Author Interview–Alisse Lee Goldenberg

Alisse Lee Goldenberg

Alisse Lee Goldenberg

Questions: 1. Your novel Sitnalta has been out in the world for a number of months now, what has the process of having a book out been like for you?

Honestly, I've found it a bit nerve wracking. This book has been a private part of me for so long, that to have complete strangers reading it is a bit scary! But, at the same time, I love the idea that this little story of mine is finding an audience, and that people are enjoying these characters' journeys. So far, the reception has been really good!

2. One of the central themes of the book is the daughter (sitnalta) trying to find and do what she wants with her life. Did you base her feelings on any of your own experiences growing up?

I think every young person out there has to find their own way. Our parents want certain things for us, and they have a certain way that they envisioned our lives. Often what we want is vastly different. So, yeah, I did put a lot of my own thoughts and feelings into Sitnalta's journey, if only from the point of view of "I want something that my parents don't." In fact, I don't think that ever changes, no matter how old you are, and how old your parents may be!

3. what were some of your favorite fairy tales growing up and how did they inspire you as a writer?

My favourite fairy tales have been Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen", "The History of Jack the Giant Killer", "The Twelve Brothers" about a princess whose brothers get turned into swans, and "The Little Mermaid" - the original version. Not the Disneyfied one.

I always loved how creative the original versions of the fairy tales were. They didn't all have happy endings, but they all taught valuable lessons about life. I actually liked the really sad ones. They seemed more honest in a way. That inspired me a lot. I try to be honest in my writing, even if I'm writing my own fairy tale. It doesn't matter if you're telling a story about trolls and princesses. Everything should still seem real and true to the reader.

4. There are some cool names in the book (Najort is my fave) where do you come up with names for a book that resides in a fantasy world?

I pull names from anywhere and everywhere. If I like the way things sound, I will find a spot for it. I'm going to be hearing the names a lot in my own head, and as I read and write them, so I better find something that resonates with me. In the next Sitnalta book, I was stuck for a name, so I asked my kids what I should call the character. They came up with some interesting possibilities! Not all were useable, but together we found something that stuck.

5. You have young triplets! Does having young kids around help you as a writer, especially one writing fantasy/fairy tales?

It does! They have some great ideas, and watching them imagine and play together is some great inspiration. At the same time, it also gets hectic and crazy trying to find the time to actually sit down and write. It's all about finding a good balance in life. They love stories, and ask me to make them up for them. I love it. I started doing it for my younger brother, which was how Sitnalta was originally born, and now I'm doing it for my kids. It's wonderful.

6. What are you working on now?

Now I'm working on the sequel to Sitnalta. I was struggling to find a name for it, but I am pleased to say that it will be called "The Kingdom Thief". I am also working on first draft edits for the third book in another series I write. The first book is out now, and it's called "The Strings of the Violin". The second book is out September 9, and is called "The Dybbuk's Mirror". The third (the one I'm working on now) will be called "The Dybbuk's Revenge". I also have a short story coming out in an anthology called "Night Life". I wrote the story with a good friend, An Tran. It's called "Ouroboros". Other than that, I have the outline done for the third Sitnalta book. That one came to me title first. It's called "The City of Arches". It's more of a prequel, and will focus on the character of Kralc. So, I'm definitely keeping busy!


Alisse Lee Goldenberg is an author of Horror and Young Adult fantasy fiction. She has her Bachelors of Education and a Fine Arts degree, and has studied fantasy and folk lore since she was a child. Alisse lives in Toronto with her husband Brian, their triplets Joseph, Phillip, and Hailey, and their rambunctious Goldendoodle Sebastian. For more on Alisse and her books, check out her website

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