Hello everyone and welcome to my first exclusive author interview!
I'm over the moon excited and proud to feature, Author Lee Allen, for this week’s author interview!
I had the great pleasure of getting to know this fantastic author of crime thrillers, supernatural mysteries, and horror fiction. Being a fan of these genres myself, I was excited to learn more about the books and the Lee Allen.
Lee Allen published his debut crime thriller "Those Crimes of Passion" in 2012.
He later released supernatural mystery "Alone" (2014); horror thriller "The Jack O’Lantern Men" (2015); short story collection "Whispers from the Dead of Night" (2020), a hybrid of horror and multiple sub-genres.
After learning about Lee Allen’s wonderful collection of great books, I was curious about what had inspired him to write.
During our Q&A session Lee Allen said:
" I’ve loved books and stories for far longer than I can even remember. I was also very creative as a child, so I think those two things must have come together and I developed a passion for writing ever since I was able to pick up a pen and form words on a page. Add to that the escapism of both reading and writing, of being in your own world, and it’s just the perfect mix. So, I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer.
Mysteries and mythology have always fascinated me too. By the age of ten, I had discovered both classic gothic horror fiction – in the form of “Dracula”, “Frankenstein” and “The Mummy – and classic detective fiction – in the form of Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Sherlock Holmes – and my love of the horror and thriller genres developed from there. There was probably never a question as to which genres I would write in."
When meeting fellow authors, I'm always wondering not only where their inspiration comes from, but also how they choose key factors in their stories such as character names. When I asked Lee Allen he had an excellent answer! I was tickled to know that, like Lee, I have also selected names off the top of my head, and have changed names as well!
Lee Allen says:
"It’s not always a conscious selection of a name. Sometimes their names come immediately when I think of a character, while other times their names don’t get chosen until I begin to write their stories. There are times when I’ll try out a few ideas for names while plotting, to see if they fit or not. There have been a few occasions where characters, even main characters, originally had different names, but something about it just didn’t feel right, so I found myself trying out different names until I found the right one. I suppose it may be a little like naming your children – you may think of a lot of names and even choose a few preferences, but when you finally meet them, you suddenly know which name is right for them, even if it wasn’t the one you were originally thinking."
Question 3 of our Q&A was about what Lee Allen enjoys writing the most. What type of scene is his favourite to write? My personal favourite to write are action and fight scenes.
Here's what Lee Allen had to say!
"I enjoy writing all different kinds of scenes. If I’m immersed in a story and the scene is right for the narrative, then I love crafting it and letting the story flow. If a scene doesn’t feel interesting it’s best to move past it and perhaps in the end you’ll find it doesn’t belong.
If I had to pick a favourite though, I would say I love an atmospheric scene, in which something mysterious is happening, but you’ve not yet quite determined what it is. I also enjoy investigative scenes – perhaps a police interrogation or a crime scene examination. Moments, when you feel a character’s passion, are also great to write, and the climax to a story, whatever form that may take, is always satisfying and thrilling."
Some of you may know that the idea for my book Just Drive came to me while driving!
So, my next question for author Lee Allen was to ask where he gets such fantastic story ideas.
"Anywhere and everywhere!" Lee said! And I loved this answer! It's inspiring as a new author myself! Lee went on to say:
"I find inspiration in many places. My stories usually start with a scene, a plot element, a character or a theme that begins flourishing in my mind, which I will then link to other ideas as they each begin to flesh out and coalesce together.
A lot of outside influences may also inspire me – song lyrics, a piece of music, overheard fragments of conversations, articles I read – and these things come together or spark off new ideas. I religiously keep a notebook where everything gets written down.
When I’m mulling over specifics – story ideas, plot points, character conversations – these will often play in my head while I’m walking in the fresh air or taking a shower, or perhaps just sitting drinking a cup of tea. I particularly find watching or listening to the rain or the ocean relaxing, and that’s when the ideas flow best.
As for the greatest ideas – I’m not sure I’d be qualified to make the selection of what those were (as a reader should probably make that distinction), or if I would then even remember the genesis of a specific idea if someone were to ask about it!"
Since Lee Allen writes in the spooky, mystery genres, I wanted to know if any parts of his books come from real-life events.
"The short story “Run”, featured in my collection “Whispers from the Dead of Night”, is probably the most personal story I have ever written. Its core theme is mental health issues, which I believe is a vitally important subject to talk about and to keep talking about. Having suffered from mental health problems myself, and having been close to others who have also suffered, or have been supporting family who are suffering, I found myself revisiting some familiar demons while writing. Another key theme in the story, a theme which runs through the entire collection, are human relationships and the loss of people we love. I’m a very private person, so this story was my way of talking about some of those issues and purging some of the emotions connected to them; perhaps in some ways exorcising those demons. Some of the scenes were stolen straight from real-life and refashioned to fit the fiction, but I shan’t reveal which scenes they are or whom the people involved may have been. I hope that readers may relate to some of those themes and that perhaps it may help them feel they’re not alone at times when it feels so much like we are."
I have met many fellow authors through my amazing writing experience, and from all over the world! I love to hear where they are from, and what they enjoy as hobbies. So, I asked Lee to tell me a bit about himself. I too have a cat (Loki) who thinks he's being quite cute lying over my keyboard!
"I was born in South Wales in the UK and still live there, close to where I used to live with my parents and sister. My cat is my constant companion at home, and he often tries to get involved with my writing by sitting on notepads or stealing my pens! I attended local schools and left full-time education after sixth form. My current day job is in the utilities industry. It is certainly my passion for writing that keeps me going each day."
My personal all time favourite genre to read is horror! So, I was quite excited to find out Lee Allen has a new short story, "Will o' the Wisp", coming out this Hallowe'en!
"It’s a gothic horror story, and is also linked to my earlier Hallowe’en novella “The Jack O’Lantern Men”. It can, however, be read either before or after the earlier story, or simply as a standalone short story. It tells the story of a young man who meets a young woman on Hallowe’en night, who appears to be fleeing something or someone, while there is something is lurking in the shadows…
I can’t wait to share it with readers later this month, and it’s already available to pre-order from Amazon!"
I have already gotten my copy on pre-order! Check out his bone-chilling book trailer for the release of "Will O' The Wisp"!
A huge thank you to author Lee Allen for participating in my author interviews! I had a great time getting to know him and talking about his books. I cannot wait to read his new release!
You can find Author Lee Allen books, writing, and information on Goodreads and social media on the following links:
Closing statement from Author Lee Allen.
"I also regularly post book reviews, if anyone is also looking for more book recommendations, on my Goodreads blog and Instagram.
Thank you to everyone in advance for your interest and thank you to you, Sara Louisa, for this interview and the opportunity to appear on your fantastic blog as part of your new author interview series."
Congratulations, Lee Allen, on all your success, and your new release! I personally cannot wait to have a read!
Join me next week for another author interview! If you're an author and are interested in an interview, contact me here on my website!
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