And I’m happy to bring back these self isolation interviews. They’re still going – Just drop me a message if you want one. With everything happening, my activity lately has been downhill.
Today I bring you a special interview with PD Alleva. His new book The Rose launches today, and I wanted to give him the spotlight. Everyone wish him welcome and an awesome launch!
First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?
Hello, my name is PD Alleva. I write science fiction, horror, speculative fiction, and thrillers, combining elements from each genre into one story, something I refer to as Alternative Fiction (because multi genre sounds like you’ve got marlbes between your cheeks and I’m a child of the 90’s). I have five books published and a new dystopian scifi series set to launch on October 7th.
How do you develop your plots and characters?
Over time. Once the idea is in my head I take a lot of notes, send a lot of emails about the plot and characters. Allow the story to marinate and manifest before sitting down to write the actual manuscript. This process can take some time, often a few years, mostly because I’m writing or editing another project. During the writing process I’ll continue to leave notes in the manuscript, send emails with little details for the plot or some bit part or back story I need to add.
Tell the world about your current project!
The Rose Vol. 1 is a dsytopian science fiction thriller inspired by an obsession with consiracy theories, ancient aliens, and alien lore. The book features a sophisticated race of alien vampires who live in middle earth and have conspired with elite human beings and grey aliens to turn the human population into easily controlled zombies in an effort to achieve planetary and insterstellar dominiation. The story begins directly after the end of World War 3 in an underground medical complex where human beings are subjected to genetic experimentaion. The plot revolves around an unsuspecting WW3 safety camp surivior, Sandy Cox, who has been thrown in the middle of a mysterious human rebellion against the aliens and elite humans. The book features concepts found in alien lore and ancient aliens, including the Akashic Record and Robert Morningstar papers, to name a few. The book can be described as The Matrix with Ancient Aliens or Star Wars in The Hunger Games. I developed a martial arts practice I refer to as The Blades for one on one fighting scenes along with mutiple surprise aliens and genetically mutated humans. The book is an action adventure thriller from start to finish.
Who would you say is the main character of your latest novel? And tell me a little bit about them!
Sanos is an alien vampire and leader of the military faction tasked with overseeing genetic experiementation in the underground medical complex. Best described as the villain you love to hate. Sanos has grown weary of the alliance between vampires and humans, creating mischeif and an uprising within his people. But when he gets a taste of the new blood concoted from a laboratory pill given to humans with the purpose to destory gray matter in the brain, he turns wild and ravenous.
Have you been to any conventions? If so, tell me a little about them!
Unfortunately not. I had plans to attend comic con and alien con this year but with covid quarantine happening, I’ll have to wait on those dreams.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Birth. I’ve been writing as far back as I can remember.
If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
Egypt or Easter Island, it’ll help when I start writing books six and seven in the new sci-fi series which will include time travel to these parts of our world.
What advice would you give new writers?
Follow your gut. Connect with other authors and ask questions. The indie author community is a vast resource for help and advice. Learn it, use it, love it, but always figure out what will work best for you and what fits your personality and career needs.
What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding?
Anything really, but mostly landmarks, blips of historical periods, mythical and magical lore, old worlds with societies that have gone into the wasteland of the phantom abyss, and imagining a dystopian future based on current events.
What inspires you to write?
Great storytelling, conspiracy theories, and interests in alien lore, the surreal, the unknown, mythology, philosophy, quantum physics, and the metaphysical.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Letting it go at the end of the day. I always need to bring myself back down from the story and be present in the third dimension.
What is your routine when writing, if any? If you don’t follow a routine, why not?
Wake up, drop out of bed, drink a few cups of coffee, throw on the headphones, read the last chapter or two that I wrote the day before including the first paragraph or two in the new chapter, then start to think. Get into the character and the scene that’s coming up. Once I got it clear in my head I sit down to write. Where it goes from there no one really knows except the characters on the page.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write in any of your books, and why?
The many action and fight sequences in The Rose. Writing those scenes was great fun. I had the images in my head that played out like watching a bad ass movie trailer. I’d use music, most specifically, Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, to get the juices flowing and implement the best action sequences possible. My goal was for the reader to feel like they were inside of the scene, kind of like a referree in an MMA fight. Considering the reviews the book has been receiving it appears this goal was accomplished.
I wrote a blog about it too: Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd Inspired Action Scenes.
Check it out here: https://pdalleva.com/blog/led-zeppelin-and-pink-floyd-inspired-action-scenes
Did you learn anything from writing your latest book? If so, what was it?
Yes, writing science fiction is awesome.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? A gardener or an architect?
Both. I don’t write outlines but I do write notes and send emails about the story, character development, or new direcitons for the plot when they arise. The story always takes on a life of its own though. When editing I’m a 100% architect, stepping away from the emotion in the story to deliver those needed and required sentence structures with appropriate grammar.
