Thursday, February 24, 2011

Terrific Thursday with Marian Allen:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.

For as long as I can remember, I've loved telling and being told stories. I enjoy connecting and reconnecting with people, meeting new friends and keeping in touch with the friends I already have.

My writing reflects this love of network. No one exists in total isolation, but in a web of connections to family, friends, colleagues, self at former stages of maturity, perceptions and self-images. Most of my work is fantasy, science fiction and/or mystery, though I write horror, humor, romance, mainstream or anything else that suits the story and character.

Professionally, I'm a member of Southern Indiana Writers, Writing and Promotion (WRaP), and Green River Writers.

My latest release is EEL'S REVERENCE, a fantasy/sf novel about a world in which mermayds are part of the natural order. When "Aunt" Libby, an elderly human priest of Micah, wanders into a coastal area where religion has been taken over by brutal, mercenary "reaver" priests, she and the resident mermayds become pawns in a power game between the priests and the merchants.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?

Yes. "Nightchild", a horror story which appeared in Issue 48 of Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY magazine, still creeps me out. Ick.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?

Oh, all the time! They seldom play out in the books the same way they did in real life, but I use actual events from my life and the lives of anyone unwise enough to share stories with me. ~grin~ My husband's aunt (now departed, bless her) told me about a car that blundered onto the train tracks one night and killed the occupants, and I wrote "I'll Fly Away", which was in the Southern Indiana Writers Group's anthology, MOST WANTED.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?

I love to research! I should say I love to rummage around and find out details about things. Sometimes a story grows out of what I'm rummaging around in, sometimes I know--or have a general feeling for--some element of the story I want to write and I research that particularly before I start. I often come to places where I think, "What sort of clothes would they be wearing?" and I look into it. For EEL'S REVERENCE, I researched natural dyes, so I could dress the rich people in expensive, difficult-to-acheive colors and poor and/or humble people in cheap, quick, easy colors.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?

Yes, and it's this: If the question is, "Am I my brother's keeper?" the answer is, "Yes."

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?

I'm a pantser by inclination, but I tend to write myself into a corner without some idea of a plot. I'm trying to train myself to do more plotting before I start writing, so I won't spend so much down-time figuring out how to get from where I am to someplace worth going. As for a story taking on a life of its own, "Home on the Range", in the SIW anthology IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING, was chugging along satisfactorily when suddenly it went sideways. I should have cut the chugging part, but I didn't, so it sort of jumps out at the reader the way it did me.

How long did it take for you to be published?

Well.... I started making up stories when I was little--probably pre-school. I had poems and stories published in the high school literary magazine. About twenty years ago, the SIW formed and started publishing an annual anthology, and I've always been in those. My first paid publication was "Caffeine High", in an online magazine no longer with us: Bovine Free Wyoming. My first major publication was "Nightchild" in MZB; that was in 2000. EEL'S REVERENCE was first published--also in e-formats--in 1992 and was reissued by Echelon Press in 2010. Take your pick. ;)

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?

I would tell myself anything. I'm very happy with where I am and where I've been and all the people I've met along the way. Okay, maybe this: A soft answer turneth away wrath.

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?

Coffee. Must. Have. Coffee. I usually write on the laptop or the desktop but, if I get to a knotty place, or if I'm having trouble getting started, I like to break out the digital word processor to get going again.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?

Growing up? Walter R. Brooks. Walter Farley. Albert Payson Terhune. Willard Price. Andrew Lang's Rainbow Fairy Books.

Favorite authors now? Too many to list! I find new ones every day!

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I don't know if they'd be more surprised to know one of my nicknames is MomGoth or that I adore Hello Kitty. Or that I'm a regular church-goer. Or that I think Wicca is way cool.

For Fun:

What is your favorite love scene to write or read? (ie: First kiss, passion after a fight, reunion)

Understated strong emotion.

What is your favorite Valentine’s Day memory?

The kids making us valentines with glitter everywhere. :)

Sweetest gift ever given to you?

Anything. Seriously, knowing someone else holds you in his or her heart and mind is the sweetest gift.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.



OmniLit (which includes both Kindle and Nook formats)

Free short stories, excerpts and links to collections

Marian Allen web site

Thank you so much for letting me visit with you! If your readers have any questions or comments, I'll be dropping by throughout the next couple of days to read them and reply.


Marian Allen said...

Thanks for having me, Molly! It looks like I messed up my Kindle hyperlink. Here's one for OmniLit, which has the book in multiple formats, including for Kindle and Nook:


I'll be dropping in all day to answer questions and meet your followers. :)

Marian Allen

Jean Henry Mead said...

Love the cover of Eel's Reverence and the story sounds fascinating. Congratulations from a fellow "pantser."

Marian Allen said...

Thanks, Jean! The folks over at Kindleboards have been telling me they hate the title, that it makes them think of squiggly aquatic animals. I'm interested to know if the cover counteracts that for you.

Marian Allen

Molly Daniels said...

Hahahaha....I just remembered my kids' old HS mascot was the eel:) Sounds like a book for our basketball team seeking revenge for a game they should have won:)

Marian Allen said...

Cool, Molly! I could write a YA sports novel and use the same name. I could name ALL my books EEL'S REVERENCE and find a way to make the title fit. :D

Marian Allen

Carol Preflatish said...

Your cover is my favorite. Just love it. I also enjoyed reading the book, too. Great job.

Marian Allen said...

THANK YOU, Carol! :) Your support is much appreciated.

Marian Allen