Hey Everyone! It is time for another fantastic Meet The Author moment!
I am happy to introduce…
Here is a bit about the author and his books!
From being an avid writer since childhood and a continuous reader, PD Alleva is an author that takes you into a whole new realm of possibilities. Alleva has a passion and talent for writing the horror and thriller stories that keep you up at night. These stories send chills up your spine and make you jump at the little sounds around the house. And they are brilliant! Not only does he have the talent of an author, but he is also a practiced psychotherapist and hypnotist. He knows the ins and outs of the mind and manages to apply this into his writings seamlessly. You can feel the stories getting into your head while reading and effectively playing on the ‘what ifs’ we hold quietly inside.
Alleva’s writing doesn’t stop there though! His writing spans a wide range of topics and genres blending together to create amazing and detailed worlds. You get a fusion of so many different genres: action with supernatural, mystery with horror, conspiracy and psychology with fantasy and sci-fi. This ability to combine genres effortlessly prompted a need for a new genre. So Alleva coined the genre Alternative fiction. Don’t worry I was curious about this too! I asked the author about this in the Q&A down below so keep reading to find out more of the cool new genre!
If you want a little bit of Sci-fi Fantasy that happens after World War III, The Rose series is the way to go! This dystopian world has alien vampires (The Dracs) moving into the newest threat to the human race. With a seemingly simple rescue for Phil for the abduction of his traveling companion, a pregnant woman named Sandy, by the Dracs, it seems there is more to the situation than they both thought. It is a fast pace bloody story that has you double checking your surroundings, but is a thrill to read and experience. Plus Vol II is out as well so you can keep the story going once you fly through Vol I!
Beyond the Chamber Door gives us the darker side of human nature and the dark influences that can blend into our very being. Twisting hopeful moments into desperate strides and feeding off of our fears. This book has three terrifying stories that take us on a path through darkness that shows dreams waiting to be achieved and the steps people and other forces will go to achieve said dreams.
Another story of Alleva’s is Golem. A scary, horror paranormal story that takes you back to the 40s and 50s where the parties are for the elites and the demons are closer than you think. It all started with a goat and a bell, then the demon is a step closer to giving you breakfast. He doesn’t want much. Just your soul and everyone else’s too. There is nothing going to keep that goal from happening either. Not Alena, not the amount of bodies building up or blood being spilt, and not a wanna be detective. New York is being infiltrated by a smooth talking guy with a silver-tongue and a stone for a heart. It isn’t the matter of who could be next. It is the thought of when will it be me? If you want to know a bit about what I thought for this book, check out my review for it here!
Alright, into the questions!
Time for the Q&A!
Q. You are a very diverse genre author! Writing genres from Horror and Sci0Fi to Paranormal and Mystery and a few others. All of these are spun into fantastic ways of mixing together into wonderful stories! But I saw that your have coined a new genre to capture stories from multi-genre authors like yourself called Alternative Fiction. Would you mind giving us a description of what the Alternative Fiction genre is and what prompted you to coin a new genre?
A. I use the term because ‘multi-genre’ sounds like you’ve got marbles in your mouth-at least to me it does-and I always add a bit of a thriller, a little fantasy, a touch of scifi, and of course, horror, into my stories. I’m also a child of the 90s, a flannel shirt wearing grunge kid at heart and I write through multiple points of view and love to be in my characters heads, understanding their motivations and what makes them tick. Plus, I’m a bit surreal myself and enjoy incorporating little known information or concepts that aren’t inside the normal mode of societal thought (things like science of mind concepts, alchemy, and quantum physics) into my stories. So, I wrapped it all up into a shiny pretty package and termed it Alternative Fiction. What else can you expect from a grunge kid?
But alternative fiction carries a little more than the above. It’s a mix up mash up of sorts and comes with a toss up of old tropes that I enjoy turning on their heads. Unfortunately, I’ve read so many books recently with the same story. I must have read five books last year that were all the same-traditionally and indie published alike-with new characters under similar circumstances. As an artist, I’m unnerved by the amount of cookie cutter novels that exist in today’s market. I have a profound respect and loyalty for the written word with a mission to honor the classics and literature, and I don’t agree with cookie cutter crap. I enjoy originality and using old tropes but with modern twists and fresh takes on the subject. Plus, literature, historically, contains depths of understanding, reflecting the society in which we live, and comes with a warning or message about the harms and ills of society. Literature captures the heart of humanity and cuts it up, destroys it, then puts it all back together (if we’re lucky). I’d like to keep it that way so the power of the written word does not fall off into the void of lazy, mindless entertainment.
