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Alycia Marlayne Veronica Jude Ripley (born on April 3rd, 1978
) is an American author
Her first novel, Traveling With An Eggplant
, released in the fall of 2005, has gained a sort of cult following and is currently enjoying an interesting, unique success.
The novel is a contemporary re-imagining of Alice In Wonderland
and The Wizard of Oz
: a surreal world of music, magic, ghosts, and the state of modern romance.
Synopsis (taken from author website) : Music journalist Alison Olson finds herself wandering the college campus she attended years earlier.
As her memories resurface and she remembers a cryptic comment from her favorite singer, Elvis Costello
, she begins a story of three hardships: her rise through the ranks of a music magazine, a strange friendship with Seymour, an emotionally unavailable neuroscientist
, and the fact that she suffers from audiokinesis- a condition that allows songs and voices to broadcast inside her head.
The complicated relationship between Alison and Seymour examines the malleability of personality and forces Alison to confront a childhood monster in order to avoid a horrible tragedy.
Infused with a 1980’s
pop soundtrack, it is mediation on wish fulfillment, destiny, and heroism while proving the age-old adage that you sometimes have to lose yourself before you can find anything.
Ripley was born to Donald (a landscaper) and Maria (a nurse and nursing administrator) in Amherst, a suburb of Buffalo, New York
Ripley attended a Catholic grammar school, Mount Saint Joseph's Academy
She also attended Studio Arena Theatre
School where she was able to write and perform some of her early work while also performing in plays like Heidi
, and a gender-bending Equus
At the age of 6, her career started both in modeling for newspaper ads and writing contests which she often won, sometimes over students twice her age.Education
Ripley attended the all-girls Buffalo Seminary
High School, acting in plays and winning first place in a county-wide writing contest before entering Vassar College
in the fall of 1996
She remained there a year before transferring to the larger and more diverse Syracuse University
where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with degrees in English
She then received her MFA in Creative Writing from New York University
and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute
, receiving extensive training in method acting
While at NYU she completed most of Traveling With An Eggplant, and performed both some of her own work and various plays while studying at the Strasberg Institute.
Agents were wary of representing Traveling With An Eggplant both because of its surreal storyline and first-time author status.
Publishers wanted the rights to its film version, its copyright, and to be in creative control of the novel's marketing campaign.
Ripley turned down the offers, choosing instead to publish through Trafford Publishing, a Canadian
company located in British Columbia, that would allow her to keep both her copyright and creative control while also handing her the main marketing responsibilities.
Her unique and thought-provoking marketing campaign for the novel has been seen in cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Buffalo, Washington, DC, and several others, helping it become one of the more recent examples of a book gaining a very respectable following while released on an independent press.Selected Work
Traveling With An Eggplant
Winterphoenix (to be published in late 2006)
Jane Says (2007)
White On The Money (2007)External Links
The Official Alycia Ripley website