Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb by Ally Malinenko

Welcome to Author Ally Malinenko

Ally Malinenko lives in Brooklyn where she wakes at an ungodly hour to write. She’s had poetry and stories published online and in print, including her first collection of poems, entitled The Wanting Bone (Six Gallery Press). Her second book of poems, Crashing to Earth, is forthcoming from Tainted Coffee Press.

Her children’s novel Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, the first part in a series, is forthcoming from Antenna Books.


If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

Definitely the past. And yes, because I’m obsessed with Shakespeare I would go back to the 1500’s in England and risk getting the plague just to sit next to him in a pub.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Coffee. But I don’t drink coffee. Strange, no?

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Yes. I have the second Lizzy Speare book which I am currently working on, another WIP about chess and time travel and alternate dimensions and doppelgangers and another WIP about the time I was in high school and fell off a waterfall.
Goals? Writer better. Write cleaner.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

I just like telling stories.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Readers reactions. It’s a dream come true to listen to people say what they like (and what they didn’t like) about something that for so long lived just in my head. It’s like having imaginary friends come to life and having everyone else get to meet them.

If you could jump in to a book and live in that world, which would it be?

It’s probably a toss-up between Narnia and Hogwarts.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Jonathan Muse’s theme song is Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Read. Read. Read. Read everything you can get your hands on. The only way to learn how to write is to read. And then when you do start writing, don’t give up. Just write. Keep writing. When it’s good keep writing. When it’s bad keep writing. When someone tells you it’s terrible and you should stop – keep writing. When someone tells you it’s perfect don’t change it, keep writing. One day you’ll wake up and you’ll have found your voice. But it takes work. Be ready to do the work.

If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why?
I would have to go with Poseidon because being the god of the sea sounds pretty sweet. Also you can breathe underwater like Aquaman!

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
From the age of 8 and up I wanted to be a writer. Prior to, it was a toss-up between a cowgirl and a dinosaur.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
All of them. Even the bad guys.

Hidden talent?

My DeNiro impression, though my husband and probably most people familiar with DeNiro would disagree.

What do you do in your free time?
Read, write, keep a journal, go on really long walks and mostly obsess about Doctor Who

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I didn’t. But I celebrated its publication with my husband over dinner.

Favorite places to travel?
Travel is one my favorite things in the world so I can’t pick one place. But I will say that my trip to London/Stratford-Upon-Avon and my trips to New Orleans are especially special. In the former, I saw Shakespeare’s grave. In the latter, I visit one of my favorite cities every other year.

How long do you generally let a story idea ‘marinate’ in your brain before you start the book?
Not long enough which usually leads to a lot of revision. Or too long which also leads to a lot of revision. Still working on that perfect balance.

If you could take over the world, would you?

Nope. That sounds like a ton of work and would definitely cut into my Doctor Who viewing.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?

With music. I listen to the classical station in NYC, WQXR every morning when I’m writing. It’s me and the DJ Jeff Spurgeon and two hours of some of the best music ever written.

What is your view on self publishing?

While that isn’t the route I went, I don’t think there is anything wrong with self-publishing. I think that just like mainstream publication, there’s a lot of great stuff out there and a lot of not so great. But I like that self-published books open up more choice to the reader.

Is there something specific you need as you write? Cup of coffee, pen, candy, certain room, etc.
I write in a big closet in my apartment. It’s a nice cozy nook with built in bookshelves and enough space to fit my writing desk, my fake Christmas tree and my comic book collection. And I always have a cup of tea at my side and often a loud mouthed tabby cat at my feet.

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb


…a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert!  It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anybody!)

Then Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are kidnapped, awakening in the faraway land of Manhattan. Their host is Jonathan Muse, whose job is to protect Lizzy from becoming the latest victim in a family feud going back nearly five hundred years.  Is that why the mysterious, eye patch-wearing Dmitri Marlowe is after her?(Spoiler Alert 2—he’s the last living descendant of Christopher Marlowe, a friend and rival of Shakespeare’s.  But keep it to yourself!) Is Marlowe after Lizzy’s family fortune rumored to be kept in the tomb of that bald guy with the goatee? Does he seek artistic immortality? Or Revenge (with a capital R) for a death long, long ago?

In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Lizzy and Sammy are thrust into the realm of the mythical and fantastic—from satyrs and Cyclopses to Middle Eastern cab drivers and Brooklyn hipsters in what is truly “an improbable fiction” as the Bard himself once wrote.

Giveaway Details
Signed Copy of Lizzy Speare Open to US only or Ebook open Internationally
Ends 2/13/13

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