Now available in eBook and paperback, “In the Bloodstream” is an anthology of 31 short stories of dark fantasy and horror available from Mocha Memoirs Press.
Next on the list of authors visiting the blog is John F. Allen.
ER: Hi, John. Welcome. Tell us a bit about yourself and your “Bloodstream” story.
JA: I was born, raised and currently reside in Indianapolis, Indiana. I’m married with two children and I’m also a visual artist as well as an author. My story is titled, “HoodRatz” and is my first foray into dark horror. It is a cautionary tale about a young woman who wants to escape the life she has for a better one. She doesn’t appreciate what she has and ends up getting a bit more than she bargained for. It’s in the, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it” vein.
ER: Why did you start writing? What drew you specifically to horror?
JA: I began writing in second grade. I am a HUGE fan of comic books and adventure stories. What I read in those comics and novels, sparked a creative vibe in me that led me to creating my own characters and my own worlds. I liked to read as an escape from the confines of my reality. Certain unpleasant events occurred during my childhood and I used writing as a tool to focus my imagination and escape to another world where I was in control.
I think I have been drawn to horror mainly due to the Universal Monster Movies such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, etc… My earliest inspirations came from those films/stories. I also became a fan of Stephen King, John Saul and Dean Koontz early on.
ER: Do you have a day job or do you write full time? Would we be surprised by what you do for a living?
JA: I do have a day job, I work at a book store. I don’t think that this will be surprising to anyone. I also work in business writing, sell my artwork on commission and draw caricatures at events.
ER: What scares you?
JA: Losing the ones I love.
ER: What’s your next project? Will you share with us?
JA: I’m currently working on the follow up to my debut novel, The God Killers. Book II in the Ivory Blaque urban fantasy series is titled “The Conclave.” I also have a couple of novella series and short stories in the works.
ER: Do you listen to music while writing? What’s on your playlist?
JA: Yes, I always listen to music while I’m writing. It helps to keep me company and ease tension. My playlist is very eclectic to say the least. There are far too many individual artists to name, but the following is a music genre list:
- Pop/Light Rock
- Old School Hip Hop
ER: What authors/artists inspire you?
JA: Here’s the short list:
- Robert B. Parker
- Terri McMillan
- Walter Mosley
- Toni Morrison
- Eric Jerome Dickey
- L.A. Banks
- Stephen King
◦ Laurell K. Hamilton
◦ Tom Clancy
- Boris Vallejo
- George R.R. Martin
- Faith Hunter (ER: I know Faith!)
- Ben Bova
- Louis L’Amour
ER: What’s the most difficult part of writing? What do you love most?
JA: I’d say for me, the most difficult part of writing is having more ideas/stories to tell than time. I often have to sit months, years even, on story ideas that I’m truly excited about, due to time constraints.
What I love most about writing is that I can express myself and live vicariously through my characters. I also love the idea that I can possibly give my readers an avenue of escape and exploration through reading my work.
ER: What do you do when you’re not writing?
JA: I draw and paint, spend time with my family & friends, work at a bookstore and most importantly, I sleep.
ER: Any suggestions for aspiring writers out there?
JA: Follow your dreams and don’t let the world or anyone in it deter you from them. I’d also say that aspiring writer should heed the advice in the following quotes, which are two of my favorites.
“There’s way too much pain in this business (writing) for anyone who doesn’t have to write. I always tell beginning writers, ‘If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.'”
~ R.A. Salvatore
“If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
~ Toni Morrison
ER: Thanks for sharing your work and your views on writing, John. If you’d like to know more about John, try connecting with him using these links: