Interview with Nina D’Aleo, author of ‘The White List’

Nina D'Aleo

Recently, I read ‘The White List,’ an intriguing light dystopian novel.  It’s an enjoyable read set in an alternate timeline of America in a city called Toran-R. Chapter 11 has an agency in every corner of the world that watches and controls the third of the population that have a genetic mutation giving them uncontrollable strength called ‘Shaman Syndrome’.  Silver is the main character we follow through an intriguing adventure seeking The White List, a list of every person who has or will develop ‘Shaman Syndrome.’

I stated it was enjoyable and fun read and so is the author, Nina D’Aleo, who kindly let me interview her about herself and her new book.  Below are the answers to some questions I asked.

What inspired the idea for the ‘The White List’?

The White List started out as a completely different novel, save for the two main characters, and then through re-drafting morphed into what it is now. Inspiration came from all the usual suspects for secret agency/superpower stories –  James Bond, X-Men, Heroes, Batman/Superman/Spiderman (in all their variations and remakes) to name a few. I love the movie True Lies and I liked that Arnie was a secret agent but also had this incredibly normal private life. I like the idea that there could always be ‘other things’ going on beneath a seemingly ordinary surface. And as far as book inspirations go – there are heaps of urban fantasy books that I’ve read and loved, such as The Dresden Files and many others.

Did you always know you would continue the story past this book?

It was actually written as a standalone book. I wrote a final chapter to it that wrapped everything up but that ended up on the cutting room floor – which was fine by me 🙂

 What made you decide to make writing a career and when did you decide you could make it a career?

I don’t think I ever decided, as such, it was just something I did – which I guess is the same for many other writers.

 What are a few of your favorite books?

I just turned around and looked at my bookshelf to pick a few – but trying to narrow it down has given me an instant migraine – lol! I love so many books with a fierce book-hugging nerd passion that it’s impossible to say.

 Do your characters mirror people you know in reality?

Traits – yes – the whole person with no variation – no. Conversations with my family are often punctuated by ‘do not put this in your book.’ Most of the time I pretend not to hear them.

 In the next installment do you go into more description of Toran-R? How does it or doesn’t it effect the story arc?

Potentially – Toran-R is essentially an actual modern day city in our world so by itself it probably won’t effect the story arc – but you never know!

 What was the hardest part of writing this book for you?

Redraft, doubt, redraft, doubt, redraft… makes me crazy.

 How did you handle the editing process?  Was it harder for people closer to you to edit your work or for people you didn’t know as well?

Mum is always the first person who reads my work because she’s an English teacher and proofreads everything for me! But other than that, I don’t really like friends/family to read my stuff until it’s a done deal and released – it’s probably an insecurity thing. But so far the editing process on all my books has been fantastic. I’ve been lucky to have really professional editors who understood the books and the characters.

What can you tell us about the next installment of this series and if you have a tentative date it will be available to us?

There’s no date as yet. I guess I was feeling that if readers were interested in seeing more then I would definitely put pen to paper – and I’ve been throwing a few ideas around 🙂

What would you like your audience to know about you?

That’s a tough one… I’d like them to know that I really appreciate that they’re reading my books. And that I like chocolate. A lot.

What would you say to someone in your past that didn’t support you in writing?

Ohh that’s a really hard one too… I guess I’d just let the fact that I’m still writing speak for itself.


If you are interested in additional information about Nina D’Aleo her official biography is listed below.  Take a gander, it’s fun to see who came up with ‘The White List.”


Nina D’Aleo wrote her first book at age seven (a fantasy adventure about a girl named Tina and her flying horse). Due to most of the book being written with a feather dipped in water, no one else has ever read ‘Tina and White Beauty’. Many more dream worlds and illegible books followed. Nina blames early exposure to Middle-earth and Narnia for her general inability to stick to reality. She also blames her parents. And her brother.

Nina has completed degrees in creative writing and psychology. She currently lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, George, their two sons, Josef and Daniel, and two cats Mr Foofy and Gypsy. She spends most of her days playing with toys, saying things like ‘share’, ‘play gentle’, and ‘let’s eat our veggies’ and hearing things like ‘no’, ‘no way’ and ‘NEVER!’.

The Last City, Nina’s debut novel, was nominated for an Aurealis Award for best science fiction novel. Nina is the author of three novels including The Last City, its sequel The Forgotten City, and The White List.


About Steph

As C. S. Lewis said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” I am an indiscriminate reader. I can find a way to enjoy almost all books. I find they are like people – you can find something endearing in almost every one of them. I love to write reviews. I hope you enjoy them and find them useful. View all posts by Steph

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