Riya Anne Polcastro


Armed with a useless liberal arts degree, Riya Anne Polcastro is a student of human behavior and a conduit for raw words. Maybe it is because she learned to read and write in her second language before she learned to do the same in her first. Maybe it is because she was raised a missionary’s daughter at the same time that she was taught to question everything. Maybe there are a whole lot of reasons. Either way, her fascination with mental illness and human interaction is weaved into fiction with a language that is at times caressed and loved, at others beaten into submission.

A long time resident of the Pacific Northwest, Polcastro aims to join the ranks of great Oregon writers. Her first love is dark, edgy literary fiction but she also dabbles in young adult dystopia and non-fiction. While she has been heavily inspired by the genius of writers such as Palahniuk and Tolstoy, music has also played a huge role, with artists like Gnarles Barkley and Tool having a tremendous influence in her stories.

Polcastro enjoys an active lifestyle, including running, hiking, in-line skating, and a special brand of tennis lovingly called “Get it B*tch”. She also enjoys spending time with her family, making beer and getting away to British Columbia at every possible opportunity. Her favorite color is burnt orange, but it is hard to find so she wears a lot of red instead.

Smashwords Interview

What are you working on next?
Right now I am undoing all of the damage I did to my first (unpublished) novel in hopes of finding a traditional publisher. It is a super dark literary fiction entitled Jane. It started out at around 125,000 words and was subsequently cut down to under 90 thousand so I'm in the process of putting most of those words back and getting it ready for indie publication this fall. Jane. is a story about what it's like to go crazy. Willingly. And I really feel like without that extra meat the story and character development are lacking. Yes it will be one long novel but my beta readers were unanimous when they begged me not to cut anything and I am pretty confident in their judgement.

I also hope to have a middle grade novel out this fall. It is called Left Behind and it is based on the premise that there are others out there, but aliens are not who we think they are. They're the ones we left behind when we destroyed our first home planet. I am still trying to decide whether to release this under a different name as my literary work is very adult and I wouldn't want any young readers to pick up Suicide in Tiny Increments after reading it.
Who are your favorite authors?
My hands down favorite author / idol is Chuck Palahniuk. I also love Tolstoy, Christopher Moore, Ken Kesey, and Donald Ray Pollock.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Riya Anne Polcastro online


Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 116,800. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Transgressional fiction, Fiction » Urban
Somewhere out there is a line in the sand between sanity and insanity. Jane searches that line out, toys with it, revels in it, and then takes a running leap right over it.
Left Behind Book Two: Brave New Planet
Series: Left Behind Trilogy. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 46,870. Language: English. Published: July 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
After learning the truth about their home planet in The Forbidden Voyage, thirteen year old aliens Endirion and Harlo find themselves on the run and blasting through space in a stolen ship, hurtling toward a whole new world, a Brave New Planet,and a whole new adventure complete with new friends, disguises, a high speed chase, a heroic pitbull named Daisy, and much, much more.
Left Behind Book One: The Forbidden Voyage
Series: Left Behind Trilogy. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 44,150. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Children’s books » Dystopian
What would you do if everything you were taught about your home planet was a lie? What would you do if you were Left Behind? Join Endirion and Harlo, two alien boys determined to find out the truth, who set off on a dangerous journey that pits them against angry marshals, mysterious animals, mutant humanoids, and lands them in the belly of a Monstruwhale.
The Last Magdalene: A Novella
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,890. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Women's fiction » Feminist
Set in a dystopian future so obsessed with physical beauty that girls and women are kidnapped and dismembered for their perfect body parts, The Last Magdalene is a fast paced novella that is sure to give even the most jaded reader goose bumps.
The Truth about Cows: a Polcastro Reader
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 26,930. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
With everything from heart wrenching memoir to dark transgressive laughs and unexpected tales of noir, The Truth about Cows is a collection of shorts perfect for a quick read wherever you might need one.
Suicide in Tiny Increments
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 53,440. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Too scared to kill himself but also too scared to live, Daniel Long is a sad, pathetic man; a miserable martyr of depression. Trapped in his self-made ennui, the smartest decision he ever made was to take a hit out on his own life.

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Smashwords book reviews by Riya Anne Polcastro

  • 100 Nightmares on April 24, 2014

    I am not sure if I devoured 100 Nightmares or if it consumed me, but it happened in one sitting nonetheless. K.Z. Morano’s micro-fiction skills are a true page turner that kept me reading through the last story; holding my bladder while I cringed, gasped, and maybe even laughed a little too (so I have a sadistic sense of humor!) It remains to be seen which of Morano’s monsters will visit me in my nightmares tonight. (Did I mention the book is aptly titled?) What makes this collection of horror stories particularly disturbing is the way the author weaves the familiar with the seemingly unthinkable. Parents, children, twins in utero, she turns them all into believable, shudder invoking beasts. Come to think of it, I’ll be sleeping with one eye open tonight. Even better, Morano twists the fairy tales and nursery rhymes from childhood into spine tingling masterpieces. After experiencing her version, Hansel and Gretel will never read the same again. A haunting bed time story for sure! Accompanying these nightmares is a superb collection of horrifying art! Many of the pieces are mesmerizing, others are sure to make your skin crawl, and they all connect to the stories seamlessly. K.Z. Morano’s 100 Nightmares is not to be missed!