From the beginning, Alex felt things very deeply and she learned early that the best thing to do with all that emotion was to turn it into fiction. Some of Alex’s earliest memories, in fact, are of wandering her neighborhood barefoot while narrating fictionalized versions of her life in her head. All her old diaries are full - not with writing of her childhood - but made-up stories.
While she always dreamed of becoming a novelist, Alex wasn't exactly sure how to get there. She graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN with a degree in creative writing along with a few hundred dollars cash from bartending and promptly moved back into her childhood room in her hometown of Austin, TX. Her first job was as a technical writer for a distressed properties institute, which to this day, Alex still has no idea what that means. She eventually got a copy editing job at the journal for the Texas House of Representatives, which was exciting for the first few months and then terribly mundane.
From there, she became a book editor at a boutique romance publishing house, which, yes, is a euphemism for erotica (sorry, Dad). As Alex worked on book after book that she had not authored, she increasingly felt that she could work on one that she had. During her lunch breaks, she began writing her own romance novel, which, no, is not a euphemism for erotica (you’re welcome, Dad). While it was pretty bad, by writing a novel, she’d proven to herself that she could. And now she had the bug.
Over the next few years, she worked a slew of jobs to bankroll her novel-writing habit, from Zumba instructor to casting assistant and eventually, writing coach. And then, after years of writing and multiple manuscripts on the shelf, she finally got the phone call she’d been waiting for: Audible wanted to publish her book. Her debut, In Her Skin, came out as an Audible Original in October 2019 and Alex worked furiously to follow it up with another. Her next, The Truth About Ben and June, will be out from Park Row/HarperCollins in 2022.
Alex lives with her husband in Austin, TX, and when she’s not writing, she can be found reading in the bath, talking on the phone with her mom, taking long walks, watching too much TV, or getting distracted by the squirrels beyond the window at her writing desk. She continues to feel things very deeply and she’ll continue to write these feelings down for a very long time to come.
Alex, at a glance:
Weirdest quirk: I cry almost every day - usually at sappy commercials.
Favorite place to read: The bath, of course!
Favorite TV show: It changes everyday. Today it's Severance.
Favorite drink: Coffee, red wine, & hot water - my dentist loves me!
"Alex Kiester on Obsessing Over Her Mother's (Eventual) Death," LitHub
A little over a year ago, I was taking a walk, talking on the phone with my mom like I do most afternoons. We hadn’t been talking about anything important—a book one of us had read maybe or a restaurant we wanted to try—when suddenly she interjected with, “By the way, I just heard from Nancy. She finished the death dress.”