Alyssia Kirkhart

Author of Adult & Young Adult Romance

Sunday, October 9, 2016

A Top 5 from Fellow Fiction Authors

Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman

1. "Read. Read everything you can lay hands on." — T.H. White

2. "Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." – Anton Chekhov

3. "Read it aloud to yourself because that's the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out—they can be got right only by ear)." — Diana Athill

4. "Fiction that isn't an author's personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn't worth writing for anything but money." — Jonathan Franzen

5.  "The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter." — Neil Gaiman

What's one of your favorite writing tips?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Signing #1: Shreveport, Louisiana

First book signings for a new novel are always nerve-wracking adventures, mainly because you have no idea what to expect. What should I wear? How many pens should I bring? How many books do I need? Should I have chocolate? You can spend so much time sweating the details, you tend to forget the real reason you're doing this: to connect with readers.

For those who might care, I chose a 90's floral dress, complete with velvet choker. What can I say? Neve Campbell in The Craft was bae back in '96. I did bring plenty of Sharpies, including the pink cutie with which I signed. Lots of books that luckily didn't sell out, so, can still get one! And though I didn't fill a bowl with chocolate, the amazing folks at The Sleepy Hollow: Books & Gifts provided assorted cheeses, crackers, olives, grapes, punch and, oh-my-goodness-YES, an amazing Hazelnut coffee that made the rain pouring outside all the more soothing. Kate set the mood with a fantastic playlist consisting of The Cure and Depeche Mode and...voila!

What made this signing different from my others, which were still awesome, by the way, was the hero of The Other Half, Athen Stormrathe, now officially has his own candle. Yes! Kate and I worked together (although, admittedly, she did most of the work -- she's amazing!) to create a scent that embodies all that I imagine Athen to be. That ancient, wise, earthy man who is Scylla's symbolon. Athen's candle is a wonderfully complex blend of amber, geranium, patchouli, gardenia, and cassia. 

All in all, we had a great time yesterday with friends and enjoyed interesting conversations about writing and, yes, even our current election here in America. So very blessed to live the interesting (if sometimes topsy-turvy...ding!) life of a writer and to be able to do what I love. Thank you guys for making that happen and a special thanks to Kate & the team at The Sleepy Hollow: Books & Gifts for hosting me!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Recipe Favorites: French Madeleines

2     eggs
1     cup all purpose flour
2/3  cup sugar
1     tsp vanilla extract
1/2  tsp grated lemon peel
10   tbps (11/4 sticks) unsalted butter (melted, but cooled slightly)

You’ll need a madeleine pan, which you can find in specialty cooking stores or online. I found mine in a small kitchen store at an outlet mall.

Preheat your oven to 375. Spray your pan with cooking spray or butter it generously. I love the spray that has flour in it – perfect for baking.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl, just to blend. Beat in vanilla, salt, and lemon peel. Add flour gradually, then beat just until blended. Add the butter in a steady stream, beating just until blended. You definitely do not want to over-blend these dainty cookies.

Spoon 1 tbsp of batter into each seashell shaped mold. Bake until puffed and golden (about 15 minutes). Cool for at least 5 minutes before gently removing from your pan.

Voila! Feel free to dust your madeleines with powdered sugar or enjoy them as is with a cup of tea or coffee.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Available! The Other Half: The Symbolon Series Book One

After a few hiccups this week, I'm thrilled to say the first book in The Symbolon Series, The Other Half, is finally available in eBook format and paperback. Special thanks to everyone who had a hand in this novel, a fair few of whom are mentioned in the Acknowledgments portion of the book itself. This was--and continues to be--new territory for me as a writer, and I am so looking forward to moving on with Scylla's story and her adventures with all her newfound friends (and enemies!) in the Faerie world.

Now to share with you a few links, so you can stay connected with me and the cast of The Symbolon Series!

You can purchase the novel at all major retailers (a few of whom I've listed below) in eBook and paperback:

If you're interested in the visual inspiration behind the story, I'd love for you to take a peek at and follow my Symbolon board on Pinterest. It's a work in progress that has bled over into the series in its entirety, so you may be able to take a good guess at what's in store next for Scylla!

Also, there is the music that has inspired and continues to inspire me as a write and have written. You can listen to the playlist through the ever-amazing Spotify. If you're interested in hearing the working soundtrack to The Symbolon Series, and are not yet hooked up with Spotify, it's easy and FREE! Click this link and then follow the instructions.

As you read, I'd love to see visuals and music of what came to your mind as you traveled along with Scylla and her Fae companions. Please feel free to share those below or post to Facebook or Instagram. Be sure to tag me, as well!  #symbolonseries #anhart

Thank you for your continued love and support. Happy reading!

