Hi! I’m Alec. I was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, and live between New Orleans, Chicago, and Mexico City. I write and edit books for business people in the broadest sense. My clients have come from the worlds of oil and gas, robotics, cybersecurity, higher education, telehealth, UX, mainframe computing, international luxury tourism, computing, fashion, the US Department of Defense, and hippopotamus training.
I’ve learned an enormous amount from them all, and love writing for people who have expertise in things I’m completely unfamiliar with. No matter their domain, we consistently have an interesting synergy. My collaborators tend to find me refreshingly different from the people they typically encounter day-to-day, and vice versa. They appreciate my intensity and thoroughness, and value that those tendencies are leavened by emotional intelligence and a sense of humor. I don’t remotely come from the world of business, and ironically, in this line of work, that tends to be a huge advantage.
My number-one priority is staying true to my clients’ voices, partly because I’ve experienced having my own voice publicly misrepresented. It made me exquisitely sensitive to how using even one word or phrase that doesn’t sound authentic can throw everything around it out of alignment. As a result, I don’t invent–I conjure from my collaborators organically through interviews.
Before coming to Forbes-Advantage, I was an interdisciplinary arts interviewer for BOMB Magazine in New York and a “man on the street” interviewer for The Chicago Tribune’s Redye and The Portland Mercury. As a result, I’m as comfortable talking to homeless strangers on the street as I am artists or high-powered CEOs in their boardrooms.
I was also a beloved tour guide in New Orleans for the better part of a decade. This poured kerosene on my already irrepressible storytelling abilities and taught me how to click with practically anyone within seconds.
I’m particularly sharp with anything that has the flavor of self-help or motivation. I’ve studied the history and literature of self-help in an academic setting, and have read the classics of the genre both earnestly and critically. I also wrote a master’s thesis on the history of Brazilian music, and have been at home managing sprawling, complex timelines ever since.
I’m a tireless editor, relentlessly comprehensive, and never forget the reader. I’ll do right by you, your story, and your audience, and can assure you that the process will be a pleasure from start to finish.
Samples of my book-length ghostwriting are available upon request, and a brief survey of my other writing is below. If you’re interested in working together, call me at 504-434-2130 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Longform Arts Interviews:
I’m a lifelong interview junkie. I self-designed my one-of-a-kind undergrad major, Horizontal Integration in the Arts, largely around BOMB Magazine’s interdisciplinary arts interview model. After an internship there, I started doing interviews–Matt Siber, Damion Berger, and Will Steacy, and then beyond: Richard Sexton, Andrew Moore, and Ben Gest. All of these were compiled an ebook [PDF]. All of my writing today is still grounded in this style of deep, multi-session interviewing.
My first job out of undergrad was at the Chicago Tribune, working for their Redeye weekly. Again, I started out doing intern-y things, and quickly progressed do doing wacky “man on the street” interviews, much like Humans of New York. I also shot events, food, concerts, etc. It was great fun. During graduate school, I couldn’t stay away from street interviews. I did a brief stint at New Orleans’ monthly tabloid Where Y’at, and then another, during my grad school summer, for the Portland [Oregon] Mercury. You can see all 40+ of those interviews here. Provided they speak English, I can interview anyone, anywhere (my Spanish and Portuguese are B2-level at the time of writing).
After grad school, I became a tour guide in New Orleans, and was very good at it. I drove wealthy clients around in a Cadillac Escalade, talking ceaselessly about history and culture. I also gave historic walking tours by day and surprisingly heady ghost tours at night.
I’ve always been a storyteller, and have always been great with people; telling stories professionally for five years while living in a place like New Orleans threw kerosene on the fire. I ran into an old friend from grade school at the terminal at LaGuardia who put it best: “Seems like you’ve got stories falling out of your pockets.”
New Orleans is a deservedly famous place to live for its own sake. Like many there, I have a lot of wild stories. People constantly told me to write them down. When I finally did, and they spanned 80,000+ words. I’m deep in editing them into a proper memoir, and will be for some time, but you can get a taste of the first chapter here. I love combining photography and literary storytelling–I took over half a million photographs of New Orleans, particularly at secondlines, and hundreds of thousands in places beyond.