Tell us, if you don’t mind, a little about yourself.
I’m a New Jersey based novelist with a husband, rabbit, MFA, and Cuban-Italian heritage. I refer to my writing as domestic horror and the stories are typically set in the suburbs, á la my hometown. I write about women who are mothers but do not want to be, people who are reduced to their basest roles within the household, those who are alone with their bodies going wrong, familiar figures that can no longer be trusted, shadows flittering about in the corners. Those are the horrors that can’t be escaped. They’re ghost stories that don’t necessarily have any ghosts.
Could you give us some background on how you began writing, and in particular, what drew you to writing horror?
When I was young, my maternal great-grandparents died within a year of each other. I wasn’t allowed to attend my great-grandmother’s funeral and had to sit in the car outside the funeral home with my uncle and his girlfriend. It was raining and night and we were in the car for what felt like hours. For my great-grandfather’s funeral, I was allowed inside the funeral parlor but not the viewing room. There was a short hallway that ended in double doors. Whenever those doors opened, I saw people standing with their backs turned to me. The parlor I stayed in had stone walls and my aunt said if I knocked on the right stone, the wall would open into a dark passageway. I spent the funeral knocking on stones but the walls never opened.
After the funerals, I wanted to know more about that inescapable, indescribable beyond known as death. I stared reading ghost stories. My two favorites were “Christina’s Ghost” by Betty Ren Wright and “The Ghost in the Bell Tower” by Francine Pascal. I read those books obsessively, then wrote my own stories so I could try understanding that which can never be understood. I was six or seven years old at that point. I’ve been writing ever since (I’m 31 now).
Can you tell us a bit about your story that appears in Turn to Ash, Vol. 1?
“The Mother Chase” is an excerpt from a novel I recently finished. The story/novel is about three siblings who are in a dark house with their mother. The mother is tortured by a warped sense of domesticity, one that the children begin viewing as malevolent. As the children’s perception of their mother worsens, their connection to one another strengthens until they are almost a singular entity. The bulk of the story is the “we” versus the “she.”
Do you have any recent and/or upcoming work that you’d like to share?
I have new work in The Avenue Journal, See the Elephant, Wolves Magazine, Orthogonal SF, Nonbinary Review, Cyclopean, and Scarlet Leaf Review.
Where, if anywhere, can we find you on the Internet?
My website is http://alanaicapria.com. I can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @alanaicapria.
Anything else you’d like to share about your work or anything else going on in this universe (or any other)?
My writing inspiration/motivation is summed up by this quote from Franz Kafka: “Perhaps there is another kind of writing, I only know this one… in the night, when fear does not let me sleep.”
Also, adopt before you buy. There are so many great shelter pets just waiting to be made a part of the family. Don’t buy a pet just for the hell of it, then abandon it. My husband and I adopted our current rabbit (both of our previous buns passed from old age) from a rabbit rescue and we can’t imagine our lives without her.
You can order Turn to Ash, Vol. 1, which feature’s Alana’s story “The Mother Chase” – HERE – It is also available from Amazon. Find the link to your country’s Amazon page -HERE-.