Interview with Allegra Pescatore

Allegra grew up in a small village in northern Tuscany as the daughter of two artists. She grew up on the works of J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Phillip Pullman, Frank Herbert, and many others, all read aloud to her while she drew and played make-believe. She began to write at the age of eight and hasn't stopped since.

After many moves and dozens of countries visited, she now lives in a cozy cottage in Western PA. She is accompanied in her current adventures by husband Job, co-conspirator and long-time writing partner Tobias, and a small army of furry and scaly pets. When not writing or daydreaming, Allegra rules her kitchen with an iron first and feeds everyone who walks through her door. She also gardens, dabbles in various art forms and spins stories for her tabletop gaming group. As a disabled woman and staunch LGBTQ ally, Allegra hopes to write engaging, diverse, and representative Fantasy and Science Fiction, where people who do not often see themselves center stage get the chance to shine.

Love the covers to your books. Did you have an image in mind when they were created?

For Where Shadows Lie, which I did the cover for myself, I knew exactly what I wanted. The book very much kicks off with one of the POV characters killing someone, which lands her into a heap of trouble. I knew I wanted her on the cover, ideally holding a bloody knife. I was very fortunate to find just the right stock, and it turned out to be exactly what I wanted. For NACL: Eye of the Storm, it was a much harder choice. We ended up buying a pre-made for book 2 of that series, then commissioning the same artist to make a matching cover for book one. I was absolutely blown away by LLewellen design. I vaguely gave them an idea, and they came back with a stunning and very original cover. 

Are there clues to the stories in the covers?

Yes, there are! The stars in Where Shadows Lie are important for reasons that series has not yet made clear. The blood on the knife is also very significant, and if readers pay close attention, they may be able to figure out why. For my pirate story, there isn't anything mysterious, but I think it very much captures the strange mix of fantasy, sci-fi, dystopia, and adventure. It is a genre-bending book, and I really wanted the cover to show that. 

Who is your favorite Tolkien character?

No question there. It's Samwise Gamgee. He is my hero and who I aspire to be every single day. I found his journey to be both inspiring and poignant, and he fills me with hope every time I think of him. If I ever have a child, Sam is high on my list of possible names. 

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual or therapeutic practice?

Sometimes, when the words are coming easily, it feels like flying and like a connection with the universe. Other times, when I'm struggling to get the words out, it feels like the challenge which will force me to grow. It seems to me like we create our own creativity to a certain extent through practice, and by developing the skills to better channel it. The more I write, the easier writing becomes, and the more enjoyment it brings. Usually, if it is a struggle, it means that either there is an error I have yet to discover, or I am approaching it stressed. Usually, once I take a breath and return to a place of loving what I'm working on, the problems solve themselves. 

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a sequel to Where Shadows Lie, that picks off right where it left off. I am also working on a series of Fae Romance novellas with an amazing group of co-authors. Both of those should come out next year. Other than that, I'm dabbling