It is an honor to introduce our newest super talented Featured Sweetheart, Alex Bennett!
Alex Bennett is the fourteen year old guy behind Electrifying Reviews, a popular young adult book blog. Along with reading and reviewing YA novels, he also writes them. Alex wants to be a published author when he gets out of high school, maybe even before that. He'd like to work in publishing, or be a psychotherapist. Maybe both. When not living in the world of books, Alex enjoys immersing himself in the other arts, including singing and acting.
TXS&S: Can you share with us what makes you so passionate about reading and young adult literature?
AB: I guess it's because I get to live out realities I could never experience in my own life. It's not like I'm trying to escape anything, but to live in worlds where anything can happen is like a breath of life.
TXS&S: As book reviewer, literary agent intern, and writer (just a few of the many different hats you wear!), are there any tips you could share with writers looking to break into this business?
AB: I think it's important to just...communicate. It's really not about knowing the right people, because if you are open and try to get to know lots of people, you may meet some people who can help you out. Then again, it's really about you writing something good that people think will sell. It's a complicated world, this writing business.
TXS&S: How do you see the future of reading changing, and what do you think writers/readers can do to stay current?
AB: I see reading changing in a lot of ways. Just like everything else, books go through phases. Before 2009, YA was all about contemporary, then in 2009 came the vampire phase, then angels in 2010, and now we are in a dystopian stage. And there will surely be something else next. I think people should just see what others are liking and see what looks best to them. It's not always about reading the latest and greatest, since a lot of the best YA books are ones that are already out and have been for a while.
TXS&S: What are some of your goals, and what or who keeps you motivated?
AB: A big goal of mine is to be published. And if I do, I'd like to be a writer full time. Besides that, I really want to be a psychotherapist. Another goal of mine is to keep reading YA long after I am a young adult. Oh, and to finish more books. I am usually the one to drive myself to reach my goals. My family isn't big on reading or writing, in fact I haven't seen my parents ever reading a book. Also, I have a lot of friends who are writers and just seeing how they were published after working so hard is inspiration to me.
TXS&S: Would your friends, family, and teachers consider you a Sweetheart or Scoundrel?
AB: Hmm... I'm always open to speaking my mind, and letting people know when they are annoying me. I don't take crap from anybody, and I can be very brash. But I'm totally not like that in the writing world, actually. I'm pretty nice to people online. I am well-behaved and caring to the people I do care about, but I am not afraid to be bold. So...I guess it just depends on who you ask.
TXS&S: Thank you, Alex! Best of luck!
Please email us your nominations for Featured Sweethearts.