Saturday, September 12, 2015

Interview with author N.R. Allen

Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

 I grew up in a very small town. We had one road and a stop sign. Up until the 911-system came to the region, the road didn’t even have a name. I’m the youngest of five children and am a dog-lover.

Q ~ What’s your favourite pass-time? 


Q ~ What’s one habit that you have that you’d like to break? 

 I’m addicted to online solitaire.

Q ~ If you could go anywhere, real or imagined, where would it be and why? 

 Black Hills of Dakota. For some reason, I’ve always been drawn there. I love the folklore and stories of American Indians.

Q ~ How do you think people perceive authors? 

When I was a kid, people saw authors as fun weirdoes. Reading their stuff was great … but you wouldn’t want to meet one in a dark alley. These days, people LOVE to know inspirations behind books and the thought processes that writers go through.

Q ~ Ebooks, paperbacks, or hardcovers? 

Paperbacks. I love the feel of a paperback. Because of an illness, unfortunately, my eyes aren’t up to large amounts of reading, so I’m stuck with audio.

Q ~ What is your favourite genre to read? To write? 

I really enjoy horror. But my favourite has to be when genres are mixed. I began writing horror, but found that I really belonged in Urban Fantasy with a mix of scary elements and adventure.

Q ~ Do you have a favourite author? Do they influence your writing? 

I was influenced by quite a few. Stephen King taught me to get to the point, don’t just dance around it. Poe taught me that it’s okay to take the real world and distort it. Shirley Jackson taught me that sometimes not showing something is far more powerful than actually showing it.

Q ~ How did you begin writing? Was there a single catalyst or a series of events? 

I spent a lot of time alone when I was young. I had a severe speech impediment, one that almost made administrators hold me back a year in elementary school. No one could understand me. I just retreated inside my own head. When I started writing things down, I could connect with people in a way I’d never been able to before.

Q ~ Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

A mix of both. I don’t start a book until I know how it ends. But the real fun is trying to get there. Sometimes you just have to buckle up, enjoy the ride, and see where the characters want to take you.

Q ~ When you write, do you try to reach a specific word count or simply write until you are done? 

I definitely write until I’m done. There’s just a feeling I get.

Q ~ Do you have any writing rituals that you follow? What is your go-to snack while writing? 

I have a special blanket I wrap myself in (an afghan that my mom crocheted), a glass of peach tea, and music playing in the background.

Q ~ Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release Lot’s Mountain and what inspired you to write it? 

I’ve written a lot of short fiction with Southern characters. Lot’s Mountain takes place in my hometown. It brings together old myths from across the world, all perched on the edge of war. While Dylan is trying to sort out his own feelings of guilt and being different, he’s sucked into a world he didn’t even know existed. Monsters are waiting in the dark. Some will defend you. Some could just be your best friend … and some hold secrets that could destroy everything.

Q ~ What music did you listen to while writing Lot’s Mountain

A lot of fiddle music and gospel. During the last chapter, I listened to my favourite song, Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” over and over again. Also, “Demons” by Imagine Dragons was one I listened to a ton. It’s somewhat Dylan’s song, I think.

Q ~ What is your favourite part or scene in the novel? 

I do like the part with the possum. We used to catch them as kids. Yeah, we didn’t have much to do. Don’t get me started on the can cannon. But I do love whenever Dylan interacts with Father Stark. Stark is so overinvolved with what he’s doing, and Dylan doesn’t mind telling him off when he thinks he needs to. The scene though, that really sticks in my mind is a pivotal moment in Dylan’s growth when he’s in the old theater with a girl, Jamie. And both of their secrets are revealed.

Q ~ What characters did you find yourself especially drawn to and why? 

Dylan is one of my favourites, as is the Huntsman. Some of the conversation is in Old English. I’m a sucker for languages. I do a lot of work in Old English, Middle English, Old and Middle French, and Swedish. Dylan is how I envisioned my father when he was young. Mr. Unger is modeled after my mother’s side of the family. And yes, they actually did convert a funeral parlour into their family house. There are a lot of ghost stories, A LOT. And of course, Stark. I’ve always been mesmerized by snake-handling and how it has popped up in Appalachian culture.

Q ~ Do you have anything in the works at the moment?  Care to give us a hint about it? 

I learned so much from “Lot’s Mountain”, so I want to revisit my first novel, which has to deal with revenants and creation myths. A new novel that really has stuck in the back in my mind is another one set in the South, one that dives into American Indian myths and ghost-hunting. The past, whether you remember it or not, just might kill you.

Q ~ If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Listen to all the advice you, but that doesn’t mean that you have to take it. Not all of it is going to be good advice. But don’t be afraid to make changes. No one’s perfect. It’s all a learning process.

About the author:

N.R. Allen grew up in Dooms, VA, and currently lives in Blacksburg, VA, with her husband and family. While this is her second full-length novel, she has written and published poems, short stories, and flash fiction, including "Teddy Bear Heads," "That House at the End of Carver Street," and "A Song for Miss Cline".

Visit her on Facebook.

Magic isn't gone, only hidden.

For countless centuries monsters, men, and things in between have fought hidden battles over the fate of magic … in a small rural town in Virginia. Now their skirmishes threaten to explode into open war, with the entire world held in the balance.

Dylan Caid, a troubled misfit whose secret just might hold the key to victory, finds himself thrust into the center of this ancient conflict. With both sides urging him to join with them and threatening death or worse should he not, Dylan must seek out an ancient force that even monsters fear.

Book Links 
my review

And now, enter to win in this fantastic giveaway with author N.R. Allen & Lot's Mountain.
The prizes are 2 paperback copies of Lot's Mountain by N.R. Allen.

Contest is open internationally, where applicable by law. 
Entries close at 11:59pm September 18/15. 
Winners will be drawn September 19/15. 
Winners will be notified via email to the email provided to the giveaway and will have 72h to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.

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