Peace, Love and Junior Mints,


Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 28: Release Day!

As I was proofreading the third proof of this new book, which will begin an entire series of Young Adult science fiction/fantasy/romance novels, it hit that I haven't published a novel in three years. With good reasons, really, some of which are better than others -- the better being I have a young son and a day job that can get quite demanding. Did you guys know I'm a paralegal and assistant to a state senator? It's pretty crazy. He's a great guy. I'm blessed.


Three years.

This won't be a long post. Just wanted to give my readers and friends (who, prayerfully, are one and the same!) a heads' up that, yes, I will be releasing my fourth novel -- first under my YA pseudonym, A.N. Hart, on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. It is entitled The Other Half: Book One of the Symbolon Series and I am super excited, as this release officially embarks into new territory for me. As a writer, as a reader and a chick who generally daydreams in historical romance panorama. All new. You'll encounter humans and creatures who actually do exist -- yes, they do. Magic, prophecies, villains, good versus evil and, yes, of course, lest we and romance.

Because, let's face it, telling me to write a book without romance is like telling me to successfully make a soufflé that doesn't fall. It's just...not in the cards.

All that said, I hope you enjoy. I hope you're excited. And I hope you can make it to a book signing this year. I'll be posting those dates as they arrive. Oh! And look for giveaways via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram...the usual suspects. I've got author swag and all kinds of goodies. You won't wanna miss out.

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints, y'all!

The Other Half: The Symbolon Series Book One

When eighteen-year-old Scylla is kidnapped from a carnival, she is convinced things couldn't get any worse. Her parents are dead. Her brother is missing. She hears voices no one else can hear. Disaster seems to follow her everywhere, until she meets Athen, the mythological faun who took her captive. His reason? She is his symbolon--the mate prophesied to him. Whisked to a land she didn't know existed, among creatures she's only read about in fairytales, Scylla learns there is more to her captor than meets the eye. He is kind, he is wise, and he is one of four Fae generals who fought for the survival of mankind nearly one hundred years ago. 
He is also the last faun in existence. 
As she learns from him, her feelings for Athen burn deeper and deeper. Terror turns into trust, exchanged smiles turn into fiery kisses. But Scylla's brother is in trouble and wicked forces in the Fae world threaten to sear Scylla's budding bond to Athen. Together, they must find her brother and put an end to the evil spreading across the land--or risk the annihilation of the human race.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Writer's Bubble

A "bubble room" at the Attrap'Rjves family hotel, in the Allauch commune in France.
"If your imagination is in on a particular track, you have to be careful what you let in, because that can spill in to what you're doing." - Tom Hiddleston (2016 Interview with Peter Travers)

Humans are amazing creatures; I think we all believe that as truth. We learn, we absorb, we apply what we've learned and absorbed to life. And it's life experience that molds us into who we are today, in this moment, which may or may not be the same person we were yesterday and who we are tomorrow may or may not be the same person we were the day previous. 


Fact is, ideas and information and occurrences, to name a few, impact our decision making. Whether it's choosing a spinach salad over pizza tonight, because you saw that cover photo of Carrie Underwood at the checkout line, or voting one candidate over another, because the former's ideas and principles closer apply to your own moral compass, what you allow in your mind changes you. It may be minute; it may be significant. But it does change you; your mind will make a decision.

But this isn't a post about the magnificence of the human brain.

In working with a new series or any new project, for that matter, I tend to immerse myself in what I call The Bubble. I literally imagine a sphere surrounding me wherever I go. Only certain things are allowed in, be it the television I watch, the music I listen to, or the book I'm currently reading on Kindle. Since Tom Hiddleston is who I picture as one of the main males in this series, I've been cramming him into my mind's eye--his movies, interviews, photos. In an interview with Peter Travers, which can be found here, he talks about taking time away from work to see his family. However, even during those moments, he must be careful with what he allows into his mind. Whether he's about to play Loki in the popular Marvel movies or Jonathan Pine in The Night Manager, he is forever wrapping his brain around whatever character he intends to portray.

That's what it's like for me as a writer. Now, I say for me, because every writer's process is different. Just the other day, I played a track for Hubby by the deliciously ominous Cold Shower, explaining the scene I wrote to it, and he said, "Wow, babe. You're listening to some dark stuff here lately." Unintentional, but true. If he flips our Direct TV to channel 327 (CMT), I gasp, throw my hands over my ears like a child, and sprint for the bedroom, singing, "la la la la la la la LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!"

He's stopped doing that while I'm in the vicinity.

We're safest with the 80's channel, which he enjoys, too, so it's a win-win.

Do you have a weird process that's not weird to you,'s your normal...but to other people, it's...well...weird? 

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,

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