Saturday, May 2, 2009
***INTERVIEW #3 with JEFFREY B. ALLEN***
I Welcome back today author Jeffrey B. Allen! It is an honor, and a pleasure to work with him! author of: "GoneAway Into The Land" *****REVIEW Posted on: http://www.amazon.com/ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ http://www.authorgeriahearnsbookreviews.blogspot.com/ http://www.goodreads.com/ http://www.worldcat.com/ Jeffrey was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1953. New Bedford was home to Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick. Jeffrey believes that the first paragraph of Moby Dick was the best first paragraph of any novel he has ever read! His father moved his family around the country nine times. Jeffrey spent many good years, and many difficult years growing up. Both the good, and the bad contribute to his writing. While in High School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Jeffrey began to gravitate away from academics, and lean more toward the arts. He went to art school for painting, and later studied set design at Boston University. Jeffrey loved the process of writing the very minute he started. GoneAway took three and a half years to complete. It is loosely based on a childhod story that he told his children when they were very young. They never forgot the story, and encouraged Jeffrey to write it down for posterity. Today, Jeffrey lives with his wife in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. His two children are grown, one living in Deleware, and the other in Hong Kong China. Jeffrey's children, and his wife have been a great inspiration to him. http://www.jeffreyballen.com/ http://goodreads.com/about/how_it_works www.myspace.com/jeffreyballen AUTHOR INTERVIEW #3 Geri: Have you ever had the pleasure of discussing your book with a fan? Jeffrey: Yes! I have had several discussions with my readers about GoneAway! One thing I wish, however, is that my readers would not feel intimidated to express what they got out of the book, because everyone of them said they could not put it down once they reached a certain point. Only a couple of readers were personally affected by the tragedy of the story. And surprisingly, not one had noticed when John makes the transition into the World to the Land that the story goes from first person to third person. When I decided to do the switch, it was a very difficult decision, because doing that as a writer is said to be very dangerous, and hard to pull off. The reason I changed from First to Third person would be a whole subject for discussion, in and of itself. I would love to speak to people about the deeper meanings behind GoneAway, so anyone who reads this interview is welcome to contact me through my website. Geri: Are you the only writer in your family? Jeffrey: Yes! I am the only novelist in my family. Everyone in my family are very good writers, and avid readers. That is the way I was brought up, and that is the way I brought up my children. Geri: Is there a particular author who inspires you to write? Jeffrey: No! There is not one particular author who inspires me to write. What inspires me to write is a desire from within myself to paint pictures with words, and to tell a story that other people will enjoy reading. But if I were to name a few authors, I would have to say writers such as Hemingway, Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clarke, and Frank Herbert. They have been very influential in motivating me to write well. Geri: What is the age group for your reading audience? Jeffrey: I am trying to always write to the adolescent, and adult audience. I usually write for age sixteen and over, although I found out that a twelve year old loved GoneAway as well! The subject matter, and the vocabulary is not typically suited for young children. One of my reviewer's made a point of saying that exact thing. She read the fantasy portions of the book to her children, because they are very suitable for that, but the underlying story is absolutely not suited for below age seventeen. Geri: Do you believe that the cover of a book can draw a reader in faster to your story? Jeffrey: Yes! I would have spent much more attention to the cover if I wasn't so involved in editing the manuscript at the time. I approved the cover, thinking that it wasn't that important. In fact, my publisher convinced me that the cover wasn't all that important, but I have come to disagree. Geri: In your opinion, what does it take to become successful? Jeffrey: Good writing, good story are paramount, but in this day and age, unfortunately are not the drivers toward success as they once were. Marketing now plays a huge role in an author's success. I never guessed that the marketing of my first novel would take so much of my time. Geri: What motivates you to write? Jeffrey: My motivation is to write stories that people will find interesting, but also provocative enough for them to think about what they have read for a while, after they finished reading the book. Another thing that motivates me is that I find writing novels the most challenging thing I have ever set out to do. Having the book published was like reaching the summit of a mountain. Now that I know the way, I feel I can do it again, only quicker, and better! Geri: What books do you read for enjoyment? Jeffrey: I love Ancient History. I just finished a book about Hannibal's march over the Alps on his way to conquer Rome. Sometimes, history is as good, if not better than fiction. I like Science Fiction, but it has to be either very surreal, like Larry Niven's Ringworld, or real science like Arthur C. Clarke's Rama books. I cannot leave out Frank Herbert's Dune, which stands in a class by itself. Geri: Has television ever inspired you to write about a certain topic? Jeffrey: No! Now, wait! I take that back! There have been some things on television over the years that I have found tremendous, but in general television is the devise that brings sports into my living room, and I enjoy watching Football in the fall, and basketball in the spring. I watch golf inbetween. Without TV, those events would be out of reach. The older I become, the less I watch TV! Geri: Has a particular classical movie ever given you ideas to write about a new topic? Jeffrey: No! I can't think of any in particular! Although the subliminal messages that accumulates in our brains come from all kinds of stimuli. One of those is certainly movies, and TV. All of that stimulus must have an influence on our creativity, and thought processes. You know, I say that none have influenced me, but there have been a few movies that I have to put on my top ten list that have definetely influenced me. The 1933 King Kong, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, Forbidden Planet, and the first make of War Of The Worlds influenced me. Also, The Day The Earth Stood Still influenced me. Great acting is like great writing, it stays with you forever! Spencer Tracy in Old Man And The Sea, and Peter O'Toole in Lawrence Of Arabia. I am out-dating myself! How about Mickey Rouke in The Wrestler? Geri: Thank you very much for today's interview! Your responses were very interesting, and enjoyable indeed! Jeffrey: You're welcome!