Author Interview: Clarisse A Alvarenga

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Clarisse was written by Clarisse A Alvarenga.)

Something about Victorian houses always spoke of beauty, grace, elegance, and a story that needed to be told. That was the impression Kelly got when she drew near to this three-story white Victorian house with a wrap-around porch and bay windows. Yeah, she could live here if she had to choice.

Going up the steps, the wood creaked under her feet, and she came to the door, turning the knob and finding it unlocked as she had expecting. Pushing open the door, she stepped in. No one was home. Her characters who owned this house had given her permission to use the place while they were away on a trip, so she made herself at home, deciding to go to the kitchen and begin baking cookies to have on hand when her guest arrived.

Before anything, she smelled the cookies. Then Clarisse was baffled by the porch of that house. Her characters wished so hard for a house like that… She was a little timid, a little afraid… That was her first interview, and she was in another country…

Even the air felt different there. She knocked and waited, clasping her hands

Kelly came to the door and opened it, smiling. “Clarisse? Hi! Come on in. Would you like come cookies and something to drink?” She motioned to the table in the sunroom where the refreshments were.

“Uh… hello”, Clarisse smiled back, sucking the environment in… ” i would love some cookies, they smell so fine! And it begs for a tea!” She was hungry… she was astonished at he own words… it felt like she knew her, from somewhere else

“Fantastic! Well, the cookies are homemade and freshly baked.” They went to the table, and Kelly offered her a plate to have as many cookies as she wanted, and she pulled Clarisse some tea and handed it to her. Then Kelly took her seat across from her, and she smiled. “So, tell me about yourself. When did you first discovery your love for writing?”

She admired her cup of tea, briefly unaware of the question made. She sipped a little bit, got a few cookies and thought about her first words in a diary. “Well,” she said “at first and foremost I was a reader.. I started reading by the age of 3 and a half… and writing soon after. I always had a library at my disposal, as my mum is an avid reader also. But the urge of writing came when I was 12, and in love for the first time.” She ate a cookie. “Hm.. Delicious”

“So….you could say being in love prompted you to write more?” Kelly smiled, lifting her brows.

Clarisse blushed then put a hand over her lips as she grinned at the thought “You may say so…more about my utter shyness of saying anything to the guy,” She looked at the ceiling,and the floor. They seemed so enchanting. The right amount of old in the panelling

Kelly nodded, offering her an encouraging smile. “Ah yes, but writing offers a way to express yourself, and I’m glad it got you to write. I’d pry more into the whole relationship and what came of it, but I’ll be nice.” She smiled once more as she sat back in her chair. “So, what to you write these days?”

She took another sip, smiling. “A mix between fantasy and history. Moat of my ideas came from colorful dreams. I put witches, vampires and ghosts as a reality in a certain point in time. That way I can marry both my passions: history and the unknown.” She looked at the ring in her hand, with her blue topaz rocks. “I dreamed with that exact shade of blue in the hands of one character of mine,” she grinned, a little embarrassed by the confession. ” took me years to find it in real life “

“That’s pretty amazing. It’s lovely. Is there a significance to the ring in your story?” Kelly inquired, looking at the ring for a moment before focusing on Clarisse’s face

Clarisse extended her hands to show Kelly the rocks. “Yes. It was found next to a murder victim at a ball.” She thought about Kallisti, her first named character. “You know, before that story, all my characters were simply him and her”. She looked at her face. That ring did move by itself from Kallisti’s hand to the side of that corpse, all by himself in my dream. gave it a real significance then… it became a religion sign”

“Very interesting.” Kelly stared at the ring then up at Clarisse’s eyes and smiled. “So…tell me about this story. You mentioned witches, vampires, and ghosts…what is it exactly about? How do they all come together?” She furrowed her brows.

She smiled back. “Oh, I’ve confused you with my babbling. They are three separate stories. They never really mixed. Kallisti belongs to an half invented world based upon Malleus Malleficarum witch hunting in Europe, than you have the story of my Victorian vampire Victora.” She laughed at herself. “And then you have Agatha, my 1930s ghost. All really different, really They have something in common though….” She continued, absentminded, holding her cup of tea

“Well, for the record, I think a story with a vampire and a ghost would be rather awesome. Imagine the vampire being stuck with the ghost for all eternity.” Kelly wagged her head as she chuckled at the thought, but then she nodded as she came to understand better what Clarisse had meant. “Okay, so, which of these stories would you like to focus on?”

“So, as that Being Human series?” She chuckled. “Well, this is the dream house of Victoria, so I think we should let her story be the focus.” She took another cookie.

Kelly nodded. “Okay, tell me about this story.”

“Oh. GOD. I CAN eat an entire tray of these!”

Kelly laughed at this. “Well, you’re welcome to try if you want. No one has succeeded with that yet although I’ve never challenged them to it. But you can take them home with you if you’d like.”

“Could we walk around the house for that?” Clarisse asked, waiting as a child

Kelly nodded with a grand smile. “Of course. Let’s explore the house together.” And she rose to her feet. “So, tell me about your story.”

She stood at her feet, radiant. “The book is called Building Victoria. At its base is about a Brazilian girl who was turned into a vampire in her mid 20s during the French Revolution, spent almost a century in Victorian England, than goes to a “dark sleep” by 1899, only to awake in 2013 Curitiba Brasil” she has memory lapses” she followed Kelly through the house, caressing doors and paintings and imagining the furniture she would put there.

“So….how does she adapt to 2013?” Kelly asked as the meandered through the house.

“With much difficulty” she laughs. “She’s amazed by some changes, but is helped by a newly turned vampire guy to the ways of the century. She is specially amazed by how much people haven,t changed, though. But I should explain that there are 3 points of view to this story to build Victoria’s memories.”

Kelly nodded as she tried to keep up with the story. “So what inspired this idea?”

Clarisse stopped at what she thought was the drawing room and pondered. “The character was born as my first Vampire the Masquerade role playing character, but i wanted to explore two things mainly The changes in a long period of time, and an old look to our modern days… mental instability came as a plus.” She looked at the fine sofa at the drawing room and thought the place was missing a piano.

Kelly took all this in with a nod. “It sounds like quite a bit to work with.” She smiled at Clarisse but then noticed the clocked behind Clarisse and frowned. “An hour already? I can’t believe how quickly time has flown!” She shook her head and gave Clarisse an apologetic look. “So apparently our time is up, and here I feel like we were just getting started! I’m really sorry to have to cut this short. I hate doing that.” She frowned.

“Oh God, already?” She frowned. “I could really keep talking all night, but that’s ok, I’ll arrange a meeting with you and my Vic. Can I take some of these cookies home?” She said as they descended the stairs

“Yeah me too. I love chatting with writers and hearing about their stories! And of course, you may have the cookies!” Kelly went back to the sun room and gathered up the plate to give Clarisse then returned to her and offered them to her. “You take care, all right? Enjoy the cookies! Keep me posted on your stories, and keep writing.”

Clarisse took some cookies and nodded..” of course!” Then she looked embarrassed. How should she end this meeting, shaking hands?

Kelly chuckled. “Hug?” She embraced Clarisse then pulled back. “It was really nice meeting you. You take care of yourself.” And she opened the front door.

“Bye, see you soon..”


Clarisse A Alvarenga’s novel, ‘Construindo Victoria’ is available online. Be sure to follow her on social media!


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