April 27, 2011

Made It Moment: Alison DeLuca

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 9:28 pm

The Night Watchman Express
I am thrilled to welcome Alison DeLuca to the blog today. First of all, Alison is published in one of the bravest of brave new world ways I’ve seen–a collaborative effort between some extremely talented people. I believe that J Darroll Hall’s Fantasy Island Book Publishing is a radical concept that could revolutionize parts of the industry.

Second, I met Alison (and J) through the contest Alison mentions in her post, and I agree that this contest’s profoundest value (since I also didn’t get very far in it) was its wonderful contestants, some friends of mine now for years.

Finally, Alison wins this year’s award for looking younger than she is. You’ll have to read on to discover by exactly how much :) While you do, check out her terrific book cover and book.

It’s a brave new world.

Alison DeLuca

My current success sprang from failure. A few months ago I got an email from CreateSpace describing their ABNA contest. The top prize was a publishing contract with Penguin.

I have always had a thing for Penguin books. I loved their bindings, especially the antique paperbacks – the orange and white front, the titles in plain black font, and the penguin on the spine. When I read about the contest, I jumped right in with my manuscript, naively expecting to advance to at least the second round.

Well, that didn’t happen. I was disappointed when I was “pitched on my pitch,” to quote fellow participants, but while I was writing that all-important three hundred words of pitch, I met some wonderful, interesting people on the ABNA discussion boards. That is when things actually started to happen for me and my book, The Night Watchman Express. J Darroll Hall of Fantasy Island Book Publishing offered to put the book on Kindle for me and act as my publisher and agent. I squeezed my eyes tight shut, and took my most exhilarating “leap of faith” to date.

I wrote my book a year ago. It started as a trilogy, but I compiled it as a single volume for the ABNA contest and for epublishing to Kindle. It is a steampunk fantasy of a girl in Edwardian England who discovers a quantum computer, thus setting off a series of adventures. There are tropical islands, a dethroned princess, an underground laboratory, and some villains, who were a lot of fun to create.

There isn’t any sex or gory violence. I just seem to work naturally within a G rating.

When I saw my manuscript on sale on Amazon, I felt nervous, excited, and overwhelmed with the thought that somewhere, out there, people were actually READING WHAT I WROTE.

FIP started gaining steam as well as more writers signed on to publish with them, and J Darroll asked me to help edit some titles for the YA / Fantasy end of the business. From being a stay-at-home-mom who just scribbled whenever possible, I evolved into a published author and editor with a slush pile. Life, which had always been hectic, suddenly became downright chaotic.

I still wonder what actually lit the fire under my Night Watchman caboose. Was it just the attention from FIP? Or was it also the fact that I am fifty and can’t say any longer, “Oh, I’ll publish books one day?”

Alison DeLuca is a writer of urban fantasy for young adults. She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. As a teacher she taught every grade level in every kind of school district possible. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.


  1. As Robert Frost said, “way leads on to way.” But we go nowhere if we don’t take that huge first step.

    Comment by Carolyn J. Rose — April 27, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  2. We are emerging writers in an exciting time.


    Comment by Peg Brantley — April 27, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  3. Congratulations. Sometimes entering a contest is a win all by itself. Fantasy Island? I’ll check it out.

    Comment by Warren — April 27, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

  4. Congratulations! I really do think that this is the future of publishing. :D I keep hearing more and more about small-presses making it. If the used bookstores and the presses don’t over extend themselves… I think that we can really keep things rolling.
    I think that Indie Authors now make up at least half of my To-Be-Read list. ;) Speaking of which… I’ve got to get myself en eReader so I can keep up with all the new eBooks–including yours, Jenny! :D

    Comment by Becky — April 27, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

  5. Allie, How is it possible that you’re 50! Seriously, I thought you were younger than me. I already told you I loved the book but I’ll tell you again where more people can read it! I read and thoroughly enjoyed The Night Watchmen Express!


    Comment by Johanna — April 27, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

  6. That is such a wonderful and inspiring story!

    Comment by Judy — April 28, 2011 @ 7:40 am

  7. I love that quote, Carolyn! And Peg–I couldn’t agree more (or less as my 7 year old says). Exciting times indeed. Nice to see you, Warren–do check FIBP out. Becky, so nice to see you and what an inspired and inspiring bookseller you are! What you care about is great books–and I have a feeling Calico Books will be there for readers for a long, long time–I plan to visit it myself one of these days before too long :) Thank you for reading my short–love to know what you think. Hi Judy! And Johanna-right???

