KASSTEN ALONSO is a novelist and book critic, but really, is a poet at heart. He was born in Seattle, Washington and grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and Eugene, Oregon. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a whole lot of student debt from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
Moving to Portland after college, Alonso worked for Powell’s Books and the public library. He sure seems to like books.
He wrote his first novel as his senior thesis project and immediately found a literary agent; “how easy this writing biz is,” he thought, until he discovered his agent was a con artist who stole a lot of hopeful writers’ money and was eventually arrested and sent to prison. An FBI agent involved in the case wrote a book about this nefarious literary agent’s exploits—and published. “How easy this writing biz is—for others,” Alonso thought.
It was tough going, but his fourth try at a novel, Core: a Romance, was published by Hawthorne Books in Portland, and was an Oregon Book Awards finalist in 2005.
Alonso has previously published in the Portland Mercury, Portland Monthly, the Oregonian, The Organ, and was a contributor to Citadel of the Spirit: Oregon's Sesquicentennial Anthology. He sure seems to like Oregon.
Alonso’s new novel, The Pet Thief, was published 15 years after he began work on it, in March 2013 by Fiction Collective 2.
He still lives and works in Portland. When he’s not at the day job, hanging out with his wife and daughter, or writing, he loves to study up on and obsess about finance and investing. While he is a member of the Author’s Guild and the National Book Critics’ Circle, he doesn’t drink coffee, sport tattoos, have a cell phone, nor Facebook or Twitter accounts. He does, however, have this website.