Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Shaun Allan Interview
4/22/2012 7:17:22 AM
[ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]
Debut author Shaun Allan discusses his works and the writing life!
For todayís guest blog, Iíd like to introduce you to a very talented author with a great novel to share, Shaun Allan. Iíd like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Shaun. What do you enjoy doing when youíre not writing?
SA: Hi Lorna. Thanks very much for this opportunity. Thanks even more so for the talented author bit. Of course youíre not wrong but itís nice to be told, lol.
What do I enjoy doing when Iím not writing? Well, to be honest I have so little time for actual writing, itís nice to BE putting the words down. I have such a busy work life and home life that being an author is something I have to squeeze in when I can. Perhaps thatís why it took me ten years to complete Sin. I do, though I donít know if I should admit to this, enjoy my job, but I LOVE my family life. I have an amazing fiancťe and two wonderful daughters (one only 10 months old) and they take up almost all my time. But thatís ok, as our house is constantly filled with laughter.
Outside of that, I am SUCH a gadget geek, much to the head shaking of my fiancťe, and I really enjoy films and music. I like all sorts of both Ė I canít wait for the Avengers, Batman and Men in Black III this year, but alsoÖ ermÖ had something in my eye watching the Notebook the other night. With music, weíre big 80s fans (though my fiancťe is 13 years younger than me, she still likes the music that was Ďmy eraí), and saw Cyndi Lauper last year (can still belt Ďem out) and Howard Jones last week (still good). Lost Prophets is this weekend and we saw Snow Patrol in February Ė easily the best concert Iíve been to.
I understand that youíve been writing stories all your life. Why did you wait until last year to publish your first full-length novel?
SA: I certainly have been writing since being a small child. I suppose I tend to be undisciplined when writing. I write as the story takes me, so can write a whole load of words in one story, then suddenly begin another or pick up an older one. With Sin, it started off as a short story. I thought that was it and it was finished, but now that short story is the prologue to the book and Sin even has his own blog and Twitter account.
I sat down sometime in November to write some of Mortal Sin (the sequel) and a thousand words later realized I was finding out how Rudolph saved Christmas in a story that resulted in a follow up to my ZitsíníBits childrenís collection. With Sin, I kept writing bits here and there as and when I could Ė sometimes 200 words a week, in one place (bad place) not a single word in a year. I have an old school friend who now lives in California who was an avid follower and would never let me leave it too long before he had another installment. It was quite funny when he came over to the UK at Christmas and shoved two copies of my book under my nose in a busy restaurant to sign!
In the middle of all this, Iíd also written 30,000 words of a childrenís book, Puddlebrain, and promptly forgot about it as Sin progressed. Iíve since picked that back up and am trying to finish it before working on Sinís sequel.
So, really, last year was when Sin was finally finished. My fiancťe took me off to Luxor in Egypt the September before, somewhere Iíve wanted to go since being a child, and I managed Ė in amongst the Valley of the Kings etc. Ė to write 15,000 words. I was SO in the zone and she enjoyed watching me fill notebook after notebook. I could finally see the end of the book and completed it in the February Ė though typing up those 15,000 words was a beast of a job!
Iíve had the opportunity to read an excerpt from your debut novel, Sin and I donít think Iíll toss another coin again without thinking about this book! ;-) What was the inspiration behind this story and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Sin?
SA: My mind tends to make odd leaps Ė as you might be aware reading Sin. The inspiration had nothing to do with the subject of the book. Being a gadget geek and interested in science and so on, Iíve long had a fascination with black holes. The Singularity Point is the point at which the laws of space and time cease to exist (more or less), and Iíd had an email address along those lines. I started to think of the ĎSiní part of Singularity and then, simply, wrote ďNameís Sin.Ē That was how the book started. I didnít know where it was going, or what was going to happen. I suddenly had a character and his name was Sin.
Sin, the person, just wants to be an ordinary guy. For most of his life he was, too. He didnít have a good relationship with his parents (they DID name him Sin, after all), his sister committed suicide, but he took it on the chin and tried to make these things make him a better person. Then, one day, he picks up a coin, flips it, and sees a bus drive into a post office.
Thus begins his decent into NOT being just the ordinary guy he wanted to be. Extraordinary things happen, things that he has no control of. He hates this. He doesnít want this curse, but he canít do anything about it. He wants to do right but canít help do wrong.
Sin is very much a part of me. He has my tangential thoughts (which do end up relevant!), my sometimes offbeat sense of humour, which is his defense against the things that are happening. I, myself, have tried to make sure that some of the rough spots Iíve had have turned to my advantage rather than knocking me back. I donít think I would change anything, if I could live my life again, as itís all made me the person I am today Ė and I donít think Iíve turned out too bad. Sin is like that, and he uses humour to filter out the horrors he endures.
