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If you haven’t heard of my new project, the On Fire anthology over at Transmundane Press, this mini-interview and excerpt series will showcase the amazing authors I get to work with and their writing, usually. This time, you get to meet me, Alisha Costanzo.

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What advice do you have for beginning authors?

Just write. Don’t let anyone tell you what to write or that what you write isn’t worth writing. Just write.

Which of your characters was the hardest to write about and why?

In Loving Red, Kaia was my most difficult because of how different she and I are. She’s far more capable than I am in the wild, untrusting, and a faithful Christian. I asked the woman who created the character with me in role playing a lot of questions to be sure I did her justice.

What do you think your main strengths and weaknesses are as an author?

My main weakness as an author is scene set-up. I always feel as if I’m blathering on too long when I’m describing a setting. I’ve been working on this for years and am developing a style that allows me to give snippets of sensory detail rather than dumping it all at once. My strengths are character development and dialogue. I love to give my characters different voices that make them distinct, like Boden’s lack of articles and how he misuses prepositions. I also like that all of my characters are broken in various ways.

 

From “The Mark of the Phoenix” by Alisha Costanzo

Aderyn chased the headlights across the ceiling and the fleeting feeling of Tatiana’s touch along his skin. He ached. So badly.

Digging the pipe from his satchel, he broke and sprinkled a nugget and burnt it under his thumb. The smoke eased the ache in his shoulders and back, but his chest blistered inside from the fear of rebirth. Of disintegrating into ash and dust. Of painting the cosmos with fire and losing himself.

A long life without love meant little.

Another puff sank his elbows to his knees, numbing limbs and leaving that sucking blackness in the center of his chest.

He deserved the girl.

Another puff.

Didn’t he?

The herb knocked him backwards into the bed, drowning him the lack of attachment he had in this world. What would he leave behind? A vague memory for a woman and a child he would never meet? One that would be hunted down to live the same life as him, wandering alone to cleanse the world with fire?

A hard burden for anyone to carry.

But it was his, and he didn’t want to give it up.

 

Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of the Blood Phoenix saga, Loving Red and is co-editor of Distorted, Underwater, and After the Happily Ever After. Lucifer’s Daughter, her new novel, is in its creation for a hopeful 2018 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.

ON FIRE is available now: Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and the Transmundane Press store.

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