William Alexander (author)

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William Alexander
Born October 9, 1976
Alma mater University of Vermont, Oberlin College Edit this on Wikidata
Occupation writer, academic

William Joseph Alexander (born October 9, 1976)[1] is an American writer and academic.

He is an adjunct professor in liberal arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[2]

He won the annual National Book Award for Young People's Literature recognizing his debut novel, Goblin Secrets, which was published by Margaret K. McElderry Books in 2012.[3][4] It features an orphaned boy who runs away to search for his lost brother in the magical city of Zombay.[4]


Alexander studied theater and folklore at Oberlin College, located in Oberlin, Ohio; and English at the University of Vermont, located in Burlington, Vermont.[5]


His first published speculative fiction was a seven-page short story, "The Birthday Rooms" (Zahir, Summer 2005),[6] which earned a 2006 Calvino Prize nomination.[7]

Alexander acknowledges that his writing style is influenced by well-known fantasy and mystery authors, including Ursula K. Le Guin, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Susan Cooper.[8] Goblin Secrets has received praise from Alexander's literary heroine Le Guin, author of the Earthsea series, and from Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn, and a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.[4]

Alexander plans a series of novels set in Zombay.[9] After the release of Goblin Secrets he told the Enchanted Inkpot, "That place isn't done with me yet. The next Zombay book is about music and shadows. It runs parallel to this one, sharing a few scenes and characters but otherwise unfolding in different parts of the city. Zombay is a big place. Cities are always full of different stories unfolding at once."[10] The first sequel was released March 2013, Ghoulish Song.[11] British editions of both novels were published later that year by the Much-in-Little imprint of Constable & Robinson.[6] Alexander has noted that Ghoulish Song is "not precisely a sequel ... the two happen at the same time, in the same city, and involve several of the same characters, but the books also stand alone. You can see them unfold in the background of each other, if you look."[12] The Internet Speculative Fiction Database catalogs the series as "Goblin Secrets Universe".[6]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ "Alexander, William (William Joseph), 1976–". Library of Congress Name Authorities File. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  2. ^ "Will Alexander". Faculty. Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
  3. ^ "2012 National Book Award Winner, Young People's Literature". National Book Foundation (NBF).
  4. ^ a b c d "Goblin Secrets". Goblin Secrets by William Alexander (goblinsecrets.com). Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  5. ^ "3 Reasons Why Thinking Like an Actor Will Help Your Writing". William Alexander. November 12, 2012. Guest column, Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents Blog. Writer's Digest (writersdigest.com).
  6. ^ a b c d e William Alexander at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved May 18, 2013. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  7. ^ "2006 Calvino Prize". Department of English. University of Louisville.
  8. ^ "Goblin Secrets by William Alexander – Author Interview by Laura Given". October 24, 2012. Nerdy Book Club.
  9. ^ YA Wednesday: 2012 National Book Award Finalist William Alexander and His Goblin Secrets by Jeff VanderMeer [1]
  10. ^ "Interview with William Alexander, Author of Goblin Secrets". Nancy Holder. March 5, 2012. The Enchanted Inkpot.
  11. ^ a b "Ghoulish Song". Goblin Secrets by William Alexander. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  12. ^ "Ghoulish Song Launch Events". William Alexander. graphy (blog). February 25, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013.

External links[edit]