Iíve had readers telling me that they end up laughing while something really bad is happening. Theyíve cried at other points, and, though they donít particularly like Sin at the beginning, they canít help but warm to him and sympathize with his plight.
Without giving away too much, can you reveal whatís in store for the readers when they crack open Sin?
SA: A rollercoaster ride, is how one reviewer described it. Dark and disturbing (and amazing) is another. Original and completely new. This is how other people describe Sin. I think youíre in for something unexpected. It reached number 9 in horror on Amazon and is number 1 in psychological thriller, but I think itís somewhere in between. It has a Ďquiet horrorí as youíre seeing the bad things through Sinís eyes, and he deals with them in a very matter-of-fact way, with tongue in cheek humour, to stop it driving him mad. After all, just because he incarcerates himself in a mental asylum, it doesnít necessarily mean heís crazy.
Youíll have to make your own mind up as to whether heís not.
Number 1 in psychological thrillers? That is excellent! Now, becoming a published author is truly a difficult road to travel, so Iím always pleased when a fellow writer is plucked from relative obscurity to land a book deal. Can you share that moment when you sold your story to Fantasy Island Book Publishing?
SA: I was at work, actually. I was emailing an author friend whoíd read and loved Sin and he recommended it to his publisher. The publisher agreed and wanted to take me on board.
Itís very difficult to be sitting at your desk working, and trying to keep the bouncing feeling you have locked inside!
What is the most important lesson youíve learned on the road to publication?
SA: Writing the book Ė even one that takes ten years, is only a small part of the Ďjobí. You need to put a lot of work and effort into promoting yourself.
Saying that, I have to say itís worth it. I have met SO many lovely people since I published. Iíve had amazing reviews and have made some firm friends Ė a lot of whom are in other countries.
Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
SA: A pantser, definitely. I have sometimes thought I should plan my stories out. I should do character outlines and figure out the main plot aspects. Unfortunately, I canít. As you can see from Mortal Sin becoming Rudolph Saves Christmas, things donít work out as planned. I donít know, a lot of the time, what is going to happen. I hope that the fact that Iím surprised by situations, the reader might be too.
Itís much the same with Sinís blog. Itís his diary from within his asylum and usually I just have the starting sentence and nothing more. I donít know where itís going to go, whether a new character will be introduced or anything. I find out as I write, and I really enjoy that. Sometimes the blog is based around a particular event (Christmas, Valentineís Day etc.) or Iím writing an entry to help promote another authorís book, so their character becomes a resident, but even then, I donít know how the tale will wag.
At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writerís block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
SA: Itís not quite like that. I donít see a wall, or struggle. I have an urge to write or I donít. At the moment, and for a while, the urge has been almost overpowering. Frustratingly so, at times. I wrote a guest post on this very subject (my guest posts are on my web site). For a whole year, a difficult time, I had nothing. Now I donít force it. I let it come when itís ready, confident that it will. At the very least, I have the blog entries to write, which are only 300-500 words or so, and they are all individual so if a story isnít flowing, I can write a blog entry on something completely different.
Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
SA: Over the years, my tastes have changed. I started out reading Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. I moved on to fantasy with Terry Brooks and David Eddings and then Dean Koontz and Stephen King grabbed my attention. Iím luck and humbled that Sin has been compared to both King and Koontz (and even Hitchcock!). Iím interested in science and the paranormal anyway, but I do write various genres. I have humour, science fiction, horror and childrenís. Sin could quite easily have become a childrenís book (well, maybe not with that title) but the story doesnít start out being a specific genre. It sort of grows into it.
What are you reading now, and how did this particular book make it onto your to-read list?
SA: I have a couple of Stephen King books waiting to be read, but they took a back seat to Alison DeLucaís steampunk novels. Iíd never tried a steampunk book before, but I was hooked by these. I am currently 75% of the way through my very first autobiography. Michael McIntyre is a very funny comedian, and Iím a big fan. My fiancťe bought me his book for Christmas and inside was a pair of tickets to see him later this year.
What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out into other genres? Can your fans expect a sequel to Sin in the near future?
SA: HmmmÖ I try not to look ahead too much. I hope people are still enjoying Sin. In fact, I hope to follow in your footsteps and have Sin become a movie! As for other genres, I do dip in to them, as Iíve said, but I think my genre of preference is Weird. All of my stories, regardless of specific genre, have an aspect of Ďout of the ordinary.í
A sequel to Sin is already started, the first chapters being at the end of the print edition (and soon the Kindle version). I canít give anything away as I have no idea what is going to happen. Hopefully Iíll find out soon!