Q. Do you have a genre you would say is a guilty pleasure for you to read? Is there one genre that you favor over some others currently?
A. Guilty pleasure? Yes, classic literature. I love the classics. Give me your hunchbacks of Notre Dame, your Heathcliffs of Wuthering Heights, and your Infernos of hell, and I’m in heaven. As for current preferred genres, well, horror definitely, but I enjoy thrillers and psychological thrillers and scifi and fantasy novels.
Q. I loved the historical lens you gave to Golem. The 1940s and 50s have such an iconic and distinct feel to them and you nailed it in this book! What pulled you to write in this era? Was there anything you found in your research of this time period that influenced some key places, people, or moments in the book?
A. I first wanted to give Golem more of a gothic feel to the story and chose to put the setting in an older time, but I didn’t want to go too far back in time (like Salem in the 1800s) because I wanted a as close to modern feel to the story as possible. I’ve always heard stories about the 40s and 50s in New York, which some consider the peak of New York’s glitz and glamour. I grew up in New York and heard multiple stories from my grandfather about the time. Plus, add in an appreciation for jazz and Sinatra and you’ve got yourself a time period. There’s a sophistication to the era that doesn’t exist in today’s society, and I wanted to capture that era as much as possible to lend to the story that same sense of sophistication. A few years ago I re-read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead (say what you want about Mrs. Rand but I love her book), which also takes place (partly at least) in the same era, which made up my mind about the setting. Once the setting was chosen, I went to work researching the era, and, very specifically, the scandals that took place during that time in New York and the world over. Considering I had a demon whose intention was to corrupt society, I knew I could interweave the scandals into the story. And New York did not disappoint, the era is filled with scandal after scandal after scandal, from the police to the politicians. Some things never change.
But what was most eye opening was the Clairfield Hotel that’s featured in Golem, which is based on a real hotel, although I changed the name. The real name is the Claremont Inn and yes, it burned down in real life, which was the perfect setting for the story and fit into the plot perfectly. What was also intriguing was the winter blizzard that hit New York on Christmas day in 1947. I wanted to use weather to set the mood throughout the story and thought that Golem being born during a winter blizzard would be cool beans, so I added the blizzard to the story.
Q. Golem is such a smooth talking demon and uses such a brilliant tactic to try to persuade Alena in the beginning by cooking and pampering her early on! I can see how other women in the past had fallen to Golem’s charms. Was there anyone/story/legend that inspired his suave personality?
A. Golem is the accumulation of three major influences: Lecter, Lestat, and Heath Ledger’s Joker. Plus, I used a psychological profile of your typical con man (I’m also a psychotherapist and hypnotist) and added those transitions con men use between gaslighting, complete appraisal, and belittling. His charisma comes from Lestat, his intelligence from Lecter, the anarchy belongs to the Joker but leave no doubt, Golem is a demonic metaphor for the all too common con man who are quite abundant in today’s political climate
Q. I heard music is a big influence while you are getting into a writing mood for your stories. Do you pick what you listen to before you start writing or is it a spontaneous song that is playing that helps your creative spark?
A. Usually, the song comes into focus as the writing begins. When I was writing my scifi series, The Rose, I kept seeing the beginning scene with Pink Floyd’s ‘Shine on you crazy diamond,” and when the fighting scenes were taking hold in my brain, I kept hearing Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” as a battle cry for war, gore, and battle. But with Golem, the main song was already on my mind, The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” From there on I tumbled down a song related rabbit hole (usually listening to a Pandora channel), and then new songs will pop up as the mood progresses.
Q. Would you mind sharing a playlist you listened to while writing Golem or would recommend listening to while reading Golem?
A. Other than The Rolling Stones, I listened to a lot of Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, The Doors, and related musicians and songs. Sometimes I’ll listen to a song on repeat during a certain scene. I must have listened to “Back to Black,” by Amy Winehouse a hundred times while writing Alena’s scenes, as well as Janis Joplin’s “Ball and Chain.” I wrote my family saga “A Billion Tiny Moments in Time,” while listening to just one song on constant repeat, Procol Harmon’s “Whiter Shade of Pale,” so I’m used to using music to set the mood. So, here’s a comprehensive playlist to listen to while reading Golem.
