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Interview with PD Alleva

He is an alternative fiction author, blending science fiction with fantasy, horror with thrillers, and the supernatural with, well, just about everything. PD is also a psychotherapist and hypnotist in private practice. He has published six books at this time. His latest novel is The Rose Vol. 1, a dystopian science fiction novel that features a race of alien vampires living on hollow earth and attempting to subjugate the human race. He lives in South Florida.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I wish I had a great voice so I can belt out ballads in front of a large crowd. I enjoy signing out loud, but the only audience I keep gathering is a group of cats, so I guess I’ll need to wait for the next life to fulfill this dream.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
Yes, I’ve got more than a few new projects that I’m working on at the moment. First is The Rose Vol. 2, which I plan to release this summer. Also, my new horror-thriller novel, Golem, will be released in October. The story follows an unsuspecting and wets behind the missing person detective who's assigned to find the DA’s missing daughter. Still, his only lead is a high society sculptor, Alena Francon, who committed to Bellevue’s psychiatric facility for the past year. When he questions Alena, she tells him the story of Golem, a demonic entity she incarnated into a statue she created who has wreaked havoc and infiltrated every aspect of New York's infrastructure. The setting is the late 1940’s to early 1950’s New York.

I just started writing a paranormal/supernatural thriller series titled Girl on a Mission. The first installment is titled The Dead Do Speak. The series follows Liza Ward, a 16-year-old leukemia survivor whose near-death experience leaves her with the ability to influence people’s minds (she calls it the click). The problem is Liza’s family has fallen on hard times, and she uses this newfound power to work as a mob hitman in 1990’s Brooklyn, NY. I also finished another horror-thriller novel, Jigglyspot, and the Zero Intellect, a few months ago. Carnivals, Cannibals, and Clowns. Oh my. Jigglyspot will be published sometime in 2022. I consider Jigglyspot to be my cosmic grindhouse horror novel.

Q.3 What inspired you to write The Rose: Vol 1?
A love for science fiction, fantasy, and alien conspiracy theories. Plus, I love vampires, so I figured why not throw them into the mix as well.

Q.4 What is the most challenging thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I haven’t crossed any substantial level of difficulty with writing the opposite sex. I use my knowledge of psychology and my experience as a psychologist to help evolve my characters, men, women, and aliens included.

Q.5 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
Overtime. Sometimes a very long time. Once the idea spawns, I begin to take notes - usually sending emails to myself, which I keep in a specifically designated folder - and then take more notes as the plot and themes develop; this is when the characters begin to show up push that plot points forward. Then I add character conflict - how does the character evolve in the story, what is their motivation, and how can they advance the story to lead to the ultimate goal or climax in the story.

Q.6 How do you see the future of science fiction literature? Will sci-fi maintain its independence or intertwine with other literary genres?
I think both, hard science fiction always has its place, and its readership is filled with die-hard fans, so I don’t see it going anywhere any time soon. People love their science fiction. However, intertwining genres is always fun, so I see more sci-fi fantasy stories coming our way with blends of horror, dark fiction, and dystopian. Of course, one never knows when a remarkable literary science fiction novel will arrive to connect the genre while advancing science fiction’s literary competence.

Q.7 How do you see the relationship between science fiction and culture? How about the boundaries between science fiction and reality?
Science fiction stretches the imagination, latching on to possibility in a pursuit to create concepts and technologies that are entertaining and intelligent. Hence, there are no boundaries between science fiction and reality, only a gap in time between the two as natural science seeks to catch up to science fiction. As for science fiction and culture, well, it seems the genre is here to stay, considering the multiple influences the genre seems to have on society. Science fiction represents an escape from troubled norms, a break from reality, and a medium where we can get lost for a few hours and forget the world around us.

Q.8 To what extent can science fiction effect or improve the developments in science and technology in human life? Is it right to say that science fiction can change what human life looks like in the future?
Because everything we see and use daily was first spawned in the mind of a human being - nature excluded - I’d say that science fiction can definitely improve science and technology in human life. Let’s say an author derives a cool concept called regeneration, or, for argument's sake, a hoverboard. Now let’s take this further and say a scientist with a love of science fiction reads these books or watches the movie and falls in love with the concept; then, because the scientist adores the concept, the concept is made.

