Agnes Alexander – Mother, Grandmother, Writer
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My mother read a book and the main character’s name was Lynette. She decided when her first child was born it would be named Lynette. I turned out to be that child. My daddy wanted to name me Martha, after his mother, but my eighteen-teen-year-old mother refused to name me after his and not name me after hers and she was still determined I’d be Lynette. Therefore, I became Martha Lynette Agnes Hall. Later my grandmother insisted she drop the name Agnes, and she did. I learned all this when I was a young girl and for some reason I felt cheated out of one of my names.
When I decided to use a pen name on my western historical romance novels, I immediately decided it would be Agnes. The last name was a bit of a problem. My married name was Hampton, but for some reason that didn’t seem to fit. After some thought I decided since Agnes was my maternal grandmother’s name, I’d add my paternal grandfather’s name as my last name. It fit well. That was when Agnes Alexander became a reality. Now as many people know me as Agnes as they do Martha or Lynette.
For the first ten years of my life I lived in a rural community in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was a hard life, but at times it could be lonely. I spent a lot of hours reading anything I could get my hands on. Lots of times it would be my brother’s comic books and at others it would be anything I could check out of the bookmobile. Of course, when I didn’t have anything to read, I made up my own stories.
My love of anything western was set during this period of my life. My brother, who was four years younger than me, wanted to play cowboy and Indians. Of course I played with him. We rode all over those hills on our cornstalk horses, shooting outlaws and rounding up cattle.
When I was ten, we moved to the Piedmont section of North Carolina, where I grew up, married and had a daughter. I worked at many jobs during my lifetime. I worked at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company as a timekeeper and payroll clerk; as a human resource manager for a manufacturing company; and after my daughter was born, I sold Tupperware and Christmas Around the World at home parties so I could take my daughter with me. When my husband opened a real estate company, I was able to become a stay at home mom and dabble with my writing.
My daughter started school, and I decided to attend Winston-Salem State University. It was here that my longed for writing career began to take shape. My English professor insisted I send some of my writings in to magazines – and believe it or not, many of them were published.
In 2004 my first novel was published. It was a mystery and was nominated for the best NC fiction by the Historical and Literary Society of NC. That proved to me that I could have a writing career.
In 2011 I turned to writing the books that I most love to read, the Western Historical Romance. I decided to title them with a woman’s name beginning with a letter of the alphabet, but not in order. The first was Fiona’s Journey. Since then I’ve had 13 of these books published and now have only 13 more to go.
(See Books for the names of all my published books)