Alisha Massenet enjoys the small magics in everyday life. She writes fluffy romances with happily-ever-afters from her home in Canada, which is filled with the laughter of joyful children and the hissing of grumpy cats – and sometimes vice versa. When not writing, she takes long rambles through nature and paints.
Where did your inspiration for your story come from?
The story was originally written for a New Year’s Resolution themed contest. Lots of people resolve to find love so they won’t be lonely in the coming year, so I wondered what if someone resolved to fall out of love instead. I combined this idea with other typical resolutions: cut sugar, exercise more, save money, learn to paint, ask that cutie at the coffee shop out. These paints blended together to form a canvas of romance and magic realism.
Who is your favorite character in this story and why?
While I am probably the closest to Arlan in personality, I have to say that Niko’s dad won my heart by storming into the story unannounced. With a knife, even! It’s little surprises like that which make writing so much fun.
When you aren’t writing, where can we find you?
I wish I could say the beach, in front of my paints, or the library, but these days my hangouts tend to be the playground, the local splash pad, or my own backyard.
What author has influenced you the most?
I am a big fan of reading across genres. Various authors have influenced me over the years, yet I keep returning to my first loves: science fiction and fantasy. I love Sarah Addison Allen, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, William Gibson, Iain M. Banks and N.K Jemisin. These author’s books are the ones I return to when I need a pep-talk or an escape.
Where do you write? Is there a special place? Share a picture if you wish.
I have a gorgeous antique roll-top desk which never sees use. Instead, I tend to write on my phone, my Alphasmart Neo or on good old paper. With two young kids, my writing time tends to be limited. Rather than one marathon writing session a day, I peck at my stories for a few minutes, when I can and where I can.
Do you consider reading as part of your job as a writer? Why or why not?
Definitely. Reading allows access to all sorts of people and concepts. Reading expands our minds, and lets us consider ideas we have never encountered before. Reading can be a mini-vacation and therapy, packaged in one neat rectangle of variable thickness.
Other than family, what are five things you cannot live without?
Coffee with extra cream. Books. Variety in my meals. Warm socks. And, as a reformed nail-biter, nail polish!
What is your all-time favorite TV show?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Smart, funny, surprisingly dark and yet, full of hope.
Not picking your own, which story in Love Dust is your favorite?
Honorable mentions first! Six Point Hayes, because I would love to hang out with Lexi, Elliott and Logan. Tootsie got me with its mix of fantasy, sweetness, and romance. But the clear winner has to be The Beech Tree Carving. Call me a sucker for a sweet story, and I’ll gladly wear the title. Plus it involves painting! What’s not to love?
If you could meet one writer in the history of the world, who would it be? What would you talk about?
Sir Terry Pratchett. His works reveal the very worst of humanity, but also their best, and he did both with grace, kindness and great affection for the characters he wrote about. I imagine we wouldn’t talk about much of consequence, except maybe simple joys, but I would love to have said I met him once.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I am working on a Young Adult fantasy novel.