Interview with Maddie Marzola, Author of First Alien

26 Apr 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write First Alien?

It all started from a feeling. That quiet discomfort that comes from living a life that doesn’t quite fit with us when we care more about fulfilling other people’s expectations of what we should be rather than searching and understanding what we want for ourselves. Each character in First Alien is battling with that complex. Then one day I thought: “What could be an alien version of this?” and that’s how Gwyn was born.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of First Alien, what would they be?

Tough question. I hadn’t thought about that. Lucy’s soundtrack would have a whole David Bowie vibe to it. I’m thinking Life on Mars, in particular. Stephanie would have a more modern indie rock flavour. I can see her walking the streets with Arctic Monkeys going in the background. It’s a bit harder for Gwyn, but I can say I’ve listened to a lot of Muse while writing her.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I’m one of those book junkies who reads everything and anything, but I do have a slight preference for magical realism, as well as science fiction. I revel in the impossible.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

The MaddAddam trilogy series by Margaret Atwood is one (or three) I’m particularly looking forward to, together with three gems that caught my eye on my last trip to the bookstore: Bestiary by K-Ming Chang; She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan; and The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natzukawa.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Any of the face-to-face between Stephanie and Lucy. Their dynamic is fascinating to explore in dialogue.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Not much of a habit, but I do have a favourite mug, whenever I write at home. It has red cats printed all over it and it says “Coffee is Meow best friend”.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

It’s actually a line from a comic book. “Always get up. If you always get up, then it’s never over.” I like to think Stephanie carries the same energy in First Alien.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

I’d like readers to remember that it’s never too late to fight, and never too late to make things right. Stand up and show up. For yourself, if not for anyone else.


Maddie Marzola is the author of the new book First Alien

Connect with Maddie Marzola

Author Site



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