Aliana Zenon is a Brazilian national who enjoys writing about her homeland's culture. She is also a photographer who uses self-portraits as a medium of self-expression. Her name is a nom de plume, an artistic alter ego that helps inspire and motivate her art.
Afro-Brazilian religions are common themes in her fiction and photography books. They are mainly a celebration of the cult of Yemanja, the Goddess of the Sea.
Where did you grow up and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in Niteroi, a city across Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. When I was a child, some of my mother's neighbors were worshipers of Candomble and Umbanda, the two major Afro-Brazilian religions practiced in Brazil. Although none of us in my family attended their ceremonies, every once in a while we would hear stories of their practices. That was what gave me the inspiration to create my own Candomble and Umbanda scenes.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing a few years ago. I felt compelled to write about a story that has been with me since my childhood. Yemanja, the Goddess of the Sea has been my inspiration for a long time. I had a dream about her when I was eleven years old and that alone has inspired me to create pictures and literature about her.
What if the forces of evil could be bought and sold at a spirit market? “Calling From The Sea” is a novel of supernatural suspense set in the sophisticated world of fine arts and high fashion photography. Wonderful dramas unfold within the temples of Afro-Brazilian worship. Horrifying rituals take place among the tombstones of darkened cemeteries. By Aliana Zenon and M.P. Lombritto.