Alyssa Marie Bethancourt

Mesa, AZ

I’ve been serious about writing since I was seven years old, and I was ten when I began working on my first novel. As an autistic child, it never occurred to me that there was anything strange about considering myself an aspiring professional at such a young age. I took my writing and my study of English literature and mechanics with the utmost seriousness, making it my perseveration. If there was a book, I read it, assuming that every published work had something to teach me about the craft. This has ended up being true in the sense that there’s an awful lot of trash out there that should be emulated by no one, and it was important to learn to recognize it for what it is. But in my childhood, it just meant that I read a lot. I learned what to do as a writer (but more often what not to do.)

By age twenty-two I had written an entire trilogy. This was of course the point at which I threw all three novels into the bin and started from scratch with all of the experience I had been accumulating over the last several years. Then I started over again. To date I have completed four full-length novels and am actively pursuing publication. More importantly, I’m still learning and testing, and figuring out how to be better at spinning words into the stories I imagine.

My genre of choice and passion is fantasy. I've been known to jot down the occasional bad poem, and there's that piece of literary fiction sitting unfinished on my hard drive mostly still conceptual, but for the most part I stick to the magic, swords, and elves stuff. What I offer to the genre that others might not is a personal view of the worlds and adventures of the novel through the eyes of intimately-drawn characters who are often struggling with the realities of being the Other. This has no doubt come as a result of the fact that, being autistic, I've always been in that position myself. Understanding people and the Normal World they've created has been an ongoing struggle and a fascinating one, and has always informed the flavor and content of my writing.