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Today we are talking with Alisha Costanzo Welcome to our little place on the web! I would like to thank you for taking time out to answer a few questions.

Let's start with a bit about your writings.

You have a new release called Loving Red would you like to tell us about it?

The novel is a fast-paced, alternating third person point of view of the kidnapping, escape, and battles between the Celampresians and the Assetato focusing on a newly budding romance between a shifter wolf and a human. Kaia is a strong female protagonist who can hold her own, and Severins is a tough yet sensitive male who defines what it means to be a soldier. Together, they fight for their lives while trying to protect a missing Assetato agent, a shifter bear, the man who broke Kaia’s heart.

Wow Science fiction/ Fantasy is not a genre I normally read but your Broken World Series sounds really good. You mentioned that LOVING RED battles sexist views differently would you explain how you have accomplished that.

Often, sexism depicts female traits negatively and manly traits positively, so when women are made strong, they tend to possess male characteristics. Whereas masculine traits in females doesn't  cause me much trouble (as I like to swear, have tattoos, and am physically strong), accentuating feminine traits as positive battles sexism in a non-descript way.  For example, Kaia is strong because her survival skills come from gathering, from remaining silent, and from embracing her emotions. Also, Severins exhibits many of the typical masculine qualities, but he's also sensitive, silly, and needy. My main goal with this novel, in regards to sexism, is to show men and women as essentially the same, which is how we truly are.

That is true sexism has always been there and as women we have come a long way but the is always more miles to move forward in thinking. How did you begin your writing career? What made you decide to write?

 I began my writing career academically and published short stories and poem as an undergraduate student—mostly in student journals. I've published and presented in academic circles as well, and much to my professors’ displeasure, I wrote about the use of vampire literature in the classroom. I've been publishing my own work since I graduated with my master's degree, and this last year, I opened my own publishing company, Transmundane Press, with a fellow author and editor.

As for what made me decide to write, I can't really say. I wrote fan fiction and god-awful poetry about unrequited love when I was young. In my fifth year of college (yes, I said fifth. I was a student for ten years), I didn't feel challenged enough, so I took a creative writing course. By the end of the semester, I'd added a second degree to my plan: English Writing. Combined with my Communications and Rhetoric degree, I developed a double-edged writing style, thus my idealized, satirical style. Essentially, I'd become addicted.

Holy cow I would say addicted! But truly in an awesome creative way. I feel no matter what we are always learning something, it is great when we can even push ourselves to be open minded and learn. Who is the first person that told you to reach for your dreams?

Besides my parents and best friend, my tenth-grade English teacher pushed me toward writing, but I've had a slew of professors and friends support me—none more than my husband.

Sounds like you have great support team. Tell us what do you look for in a good novel? Which genre are you personally drawn to? 

Character and voice: they're essential. I love a novel that makes me stop and say, “Damn, I wish I'd written that line.” But if a novel has these two qualities, it doesn't much matter what the story is, I'll enjoy reading it.

My favored genre is rather niche: novels that focus on satirical social conformity, often aimed at young adults, is the type of novel that makes me fan girl. For example: Feed by M.T. Anderson, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, and Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury, etc. But I'm attracted to books that bend the lines beyond genres: Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Romance, Suspense...I like it all really.

Those qualities certainly make you feel good about what your reading and are able to relate to it and enjoy it more.

What character in your books do you relate to the most?

Hands down, Ria—my hybrid vampire-phoenix-human. She's a sassy female with a foul mouth, and her fellow characters often see her as odd. She also shares my love of coffee and preference in chakras.

Ria is a kick-ass character ! In what order do you write? For example starting beginning to end, combining parts, in random order or in development cycle?

I start at the beginning and write through to the end, which I suppose is the boring way to do it, but I do typically have scenes in my head that I reach for as I go. Sometimes, I write those down on scraps or other documents because they're that vivid, but I often find myself rewriting them when the time comes to include them in a story or novel. For the novel I am currently writing, Blood Phoenix: Imprinted, I wrote my first outline before I'd begun the draft. Since I'm a pantser, the process was odd, and I'm finding it both useful and debilitating.