Thank you so much for take time from your hectic schedule to discuss your novel and your writing experience, Shaun!
For more information about Shaun Allan and his literary works, check out:
Sinís blog: http://singularityspoint.blogspot.com
Follow Shaun on Twitter: .singularityspnt (Sin is on .SinNotSinful)
Where to buy the book: The autographed print copies (with bookmark) are available from my website. The print version can also be purchased from my publisher: http://www.fantasyislandbookpublishing.com and from Amazon at http://amzn.to/SinPBUS and http://amzn.to/PBUK
The eBook is available, again, from Fantasy Island, and from Amazon at http://amzn.to/SinEBUS and http://amzn.to/SinEBUK
Post a Comment
More Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Carlie Cullen Interview - Saturday, August 24, 2013
Kit Grindstaff Interview - Saturday, August 10, 2013
Shannon MacLeod Interview - Saturday, August 03, 2013
Brian Rathbone Interview - Saturday, July 27, 2013
Graeme Ing Interview - Saturday, July 20, 2013
Alison DeLuca Interview - Saturday, July 13, 2013
Christine Nolfi Interview - Saturday, July 06, 2013
Sara Furlong-Burr Interview - Saturday, June 29, 2013
Tamela Buhrke Interview - Saturday, June 22, 2013
Heidi Garrett Interview - Saturday, June 15, 2013
Loren Kleinman Interview - Saturday, June 08, 2013
Leanne Shirtliffe Interview - Saturday, June 01, 2013
Hannah Fielding Interview - Saturday, May 25, 2013
Erica Lucke Dean Interview - Saturday, May 18, 2013
Amber Lea Easton Interview - Sunday, May 12, 2013
Ruth Nestvold Interview - Saturday, May 04, 2013
Rose Garcia Interview - Saturday, April 20, 2013
Robert Pruneda Interview - Saturday, April 13, 2013
Lance Burson Interview - Saturday, April 06, 2013
Rachel Thompson Interview: - Saturday, March 23, 2013
Samantha Martin Interview - Saturday, March 16, 2013
Lisette Brodey Interview - Saturday, March 09, 2013
Jack Whyte Interview Part Two - Saturday, March 02, 2013
Jack Whyte Interview Part One - Saturday, February 23, 2013
Molly Greene Interview - Saturday, February 16, 2013
Dionne Lister Interview - Saturday, February 09, 2013
Anita Reynolds MacArthur Interview: - Saturday, February 02, 2013
Alicia Kat Dillman Interview - Saturday, January 26, 2013
John Gregory Hancock Interview - Saturday, January 19, 2013
Adriana Ryan Interview - Saturday, January 12, 2013
Jennifer McConnel Interview - Friday, January 04, 2013
S.M. Boyce Interview - Saturday, December 15, 2012
James Tallett Interview - Saturday, December 08, 2012
Melissa McPhail Interview - Saturday, December 01, 2012
Roz Morris Interview - Sunday, November 18, 2012
Tania Johansson Interview - Saturday, November 10, 2012
Dale Ivan Smith Interview - Sunday, November 04, 2012
Respect Your Readers - Sunday, October 28, 2012
Greta van der Rol Interview - Sunday, October 21, 2012
Justin Bog Interview - Saturday, October 13, 2012
Thanksgiving Day: Gratitude - Saturday, October 06, 2012
Steena Holmes Interview - Saturday, September 29, 2012
Kenneth Hoss Interview - Saturday, September 22, 2012
Patty Jansen Interview - Saturday, September 15, 2012
Joshua E. Bigger Interview - Saturday, September 08, 2012
Joyce Damask Interview - Saturday, September 01, 2012
Marketing & Twitter - Saturday, August 25, 2012
Henry Herz Interview - Saturday, August 18, 2012
Kristin Bair O'Keeffe Interview - Sunday, August 12, 2012
William Linde Interview - Saturday, August 04, 2012
Micheal Rivers Interview - Saturday, July 21, 2012
Robert James Russell Interview - Saturday, July 14, 2012
Becka Sutton Interview - Saturday, July 07, 2012
Canadian Authors Feature - Saturday, June 30, 2012
Gini Koch Interview - Sunday, June 17, 2012
M. Pax Interview - Saturday, June 09, 2012
Karina Halle Interview - Saturday, June 02, 2012
Novice Writing Mistakes - Sunday, May 27, 2012
Pippa Jay Interview - Sunday, May 20, 2012
Glenn Starkey Interview - Saturday, May 12, 2012
Maurice G. Nicholson Interview - Saturday, May 05, 2012
How I Select Followers on Twitter - Saturday, April 28, 2012
Shaun Allan Interview - Sunday, April 22, 2012
Darlene Foster Interview - Saturday, April 14, 2012
Kim Aleksander Interview - Saturday, April 07, 2012
Hope Collier Interview - Saturday, March 31, 2012
John Kolsonís Writeado: A New Online Writing Tool - Saturday, March 24, 2012
Jeff Shanley Interview - Saturday, March 17, 2012
Stephen England Interview - Saturday, March 10, 2012
Everett Powers Interview - Saturday, March 03, 2012
The Kindle Prime Experiment - Saturday, February 25, 2012
Edward Lazellari Interview - Saturday, February 18, 2012
