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Alisa Kwitney on Her Writing

Alisa Kwitney
Alisa Kwitney

Alisa Kwitney is writer who I have respected since her days as an editor and writer at Vertigo. So a few months back, while visiting Kwitney’s website to see what upcoming projects she had, I contacted her for an email interview. She was kind enough to accept the offer. We cover a range of topics in our exchange, but first a snippet of her official bio: “Alisa has written some half a dozen novels, two coffee table books, and assorted comics and graphic novels. Her novels, which have been described as ‘romances laced with satire and a mainstream flair’ (Library Journal) have been translated into Russian, German, Japanese, Norwegian and Bahasa Indonesian. She also writes dark fantasy/paranormal romance and science fiction under the name Alisa Sheckley.” My thanks to Kwitney for her time and damn fine sense of humor.

Tim O’Shea: Why do you make a divide between your work as Alisa Kwitney and Alisa
 Sheckley?

Alisa Kwitney: It actually wasn’t my idea – I was asked by my agent and encouraged by editors to publish The Better to Hold You and Moonburn under a different name. But I did think that they made a good point when they said it might confuse readers of my more realistic novels to discover that I had werewolves wandering around in these books.

O’Shea: Do you consider the two identities to have separate writing
”voices”?

Alisa: Well, in some ways, no. I think my voice, my sense of humor and my themes come through pretty consistently, whether I’m writing about scuba divers and driving instructors or shapeshifters and mad scientists. And I would argue that some of my Kwitney novels actually contain a fair amount of darkness and angst, while my Sheckley books have some Fawlty Towers style romantic farce – the whole man/dog dichotomy really lends itself to absurd situations. On the other hand, I did let myself go darker with the Sheckley books, because I was playing in the horror side of the playground.

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