I have heard of many different writing styles but one thing many authors are making a common theme by being pansters. LOL. If one of your books could be made into a movie, which one would it be and what actors would play the characters?

I would love to see my novella, “Maiden of the Underworld,” turned into a movie or short film. I don’t have specific actors, although I do have chosen models that portray what my characters look like physically. However, if I had to choose some actors, here would be my list:

Phea: Zoe Saldana
Jydios & Markendeya: Robbie Amell
Permagos: Kyle Gallner
Oria: Chloe Grace Moretz
Eleus: Jacob Melton
Gaia: Ana de Armas
 
I must confess I have no clue who these people are. LOL So I did an internet search on them. What great choices. can you say  how long did it took you to write your first book?

Oh wow, well...in all, it took me about ten years. I began the first manuscript when I was sixteen, rewrote it six times before I had a draft I could edit. I learned my craft through this process.

I am sure that no matter how long it took you were relieved and proud of its success opening the way for more books. Can we get a taste of what is to come from you in the future?

Not to sound like a work-aholic—or possibly just obsessive, I have roughly fifty-two larger works on my to-do list, but in the near future, I have an anthology, Underwater, due out in February, co-edited with Anthony S. Buoni. It houses several romantic, horrific, and dramatic stories about mystical creatures and the mysteries of water. My fourth novel, Blood Phoenix:Imprinted, will be released next year, which continues my main series and Ria's story in Vampire Boot Camp under the queen's rule. And I am also editing a novel, The Sister with the Stolen Pocket Watch, which features another set of hybrid characters: a vampire-lion and a mermaid-unicorn. I aim to shop the novel around traditional publishers in this upcoming year.

Wow you plan on being busy! I must say I am intrigued by a vampire-lion and a mermaid- unicorn connection. That just might interest me enough to read  a bit more of this genre. Do you do something special when you complete a book as a celebration?

I dance around with a glass of sweet, red wine and spend some one-on-one time with my husband. 

That's a great way to celebrate! How about some silly off the wall questions? If you could be any animal what would you be?

I would be a wolf. A big, black one.

Ooh I think you would not be the gentle kind but a force to be reckoned with. What type of music do you enjoy?

I''m a sucker for what was popular when my parents were young: the 50s, 60s, and 70s. My favorite song is “Little Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and the Pharos. I also enjoy a variety of current genres from Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5 to Buckcherry to Rascal Flatts. If it's catchy, I'll listen to it.

Very diversified taste. That is how my tastes run, as long as it catches my attention I enjoy it. Any hobbies?

I absolutely LOVE to cook and bake. I was born to do two things: write/edit and cook/bake. I often show my love for others through food.

Yum. I see a flock of readers heading to your house for a great meal! If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?

I would start a personal catering company and further push my press to grow.

Green. Every shade of green, too. Even baby-poop green. And I don't know if I can explain why. I simply love the color. Good thing it's linked to creativity and calm.

Neat I never knew green was related to creativity  and calm. I learned something new today! Awesome . If you were marooned on an island, what 5 things would you bring with you?

Pencils, paper, glasses, a Leatherman, and a water filter.

Great answers. What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?

I'm an anti-government, anti-consumerist, environmentalist hippie. I make my own shampoo, conditioner, face wash, deodorant, and recycle more than I throw away. I also walk around barefoot in my classroom and always wear flip-flops, even in the snow.

You definitely walk to the beat of your own drummer. Before we end, do you have any final words or advice for your readers or fellow authors?

Keep writing. Don't listen to anyone who tells you that what you're writing about is wrong, overdone, or unworthy. We all have our own stories. Write yours.

Sound advice. Thank you for doing an interview today. As always  I wish you luck, success, and many sales in your future.

 

 

 

 

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