Connie J. Jasperson Interview - Saturday, February 11, 2012
Sally Dubats - Saturday, February 04, 2012
Selecting Writers For My Author Feature - Sunday, January 29, 2012
Tarek Refaat Interview - Sunday, January 22, 2012
Toby Neal Interview: - Saturday, January 14, 2012
Thomas A. Knight Interview - Sunday, January 08, 2012
Linda Poitevin Interview - Sunday, January 01, 2012
2011: A Year in Review - Monday, December 26, 2011
Angeline Kace Interview - Sunday, December 18, 2011
Eden Baylee Interview - Saturday, December 10, 2011
Cyndi Tefft Interview - Saturday, December 03, 2011
The Conference Experience - Sunday, November 27, 2011
A.R. Silverberry Interview - Sunday, November 20, 2011
Suzy Turner Interview - Sunday, November 13, 2011
Patti Roberts Interview - Sunday, November 06, 2011
Raine Thomas Interview - Sunday, October 23, 2011
LK Gardner-Griffie Interview - Saturday, October 15, 2011
Jonathan Gould Interview - Saturday, October 08, 2011
Brian Rathbone Interview - Saturday, October 01, 2011
Matthew Merrick Interview - Sunday, September 25, 2011
Dean Lappi Interview - Saturday, September 17, 2011
J.T. Ellison Interview - Sunday, September 11, 2011
Carolyn Arnold Interview - Sunday, September 04, 2011
John Kolson Interview - Sunday, August 21, 2011
Megan Curd Interview - Saturday, August 06, 2011
Elena Aitken - Sunday, July 31, 2011
When Book Reviews are MisleadingÖ - Sunday, July 24, 2011
Deborah Riley-Magnus - Saturday, July 16, 2011
Jessica Subject Interview - Sunday, July 10, 2011
J. Alexander Greenwood Interview: - Sunday, July 03, 2011
When Social Networking is no so social... - Monday, June 27, 2011
Dannie C. Hill - Monday, June 20, 2011
Shay Fabbro Interview - Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Genevieve P. Ching Interview - Monday, June 06, 2011
Al Boudreau Interview - Monday, May 30, 2011
Jennifer Hudock Interview - Monday, May 23, 2011
Paul Mansfield Keefe Interview - Monday, May 16, 2011
Rusty Fischer Interview - Monday, May 09, 2011
Jason McIntyre Interview - Monday, May 02, 2011
Emlyn Chand & Novel Publicity - Monday, April 25, 2011
Steve Umstead Interview - Monday, April 18, 2011
John Betcher Interview - Monday, April 11, 2011
Kimberly Kinrade Interview - Monday, April 04, 2011
Inspiration & Where You Find It - Monday, March 28, 2011
Christie Yant - Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Amy J. Rose David Interview - Monday, March 14, 2011
George H. Sirois Interview - Monday, March 07, 2011
Linda Nagata Interview - Monday, February 28, 2011
Adventures in Editing or... Is it Done Yet? - Monday, February 21, 2011
Greg Messel Interview - Monday, February 14, 2011
Jen Wylie Interview - Monday, February 07, 2011
Katie M. John Interview - Monday, January 31, 2011
How Do You Measure Success: - Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Avery Tingle Interview - Monday, January 17, 2011
Kristie Cook Interview - Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Ren Cummins - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
A Wish For the New Year - Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Trish Wolfe Interview - Monday, December 20, 2010
Jesi Lea Ryan Interview - Monday, December 13, 2010
Cat Connor Interview - Monday, December 06, 2010
How to Make a Story Ring True - Monday, November 29, 2010
Sharon Bially Interview - Monday, November 22, 2010
Donna Carrick Interview - Monday, November 15, 2010
Brenda Sedore Interview - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Robert Feagan Interview - Monday, November 01, 2010
Of Book Signings, Volunteering & Option AgreementsÖ - Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Daryl Sedore Interview - Monday, October 18, 2010
Seven Day Blog Tour Begins October 17th - Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Todd A. Ritter Interview - Monday, October 04, 2010
Cheryl Kaye Tardif Interview - Monday, September 27, 2010
Claude Bouchard Interview - Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Dr. Peter Clement Interview - Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Elizabeth Isaacs Interview - Monday, September 06, 2010
Introducing a New YA Fantasy - Monday, August 30, 2010
Interview with Author Gene Doucette - Monday, August 23, 2010
It's All About the Books Part 2 - Monday, August 16, 2010
It's All About the Books - Monday, August 09, 2010
When to Abandon Your Manuscript - Monday, August 02, 2010
1st Anniversary Blog: A Celebration of Authors - Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Kathy Chung & the SiWC Part Twp - Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Kathy Chung & the Surrey International Writers Conference Part One - Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Deanna Jewel Interview - Tuesday, July 06, 2010
