Interview with Author David Alan – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author David Alan

David Alan is an author of children’s and humour books. He is a big fan of children having the most fun, well-adjusted childhoods possible. He is also a fan of adults keeping a childlike wonder and sense of humour.

Three years ago, David’s husband, Eric, jokingly named David” T-Rextra” because of his short arms and extra-ness. The name struck a good nerve, and the rest is history. David self-published his first book, “Introducing T-Rextra” last August 25th, his late mother’s birthday. In less than a year, because he now works at home due to the pandemic, he has a lot of free time and he has published three more books in the “T-Rextra” series, and three humour books that incorporate art that David created himself. He never imagined being an author, but he has been bitten by the writing bug and has plans for many more.

David lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his husband Eric and their three furbabies, Natalia, Angela Basset Hound and Peach. He is also proud “Papa D” to 2 year old Maci, who he refers to as a toddleenager. He also enjoys arts and crafts, watching too much TV, trivia, and making up silly songs to sing to the furbabies and the toddleenager.

Tell me more about your latest book

My most recent book is titled “You Are One of the Greatest: A T-Rextra Tale”. The main character, T-Rextra, dresses up as many memorable people in history, including actors, artists, singers, scientists, politicians and many more, to introduce kids to important people that they may not know. It also teaches them that they can be anything they want to be. There are no limits. It includes short biographies of each of the people that T-Rextra dresses up as, at the end of the book. It’s both inspirational and educational.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

Strangely, I don’t feel any challenges about writing my books. I don’t really follow “rules” of writing children’s books. Some people say they should only be so many pages long, or have so many illustrations, etc. I create what I enjoy, and what I would have liked to have read as a child. My books are both educational and fun, so when I am writing and illustrating, it almost feels like a game to me. It’s fun! I think that’s why I have been able to create so many in such a short time. I just completely enjoy doing them. The challenges come afterwards, trying to get them out into the world to find their audience.

What is your normal procedure to get your books published?

Right now, I self-publish. Even though it’s not the most ideal situation, because it’s such a saturated market, I have found that Amazon KDP is the easiest and most convenient way to get a book published. It’s very low upfront cost, and you can order as many author copies as you want to sell other places, like on your website. I also publish through IngramSpark, mostly because they print hardcovers, and they will also distribute to book bookbuyers. The combination of these two has been pretty successful.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

I don’t know that I would use the term spiritual, but it is definitely relaxing. As I said, I really enjoy doing it, and it’s very satisfying to get all of these ideas out of my head and onto the pages. Cathartic is a better word, maybe.

How many books have you written so far?


“INTRODUCING T-REXTRA”  brings you into the world of the sassiest, funniest, sweetest little T-Rex you’d ever want to meet! Join Trex (“pronounced like tray because it’s fancier”), friends and family on their adventures, fun and learning about life. It’s all about love, empathy, compassion, loving yourself, and appreciating others’ differences. It’s the first of a series that will deal with a variety of topics kids want/need to hear and learn about.And there are lots of cute dinosaurs! Everything’s a little better with extra – T-Rextra!


T-Rextra is a friend to every child, and this book shows it!

Friends are important for lots of reasons, many of which are included here. Enjoy Trex and friends sharing precious memories and adventures with the kids they love, and who love them. A friend is many things, and there are many things that a friend is for. Perfect for beginner readers! 


Everyone was born as an original. We also notice others who seem a bit more original than everyone else. And we should appreciate that! In this book, T-Rextra introduces us to some of the most original people in history. They are singers, actors, authors, politicians, scientists and so much more! Enjoy this tutorial on some people you may recognize right away, and some you may learn about for the first time! Always celebrate yours and everyone else’s differences that make them EXTRA SPECIAL!

Featuring: Liza Minelli, Tina Turner, Marsha P. Johnson, Andy Warhol, Iris Apfel, Groucho Marx, Grace Jones, Carmen Miranda, Dolly Parton, Bob Ross, Billie Eilish, Ayanna Pressley, Mother Theresa, Josephine Baker, Anna May Wong, Katy Perry, Celia Cruz, Annie Lennox, Charlie Chaplin, Ariana Grande, Mr. T, Albert Einstein, Janelle Monae, Liberace, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Flava Flav, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Edgar Allan Poe, Whoopi Goldberg


T-Rextra is back to introducing us to more of the most original people in history. There are more singers, actors, authors, politicians, scientists and so much more! Have lots of fun learning about new people, some of whom may have qualities that you might see in yourself! Always celebrate yours and everyone else’s differences that make them EXTRA SPECIAL!

