Friday, July 30, 2010

Fresh Voice: Alyson Peterson!

"we do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit." - E.E. Cummings

Welcome to the latest edition of Fresh Voices. We are delighted to share with you the voice of Alyson Peterson!

What is your ultimate writing goal? 
I want to write books as a profession. I don't plan on writing only one book or only publishing one book. I am a VERY prolific writer and I want to publish as much as I can until all the ideas in my head run silent.

Why do you write?
First and foremost, I love to tell a good story. I love to make people laugh, gasp, cry... you name it. It's the light in their eyes when they get my story and are sucked into wanting to hear more about it. Very addicting. I don't know about anyone else, but when I have a free moment that doesn't require actual reality thought, my brain is cranking out a story. It fills the blank spaces waiting for doctors appointments, decreases road trip boredom, and makes me laugh in the shower. I have always had characters talking up there. It makes for a fascinating head space. At times when my head gets too full, those character's stories have to come out. The happiest moments are realizing that what I see behind my eyelids is popping off the paper in incredible vibrancy. Sheer joy right there!

Your writing is filled with energy. Have you worked to achieve that voice or is it just a natural style for you?
I do have voice in my writing and I have been told it is a strong voice. I am a passive person with a whole load of opinions I don't ever speak out loud. When I write, I hide behind my characters and all my spunk and fire comes spilling out on the page through them. It didn't come naturally at first. I was still too scared to let myself come out in my first full length novel. It was a horribly written book. By the time I got to the second book, which I started on a very bad day, I was ready to break free. The change in voice, pace, and energy was liberating! Now, five books later, my voice spills out before I can stop it.

Who are your favorite authors and why do you like them?
Oh no... this question is opening a can of worms! I think JK Rowling is utter genius. She has voice, style, and talent. Swoon! I read her books for different reasons, but when I need a vocabulary recharge, she is perfect. I also love the classics. Charlotte Bronte was my first venture into the classics. Jane Eyre swept me up and carried me to places I never thought possible. It was beautiful and raw. Soon after, I was embroiled in Jane Austin, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, and Charles Dickens (LOADS of Dickens). However, when I need a good laugh, I read James Herriot. My sister made the great mistake of reading All Creatures Great and Small to me while I was sick. I have never been the same since.

What most attracts you to the life of a writer?
Freedom. I can take my laptop anywhere (and I do take it everywhere) or a paper and pen and just let words flow. If I could find a job that gave me that much creative freedom I would be a workaholic... oh wait, I already am. I write in bed, on airplanes, on my sunny back porch, half wet straight out of the shower because an idea was just THAT good. Pretty much anywhere that allows for five minutes to jot something down. Life doesn't get much better than that!

If you couldn't be a writer but knew you were guaranteed success at a different career, what would you choose?
Ah, that's a toughy. I can do other things very well. I have a degree in fine art and I paint every spare moment I am not writing. I think that if I could overcome my debilitating stage fright, I would love to be a world class piano performer. Currently, only my dogs are allowed to listen to me play. Anything beyond them is too nerve wracking and I freeze like I just had massive head trauma.

If you had to describe your writing in one word, what would that word be?
Tongue in cheek. I know that is not one word, but it's the best I've got.

What's the best writing advice you've ever gotten?
I interviewed Ayesha Pande on my blog last week. Her parting shot to my final question was: "If you have talent, someone will recognize it. So practice your craft diligently and relentlessly and don't let rejections get you down."

Ms. Pande made my day!

Alyson Peterson is a scant five foot tall woman, but makes up for her vertical challenges with spunk and fire. She is married with two boys ages six and eight who keep her on her toes. She mainly writes Urban Fantasy for adults, but is now working on a bit of Young Adult Contemporary Fiction about two girls who are pen pals and their struggles to survive middle school, co-written with Michele Shaw. Posts of those chapters will come at a later date. For an example of her writing style and a chapter out of the current book she is pitching, SOUR GRAPES  For all other reads both humorous and strange, visit her blog Crazy Writer Girl, or check her out on Twitter at CrzyWriterGrl.


  1. Woo hoo, Alyson! I, too, hear the voices in my head. Are all writers plagued by this malady? Characters nudge me out of a sound sleep, cross their arms and tap their foot. "Well? Are you just going to lie there? I have conflicts to resolve!"

  2. Yup, that about sums her up all right...spunk and fire. Great post on a great person!

  3. Hi, Alyson! You hear voices too? ;)

    Loved your excerpt from SOUR GRAPES! Best of luck pitching it. :)