My ideal reader? Someone who believes fiction can make a difference.


My name is J.R. Alcyone, and I write historical and literary fiction novels for readers who believe that made-up stories can make a difference. I aim to write stories that are entertaining while also thought-provoking, touching, and (even if they are set in a different time) help us understand the world around us and create empathy. Some of the themes I’ve explored in my writing include friendship, mental illness, suicide, hope, redemption, forgiveness, and loss. Learn more about me or my books.


My novels include…

The award-winning, heart-wrenching, and thought-provoking Five Fathoms Beneath — a literary novel about suicide in the medical profession.


Five Fathoms Beneath is a superb piece of storytelling on a level with the best of John Irving. A richly layered novel that delves deeply into what it means to be the only child of a devoted mother and an impossibly gifted father, the writing is lyrical — achingly so in places — and the characterization is spot on, allowing each player to make the very most of his or her role in the drama as it unfolds. — Publisher’s Daily Review.


Published in October 2018, Five Fathoms Beneath is an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion recipient, a finalist for the 2019 Wishing Shelf Award, and a winner of the Literary Titan Gold Award.  Five Fathoms Beneath was also short-listed for the Eric Hoffer Award for best cover design. Learn more about Five Fathoms Beneath, watch the trailer, or read some of the novel’s glowing reviews. You can purchase Five Fathoms Beneath on Amazon. It’s available as either an eBook or as a paperback.


The extraordinary, touching, and historically-based The Stars That Govern Us–a novel about friendship, overcoming the odds, and doing the world some good.


Beautifully written and enthralling … Alcyone destigmatizes mental illness and shows that resilience in the face of adversity is the truest mark of character. – Brandon Beaber, M.D., author of Resilience in the Face of Multiple Sclerosis.

Published in December 2020, The Stars That Govern Us was a finalist for the 2020 Wishing Shelf Book Award in adult fiction.

Set in 1956 in a fictionalized version of Perth, Western Australia, The Stars That Govern Us tells the story of Alec Serafeim and Pete O’Neill, two young pediatric congenital heart surgeons who seek to build a heart-lung machine at their poor public hospital. Diving deep into the esoteric world of early pediatric congenital heart surgery, the story blends fact and imagination to tell the story of one of the 20th century’s greatest inventions–a machine to take the place of the human heart and lungs. As an #ownvoices novel, The Stars That Govern Us also features a main character with generalized anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. Learn more about the novel or watch the trailer. You can purchase The Stars That Govern Us on Amazon. It’s available as both an eBook for Kindle and other devices as well as in paperback.