Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
I'm a sci-fi/fantasy author who writes about young adults, queer people, and badass women. I also have a TikTok where I tell much more ridiculous stories.
Can you tell us about your most recent release? Album? Song? Art piece? Etc.?
TO KILL A NECROMANCER is the first installment of an epic fantasy novella series set in a world loosely inspired by Ancient Greek and Roman mythology. A young paladin is ordered to kill a necromancer because necromancers are hated by the gods and thus "evil," but she quickly learns that it's a lot more complicated than that. I also have a sci-fi novel called CITADEL coming out in June.
What inspires you?
History and current social issues.
What is your creative work routine like? Do you balance it with another job?
A write whenever I can, usually a couple hours a day if at all possible. But I do work part time at an Italian deli. The food service job actually helped inspire my latest TikTok series CaFae Latte, about a coffeeshop owned by the Fae.
Do you plan out your creations? What is your process before you create?
I am what the writing community calls a planner: I outline EVERYTHING. Granted, that outline usually changes about halfway through writing the actual novel as I come up with a better ending or change an arc or kill off a character too quickly, but I need the security of having some sort of plan. I can't just wing it.
Do you have a self-care routine or want to have one? What do you do or wish that you did to take care of your mental health?
I'm lucky in that my mental health has always been good. And it sounds super cheesy, but when I do struggle, prayer really helps. I've been practicing Nichiren Buddhism for ten years, and we have a prayer/meditation technique that keeps me going when that gas tank is going on empty.
Are there any recurring themes in your work?
Several. Even though I tend to cross genres, I tend to come back to the same types of messages, characters, and plot points: -powerful women -queer characters (at least one aro/ace, because I myself am aroace) -complicated systemic problems rooted in prejudice and power that the characters have to figure out and (hopefully) overcome -morally gray societies and characters, even the ones who try to do their best -a war or conflict between 2+ societies who really just need to sit down, shut up, and work it out like adults -food
What does success look like to you considering your creative passion?
Being able to fully financially support myself with my content, as well as inspiring other people. I've managed to get the second--some of my TikToks have inspired fanart, which is always fun--but I'm still working on the first.
Where do you get your ideas for world building?
Usually history. I graduated from Hamline University with a double bachelor's in history and social justice because it's just so fascinating.
What genre do you prefer to read?
Sci-fi and fantasy, always. But I also enjoy sprinkling in literary classics, horror, and nonfiction from time to time. It keeps my reading varies and prevents book hangovers.
Do you have any outside experiences that influenced your work?
A lot of personal experience of finding yourself (re: realizing I was queer in my mid-20s and being so much happier for it while also dreading having to tell other people because how are they going to react) as well as dealing with internalized prejudice that's been taught to you and your society for centuries often finds its way into my stories.
Where can our viewers/readers/listeners find you and your work?
YouTube: C. M. Alongi
My books are being published on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I also have a website: www.cmalongi.com