If you had to give up either snacks and drinks during writing sessions, or music, which would you find more difficult to say goodbye to?
Definitely, without a doubt, music. I don’t snack or really drink anything when writing. Most of the time I usually forget to do both but my wife is awesome and sends me reminders to eat. Music on the other hand is a needed and required commodity when writing. Helps to set the tone for any particular scene and is also a needed distraction. I have this uncanny knack to tune out everything and anything that is going on around me; something my family refers to as Space Cadet PD. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say, “Earth to Paul, come back down.” However, I welcome the distractions from music. It’s as if I require background noise to maintain long-term focus.
Which is your favorite season to write in, and why?
Winter. There’s just something about the winter season that makes great stories, I think it’s the reflective dark emotion that exists in each character during the winter season.
It’s sometimes difficult to get into understanding the characters we write. How do you go about it?
Act and think like them. Luckily I’ve been a psychotherapist for the last fifteen years and understand thought processes, belief systems, diagnoses, and behavior. Helps to get into the head of my characters. I also act out specific scenes in the morning to ‘get into character’ as I call it. My wife finds this practice a bit disturbing but that’s okay, she’ll get over it. Most important part is character development, I need to be in their heads as much as possible.
What are your future project(s)?
I have a few projects stirring. The Rose is the first in a planned series of seven books over three interconnected series. So, I’ll be knee deep in alien lore, theories, and conspiracies for a long while. But I’m also writing horror thriller novels. I have two I’m working on currently, the first is my editing in progress, Golem, which takes place in the late 1940’s, early 1950’s New York City and chronicles the desperate act of a high society socialite and sculptor who incarnates a demon into her statue (Golem) who wreaks havoc on every aspect of New York’s infrastructure with the help of possessed orphans in an attempt for supreme power and control over the human race.
I’m also writing a second horror thriler, Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect. Carnivals, Cannibals, and Clowns! Oh My.
Once Jigglyspot is completed I’ll jump back into science fiction mode and write Vol. 2 for The Rose followed by the second Rose connected series and trilogy, Indigo.
What is your favorite book ever written?
Frankenstein. I’ve read the book three times.
Who are your favorite authors?
Blake Crouch, JD Barker, John Connolly, and VE Schwab.
What makes a good villain?
Well written with a thick and intriguing back story that has chiseled the villain into an intelligent cerebral assasin with a no holds barred, anarchist, watch the world burn attitude. A character that emodies the dark side of the human condition with reckless abandon. Has to be conniving, manipulative, sassy, intellgient, and illogically rooted in a desire for self and societal destruction.
Wrote a blog about this too. What is it about the human dark side that gives good stories? Check it out here: https://pdalleva.com/blog/thedarkside
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Read books, watch movies, run around with my kids, listen to music and meditate.
If you couldn’t be an author, what ideal job would you like to do?
Well, I’ve been a hypnotist for the past 15 years so I guess I would keep doing that, although I wouldn’t mind working in a library or owning a rare book store.
Coffee or Tea? Or (exult deep breath) what other drink do you prefer, if you like neither?
I drink coffee in the morning. Tea on occasion and water most of the time. A good IPA or French Bordeaux always goes a long way too.
You can travel to anywhere in the universe. Where would you go, and why?
Orions belt to say hello to my alien ancestors and join the intellectual elite in the universe.
Do you have any writing blogs you recommend?
I’m not a big blog reader, although I have written a few blogs myself. Check them out here: https://pdalleva.com/blog
Do you have any writer friends you’d like to give a shoutout to?
Angel Ramon, author of The Fifth Survivor. RM Garino, Author of The Gates of Golorath. And Sharon Turner, Author of the Kingdom of Durundal series.
Pick any three fiction characters. These are now your roadtrip crew. Where do you go and what do you do?
Hannibal Lecter, Heath Ledger’s Joker, and one of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space. We’re going to a cannibal and alien convention where we are keynote speakers tasked with delivering a state of the union address involving interplanetary takeovers with an update on how our human mind manipulating efforts are progressing. And they are coming along exactly as planned.
What superpower would you most like?
I’ve been attempting telekinesis all my life, hopefully I’ll achieve this power soon.
What are two of your favorite covers of all time? (Not your own.)
I don’t usually buy a book based on the cover so I don’t look at covers in that way but for the sake of the question, two that come to mind are VE Schwab’s Vicious and Vengeful. I do enjoy those covers.
It’s a very difficult time right now for the world. When quarantine and pandemic comes to an end, what is the first thing you would like to do?
Get on a space ship, fly to a new galaxy and terraform my own planet. If that option doesn’t come to fruition, I’d like to take a Jamaican Cruise.
Finally, what is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
Best methods are either Goodreads or my Newsletter. Of course any other social media will do but those are my two favorites.
Newsletter and website: https://pdalleva.com