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From SpongeBob to blood ... author matures in Sarasota

Local author Alyssa DiCarlo explores her love of writing and publishes her first novel.

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Now a published author at 21, Palm Aire's Alyssa DiCarlo has an interesting line on her website that says she "dreams of sharing the deepest depths of her mind with all those interested in her intriguing tales."

But she didn't have to plunge to her deepest depths to come up with her very first story idea when she was 7 years old.

During a Girl Scouts sleepover at Kinnan Elementary, one of the tasks was to combine with a friend to write a short story. With her partner, she tried to come up with an idea without much success. Then Alyssa looked downed at her computer's mousepad, which had a picture of SpongeBob SquarePants on it.

Her story? "It was SpongeBob SquarePants goes to Paris," she said of that first story. "We were in second grade, and it was horrible. Two paragraphs and super silly.

"But it was a spark."

Although she was just 7, DiCarlo said she was hooked on writing.

She continued thinking about story ideas, and eventually wrote her first 100-page book, called 'Leaves,"  when she was 11. It was never published.

"Catatonic" is about a woman with catatonic schizophrenia and her relationship with a notorious, blood-thirsty serial killer.

"It was about a summer camp, and was loosely based on the movie 'Holes,'" she said. "It's on my computer still."

All her work as an author has been, indeed, saved. Whether it ever will be shared with an audience, she doesn't know.

What is known is that she is sharing "Catatonic," her debut (published) novel she describes as "an exciting adventure about a woman with catatonic schizophrenia and a notorious, blood-thirsty serial killer."

She tells her audience to get ready for an abundance of twists, turns, and "bright, bubbling blood."

"It's a psychological thrilled about a woman, Adelaide Lunch, who is living in a sanatarium," DiCarlo explained. "A serial killer comes to the sanatarium and she gets to know him. She opens up to him. It is based in Chicago in 2008."

It was a change of pace in DiCarlo's writing.

She was into writing romantic stories when she was younger because — "I was a teenager."

As she became an upperclassman at Braden River High School, eventually graduating in 2017, she started to follow her love of psychology. She figures a lot of her potential readers in their 20s and 30s enjoy the thriller aspect or "the creepy stuff" as she calls it.

The book has been for sale on Amazon for three months and she has sold more than 250 copies, and being self-published, that pleases her.

"It has been an adventure," she said. "It has been a lot of work (426 pages and 152,000 words), but it pays off. This will give me experience and I have met a lot of other new writers. Social media has been big. I've just been getting my feet in the water and know I now what this entails."

Besides her first published book, it has been an exciting time for DiCarlo for other reasons. Her husband, Marine Sgt. Tyler DiCarlo, just finished his five-year enlistment in Yuma, Ariz. They were high school sweethearts.

"I met my husband as a sophomore," she said. "He has been super supportive (of her writing)."

When her husband returns home, they will pursue employment opportunities so she isn't sure where she will be living down the road. She hopes to be a kindergarten teacher, although she would love to be a full-time author if she can sell enough books.

If someone thinks enough of one of her books to make it into a movie, that would be "awesome."

"I try not to have such high expectations," she said. "My parents (Christine and Rich Page) joke about when the movie is coming out. But I don't care if it comes to anything. I just want to share (her writing) with the world."

She is now working on her next novel, and would only say it is a "post apocalyptic thriller."

"I've always loved Halloween horror nights," she said.

To find out more about DiCarlo and her writing, visit her website


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