Featuring: Patti Labelle, Susan B.Anthiny, Frieda Kahlo, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, Prince, Mahatma Ghandi, Serena Williams, Billy Porter, Shirley Temple, Yayoi Kusama, Erykah Badu, Sia, Christian Siriano, Dizzy Gillespie, Marlene Dietrich, Pink, Rupaul, MC Hammer, Kelly Clarkson, Helena Bonham Carter, Spike Lee, Salvador Dali, Richard Simmons, Ali Stroker, Ilhan Omar, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Queen Elizabeth II, Mr. Rogers, Cher, Harry Styles


Sisters Angela and Natalia’s imaginary lives are wild and out-of this-word. They go anywhere they want to go, do anything they want to do, and become anyone they want to be. Join them for their hilarious journey to the Olympics, in movies, TV, musicals and the world of music. You’ll laugh out loud at the adventures, and misadventures that these two amazing fur babies get into together!


I realized that my profile picture on my lock screen, combined with paper cutouts, could create some pretty amazing, and hilarious scenes from TV, movies and pop culture.This strange talent became well known in my social circle, and soon, friends and coworkers were waiting to see what my daily lock screen adventure would be. Before I knew it, despite a hectic work schedule and other of life’s obstacles, I soon amassed more than 100 of these Adventures in Lock Screen Land. So, of course, I thought they needed to be a book. Photos of computer screens covered in paper – that has “coffee table book” written all over it!


IThe sequel to “It’s a Hard Lock(screen) Life” is a return to  the Land of Lock Screen! There are over 100 brand new creations to transport you into a world of hilarious adventure. It’s a one-of-a-kind type of art and humor that you will wonder how you lived without for this long!

What’s the best way to market your books?

If you’re self-publishing, the key thing is to post about your books and life continuously on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) Promoting yourself can be very tedious and time-consuming, especially at first. It’s not a fast, easy process, and you may not see many, or any, results at first. Definitely Google “marketing self-published books”, and read up on as much as you can. Knowledge is power. There are also lots of groups you can join on Facebook that you can ask questions and get great advice. People are willing to help, because they’ve been through this themselves. Also, Twitter has an especially tight author community that really helps each other out with promotion and support. Word-of-mouth is really important, too. Get as many friends and friend-of-friends to read your book as possible, and ask them to tell everyone they know about it. Reviews are extremely helpful also, because they get more people to notice your book. Also, try reaching out to local bookstores to see if they carry books by local authors. Starting small can help you get bigger.

How hard or easy is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?

This sounds harsh, but if you are looking to instantly become a successful author, this is probably not the right thing for you. It takes a lot of work, and you really have to enjoy doing it, or you might get burnt-out. I have really enjoyed learning more about marketing, and making lots of connections within the writing community. My ultimate goal has only been to create something that leaves a legacy of me behind when I’m gone. Very few people become really successful published authors, so if that never happens for me, I won’t be disappointed by it. I’m proud of what I have created. If I am lucky enough to become well known, that would just be icing on the cake.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Create what you love, not what you think will make money. That way, if you don’t hit the jackpot, at least you created something you are proud of.

Patience is a must in this field. There are so many authors out there going for the same goal as you. Don’t be disappointed if things don’t work out right away. That just means it’s not your time. It doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen.

Don’t compete with other people. It is much more advantageous to develop relationships with other authors and help each other, instead of trying to stop the other person. There are billions of people in the world. They’re not all going to want the same book , there’s chances for lots of people to succeed. Helping is a lot easier than competing.

Visit Author T-Rextra book links:-

On social media, I can be found at:

Facebook: T-Rextra

Instagram: trextraextra

Twitter: @t_rextra


All books available on Amazon

“Introducing T-Rextra!”

“What’s a Friend For?: A T-Rextra Tale”

“Be Anyone You Want to Be!: A T-Rextra Tale”

 “You Are One of The Greatest!: A T-Rextra Tale”

“Angela & Natalia’s Tale of Tails: Starring Angela Basset Hound and Natalia Alan”

It’s a Hard Lock(screen) Life!

The Game of Wireless Toilet Paper Laptops

They are all also available at

Personalized copies can be purchased at

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