Q.9 Is classic science fiction literature different from modern science fiction literature? Have the key aims of the genre changed considerably or not?
Yes and no on the difference. Like all genres, science fiction has evolved over time. However, the key aims, I do believe, are the same. Intriguing and impactful concepts coupled with an entertaining wow factor exist across the timeline.

Q.10 What do you think are the main reasons for the popularity of science fiction? To what extent has the film industry helped in popularizing the genre?
I’d say the popularity comes with the idea of limits, or rather that there are no limits other than what we impose on ourselves. People enjoy fantastical ideas that tear up the norm and toss it on its head. Plus, there are some really cool gadgets in science fiction, and yes, the film industry has definitely helped to popularize the genre. Has anyone ever heard of Star Wars?

Q.11 Ray Bradbury considers sci-fi as “the important literature in the history of the world because it’s the history of ideas, and the history of our civilization birthing itself.” Do you agree with him, as many sci-fi stories do, indeed, depict disaster?
Mine too, considering The Rose is a dystopian novel; however, I believe that those disaster depictions are served up by the writer as a warning for the catastrophes that can happen should we not be careful in our scientific pursuits. I do agree with the master of the craft Ray Bradbury. Science fiction is a stretch in the imagination, but it is through those imaginations that the future exists. Everything we see, hear, and touch in our daily lives came from someone’s mind; they had to think it first and then create it. Science fiction serves as a what-if type of question, exploring all possibilities on any particular subject and latching on to what we find most intriguing, then exploit the idea and drive the imagination forward to what it could possibly be.

Q.12 Science fiction has a long history. Which era do you consider the most influential period in the whole history of the genre?
I’ll have to go with the classic science fiction literature of the 1800s. Not only did we see what’s considered one of the first science fiction novels with Frankenstein, but we also marveled over the literary exploits of Jules Verne and HG Wells, so I’ll have to go with the 1800s. However, the pulp fiction era that existed from the early 1900s to the 1950s would definitely give that argument a run for its money.

Q.13 In many science fiction stories, the existence of God is denied. Could we call science fiction an atheist literary genre?
Hope not. I think people need to begin redefining their definition of God with the help of scientific advancements and, most specifically, the scientific advances that pertain to the human mind and quantum physics. Everything we know about science is infantile; we might as well be in the dark ages when it comes to science, as we’ve been too ignorant and basking in our own glory of scientific advancement that we can’t see more than two inches past each achievement. A thousand years from now, everything we know about science will either be disproven or will take us to new levels we can’t even begin to conceive of in our current suppressed and irrationally illogical third-dimensional reptilian brains. However, I believe that with scientific advancement, especially with regards to the evolution of the human brain and quantum mechanics, we will reach and discover the true essence of what God really is. Science fiction is simply a spoke on the wheel towards self-discovery - whether that self-discovery is the individual or the human race.

Q.14 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I’ve written over thirty novels in my lifetime - the first was at the age of 12 - and have published 6 (thanks to the excellent laptop tragedy of 2005, but that’s a long story). So far, my two favorites have been Golem and The Rose.

Q.15 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
If you’ve ever heard of method acting, let me turn you on to what I term as method writing. Meaning I act out scenes that I’m writing. I do this to provide a flow to the action with thought processes and the psychology behind each character’s motivation.

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
They just pop up. Sometimes, like when I need an alien name, I’ll hit the Google search for foreign names.

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
I enjoy reading reviews, especially when the reader’s emotional tie to the story comes through the review. As far as a bad review, live and learn is my philosophy. I try to get something out of bad review, even if it’s simply “Well, that person’s got some issues they need to work on.”

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
A. Ernest Hemingway
or Mary Shelley. Frankenstein is my all-time favorite novel, and Hemingway was my famous writer growing up - family even nicknamed me Hemingway. It would be fantastic to hang out with these two incredible writers.

Q.19 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
I have a lot of favorite books, so I’ll keep this question to a couple current books and authors I’ve really connected to over the last few years. For all of the below, the why behind ‘why they are my favorites’ is rather simple: intelligent reads exploring obscure concepts.

Blake Crouch: Dark Matter and Recursion (parallel universes and time travel by way of the human mind).

Three Days in Ashford by Ty Tracey (explores the idea of life after death using geometry and quantum mechanics).

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
It’s been fantastic. A few years ago, I started taking a smaller role in my private practice as a psychologist and hypnotist to transition to writing full time. My days consist of writing science fiction and horror novels and hypnotizing people, and I love every minute of it.

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