School author visits are an exceptional way to encourage reading and writing. Authors are so great at sharing the details of the writing process and answering audience questions.”

Junior Amelia Nenninger, an aspiring writer, had the honor of introducing London before his presentation. “He’s just like any other person. Usually, when you think of writers, you imagine they’re high up and almighty, but they are really just average people and that helps a lot. It makes me want to write more of what I am writing.”

While visiting authors are a fun chance to bridge the gap between writer and reader, they also serve an educational purpose. “We hope the students are inspired by learning the steps that authors take in writing their novels: the in-depth research involved, the dedication and time management required, and the collaboration with the editor and publisher,” said Head.

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