Alisha Rohde writes stories that weave together past and present, history and myth, seeking the magic in the ordinary. She has taught college-level English, done administrative work in a range of industries, and managed projects and licensing for a small video/multimedia company. Alisha has an MA and PhD in English Literature from The Ohio State University, and a BA in Theatre from Kalamazoo College. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. When not writing or reading, she enjoys knitting and gentle yoga. Alisha lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband and one chatty tuxedo cat.
A bit more about Alisha
In high school I wrote poems & stories instead of papers for English class—because my teachers let me—and I served as editor of the creative arts magazine. But in college I majored in Theatre because a) I’d been bitten by the theatre bug; b) with an English degree “all I could do was teach” (ha!); c) I loved the feeling of energy between audience and performers, making a creative vision come to life visually, emotionally, with sound. I tried out most of the production tasks: acting, design, stage management, finally directing and writing plays. I suspect at that point my professors sat back and said “ah, now we get it…she’s a writer.”
So when I applied to grad school, did I stay in theatre? Or study creative writing? No, I studied English literature. Partly I had already realized the late nights of professional theatre didn’t suit me as well—I’m more of a morning person. English promised a teaching assistantship to fund my studies, the chance to read very widely in both history and literature, and an illusion of stability. For a number of years I persuaded myself that a professorship would be just the thing; then I realized my creative writing was too important (and neglected) and the job market was, well, dire.
So I finished my degree and left, taking a range of jobs for a law firm, an architecture firm, a multimedia & video company. Teaching and stage management had prepared me pretty well for office administration and project management, as it turns out. The day jobs paid the bills, and once the academic burnout wore off, I began devoting more of my energy to writing and researching. I’ve never really lost the love of learning new things at all.
I love to read stories where I learn something: about a moment in history, a world I’ve never seen, a character I’ve just met, about myself. I love a fun story, a page-turner, but I also love a beautiful story, where the language makes the tale even more powerful. I love it when stories reach beyond the everyday world to capture something magical, even mythical. These are the kinds of stories I create to share with readers.