Fort Bliss, TX (U.S. Army) — Arial Alexis began writing when she was only 14 years old at Fort Bliss, in 2009. What started as a “planned plotline” for her and her sisters’ Barbie games morphed overnight into a young adult Sci-Fi trilogy soon to hit the shelves.
Her inspirations did not stop at Barbie. When her father deployed to Iraq in 2010 with 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment as a combat medic, she began outreaching to troubled youth through the nonprofit organization “To Write Love on Her Arms.” The stories she heard and the people she contacted stirred up an entirely new perspective on humanity and the battles within people and in the world.
Her newfound understanding, inspiration from the band, “Breaking Benjamin,” and an epiphany at the Harley Davidson store in El Paso, sparked the beginning of her work on a novel. Take the Breath Out of Me was born.
Alexis worked with the HIRED program at Fort Bliss and served as a intern with the Garrison Public Affairs Office to work on the newspaper staff. During that time she also wrote page after page of her novel. She was 15.
Now - age 18 and published, Take the Breath Out of Me transcends the genres of fiction, suspense and romance, and wraps into a “captivating and surprising story perfect for a weekend read,” said Lauren Coziah, a fellow Tate author.
With her father’s nursing background, the stories of her peers, and a knowing unexplained by her sheltered life, she wove the tail of Miki Johnson, a Japanese refugee and self-professed “street prize” who finds her only-recently stable life shattered at the disappearance of her boyfriend, Drake. When Miki’s health begins to suffer, she refuses to buy into the depression. She knows it is something more, that there is a darkness behind all of the devastation she had suffered, and that is where the book begins – at the epitome of our lowest points, faced with a choice that would be one of life and death – for Miki and thousands of others caught in the snares of the virus only few even know of.
Tate Publishing and Enterprises CEO, Dr. Richard Tate, called to confirm the book was written by Alexis, who was 16 at the time she presented it to him. The rest is history. In less than a year, Take the Breath Out of Me went from a Word document on a teenage girl’s laptop to a signed, published novel as of June 4.
Now, at nearly 18, she is living at Fort Gordon, Ga., and looks back to Fort Bliss with pride.
“Had I not lived there, I can’t say I would have ever written this,” said Alexis. “I was exposed to so many things, different people, different cultures, even the music I listened to changed, shaping the moods in my novels.“When my father deployed, I had a lot of free time, and a void that needed filling. These books, Take the Breath Out of Me, they were my life,” said Alexis. “My characters and their struggles are as real to me as the ones I personally faced, and as real as I hope they will feel to the readers. That few hours it takes to read, that little escape, that renewed since of purpose or love, whatever it gives you, that is why I wrote it.”
To learn more about Arial Alexis, visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/a.arial.alexis .