As part of the promotion for my newest e-novel “Blood Noir” I’ve created a fictional magazine where my heroes are interviewed. Sit back and enjoy a peek into the world of “Blood Noir” now available from Dark Roast Press.
Behind the Camera:
A Peek into the Life of
By Rowan Thompson
There have been numerous people worldwide that have captured our imaginations since the invention of photography. From those who used the new invention to record history to those who used it to manipulate those who grieved for their lost loved ones. One would run out of fingers and toes before the list were complete, but most recently a new name whispered in professional circles has captured the attentions of numerous agents.
Born to St. Louis attorney James Kline, a well know activist in the Gay Rights Movement, and his wife Abigail shortly after their relocation from Seattle in the mid-eighties a world of wealth and privilege awaited Alexander. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and then Washington University where he met his life partner, Harley Scott, and completed a degree in fine arts.
On a rainy June afternoon, Alex and Harley invited me behind closed doors for an exclusive interview with who some in the world of photography are calling the 21st century’s Ansel Adams. They share a loft apartment in the downtown Washington Loft District. Their apartment is beautiful, spacious open space that reflects an excellent taste both masculine and artistic. Framed copies of some of Alex’s best work hang on the walls and floor to ceiling windows offer a panoramic view of the Gateway Arch from the 17th floor highlighted by eerie flashes of lightning from the storm outside.
Alex is a slender, muscular young man with shaggy dark hair, and warm eyes that remind one of polished walnut. Soft-spoken he’s just this side of shy where as his partner Harley is an extrovert with the build of a Hollywood action hero, dirty blonde hair, and blue-green eyes that seem amused no matter what. Sitting in the living area, we talk over some of the best coffee and tiramisu I’ve ever had.
RT: I have a couple of questions to start out with here. One who is the gorgeous man sitting next to you and two exactly how did you get into photography, Mr. Klein?
Alex: Please, call me Alex. [Laughs nervously] This is Harley he’s my life partner. We’ve been together nearly ten years. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me. [Harley playfully punches Alex in the arm] As far as photography, I was a kid when my parents gave me my first camera. My mom had this old Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash she’d had since she was a teenager when I was like five or six; it fascinated me, especially the flashbulbs.
RT: [Chuckles] A Hawkeye is a classic 1950’s camera as many of our long time readers may know. When I was researching, I discovered that you won a photo contest when you were 16. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Alex: God, that was so long ago. [Blushes] It was a Halloween contest sponsored by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, one of the local television stations, and couple of local camera shops. My parents encouraged me after seeing some of the photos I’d taken.
RT: So what was the subject that you chose for your winning photo?
Alex: It was the Lemp Mansion, a local landmark with a great deal of dark history. Some people believe it’s the most haunted house in St. Louis.
RT: Well, did you capture any ghosts on film? [Harley snickers]
Alex: No ghosts, but apparently I captured the feel they were looking for. I won first place which was the first time I really thought my dream might have a chance. I threw myself into it although I made back up plans just in case. [Chuckles] I met Harley two years later when I started college. Once we met, he was the major force behind getting me out there. He not only helped my dreams come true, but he helped me come out to my family. [Leans into Harley’s shoulder]
RT: That’s wonderful. How does it make you feel to have Alex credit you with being that major force behind him, Harley?
Harley: [Rolls eyes and tousles Alex’s hair] He’s a talented guy and he doesn’t take enough credit. I’m always pushing his buttons. How he stands me, I’ll never know.
RT: I’d like to turn our conversation towards one of many rumors that has been circulating. Is it true that Elliott Bay Publishing has contacted you as a potential photographer on a planned project with Seattle crime reporter, Erica Kenyon?
Alex: Yes, Elliot Bay Publishing has contacted me through my agent Frankie Simmons. As to what the job entails, I’m still in the dark about the details. I’m flying to Seattle in July for a meeting with Ms. Kenyon and Raymond Caruso the CEO of EBP.
RT: Does Ms. Kenyon reputation worry you?
Alex: That depends on what the project is that we would be working on. I think it would worry Harley more than me. [Laughs] He’s very protective of me.
Harley: He’s the best part of my life and he knew what he was getting into when we got together. I trained as a police officer, but chose to become a PI. This guy is it for me and I’d do anything to protect him.
RT: It sounds like you guys are really in love. Alex, you’re father was instrumental in the fight to halt the Amendment to the State Constitution that was passed five years ago in Missouri banning gay marriage.
Alex: Yes, he worked tirelessly with numerous gay rights groups prior to the 2005 election that banned gay marriage in Missouri. It angers me that so many people just don’t get it. It’s particularly tough in a place like Missouri where the better portion of the state is in the thick of the Bible belt. My dad hasn’t given up yet and neither have we. If it was up to us, we’d already be married.
RT: Why not leave St. Louis and move to a state where you can legally marry?
Alex: [Glances at Harley] Because, Ms. Thompson, St. Louis is our home why should we leave?
RT: Touché! I see you’re just as passionate about your rights as you are about your photography. There are a number of prints of your work scattered throughout the loft. Some people in the field have named you the heir apparent to Ansel Adams’ place. How does that make you feel?
Alex: Being mentioned [Blushes] in the same breath as Adams is an honor, although I would never presume to be as good as he was. He was an American Master without a doubt, his work inspired generations, but I have a long way to go before I reach that level of artistry. I would love to reach that level some day.
RT: And on that note, I would like to thank you for allowing me inside your home and giving us fans a little peek at the man behind the camera.