Local author shares her journey from marketing to writing


Alexis Bass talks about her life as an author. Photo credit: Aurora Evans

Matthew Manfredi

As an undergraduate at Arizona State University, Alexis Bass didn’t do much writing. Instead, she focused on her major in marketing because she thought it was the “practical” thing to do, she said. Although she could see a path for her in marketing, the literary world had something else in mind.

Originally from a town called Richland on the eastern side of Washington, Bass is now a Chico resident and author. She has released two books since 2014. Her second book, “What’s Broken Between Us,” was released Dec. 28, 2015. Following the release, she set out on book signings and interviews. Critics began to post positive reviews all over the Web. She currently offers workshops that cover the steps to getting published and the writing process from beginning to end.

Alexis Bass, local author, shows off her books. Photo credit: Aurora Evans
Alexis Bass, local author, shows off her books. Photo credit: Aurora Evans

What made you want to become a writer?

I always was writing when I was little. I had a friend across the street and we would write picture books together and sell them to our parents for 25 cents, which was a big deal back then. If we sold four books we could afford a candy bar. But it always kind of stuck with me. I had another friend in middle school and we both discovered we liked telling stories and we would pass manuscripts back and forth. I just kept going from there.

Where do you get inspiration for your books?

I kind of find it in weird places. I think about stories I would have wanted as teenager—I didn’t really like the happily ever after stories, I knew that’s not how things often end up.

What type of genre would you classify your work?

Young adult contemporary, which usually signifies there are no outer worldly things happening. It’s all set in the real world present day.

Two of the author’s works sit on display while Bass shares her journey. Photo credit: Aurora Evans

Was there anything that changed your mind to stray away from marketing and focus on writing?

I think I just had more information with what I could do with a marketing degree. That’s really all it was. I could see a path to a career in marketing. I remember waiting until the last minute to decide about what I wanted to do. Marketing was the creative business part. It felt practical.

How did you go about getting published?

I did a lot of research. I knew I didn’t want to self-publish because I wasn’t sure if it was going to reach people. Some people are so successful but I didn’t really know how to fight that battle. I heard to get published at a traditional house was to get an agent and they were in charge of talking to editors. Agents will look for things that publishers will like. After getting a few “no, thank yous,” an agent took my query and reworded it and showed me how to do it. The next time that I queried, I had a lot more advice, did a lot more research and was selective in the agents that would be more likely to respond to what I was writing.

Is there any advice you would offer aspiring writers?

Probably to just keep writing. There is a lot of rejection. You’re alone when you write—it’s just you picking your own brain. On that note, I would suggest getting critique partners. It really sucks to have your writing read by someone else for the first time. I was always fine with hundreds of people reading my work but when one person tells you what they think it is a different story.

Follow Alexis on Twitter @alexisbasswrite or check out her website at alexisbassbooks.com for blog updates and additional information.

Matthew Manfredi can be reached at [email protected] or @matthewmanfredi on Twitter.