Promoting Creativity: February Edition

Hey guys! I’m so sorry I didn’t post this sooner. Life has been very stressful for me in the last few days and I just didn’t have the energy to do a post.  But here we are with February’s Promoting Creativity. Today I have with me *drumroll* Alyssa Carlier! Isn’t her banner the best thing ever?

intro banner

Hello Abi!

So excited for this — thanks awfully for the opportunity!
1) Tell us a little bit about what you do. 
I write to say the things that aren’t said. I write about fallen heroes and idealistic villains and the stragglers left between, I write tragedies and pretend it’s poetry. I’m particularly fond of diverse and empowered girls in worlds of magic, madness, and murder.
I also blog about YA fantasy and WNDB and Chinese culture, write monthly bonuses for my takeout army, and fold tiny origami dragons.
2) When and why did you start writing? 
Like many others, I started out plagiarising a range of other better works. But that’s really not the interesting bit. Let’s talk about how I started writing diversely.
So I finished my first (rather disastrous) novel around two years ago. At the same time, I ventured into the YA book blogging community and learned about #WeNeedDiverseBooks. BOOM. Looked back at my own novel, completely whitewashed. I shelved that book and tried again, wrote a Mulan retelling with diversity closer to my home of China, shelved that one too. Now, I’m working on my revenge WIP MATRYOSHKA, the sequel to that first novel, this time with all kinds of diversity.
I started writing diversely two years ago because I didn’t see myself in books. And I want to change that for other bookworm girls in the future.
3) Tell us about a project that you are currently working on that has you really excited.
I can’t decide between these two! One: Mulan + Swan Lake crossover retelling. Witches living in technologically advanced society. Set in Hong Kong + roadtrip across China. Grave robbers and deaf assassins and shapeshifters. An experiment of structure and form in a novel. I present to you: WITCHES BLACK AND SILVER, current WIP #2.
Two: well, it’s a secret but it’s a half-year project that will take my poetry to the next level, hopefully! I’ll announce it to my takeout army when it’s mostly settled. *hint hint*
4) What are some of your goals for the future?
Finish revising MATRYOSHKA by March and wrap up this project during my summer holidays. Rewrite WITCHES BLACK AND SILVER and make it the deliciously chaotic, experimental, dreamy mess it should be. Establish myself in the blookunity (i.e. book blogging community — I invented the word, yes.)
I have goals regarding querying + publishing as well, but for this year, I want to focus on writing and writing well and writing diversity and writing diversity well first.
5) How can we support you?
My takeout army is a community of book bloggers and readers interested in my WIPs. If you like YA fantasy, retellings, diverse girls, etc., then it would mean the world if you joined our takeout army!
You can also follow Alyssa on tumblr and pinterest!  Thanks so much Alyssa for joining me!


  1. Ooooooooooh I have a fantasy story about a Chinese princess that was horribly bad the first few times I wrote it. It’s always in my heart, though. I’d love to give it a revision.

      • *grin* :]

        When I wrote my first two drafts, the plot was basically Chinese princess with cold overbearing emperor father sneaks out of palace and encounters Christian missionaries, which basically turns into a sermon. Then she witnesses one of them be executed and has to choose between her father / life at the palace and standing up for these foreigners.

        And there was a complicated love interest thing going on. Her father wanted her to have an arranged marriage, she fell for another dude.

      • I wrote the first draft when I was 13. I wrote more when I was 15. I finished a complete second draft of about 12,000 words when I was 20. It was all pretty didactic and terrible. 😛 Mostly because I was growing up Christian fundamentalist.

        But! I’m still attached to her as a character.

        A friend suggest I re-write it as fantasy rather than historical fiction, and still include a moral dilemma but without all the preachy parts. That way I could include elements of Chinese culture without having to make sure I got the time period right.

        I keep thinking about doing it. I really should. I can write sooooooooooooo much better now.

  2. YAY ALYSSA. I KNOW THIS WRITERLY BEAN! *throws evil confetti everywhere because Alyssa will probably appreciate that* Ahem. Tiny origami dragons are very nice. Very.

  3. OOH SECRET WRITING PROJECT. *waves hands around* I’m really looking forward to hearing about it! The book blogging community and movements like #WeNeedDiverseBooks have definitely influenced my writing. I think I’m reading a much wider range of books, too! So yay for the blookunity. (I love this word. Fully supporting its use. *nods*)

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