Author Interview: Misty Alfonso
I would like to welcome author Misty Alfonso to New Horizon Reviews, today. Misty published her first ebook `The Resurrection of a Blue Butterfly` on February 26, 2015.
`The Resurrection of a Blue Butterfly` is the first ebook in The Blue Butterfly trilogy of Christian Short Stories (with `Resurrection` at 27 pages long ). With follow-ups `Broken Wing` and `The Alabaster Box` being published Spring and Summer 2015. Misty has plans for her first historically-based suspense novel to come out in August 2015. The novel `Not Deep Enough` will be an adult suspense/murder mystery which takes place in 1965, the year of President LBJ'S "The Great Society". The novel as a whole is not particularly Christian, but it does deal with a crisis of faith on the part Mary Jo, the protagonist of the book.
Misty lives in Georgia with her husband, Joey, and their children. She has gladly accepted my invitation to interview her.
Thank you author Misty Alfonso for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for your readers.
Michelle: What was your favorite book as a child?
Misty: I was and still am a ferocious reader, so I actually do truly have many favorites, depending on the genre. But to be honest, whenever I do get that question, the same answer always quickly pops into my head because it was a childhood favorite, "Can't Catch Me, I'm The Gingerbread Man." My family couldn't read it to me enough. I'd even have dreams about it! I loved the main character but I also loved gingerbread very much! So I was very conflicted!
Michelle: Have you always dreamed of being an author?
Misty: Yes, actually. As long as I can remember I've been writing...poems, songs, journaling...it's just something I've always done and never really questioned. It's very organic for me.
Michelle: Who encouraged you to write?
Misty: My father was by far my greatest encourager...he and my mom. I grew up watching my dad write, talking to him about characters, shaping them, moving a story along. He's taught me everything...other than just what his DNA gave me. I used to write like a screenplay writer. Very flowery, too descriptive, and holding the readers hand too much. I was scared to write differently, but just working with him, especially on `Not Deep Enough` , gave me the insight and courage to see things differently, and his advice had a profound effect on me and on my writing. I wouldn't be writing right now if it weren't for my parents. My husband is a great support, especially since writing takes up so many hours of my time. I have a great support system!
Michelle: What authors impress you?
Misty: Wow...so many. Margaret Mitchell impressed me through her biography more than her writing itself. I've read two books on her life, and doing so made me respect her for her hard work in newspaper journalism, for her self confidence as a woman at that time, and also for her genuine lack of self confidence in her ability as a novelist. I like strong, but humble people! Overconfidence never got most people I have watched in life very far in the long run. I also love Tom Clancy! He's one of my dad's favorites too, but nobody can take you through twists and turns and move along a story at warp speed like Clancy! Maybe that's why I've always loved Harrison Ford!
Michelle: When not busy writing what types of things do you enjoy?
Misty: Spending time with my children, and my new grandson! When I'm not home with him or my writing, I'm in a gym somewhere watching volleyball. My husband coaches it and my kids play it. It's just what we do.
Michelle: How were you inspired to write your first novel `Not Deep Enough` ?
Misty: I'm a huge history buff. In college, I wrote a piece for a project I was researching around the time in our country just after the assassination of President Kennedy, all of the political unrest over Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, the turmoil in the South over desegregation. It was a particularly difficult time for most Americans who were just in a perpetual state of nervousness. I was studying the vast and huge legislation within the "War on Poverty" which was part of President LBJ'S "Great Society". I came across a relatively small piece of legislation which allowed disbursements of federal dollars to go to many Southern colleges and universities to send young coeds and members of The Peace Corps into impoverished neighborhoods to bring in educational materials on bettering themselves to become employed, how to vote, etc. But in my research, I saw where after only 18 months the program was disbanded, with no official comment. For a writer, when history leaves a big gap in information and explanation for why things happened the way they did, then you've just constructed in the mind of that writer the birth of a premise of a story. Now while I do agree with most who were adults at the time, that the funding of the Vietnam War dried up the funds of many programs such as this, it leaves me just enough of an opening to put forth a completely fictional scenario offering other explanations. Put characters around that premise, build on who they are, and then they tell the story for me.
Michelle: Do you have a journal, and would you say that is important for a writer?
Misty: I do have several journals, but I haven't journaled in years. I think it's different for different writers. It depends on what you are writing. These days, I find myself watching TV and movies not how the average viewer likely does. I'm constantly studying the writing I'm watching, how a scene was constructed, how quickly the story moves scene to scene, the dialogue of the characters and how it defines them. Journaling doesn't help me there particularly. These days I carry around a tape recorder to record my ideas for scene or dialogue. Absolutely keep a pen and paper by the bed at all times! Your characters will wake you up!
Michelle: What would you say to someone who wants to write their own books?
Misty: Just start. That's the hard part. Don't be afraid to throw it out and start over! I can read something I wrote 5 years ago and think to myself, man! That's just awful! You'll never be 100% confident when you put your work out there. What you put out there won't be for everybody. But be true to yourself as a writer and in the gifts God gave you. That may mean going against the grain, which I do struggle with time to time as a Christian. Does that mean we can't write about real life and adult situations? Only the individual writer can answer that. For me, that answer is a resounding "no" and because of that, my suspense novel may not please some of my other writers. I can only be true to myself and the conscience God put in me, and while the two don't often reconcile themselves to each other, in my writing, they do. Writers just have to say "okay...okay" to writers block. It will happen. Work with it! Just be patient and tell yourself "the good stuff has to ferment".
Michelle: How do you hope to influence your readers?
Misty: I don't really think I'm out to influence anybody honestly. I don't want that mantle! I just do what I do and hope somebody gets some enjoyment. I do often write about faith and the crisis of it. So I guess if I had to define what I would like a reader closing one of my books to ponder about it would be that faith is real, whether you believe in it or not.
Michelle: What's up next for you?
Misty: Finishing up the `Blue Butterfly` series and getting it to editing, then wrapping up `Not Deep Enough` for the August publication. After that, I don't know! It's still fermenting!
Author Misty Alfonso, thank you once again for taking the time to be interviewed.
Readers, you may pick up Misty's ebook `The Resurrection of a Blue Butterfly` at Amazon.com.
Also, please remember her novel `Not Deep Enough` will be published August 2015.
I am linking this post to The Book Nook at Create With Joy.