Author Interview: Alex Hinkley

I’d like to welcome Alex Hinkley, author of Nerd Psychology, to my blog today. I hope you enjoy getting to know him and hearing about his book Nerd Psychology!


1. What is your name and where do you call home?

My name is Alex Hinkley. I live in Western New York, specifically the Rochester area, and have lived here my entire life. I really like it here but wish we got less snow. Pretty much half the year is winter.

2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?

Nerd Psychology explains why online trolls act the way they do.

3. Is the above book part of a series?

Not yet but I am currently thinking about writing other “____ Psychology” books to make it a series, and then filling in the blank with different things – such as Liberal Psychology for example.

4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?

I used to play a lot of play-by-post forum roleplaying games growing up where you had to write about what your character was doing and interact with other people writing from the perspective of their characters. Doing this really grew my love for writing and after graduating college I decided to try to make a career of it. Overall I would say I have been writing for around 15 years, but writing professionally for about 7.

5. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?

It was actually kind of difficult coming up with a cover for Nerd Psychology because it is a psychology reference book, so how do you make that look appealing? I ultimately settled on using an image of a neuron because I felt it complimented the professional tone of the book itself. My friend Robert helped me position everything properly during the publishing process.

6. How did you come up with the title for your book?

In the book I go into the difference between a geek and a nerd, a nerd being a pejorative term for someone that ego boosts. Therefore the phrase “Nerd Psychology” seemed appropriate since I attempt to explain the psychology behind this specific type of person’s actions. It’s applicable to most people’s everyday lives since nearly everybody uses the internet these days and anybody who is an internet veteran has come across trolls at some point. Nerd Psychology helps you to understand their motives and how to deal with them effectively.

7. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audio-books?

I personally prefer reading an actual book that I can hold in my hands. While I understand the convenience factor, I don’t like e-readers because I like to smell and feel the book (yes I said smell – I love the smell of musty old library books). It helps immerse me into the book. That being said, I don’t really have a preference between hardcovers and paperbacks. Either are fine. Generally, hardcovers do tend to hold up better from wear though.
I AM THE SAME WAY!!! I love the feel of a book in my hands. I love the smell of a book… ink on paper. I do have a preference between paperbacks and hardcovers. I prefer paperback books – They are just more comfortable in my hand, and I know some people don’t like to crack the spine of a book, but for me a cracked spine shows love for that book. 

8. Are you a self-published/Indie author?

Yep, I went the self-publishing route. I didn’t know anything about the publishing industry and felt self-publishing would just be easier. Plus my books are aimed at relatively niche audiences so I figured it would be fairly difficult to get a publisher to sign on for them. Also keeping a larger percentage of the royalties from every sale doesn’t hurt either!
Totally agree, keeping the royalties is awesome. However, lately, I have actually been thinking more about submitting to a publisher. I just don’t know if that is even a thing once a book has already been published. I wonder if any of my readers know that…

9. Have you ever read a book more than once?

Not that I can remember. I have a huge backlog of books to read so I don’t really have time to read the same book again, even if I really liked it or it has been awhile since I read it. There’s so many new stories to enjoy and new knowledge to acquire!

10. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?

Nah I will at least read the synopsis first. Covers don’t mean much to me past getting my attention. Once my attention is grabbed, however, you still have to win me over.

11. What is your favorite film based on a book?

I really like the 1987 film The Running Man with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. It’s one of the few King movie adaptations that was actually good in my opinion. Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile are also up there, of course but The Running Man has a lot of re-watchability to me because it is an action movie while the others are more about the plot.
Stephen King is one of my favorite authors of all time. LOVED The Running Man… Loved The Green Mile… LOVED Shawshank Redemption even MORE. There are so many amazing books that man has written. I’d give anything to have just one-hour of his time to pick his brain.

12. What is your favorite book genre at the moment?

At the moment, I’m reading a lot of fantasy books. Trying to make it through the Wheel of Time. Man, that’s a journey! I’d love to write a fantasy novel myself one day.

13. What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?

When I have time I’d love to read some of Richard Overy’s history books. He wrote what sound like interesting books about World War II.

14. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?

Right now I’m reading Finders Keepers by Stephen King in hardcover. I literally just started it yesterday. I liked Mr. Mercedes so I have high hopes for this one.

15. What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?

Read every day if you can and keep a list of vocabulary words that you came across while reading and didn’t know. Always look a word up when you don’t know what it means, and write it along with its definition down on a piece of paper to help you learn it. This is an effective way at growing your natural vocabulary which in turn will make you a stronger writer.
I’ve never heard that advice before, but I think it is great. So many times authors use repetitive words in their books. I think this method for growing your natural vocabulary would be a great way to avoid this all to common pitfall. 

16. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?

I like playing video games. Final Fantasy VII on the original PlayStation is my favorite game of all time. I’m also a sports nut. Lacrosse is my favorite sport and I’ve held season tickets to the Rochester Knighthawks since 1995. In all that time I’ve only ever missed a couple of games that I can remember and they were due to bad weather or illness.

17. Where can your readers follow you?

Thank you so much Alex, for participating in this interview.

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