    Comment by jenny — April 28, 2011 @ 7:52 am

  8. This is an interesting new way to go. Good luck.


    Comment by Arthur Levine — April 28, 2011 @ 8:00 am

  9. How great! Did Fantasy Island see your ABNA pitch, or find you another way? I prefer G ratings too. Kudos to you!

    Comment by Savvy — April 28, 2011 @ 8:19 am

  10. Terrific Alison! Good luck – and lots of success with your writing!
    Best wishes – also to Jenny of course,

    Comment by Andre — April 28, 2011 @ 8:53 am

  11. Having read ‘The Night Watchman Express’ I can only say that I am buying it for my 3 older granddaughters for Christmas! This book will be a classic I think; They are over 18, the older girls will love the adventure and won’t be ‘ewww-ed’ out by adult passages. I will hold on to my copies for the younger children; but my sister is dying to read it also!

    Comment by Connie J Jasperson — April 28, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  12. Bravo, Allison! This article is refreshingly forthright and very encouraging to other writers. Congratulations!

    Teresa Cypher

    Comment by Teresa Cypher — April 28, 2011 @ 9:42 am

  13. Oh, great to read this! Thank you, Jenny for hosting, and it is interesting to hear your story, Allison. I have tunnel vision and somehow hadn’t seen this new publisher, though I’ve met J Darrol and seen some of the book covers. I wish you and all the authors luck!

    Comment by Hart — April 28, 2011 @ 10:18 am

  14. Well done Alison,

    May I wish you every success.

    Comment by Caroline — April 28, 2011 @ 10:19 am

  15. Congratulations, Allie. I loved “The Night Watchman Express” and I am sure it will make its mark on the literary world. For everything there is a season. . . and I know that yours is now. You write beautifully and your creative mind is evident with every word, phrase, and thought. Moreso, I feel honored to have come to know you as a person. I know that your work will shine even brighter in the future as readers get to know you as I have. I look forward to watching you grow into your destiny as one of the most prolific women writers of the Century.

    Comment by Clu Gallagher — April 28, 2011 @ 10:21 am

  16. Congratulations, Alison! I found the ABNA contest to be nerve fraying in a good way. I didn’t make it to the next cut either, but it got me to get off my butt and self-publish instead of waiting around for someone to pick it up. So congratulations again for a job well done.

    Comment by Cypher Lx — April 28, 2011 @ 10:29 am

  17. Thanks Jenny for this lovely blog, and congratulations Allison for being a published author. Best wishes from Canada.

    Comment by Giora — April 28, 2011 @ 10:30 am

  18. Wow–congratulations! My son has a Kindle–your book will be getting downloaded today!

    Comment by April Moore — April 28, 2011 @ 10:35 am

  19. Allie, We are soooooo proud of you! JD and I don’t know what we would do without you!!

    Thank you Jenny for the blog!

    Comment by Pame — April 28, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  20. Great story Ali!!!

    Comment by sandy — April 28, 2011 @ 11:39 am

  21. Gosh – I am overwhelmed by all the lovely comments. You would thing that a writer could come up with something more original, but all I can say is – thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Comment by Alison DeLuca — April 28, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  22. I’m really enjoying The Night Watchman Express, and am looking forward avidly to more from you, Alison!

    Also great to see you featured in this blog, and to read some more about the “back story”, as it were. Thanks for that, Alison and Jenny both!

    Comment by Lisa — April 28, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  23. The Night Watchman Express was a great book! Anyone who hasn’t read it should check it out.

    Comment by Gary — April 28, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  24. Wonderful feature on Alison and great blog!

    Comment by Kara — April 28, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

  25. Great interview Jennifer and Alison! I’ve just started reading The Night Watchman Express and it’s fantastic so far – loving your work!

    Comment by Claire Chilton — April 30, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

  26. Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for your comments. I’ve just visited your site. It’s very informative and I am now a follower. I noticed you are also a reader of Konrath’s excellent blog! Ditto.


    Comment by Jodie Brownlee — May 16, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  27. This blog is very helpful for me to know Alison Deluca and her book and her struggle and triumphant to be a writer.

    Comment by Lisa Zhang Wharton — July 28, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress