Ogre killer, witch subduer, bookkeeper for the Gnomes Of Terrible Hirsuteness Society, and Fairy documentarist, I use any spare moment I have to write and paint my accounts of the Fey kingdom and other fantastical worlds.
I have written the Morgana Trilogy, a young adult fantasy series inspired by the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, as well as Mighty Pax’s Misadventures — A Christmas Tail, a children’s book which I have also illustrated.
I have also won the second prize at the CINEFANTASY International Short Film Screenwriting Competition in 2016 for my screenplay The Seeker’s Key, a tale of two brave children in a tension-filled immigration camp.
Children’s Book Bio
Alessa is a writer and artist who lives in Belgium, the land of Smurfs, fries, and chocolate pralines. She loves to tell stories to people big and small, while the real Pax snores happily away next to her. She hopes that Pax’s illustrated tales will bring others as much joy as he brings her every day.
1. She has no favorite color—she even likes gremlin green (aka pigeon-poo green)!
2. She has only ever had two bones broken in her body, both times playing basketball (not the same time, though): her left thumb, and her nose.
3. Studying math at university was an accident; she actually wanted to learn art to work in animation! In fact, when she graduated from high school, she didn’t want to touch math with a ten-foot pole!
4. The first non-fairy tale fantasy story she read was Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon.
5. The first pet to ever join her family was a black cat named… Kitty (she was rather wild and went off to live in a farm after a while, where she got to play every day with the horses, cows and goats).
6. Her favorite Disney cartoon is Robin Hood.
7. Her great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother must have had a little elf blood in her, because Alessa absolutely LOVES nature, and big forests in particular.
8. She also plays piano and knows how to hold a tune at karaoke!
9. She did Bujinkan for several years, which is a Japanese martial art coming straight down from real samurai and ninja (she had to stop because she kept getting hurt).
10. She got bitten by a very territorial fish once, while swimming in a gorge with friends. They laughed at her until the fish went for them next 🐟 .
Why did you write Blood of the Fey?
I’ve always been fascinated with Arthurian legends. It was, after all, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon that first opened my eyes to the world of fantasy. But I was always perplexed as to why Morgan was always referred to as an evil enchantress or as someone with a dark, depressing Fate, and I always wondered… what if someone erased a few of the lines in her story and rewrote them differently? And so I did.
What inspired you to write Mighty Pax’s Misadventures?
One of the last things my father told me before he passed away was that I should illustrate my own stories. At the time, I had some vague ideas that I might want to illustrate at some point in the future, but nothing immediate. Then, in the summer of 2022, (the real) Pax suffered from a herniated disk, and had to get operated on so he could regain the use of his back legs. It was a terribly difficult time, and I could tell that Pax was scared and feeling bad about not being able to do what he used to do. That’s when I suddenly had the urge to write and illustrate a story based on him, and how he overcomes life’s challenges, big and small.
What got you writing stories?
I’ve been reading and telling stories since I was a little girl, often making things up to make my brother laugh. Growing up, I was always torn between writing books and writing my own illustrated stories, though I never finished any project. Finally, it was in college that I finally decided to become more serious about writing (probably as a way to procrastinate on my math studies).
When did you learn to draw?
I’ve been drawing all my life, mostly doodles in my school books’ margins, and, growing up, my dream was to become an artist for one of the big animation studios. But life got in the way, and though I took a couple of art classes in college, and dabbled here and there afterward when I had the time, it wasn’t until 2023 that I decided to take it seriously and illustrate my own children’s book.
Where do you like to work?
Anywhere that’s calm and comfortable. It could be at my desk under the rafters during the day, or at the dining room table in the early hours of the morning (easier access to my tea and coffee), or in the couch in the evenings (with an improvised table made up of a tray turned over on a pillow in my lap).