Cape Cod Writers Center

Alyssa D. Metcalfe

Author Alyssa Metcalfe.

I have been making up stories and playing them as movies in my head for as long as I can remember—epic tales, with huge casts, rich in dialogue. I always assumed this pastime was abnormal, so I kept it secret. The penny slow to drop, it never dawned on me until recently that I might just be creative and should try putting these ideas on paper. It felt less an AHA moment than a DUH moment. Nevertheless, I have been writing every single day since.

I was born in the Inwood section of New York City in the early 1960s. My older sister and I were raised by our father, a British jazz pianist, and an American mother who worked as a secretary but never missed an opportunity to march against injustice. By the early 1970s, my family qualified for affordable artist housing in the West Village, where a lot of the adults shared the hands-off style of parenting that was so popular during that time. There was little supervision and less discipline. As a result, my new friends and I used the city as our playground, theater, and teacher. By the time we were in our mid-teens, we drank in bars and hung out with drug addicts, dealers, and criminals. It is through those experiences than most of my stories are inspired.