The Happiest Indie Author (me) in the World! - Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Author Effect - Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Jacqueline Pearce Interview - Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Peggy Richardson Interview - Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Wendy Nelson Tokunaga Interview - Tuesday, June 01, 2010
The Importance of a Critique Group - Saturday, May 29, 2010
Zoe Winters Interview - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Zoe Winters Interview - Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tonya R. Moore Interview - Monday, May 03, 2010
Write On Bowen! - Monday, April 26, 2010
Dayna Hester Interview - Monday, April 19, 2010
Luke Romyn Interview - Monday, April 12, 2010
Rhonda Carpenter Interview - Monday, March 29, 2010
Lacey Weatherford Interview - Monday, March 22, 2010
K.M. Weiland Interview - Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords Interview! - Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Jo Lynne Valerie Interview - Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Dan McNeil Interview - Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Catherine McKenzie Interview - Tuesday, February 16, 2010
8 Years of Writing! 8 eBook Winners! - Sunday, February 07, 2010
Birthday Blog (or an Ode to Aging Gracelessly) - Monday, January 18, 2010
Interview with Paranormal Author Kate Austin - Monday, January 11, 2010
Riley Carney Interview - Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Ask an Editor - Monday, December 28, 2009
Lee Edward Fodi Interview - Monday, December 21, 2009
Interview with YA Author James McCann - Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Researching Historical Fiction with Diana Gabaldon - Tuesday, December 08, 2009
kc dyer Interview & Enter to Win an Autographed Novel! - Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Bev Katz Rosenbaum Interview - Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Writing Tips I Learned from Terry Brooks - Tuesday, November 17, 2009
An Interview with Tamara Sheehan - Monday, November 09, 2009
YA Author Loreena M. Lee Interview - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Why Do I Blog About Other Authors? - Thursday, October 29, 2009
Critique by Author Jack Whyte - Tuesday, October 27, 2009
BookCamp 2009 - Monday, October 19, 2009
Participating at VCON 34 - Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Therese Walsh Interview - Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Interview with Debra Purdy Kong - Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Twitter Ė The Power of the Tweet - Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Part Two: Publishing in a Foreign Market - Tuesday, September 15, 2009
An Interview with author Christopher Belton - Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Part Two of the Caroline Leavitt Interview: - Thursday, September 03, 2009
An Interview with Author & Book Reviewer Caroline Leavitt - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
An Interview with Kathleen Bolton - Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Interview with author/artist Scott Kessman: - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Interview with author/artist Scott Kessman: - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Part 2 of the Kim Falconer Interview - Thursday, August 13, 2009
An Interview with Kim Falconer - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Part 2 An Interview with Alan Baxter - Thursday, August 06, 2009
An Interview with Alan Baxter - Tuesday, August 04, 2009
If You Write It, They Will Come (buy it)Ö Not! - Sunday, July 26, 2009
Lori A. May: Author Extraordinaire - Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Merits of a Writers Conference - Sunday, July 19, 2009
Part 2 Publishing in the Digital Age - Thursday, July 16, 2009
Publishing in the Digital Age - Monday, July 13, 2009
Writing Tips for the Novice Novelist - Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Flog the Blog - Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Do's & Don't of a TV interview - Saturday, June 27, 2009
Mortality & Writing - Friday, June 26, 2009
The Art of Editing 101 - Tuesday, June 23, 2009
How To Write When Suffering from Bad Memory Retention - Saturday, June 20, 2009
Finding Inspiration from Others - Thursday, June 18, 2009
To Blog or Twitter... - Tuesday, June 16, 2009