Stephen was born in the spring of 1982 in the City of Toronto Ontario, Canada. Showing interest in the arts at very young age, he would dabble in many areas of interest, including drawing, painting, musical performance and many more. He would often be known as the quiet kid that was too engaged in his artwork to pay attention to social frivolity. The fondest memories of his childhood were those of family, laughter and friendship, but it wasn't until age twelve that a supernatural incident would change the course of his life forever.
What followed was many years of night terrors, personal torment and religious confusion; some of which remain a constant struggle to this day. A mislead understanding of the afterlife would leave him in a constant state of guilt and paranoia, as it was made clear by the church that he was being punished for something he simply could not understand. Complex questions would render the average religious leader baffled; the common response being "That's just the way it is", and so began a life long journey down a seemingly endless road, trying desperately to understand the unexplainable.
Stephen became lost in a world from which he constantly felt separated. Social strife and gang violence made him tough yet vulnerable; wise but naive at the same time. A deep yearning for acceptance lacked the assurance that everything was going to be alright. His first real experience of love, he discovered, was a new distraction from the nightmares that plagued his dreams, though they seemed to return with a vengeance during times of loss.
When Stephen was nineteen years old, he joined his parents and sister in moving to Belleville Ontario to be close to his mother's side of the family. He worked as a security guard, a waiter, factory worker and many more before deciding to seek a higher education. Attending Loyalist College, his plans for study were grand, but he allowed a guidance councillor to convince him to foolishly seek a different course of study as his area of interest yielded very little financial success; a mistake that he would never forget. Upon graduation he had vowed to do whatever made him happy regardless of financial opportunity and often encouraged others to do the same.
Stephen then began employment at the Toronto District School Board, travelling a lengthy commute with his father every morning and afternoon. There he would learn first-hand the true hearts of men; those that would do just about anything to advance financially. Though the pay was certainly high, he simply could not justify the very little work he was ordered to do on a daily basis. Reasoning that every day that he got paid top dollar for only a few hours work was like stealing from the School budgets, and in turn, the students, he resigned; never to return after three years of guilt. Finding peace in working with his hands, Stephen would then seek employment in the construction field. Though he made much less money and worked much harder, he could rest his head at night knowing that he did the right thing.
Through the years, Stephen would keep up his ongoing studies and art projects whenever he had a spare moment. He recalled many incidences where he would fall asleep with a paint brush or pencil in his hand; his girlfriend at the time finding him passed out in front of his laptop or with a book in his hand. It was in the winter of 2011 where he had sunk himself into the Demonata series, by Darren Shan. He had just finished the tenth book when his girlfriend heard a commotion from the living room. Stephen had tossed the book across the room, stating that he could have wrote a better ending to the series, drunk and half asleep. Her response was simply... "Then why don't you?" So began the first chapters of what would later be dubbed "The Awakening".
Stephen would work long, cold hours removing snow for a landscaping company in the harshest winter conditions, only to return home to continue writing. The story began to take on a life of his own as Stephen would often confess that he would sometimes complete a paragraph, reread it and not remember typing what he had written. In the back of his mind, he wondered if there was another force at work; something he couldn't quite understand.
Two months later the original manuscript was complete. He didn't really have any plans to publish his work, as he had seen the 500 page manuscript as more of a personal challenge than a possible career. It wasn't until his mother insisted that others simply had to read his work, that he decided to publish.
He spent weeks upon weeks researching how to get published and discovered the lengthy and seemingly impossible process of finding an agent to represent his work. Somewhat depressed that the world of literature was teeming with so-called professionals that couldn't possibly appreciate the form of storytelling, Stephen Alexander went with his gut instinct; relying on a genuine belief that art, in any form will be recognized if it is passion that guides us.
Draining his assets, he self-published his first book; The Book of Neophyte: The Awakening. Though the work of the publisher was amateur at best, this did not detour him from spending countless hours and limited funds on advertisement, merchandise and peripherals to appear as professional as possible. It was only a month later that The Awakening began to steadily climb the charts.
Stephen e-mailed, wrote letters and spent countless hours looking for anyone that would help him promote his book. It wasn't until he gained the attention of Fearless Fred from 102.1 The Edge in Toronto that he truly felt that he may have something, after all. Sweating and nervous, Stephen conducted his first big radio interview with upwards of 2.4 million listeners during the afternoon commute in Toronto. Later he would be interviewed by Justin Anderson of Mix 97 and Max Major of Rock107.
Stephen had accomplished what many had insisted was impossible. The Awakening rose to the #2 spot on the biggest e-book site in the world, just below the Aragon series... ironically enough, another series that began self-published. The reviews were in and The Book of Neophyte was making some serious noise. However, the numbers didn't add up. The book had spent over a year and a half on the bestsellers list, yet the cheques that he received were laughably small. Regardless, the publishers had at bare minimum, put the work on the shelves and slightly discouraged, he continued his second installment.
Ideas for many other stories of different styles and genres kept him awake at night, knowing that he would have to prioritize his work. In order to succeed, countless ideas would have to wait on the backburner until the Neophyte series could be picked up by a traditional publisher. With a lack of funds, Stephen began work with a family roofing company, working hard in the blistering sun and writing in the dark of night; sometimes regardless of sun stroke. Though the sequel was complete, he lacked the money to self-publish a second book.
Saving and scrimping, working tirelessly until his eyelids could no longer stay open, he began writing the third installment whilst on the lookout for a proper editor to revamp The Awakening and properly edit The Order of the Golden Dawn for publication. A crowdfunding campaign was created to raise upwards of $10,000 to fund the revamp and pay for the editor. Unfortunately only $1300 was raised and although he was certainly grateful to his loyal contributors, there was still much to raise on his own.
It was during this time that Stephen had parted ways with an old flame and fell head over heels in love with a woman that would soon become his wife. She would support his creativity and push him in ways he could never imagine. As fate would have it, she was not only a fan, but gifted in the areas of literature.
Suddenly, new life was brought to the series and fresh ideas began to take shape. Finally seeing the big picture, he realized that it takes more than passion to drive success; it takes many loyal and loving supporters like his parents and those that have relentlessly stood by him, no matter how badly he felt like packing it in. It was through these wonderful people that he was encouraged to continue with what he had started. He could finally understand that success doesn't happen overnight, for it is the journey that makes us who we are.
Stephen Alexander continues to push relentlessly toward his goals. With the love of his family and support of his fans, the best has clearly yet to come.