The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil.” Also, the song that received the books beginning quote. Also by the Stones, “Paint it Black,” and “Gimme Shelter.” From The Doors: “Riders on the Storm,” “People Are Strange,” “The End,” and “Moonlight Drive.” Janis Joplin: “Ball and Chain,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Try,” “Get it While You Can,” and “Maybe.” Amy Winehouse: “Back to Black,” “Me and Mr. Jones,” “Love is a Losing Game,” “Valerie,” and “Rehab,” but that one’s just for good fun lol. Pearl Jam: “Release,” “Black,” and “Indifference.” Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon (full album, just put it on and the mood takes over). Also, Bob Dylan’s “Knockin on Heaven’s Door,” Alanis Morrisette’s “Uninvited,” and “You Outta Know,” Fiona Apple’s “Criminal,” “Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” Chris Cornell’s version of “Nothing Compares to You,” and “Don’t Know Why,” by Norah Jones.
Grab a glass of wine, sit by the fire, play the music list and open up Golem and enjoy.
Q. Are there any other projects in the works for you at the moment that you can share with us? Perhaps some more from the Golem world or your other popular series, The Rose?
A. There’s more than a few projects that I’m currently working on. The first is my next horror novel, Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect. A story I refer to as my cosmic Grindhouse horror fantasy thriller novel. Jigglyspot is a five foot tall half human half warlock carnival clown who moonlights as a drug dealing pimp and lackey for demons from the planet, Xibalba. Jigglyspot’s been called on to pull off 2019’s Summer Solstice Celebration at the prestigious Cannibal Café, a celebration that brings together demon and human alike. But with only two weeks before the celebration, Jigglyspot’s got so much to do and little time to do it. And the feds are hot on his tail. Between securing new recruits for the island, picking out fresh bodies to slice and dice for dinner, and not to mention his alien girlfriend, Kera is eating up most of his time, Jiggly’s at his wit’s end. Hopefully, those Xibalba demons appreciate all his sacrifices. Hopefully, but unlikely. Those demons can be hell to deal with. Jigglyspot knows; he’s been dealing with them for decades.
Then there is The Rose Vol 3, the climactic ending to my scifi fantasy series. I’m looking forward to diving in to the final installment and wrapping the series up. What will the future hold for those alien vampires? I’m sure it’ll be no short than carnage and mayhem.
I’m also working on a horror thriller novella series, Girl on a Mission that features teenager Liza Ward and her exploits through 1990s Brooklyn, NY. After a near death experience, Liza wakes up to learn she’s received a power she refers to as the click, the ability to convince anyone to do as she says. But when tragedy strikes the Ward family, Liza’s in a pickle that requires money, a lot of it, too. Good thing Liza grew up in the Italian Mafia. She can use her newfound power to make some money as a hit man. It’s nothing personal.
And then there’s Grandma, my witchy gore fest. Admittedly, I’m a slow writer and I like to take my time editing, so there’s usually a long pause between new releases. I strive for perfection and since I write through multiple points of view, there’s so much to account for that I need time to perfect the story and make sure all the characters receive their fair and rightful share in the spotlight. My goal is to provide a sound and entertaining reader experience and since I don’t have a team of editors, marketers, or a colossal oversized publishing house, taking the time to do things right the first time is highly important. I hope the result lives up to its purpose.
Q. Is there any advice you want to share with the aspiring writers out there thinking about tackling the challenges of creating their own multi-genre worlds?
A. The advice I always give to any would be authors is plain and simple, yes you need to read a lot and, of course, write a lot, but do more than just read, study what you’re reading. In other words, while you’re reading, take a pause every once in a while and review the craft the author is using. What is it about the story that’s keeping you reading? How does the author introduce new concepts, scenes, and characters? What is the flow of the writing style and the story? How does the author transition from one chapter to the next? How are language and conversation handled? How does it flow? Don’t just read, study what you’re reading, especially the most popular books in the genres you choose to write in. Each genre has its own unique writing style, so study how it’s done, then make it your own.