Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.


Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

My name is Bryan W. Alaspa and I am 46 years old.  Some days I feel much older!


Fiona: Where are you from?


I am from the Chicago area.


Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I grew up in Chicago and was educated here. Graduated from Luther North High School and then went off to St. Louis, MO, to attend and graduate from Webster University with a degree in communications. Today I live in a suburb of Chicago and have a lovely life with my wife, Melanie, and our three dogs (Gracie, Pippa and Hondo).

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

 My latest novel, Storyland, is now available for pre-order in print & Kindle formats. It is my first psychological suspense thriller with a nice twist ending and it will be officially published on Halloween 2017.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I first started writing things when I sat down and managed to pound out a three page short story in the third grade. It was horribly bad and long gone and a rip off of the movie Jaws, but it was so much fun that I knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Well, I think anyone who writes and dedicates themself to it is a writer. I think I felt I was really a writer after I finished my first novel. I ended up publishing it myself and these days I think it’s terrible, but the moment I held the galley copies of that novel in my hand I thought “I made it.”

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first novel was inspired by some friends I hung out with in high school. I had quite a large group of friends and we all wore the same things like some bizarre gang and I just turned that into this post-apocalyptic novel.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title of my current book is the same as a fictional role playing game that is a key component of the novel itself. Storyland just seemed like a logical choice because the novel looks at the concept of where stories come from and whether or not the creative person is in control of the tales they tell.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I don’t know if I have a style, necessarily. I have been a fan of Stephen King’s work for years and I think I was greatly influenced by him and his ability to throw ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances. I like having average people in supernatural and amazing situations. I like writing suspense and thrillers that get people on the edge of their seat and then surprise them in the end.

As for the challenge, it’s tough to come up with those twists at the end. It is tough to set the stage to get the reader to care about these people and then buckle up for the ride as horrible things happen to them.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I didn’t base this one on anything in my life other than my own ruminations on where stories come from. I am a believer that the stories are just there and I am a conduit who just tells the stories being told to me.

So, Storyland is set in the real world. It is psychological thriller rather than a supernatural one. I hope I didn’t give too much away there.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

No, thank God. I am terrified of flying.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I designed this one. It’s actually a photo I took of a carnival and then I ran it through this filter app to make it look more like a line drawing.


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

I want people to question what reality is and who decides what’s real and what isn’t? Where does creativity come from? Where do painters get their ideas? Poets, writers, musicians. All of that creative energy has to come from somewhere and I want people to wonder if it all comes from within – or is there something else at work?

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

Of recent authors my new favorites include: Paul Tremblay, Ronald Malfi and Josh Malerman. I am honored to say we have at least connected via Facebook.

My all time favorite author, as I mentioned, is Stephen King. I love his writing. Even his worst book is a great read. His ability to create 3D characters with relatable problems and then put them in impossible and crazy situations makes his work the best.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

I have been supported by friends and teachers throughout my life. I have been lucky that there were people out there encouraging me, offering criticism and advice, and helping me find an audience.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I would truly love to write novels and books as a career. Technically, I do write as a career as I write website content and blog content for a large company’s marketing department.

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

No, I don’t think so. The only thing I can think of is that I might have spent more time focusing on this one than the other novel I finished first and think may never see the light of day now.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I did learn that I could write a suspense thriller like this one. I have always loved the suspense genre and have been slowly leaning that way instead of doing straight up horror. It was good to do and I am pleased with the outcome.


Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I have no idea. I’d love it if it was a movie and early readers have said it is quite cinematic, but I’d let Hollywood make that decision.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Always keep writing. Never give up. There are so many ways to get your work out there to people these days that there’s no reason not to keep trying.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Not really. Just always know that us indie writers need your support as much as possible. Write reviews, help spread word of mouth. We need it!


Fiona: What book are you reading now

?I have three on my Kindle and I am trying, and failing, to read them all. Currently reading Patrick Greene’s collection of short stories as an advanced copy because I have been asked to write an intro to it, which is exciting. Also reading Ronald Malfi’s novel Bone White.


Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Hm, not the very first. I was always reading well above my grade, so I was reading novels pretty early on.


Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I love to laugh. My wife can make me laugh and choke on my sandwich. The world, these days, makes me want to cry on a regular basis.


Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why? I

’d love to meet and talk to Stephen King just to kind of talk about baseball and stuff. Seriously. I wouldn’t even need to talk to him about writing. We both share a love of baseball.


Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I love going to the movies. I love watching TV. I watch way too much of it and with the streaming services available these days, it’s just getting worse! I am also in walking as exercise these days and trying to stay healthy.


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

I love horror and thriller films. I just saw the 2017 version of IT and loved it! I like finding hidden gem horror and thriller films from friends and then looking them up on Netflix. I love way too many TV shows to even try to list. I am a big comic book geek, so if your TV show or movie has a superhero in it – I’m there.


Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music? 

I love all kinds of foods. Into tacos a lot these days for some reason. Also, I eat a lot of salads. I love the color blue. I am a big fan of rock music, particularly classic rock. My favorite band is Pink Floyd.


Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Oh, I’d still be writing. I’d be like those people in Fahrenheit 451 who memorize books. I’d be telling stories orally or something. I plan on writing until I drop over at my laptop.


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

He told some great stories!


Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

The best bet to find me is at my website which is at www.bryanwalaspa.com. You can link up with me via Twitter and Facebook there, too. You can find links to my books and read up on my blog.

Here are the links to the book:

Print version: https://www.amazon.com/Storyland-Terrifying-Thriller-Bryan-Alaspa/dp/1549619128

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Storyland-Terrifying-Thriller-Bryan-Alaspa-ebook/dp/B07572NZV3