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Alyx Dellamonica

answers the Usual Questions

Canadian author Alyx Dellamonica says, "I learned to write by writing. I wrote and wrote and wrote; then I went to Clarion West in 1995, got some excellent feedback, came home and wrote some more. With help from many patient teachers, editors and fellow writers, I got better. I'm working on getting better still."

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

It is always nice to know your work is being read, and so when I meet people at cons who've enjoyed my books or stories, it's inspiring and gratifying.

photograph, Alyx Dellamonica, courtesy the author; 220x293

Alyx Dellamonica

Does it affect what I write? I'm not entirely sure that it does. That said, I've had a lot of reviews, on Goodreads and elsewhere, for my most recent book, Child of a Hidden Sea. As I move into rewriting the sequel, it may be that I'll re-examine some elements of the story with the readers' comments, good and bad, in mind.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

One of the first conventions I went to as a writer (rather than as a fan) was a Worldcon in San Antonio Texas. It was the early Nineties and I was on a panel about family with Elizabeth Moon, and one of the things I did when I introduced myself was briefly mention that I'm queer. (It was relevant because of the topic.) After the panel, two young lesbian fans came up and said "Thank you for coming out." I realized then that there were fans who felt under-represented and that my representing publicly had meant a lot to them. It's something I keep in mind now.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Of course -- quite a few! I reread several of Neal Stephenson's early novels -- Snow Crash, Zodiac, and the Stephen Bury thrillers -- on a regular basis because I love the voice and his approach to plotting. And I am currently madly in love with the prose of an Irish writer named Tana French. Finally, I've put a lot of time and thought into trying to understand how Connie Willis and Nicola Griffith pull off their particular (and very different) forms of magic. I'm not saying I have figured it out, but both authors produce books that really resonate with me.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

All of my loved ones, of course, unless the ship was going down. Outside my family and social circle... Eddie Izzard, I think. He's athletic enough to possibly be useful and entertaining as all get out.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Anyone whose politics are considerably right of mine, unless they happened to be very introverted, polite, and willing to not get into it.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

It depends on which needs were already covered. If food and necessities were aboard -- even if they were of indifferent quality -- I would bring something I could write with. If that were also provided, my next priority would be a tablet loaded with entertainment media. The ability to read and otherwise absorb stories is central to who I am; I cannot do without fiction.

The physical creature comfort I am most addicted to is good coffee.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I believe art can improve people's lives, simply by bringing them happiness and intellectual stimulation. I believe that when people are made better, the world improves. If my writing can spread goodness in this way, then I have done well.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

There is a point during the revision process with many stories where I can see a given piece moving toward perfection, where the many flaws are falling away and everything that remains to be fixed comes clear. I know everything I need to do and can see the finished work hovering in my near future. It's an unbelievable sensation, to have created a flawed, shambling thing and then to make it take flight.

submitted by Alyx Dellamonica

2 August 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Canada, 1968.
Resides: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
THE NATURE OF A PIRATE, forthcoming from TOR Books
DAUGHTER OF NO NATION, forthcoming from TOR Books
CHILD OF A HIDDEN SEA, forthcoming June 2014
BLUE MAGIC, April 2012
INDIGO SPRINGS, released November 2009 from TOR Books

Web site:
My Official Site
Facebook's AM Dellamonica page
Amazon Author Page


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