Friday, January 22, 2016

Alyssa Palombo

Alyssa Palombo has published short historical fiction pieces in Black Lantern, Novelletum, and The Great Lakes Review. She is a recent a graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively, as well as a trained classical musician.

Palombo's first novel is The Violinist of Venice.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
Currently reading:

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

I recently listened to the cast recording of the musical Hamilton for the first time and, like many others, fell completely in love with it. Of course the music is incredible, but the story and the history behind it – history that I was only somewhat familiar with – fascinated me as well. So I got myself a copy of the massive Chernow biography of Hamilton that inspired composer Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the musical. I am slowly making my way through it, though it is written in a wonderfully engaging and readable style. I’m very much enjoying it and, obviously, learning a lot. And, as luck would have it, the novel that I recently started drafting is set in post-Revolutionary New York state, so this book is giving me just the political background of that period that I need.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I read a lot of YA literature – there are so many incredible books being written and published in that genre. I was a huge fan of Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, so I was very excited for this book, which is set the same world. I’m just loving it so far: the world building is extraordinary, the characters just crackle off of the page, and the fast-paced plot makes it hard to put down!

Recently read:

Médicis Daughter by Sophie Perinot

I had been eagerly anticipating this historical novel, and it did not disappoint. Told from the point of view of Marguerite de Valois, princess of France and daughter of the rather infamous Catherine de’ Medici (Médicis in the French spelling), it is exceptionally well researched and brings 16th century France to bloody life on the page. Too, I did not know too much about this particular time period, and so I learned a great deal while reading it as well. I love when a novel can teach me something new at the same time as it tells a great story, and this book definitely did just that!

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I happened to be reading this book around the release date of The Violinist of Venice, and that turned out to be a very good thing. Gilbert’s book about creativity, inspiration, and living a creative life gave me a lot to think about and put into perspective some of the intense emotions that I was feeling around release time. This book has a prominent place on my shelf, as I know that I’ll be referring to it and rereading passages often in the future.
Visit Alyssa Palombo's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Violinist of Venice.

--Marshal Zeringue