Interview with mystery author and blogger, Anne R Allen

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Today I’m pleased to be able to welcome mystery author Anne R Allen to the blog. Anne is the author of ten books, including the bestselling CAMILLA RANDALL MYSTERIES and HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE, co-written with NYT bestseller Catherine Ryan Hyde. Her latest is SO MUCH FOR BUCKINGHAM, a humorous mystery about Internet trolls.

Lets begin.

Did you always want to write? Were you inspired from an early age from the books you read as a child?
I’ve been a writer pretty much since I could hold a crayon. I used to write stories in the margins of my coloring books to go with the pictures. My parents were both PhDs who taught literature at the university level, so I was born into a house full of books. My parents read to me every night. Books were always part of my life. I was especially inspired by the Wizard of Oz series. I think because the hero was an independent little girl.

How quickly did you become involved in the ‘Kindle Revolution’? Could you see the potential from the beginning?
I wasn’t one of the first to join the Kindle crowd. I’ve always been with small presses and let my publishers make decisions about format. But as soon as they put my work on Amazon as ebooks in 2011, I saw my sales soar, so I knew they were onto something. I already had a blog, and it was easy to see how my online presence could influence online sales, so I made a point of learning to use social media.

I think I learned the most about online marketing from the fantastic women of the Indie Chicks Anthology. They invited me to join because I was with an “indie” micropress, even though the rest were self-published. They taught me the ropes.

You write both fiction and non-fiction. Do you enjoy writing one more than the other?
I probably write a lot more non-fiction than fiction—if you consider the amount of time I spend writing blog posts—but my heart is still with my fiction. Writing fiction is hard, but I love it. Writing non-fiction is easier, but it doesn’t give me the same sense of joy.

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Why I Love The Fictional Bad Guy

Ebb-standing“Edward Ebb opened the door and walked a few feet into the Revelation Room. He put the petrol can on the floor and walked back outside and retrieved the shotgun. He aimed it in the general direction of the people cowering in the corner. ‘Good afternoon, bunnies.”

Welcome to Edward Ebb, the fictional bad guy in my first book, The Revelation Room. I love the baddies. They really seem to get my creative juices flowing. The bad guy prowls around in the back of my mind, demanding to be let out. He wants to cause mayhem, and he wants to cause it now! He’s been really patient, watching me plot all the nasty things that I have in store for him and now he can’t wait to get going. He even resents me for holding him back. Why create him, he argues, if he has to sit locked up inside my head like a prisoner on death row? He even accuses me of being no better than him, arguing that he is merely an extension of my own macabre nature. At this point, I generally laugh and try not to sound as nervous as I feel. Continue reading

An Interview with a Fictional Psychopath

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Today’s post is an interview with Edward Ebb, the antagonist from my upcoming book, The Revelation Room. The Revelation Room is the first in a series of psychological mystery thrillers written with a touch of dark humour. Ebb is the psychopathic egocentric leader of The Sons and Daughters of Salvation, a small religious cult who have taken the protagonist’s father captive.

This post was inspired by an interview in which Maggie James asked questions of her antagonist from her book The Second Captive http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com/blog/five-questions-for-a-fictional-sociopath.

1. Hi, Edward. Tell me about The Sons and Daughters of Salvation?

Please address me properly. We are not close enough for you to assume such familiarity. You must call me Father at all times if you want to continue this interview. In answer to your question, I set up the group with Brother Gerald some ten years ago. The idea? To prepare for The Rapture. This is the time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. All dead people of faith will rise, and all true believers still alive shall go with them to meet the Lord. They will then continue on a journey into the Kingdom of Heaven. Non-believers will be left behind. Of course, it’s not simply a matter of faith, because there are many among us who are masquerading as believers. I fear they are in for a rude awakening. They will be ordered to stay behind with the non-believers to face eternal damnation. The Lord has told me to build a spaceship to prepare for this magnificent event. Continue reading

Fiction in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire is an English county which is full of fiction. It is also where my upcoming novel, The Revelation Room, is set. I’d like to share with you some examples of other authors and fiction based in Oxfordshire:

Authors from Oxfordshire:

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– Agatha Christie is famous for Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.

– C. S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia.

– J. R. R. Tolkien is famous for the Lord of The Rings trilogy.

– Philip Pullman is well known for His Dark Materials.

– Griselda Heppel writes children’s fiction including Ante’s Inferno.

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The Mirror Moment

Mirror-moment-blog-imageI thought I might share with you a piece of advice that really helped me with the book I am currently working on. In fact, it changed my whole outlook on the process and the structure of writing. It’s called writing from the middle, or the Mirror Moment. The Mirror Moment is the one scene, slap-bang in the middle of a story, where the main character looks in the mirror (metaphorically speaking) and understands that the odds are so stacked against him that he has virtually nowhere to go. He faces certain death, either literally, professionally or psychologically. What does this reveal? What are its hidden depths? The Mirror Moment is like the earth’s core. Once you know what the Mirror Moment is, you will then know the transformation and pre-story psychology of your main character. Continue reading