Alison Lee Meyer was born in Los Angeles and moved outside of New Orleans, Louisiana when she was young where she sort of attended Mandeville High. After finishing high school back in California, she moved living in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Staten Island, New York, and Waterbury, Connecticut before returning to Louisiana where she would settle and raise three sons.
She attended Southeastern Louisiana University where she obtained a BA in English Education, and an MA, in English with emphasis on creative writing. There she studied short fiction with Dr. Tim Gautreaux (Welding with Children, The Next Step in the Dance), and poetry with Dr. Jack Bedell, (At The Bone House) who is currently the editor of Louisiana Literature. She had been writing since 1980, but it was with Dr. Gautreaux and the students in his short fiction group that her writing took form and polish.
While she enjoyed teaching, grading essays was a labor intensive process that kept her from her own writing. She changed fields and obtained a master’s degree in Counselor Education. She works as a high school guidance counselor to pay the bills.
Five years ago, Alison moved to St. Petersburg, FL. ‘There is an enormous focus on the arts here. Writers from all over the country come to speak at local bookstores, pubs, and conferences. One of her favorite is the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading. ‘The festival is so up close and personal. I always get so much out of attending, even if it’s just a new title to read.’
In 2014, work on her first novel was accepted at the Writer’s In Paradise conference held annually at Eckerd College, co-founded by Sterling Watson and Dennis Lehane. “The conference was a wonderful experience. I worked in a novel writing group with Dr. Sterling Watson. He had a great deal of wonderful experience to share. I also got to ask questions and meet with talented authors: Tim O’Brien, Ann Hood, Andre Dubus III, Laura Lippman, and Les Standiford. That week was a tremendous time that has added to my writing.”
This past summer, she attended Ringling College Teacher Institute where she studied short fiction for a week with Dr. Ryan Van Cleave. “This was another positive experience. Ryan was complimentary and positive about my work.”
After completing her first novel, Onion Chapel, a work of fiction loosely based on her time during Hurricane Katrina, Alison chose to publish through Kindle. “Publishing is a difficult and time consuming business. I felt it was not the best use of my time when I could better spend it writing.”
In addition to Onion Chapel, she has written a book of short stories ‘A Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, and a book of poetry, ‘A World Within,’ and a children’s book: Max’s Amazing Adventures.’ She is currently completing her second novel, Love, or Something Like It, and will be working this summer on a YA project and starting another novel.