A Panther’s Prose: The visionary world of FIU alum Alex Segura

Portrait of Alex Segura | Photo courtesy of Irina Peschan

Jonathan Davis | Staff Writer

In the bustling corridors of FIU, amidst the vibrant energy of academia, one student’s passion for storytelling ignited a literary flame that would illuminate the world of fiction. 

Meet Alex Segura, an acclaimed novelist whose journey from FIU alumnus to award-winning author is as captivating as the tales he weaves. 

Born and raised in Miami, Alex Segura’s love for literature began at a young age. 

“I was involved with journalism throughout high school, and loved to read and write from a very early age, which prompted my professional career in literature,” Segura said.

As a student at FIU, he immersed himself in the extracurriculars the university offered, namely the Student Newspaper, the Beacon–now PantherNOW)– and his work with WRGP 88.1 FM radio station or The Roar. 

“The Beacon was the first student organization I joined,” Segura said. During his time with the Beacon, he received valuable mentorship and worked closely with journalist and editor of the Beacon, Alfred Soto, and Alan Gomez, a staff writer for the newspaper. 

“I remember coming into the Beacon office, meeting Alfred Soto and Alan Gomez, and learning about all the intense values on collaboration and the diverse stories they cover.”

Segura was first interested in the sports section, but later worked for news and eventually was promoted into the editor in chief position.

During Segura’s time as the lead voice of FIU’s student media, he became even more polished in his writings, helping to facilitate new opportunities for FIU to be represented in various outlets.

Segura bridged the gap between student government and student media, assisted in creating a website for student media, and was at the forefront of connecting the newspaper with other news organizations throughout Miami.

His leadership prioritized the philosophy of ‘Ethics in Journalism’ and remaining unbiased, which sometimes meant holding the University he loved so much accountable and advocating for change. 

“There was a stabbing at the FIU dorms when I was editor in chief, amongst other extremely sensitive and pressing topics. I worked with my team to remain professional and unbiased, while still reporting within our morals and emphasizing the welfare and equality for all students,” Segura said.

Majoring in English, it was at FIU that Segura honed his craft, guided by mentors who recognized his innate talent and nurtured his literary aspirations. 

“I’ve always been an avid reader, which helped me to become an avid storyteller. Journalism instills discipline in your writing and allows you to have fearlessness in receiving feedback.

“There’s a phrase called ‘kill your darlings’, which I think every writer should know- it’s about not getting too attached with your work, and always leaving yourself room for improvement and constructive criticism.”

“Secret Identity” by Alex Segura | Jonathan Davis, PantherNOW

After graduating from FIU, Segura embarked on a career path that would merge his love for storytelling with his professional expertise in marketing and communications.

It was during this time that he moved to New York City to pursue his literary dreams.

There he penned his award-winning novel, “Secret Identity,” introducing readers to the enigmatic world of Carmen Valdez – a fictional mystery writer turned real-life detective. 

The book garnered critical acclaim, establishing Segura as a formidable voice in the mystery genre.

With each hit novel and the subsequent success of the Pete Fernandez series, Segura’s literary prowess continued to shine, earning him accolades and loyal readership around the globe. 

Segura’s works have especially been praised for their authentic portrayal of Miami’s cultural landscape, compelling characters, and gripping narratives. 

“I weave a lot of Miami culture into writing,” Segura said.

 “I often mention FIU throughout my novels. The characters have meetings at the Biscayne Bay Campus and at the Blue Tables at MMC.”

Beyond his literary works, Segura has contributed to various comic book series, expanding his storytelling repertoire to new mediums.

He is also the co-host of Lethal Lit, an murder mystery audio drama, in which he credits his digital media expertise to working for the Roar at FIU. 

“My work at the WRGP radio show was my first experience of journalism outside writing, it was so enjoyable and freeing- and definitely helped me expand my media presence through other mediums,” Segura said.  

Even with all of his accolades and past publishings, Segura still makes time for new projects. 

He is currently in the process of writing Alter-Ego, a murder-mystery comic which serves as the follow-up to his best-selling novel ‘Secret Identity’ as well as a middle-grade novel based in the world of Encanto.

Alex Segura’s commitment to exploring new projects while maintaining his established success underscores a valuable lesson: adaptation and innovation are key. 

Just as Segura ventures into new literary territories while building on his existing achievements, he encourages journalists to embrace change and seek out fresh approaches to storytelling.

“I would encourage journalists, and people of all careers, to always stay flexible with new trends if that means digital media or finding a new method that your audience enjoys. Don’t lock yourself into one format. Always stay consistent, and remember your ethics.”

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