Recently I had the chance to ask Alisse Lee Goldenberg some questions about her writing, acting and painting. Alisse is an author of Horror and Young Adult fantasy fiction. Her book Sitnalta (that’s Atlantis spelled backwards) was published last fall through Pandamoon Publishing. She has her Bachelors of Education and a Fine Arts degree, and has studied fantasy and folklore since she was a child. Alisse lives in Toronto with her husband Brian, their triplets Joseph, Phillip, and Hailey, and their rambunctious Goldendoodle Sebastian.
Q: Imagine for a moment that you’re a famous, bestselling author. They’re making a movie out of your last book. What do you do next to top what you’re already achieved?
A: First of all, that would be awesome! As for what I’d do next, I don’t know anything could top that! But I’d definitely keep writing and at the very least try to match it. Maybe write a screenplay?
Q: Creative people tend to be spontaneous. In particular, most people think that writers are at least a little crazy. Tell us the most unusual thing you have done in your real life that doesn’t directly relate to writing.
A: It’s a little hard to choose! If I were looking for the most adventurous thing, that would be cliff jumping. That entails literally jumping off a cliff into a body of water. I would say that the most unusual thing I’ve done had to have been when I was asked to play the role of Jack in a production of Into the Woods. I don’t think many women have ever gotten that opportunity. The costume was uncomfortable for many reasons (mainly to do with breathing!)
Q: Creativity comes in many ways – for example, painting, photography, sculpture, music and theater. What other things do you do or have you done that are examples of using your imagination or other artistic talents?
A: I do quite a bit of painting, mostly in acrylics, and I act on stage and on screen. I actually find that the acting helps my writing in that it allows me to get into the skin of other characters, and I get to meet so many fantastic people! As for my painting, I wish I had more time for it, but right now, the writing and my family takes up more of my time.
Q: Family and relationships are important in peoples’ lives and so, it is little surprise that there are relationships between characters in books. How closely do the interactions in your books mirror your real life?
A: Considering that there are a few dysfunctional families in my books, I hope not a lot! However, there are also some amazing and powerful friendships, and those are definitely reflective of the wonderful support groups I have around me.
Q: When writing I’m sure you hit snags where characters aren’t behaving or the plot just isn’t working. When that happens to me I play video solitaire. What do you do?
A: It happens quite a bit! And for a plotter like myself, I find it especially irksome. When that happens to me, I pour myself a glass of wine, complain to anyone I can get a hold of, and watch The Avengers pretending that the Hulk is smashing the characters that have gone on a tangent.
Q: There is a point in every professional writer’s life when it stops being a hobby and starts being a vocation. When did that happen for you and why did you choose to pursue this career?
A: I think it’s always been a vocation. I’ve wanted to do this since the day I learned the squiggles in my books were words and told stories. I feel that I’d be doing this even if I didn’t make a single cent from my stories. My head and my heart are full of them, and I need to put them out into the world. I just hope people like to read them!
Alisse Lee Goldenberg in print:
The Strings of the Violin is a fantasy adventure interweaving Eastern European folklore with modern characters.
Seventeen-year-old Carrie is lying in her backyard ignoring all the looming responsibilities in her life, when a fox makes a mad dash across the grass in front of her. After she manages to keep her dog from attacking the frightened animal, the fox turns to Carrie and seems to bow in gratitude before he disappears into the bushes. All Carrie knows in that moment is that something has unexpectedly changed in her life.
Carrie has been best friends with Lindsay Smith and Rebecca Campbell for years. During a summer when they should focus on choosing colleges, the girls suddenly find themselves swept away on the adventure of their lives. The fox reappears three days later and reveals to Carrie that he is Adom, emissary to the king of Hadariah. With his land of music and magic in peril, Adom has been sent to seek help from Carrie and her friends. In the blink of an eye, the three teenage girls go from living an average suburban life to being the champions of a world where they must contend with giants, witches, and magical beings. Will they ever make it home once more?
Sitnalta: Everyone in the land loves Princess Sitnalta of Colonodona. Everyone except her father, the monstrous King Supmylo, whose thirst for revenge and hideous cravings, have nearly destroyed the once peaceful kingdom. He cares only for power—the more the better—and he despises Sitnalta because she wasn’t born a boy. He wanted an heir, a prince, to grow his kingdom and fulfill his own father’s legacy. But now, his only choice is to join with a neighboring kingdom, and at the tender age of 15, Sitnalta is to be married to another king who is at least as old as her own father.
But Sitnalta has other ideas. Before her father can come for her, she sneaks out of her bedroom window, scales the castle walls, and enters the magical forest that surrounds her kingdom. There she meets Najort, a kind-hearted troll, who was tasked by a wizard decades earlier to protect a valuable secret—with his life, if necessary.
But King Supmylo has vowed that nothing will stop him from returning his daughter to Colonodona, and forcing her to go through with the royal wedding. With the help of friends from both kingdoms, Sitnalta and Najort flee ahead of the rabid king. For if they are captured, Supmylo will become so invincible, no one could stand against him.
Bath Salts: The time is now, and a mysterious virus has infected much of the world’s population, turning them into flesh-craving zombies. As people die from what the media call “drug-fuelled Bath Salts attacks” one young mother sees what is truly happening beneath the lies, and with her good friends An and Olivia, takes matters into her own hands to keep her family safe.
Day by day, Bath Salts tells of their escape to the arctic tundra, and their desperate attempt to survive the elements, zombie attacks, and armed bandits with their humanity intact.
Visit Alisse on the web at www.alisseleegoldenberg.com