Interview with Alexander Chklar

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Well, for me, this was a case not so much of wanting to be a writer, but more having a desire to record my experiences. And to be honest, even when I had started writing the only thing that kept me going was this desire to have this journey down in writing. However, the further I got into the book, the more I started to enjoy the actual writing, finding my rhythm and style.

What genre do you write and why?
This book is of course a non-fiction, and I suppose falls between adventure and travel. I have tried to maintain a gritty atmosphere to the narrative to reflect the actual situations that I found myself in.

Tell us about your latest book.
This is an account of a cycling trip around Europe, which started life as a joke between friends. I was graduating from university in the Summer of the 2004 Olympics and decided to cycle from London to Athens and then on around the rest of Europe. To add a very unique aspect to the trip, I was cycling a recumbent tricycle. I was also cycling solo and unsupported, allowing me to meet a wide variety of people and go where I pleased when I wanted.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
So far, I have found it difficult to market this strongly, mainly using Facebook and some writing blogs… 

What formats is the book available in?
It is only available in Kindle format, mostly because I don’t have the resources or market to justify a physical book. However, if it were to prove successful I would certainly consider putting it into print.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I am not writing and working, I swim competitively, as well as climbing, fencing and running. My wife (who I met whilst travelling) and I also enjoy skiing where possible and walking holidays.

Who are your favorite authors?
Well, I think my absolute favourite would have to be Douglas Adams – what a sense of humour! I also very much enjoy adventure/exploration books, especially mountaineering.

What advice do you have for other writers?
I suspect I am not in a position to offer much advice except write from your heart and let it flow.

What's the best thing about being a writer?
For me the best thing about writing this book was a feeling closure on my experiences, and almost reliving the entire trip – I really found that the emotions bubbled up to the surface as I was writing and would have a grin on my face or tears in my eyes depending on what I was writing about. I really hope that other readers will share in this.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I think the best thing is to find me on Facebook (there are not many Chklar’s!) and ask me there. Sadly I don’t have a current webpage, mostly due to lack of time.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Well, my book is currently only available on Amazon Kindle and may be found here

When I was writing my book I was very torn about how to structure it. Initially, I had a "dear-diary" approach but I soon realised that this felt very wooden, and decided instead to use a story telling style. I did include some excerpts from my diary kept at the time, this was mostly to give a feel of the emotional rollercoaster that I was going through.


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