Name: Bryan W. Alaspa

Age: 43

Where are you from

I was born and raised in the Chicago area. These days I live in a suburb called Naperville. I went to Webster University in St. Louis and studied Communications. I am married to Melanie who is originally from Ohio and who still has relatives in Pennsylvania that we sometimes visit.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I have a new novel out on March 8 called The Lord of Winter: Elementals Part Two. It’s the second novel in my YA series The Elementals which started with The Lightning Weaver. I plan on having four books total in the series.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote my very first story in third grade when I sat down at my mom’s electric typewriter and typed out a three page, single-spaced, almost-no-punctuation masterpiece. I was obsessed with sharks and the movie Jaws, so the story was entitled “Jaws, Jr.” I had been an avid reader from even earlier on and was fascinated by the idea that people made a career out of telling these amazing stories.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Gosh. that’s hard to say. I always sort of did, even when I was typing out short stories on a manual typewriter I got at a garage sale. I guess when my first novel got published I really felt like it. That was in the 90s and I self-published that one. That was before self-publishing was considered OK.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Another questions tougher than you might think. My first actual book was a handwritten murder mystery called Among Friends that had characters loosely  based on my actual friends in high school. I wrote it throughout high school and finished it in college. It will never see print because it’s terrible, but it proved to me I could write a novel-length piece. It was based on some actual events that I then completely fictionalized.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know. For that, you’d have to ask my readers. I guess I have developed a style over the years, but I’m not sure how to describe it. A lot of my work is inspired by things I hear in the news or stories I read about and then I build a story around what I hear. So, I guess my style is taking thing I hear about and turning them into fiction – but even that doesn’t always happen.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Well, I am a lifelong Chicagoan and I love the city. So, I realized a long time ago that I had better learn to love cold winters. Over the years, I have become quite a fan of winter and snow, even preferring it over the intensely hot summers we get here. So, a friend of mine called me the “lord of winter” once. When I was working on the first book of the series and trying to map out the other novels, that just seemed like a perfect title.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Not really. Nothing special. I write books to be entertaining. I want people to forget their problems and enjoy the characters and action.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?

Well, the book is about an offshoot of humanity called Elementals who can maniupulate one of the four elements for a variety of effects. So, with that said, I am guessing not much, other than I use some real life settings and set it in the present time.


Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not really, other than my wife was once called a “lightning bringer” which got changed to Lightning Weaver in the first book and I was once called the lord of winter.


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

Well, the first author that got me interested in writing was Peter Benchley because he wrote Jaws. The biggest influence has been Stephen King and I used to blatantly copy his style when I was younger. I have had two teachers who influenced me, too, Mr. Tatone who taught me sixth grade and Mrs. Rundio who taught a Senior Composition class in high school. These days my wife is a big influence and help


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Robert R. McCammon’s novel from 2015 – The Border. Robert is one of my favorite authors.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Allison Dickson, Patrick Greene, James Glass, Scott Nicholson, Iain Rob Wright, Blake Crouch


Fiona: What are your current projects?

I have so many! I am doing edits and rewrites on a stand-alone thriller called TEXT. I am writing a first draft of the third story in my Deklan Falls detective series. I have the second novel in my post-apocalyptic Rotate the Earth series to edit and publish later this year. I have ideas for a dozen or more stories, including the third and fourth books in the Elementals series.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Teachers. I mentioned them above, but they have always supported me and helped me when I needed it.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Well, technically I do write for a career. I make my money during the day writing website content, social media content and blog articles for a large multi-national company. I would love it if I could write my novels and books full time, though.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I have made all of the changes in the editing and rewriting.


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Not specifics. My parents were always reading and I remember staring at the covers and being fascinated. Fascinated that someone had created this and that was their job.  I think being a writer is what I was built to do from the moment I was born.

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I have an excerpt from the novel Lord of Winter over at my website. You can read the opening chapters of the novel here: http://www.bryanwalaspa.com/#!An-Excerpt-from-The-Lord-of-Winter/c1q8z/56caf6730cf2f9aefdbe7977


Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Just finding the time. I get up very early to write 1,000 words a day every day. I also try to write on weekends. Then there’s the edits and rewrites that need to happen. I wish I had all day to do it and it’s tough to fit it around the work schedule.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Stephen King. I love how he grabs me from the start, creating rich, three-dimensional characters that I fall in love with and then takes me on an amazing journey.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not really. I have made journeys to nearby states for the occasional book signing, but I don’t tour or travel much. I’m kind of a homebody.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

A variety of artists. I had this one designed by an artist I found on the website Fiverr. I have gotten fairly adept at creating some of my own.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Again, just finding the time. Fortunately, the words flowed when I needed them.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

To keep track of the ever-expanding cast of characters that I have created for this series. Cohesion and continuity are important.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write. Always be writing. Even if you don’t publish it yourself, keep writing. Losing your imagination is a tragedy and it’s a muscle, you have to keep working it out. If you don’t you lose it.


Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I just hope you check out my work and like it. Then I hope you come back for more.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No. I was reading from a very early age. I used to devour the Little Golden Books and Dr. Seuss, so it was probably one of those.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Lots of things make me laugh. I like to laugh and make others laugh. Any harm done to animals makes me cry.

 

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

I guess it would be Stephen King. Just to talk about baseball with him and movies and books would be great.

 

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

I hope to be cremated. I just hope any memorial indicates I told great stories and that I was loved. That’s how we truly get immortality – by the memories we leave behind in others.

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I am a movie fanatic. I love going to the movies. I watch way too much TV. I also have been known to dabble in things like painting.

 

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Wow…OK, I watch way too much TV, so here is what I watch:

Arrow

The Flash

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

Agents of SHIELD

Gotham

Walking Dead

Daredevil

Jessica Jones

Orange is the New Black

iZombie

House of Cards

Better Call Saul

Supergirl

Scandal

Sherlock

Doctor Who

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Food: sushi. Color: Blue or Black. Music: Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Peter Himmelman. Classic rock

 

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

I think I was born to write. I have no idea what I would be doing otherwise.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

I do: www.bryanwalaspa.com The blog is here: http://www.bryanwalaspa.com/#!blog/c112v

 

Check out my novels for Kindle!

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Here is where the book is located if you want to include a link: http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Winter-Elementals-Book-ebook/dp/B01BH6C6XO

 

 

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