1. At this time in your life, are you exactly where you want to be in your writing endeavors?
- I will never be where I want to be in my writing endeavors. Hard work is always ahead no matter what one seeks to excel at. If we are truly committed to being the best we can be, we should die trying. You may say an athlete reaches the pinnacle of achievement when the adoration of the public or the amount of a contract exceeds all other athletes. But I am sure we cannot walk where he walks and we are never privy to his thoughts . . . for it is the greatest in their field who feel they could have been greater. I believe the best way to experience where I want to go as a writer is to read what other writers have written. The writer who I love the most comes to mind. Hemingway. His uphill battle to please himself as a writer wore him out—even though he was hailed as the greatest of American writers. For me, I will continue to make every novel I write better than the last. I will continue to follow my creative instinct to instill style that is not comparable. Tall order . . . lofty goals—but worthy of getting up every morning and trying.
2. What are your goals for the future in your journey of writing?
- I want to write the final book in the trilogy of Gone Away. The first book takes the reader on a journey into the infinite second. I love magical realism because it allows me to write reality but with twists that could be real to some yet magical to others. Magical realism tackles tough subjects with purpose. It is not just serious fantasy as some publishers have coined it. It is purposeful in its philosophical basis by exposing conditions that are currently degrading the idealism that is the cornerstone of our culture and civilization. Having said that, I want my novels to be entertaining, but not without powerful themes.
3. Who has given you the most inspiration in your writing journey?
- My inspiration comes from my upbringing—for some gene or genes that went bad and put the pain in me that cannot settle down or be contented with what is. I am always searching for answers to questions as a means to sustain a state of torment. Torment is what makes me write. Torment is what heightens my emotions, feeds my happiness, and wallows with my sadness. I am complete when I feel happiness that can only be appreciated to its fullest because beneath it lays my pain. This is what you will find in Gone Away. As one reviewer put it – Gone Away Into the Land is not a joy ride but rather a journey into the philosophical depths of what drives us as human beings.
4. In the early stages of writing, what did you find to be the most challenging?
- To write well. Writing is a craft. It requires concentration and practice. It needs to be revised over and over until the prose reads like poetry. Semantics and careful selection of words—dialog that instills pictures better than narrative ever could. That is what challenges me most. Behind that is the challenge to discipline myself to write everyday no matter what.
5. What would you consider to be the highlight of your writing career?
- I started a woodworking business over 30 years ago. I remember saying to myself, “I know I’ve made it when someone I do not know orders something from me and then after I have completed their project they feel comfortable, if not compelled, to give my name out to a friend or relative.” Such is getting reviews and comments from people from all over the country who have read my book and have felt strongly enough about their experience to write a review or write to me through the myriad of channels available today. I thank every one of them from the bottom of my heart.
And—thank you Geri for interviewing me. Enjoy the journey . . . and fear nothing because there is nothing to fear.
Comment # 1 - Hello Mr. Allen! I have just read your entire book! I did not see that ending coming . . . I cried. I even reread the ending to make sure I read it right the first time! After John's father hit him into the china cabinet I thought maybe he was a spirit but then the story started to unfold then I thought maybe not. I loved it...it was truly amazing! I’m going to read it again!!!
Comment # 2 - I could not put the book down! The details of the characters and the description of the land gave me a vivid imagination and really brought them to life! I didn't want the story to end! Well Done!
Tammy Bozarth-Chickelero December 28, 2010 at 3:22am