J.C. Allen is an author I've gotten to know a little more than others. I've cheered with him during his highs and helped him through some devastating lows. Even so, I've never heard his voice!
I wouldn't hazard a guess as to when we will meet face-to-face and share a laugh or two. In fact, the only photo I've seen of him (posted here) was taken around 2005 so, until I meet him, the image etched inside my mind will be forever young.
Regardless of appearances, it's both my honor, and privilege, to bring to you an interview I did with J.C. Allen, author of M.O.D., Novel Ideas and the Chronicles of Time series.
Norma: What does being an author mean to you?
J.C. Allen: To me, it is a way to escape from reality into a world of my own choosing, often into the real world but with the ability to change it to become something more desirable, then sharing that with others (hopefully for their enjoyment.)
I also enjoy being able to bond with, and discuss the issues with, my children, who become quite involved in the process (especially in the YA books - which they have written many, many pages of dialogue for whether they know it or not.)
Norma: When did you first realize that you wanted to write and publish a book? How old/young were you at the time?
J.C. Allen: When I was in my late 30s, and forced to - out of boredom - and was constantly encouraged by those whom I had shared my writing with.
Norma: From its inception, how long did it take you to write and publish your first book? Was the experience mostly rewarding or filled with varying levels of frustration?
J.C. Allen: The writing of M.O.D. took no more than 2 weeks, but getting it produced and available required over 2 years. I got totally fed up with the process after the 56th rejection, in the form of a form letter which proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the person had no clue what my book was about. I decided to self-publish.
Norma: Are you currently writing another book which you hope to publish at some point? If so, we'd love to hear more about it.
J.C. Allen: I am in the midst of book 5 of a YA series called, Edge of Knight, about a young, dorky boy prophesied to save the world from the evil underlord in a world of magic he never dreamed possible.
It's part fantasy, part coming-of-age from the boy's perspective and is both honest and funny for those reasons. It's rather epic, as well, as I have tentative plans for somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 or 8 in the series before the final (questionable) resolution of the conflict.
Norma: If you have published multiple titles, which book is your favourite and why? If you can't decide on one favourite, that's OK; break the rules and give us two or three.
J.C. Allen: I'll just break all the rules, as I do in writing. I am in the process of trying to publish the 20 or more titles I have written thus far.
Of those, my favorites are: Generation One - a comic, but very serious portrayal of our planet's first voyage beyond the solar system. It's an ongoing series with no plans to stop - although I'm only on the second at this point. It's not your typical sci-if space thriller; it's more of a realistic endeavor into space (no warp drives that instantly put you in another galaxy, etc.)
Chronicles of Time is a trilogy about a family who finds a time machine and travels back to certain controversial points in time to reconstruct the memory of the machine in order to save time (and learn lots of interesting, little-known facts and solve several mysteries along the way.)
Guilty of Innocence is a hard-hitting series (working on the fourth book at this time) dealing with some rather tender, emotional and vicious events. It is brutally honest and vicious, as well as heart-warming, and shows the struggle of a vindicated innocent man and his new girlfriend (and newer daughter) as they fight injustice and corruption in some of the highest places. It's rather close to my heart and probably so powerful for that reason. I pulled no punches in this series.
Norma: Who has been a major source of inspiration for you as a writer/author?
J.C. Allen: It's not so much who, but what to me...or even why. Events in the world have inspired me more than anything because they bring out the passion I have against, or for, certain things but, as for people/authors, I would choose many, including Terry Brooks, Stephen King, Ken Follett and Greg Iles.
Norma: What is your ultimate dream, in terms of being a writer/author?
J.C. Allen: Just to be able to reach people, invite them into my fictional worlds, and have them enjoy the experience on some level.
Norma: What is one of your favourite quotes? It can be from a book you wrote or something you heard throughout your life.
J.C. Allen: "Every generation needs a revolution." ~ Jefferson. Also: "I have to deal with facing a kiss from my bratty little sister's best friend in my future, when I'm supposed to face the evil underlord? He's much less scary!" Edge - Edge of Knight
Norma: Tell us a little about your life. What does an average day look like?
J.C Allen: My average day is a routine of attempting to avoid boredom and deal with the reality of my situation while trying to accomplish something worthy of generating a feeling of worth.
Norma: What are three of your favourite hobbies?
J.C. Allen: Swimming, playing guitar and making my kids laugh and enjoy their lives while they still can.
Norma's closing thoughts:
J.C., I hope all your dreams come true, as a dad and as a writer. I truly wish you all the best and I look forward to a continuing friendship over the days, months and years to come.
To find his books on Amazon, click here. I did have the opportunity to review M.O.D. and, if you would like to read the review, please click here. Quite recently, I had the privilege of reviewing Novel Ideas as well and you can read that review here.