Name P.K. Allen
Age A few calendar ticks past 50.
Where are you from
I’m a bit of a nomad. I’m not afraid to pull up stakes and go somewhere new and start over. We only get one run through this life and there’s so much to see and experience. So I guess you could say I’m from many places and each one has shaped me in some significant way.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.
Currently chillin’ in southern Florida with the minions. I work by day and write by night, when I steal away to the crypt or garden with ink and quill. The minions are my family and they enrich my life. My wife and soulmate Laurie, my son Ryan who’s attending university when he’s not helping me with the technical aspects of publishing, my 87-year-old mother-in-law and resident sweetheart Dolly, and a furry frisky little feline named Tigger.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
The release of my new series The Dreadfuls. A shift away from my vampire novels. There are currently 3 volumes and I like to think of them as “Goosebumps for Grownups”. Collections of short horror tales, quick reads for a fast world wrapped in covers with a cool retro vibe. I’m very proud of them. And also having my books on the shelves of a couple of bookstores here in Ft. Myers dedicated solely to Indie authors. That’s very exciting. All of my books are of course available on Amazon.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
The when is long ago and vague, but the why is easy. Because I can transport myself anywhere and hang with all sorts of fantastic and intriguing characters, doing fantastic things. It’s my absolute escape.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer? The precise moment when I finally held a physical copy of Vampire Poison in my hands, and saw it posted on Amazon for the world to see.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
If you mean Vampire Poison, published in 2014, it was getting sick. For many years my dream of writing had faded away before other realities, family and job responsibilities, but after a fight with cancer the muses came back to me. Silky and irresistible, like the brides of Dracula whispering out of the darkness, inciting me to follow what had then become a forgotten dream.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I love spectacle and pageantry, passion, energy, and vivid imagery. I try to paint elegant pictures, or dark ones as the need requires, to immerse myself in the world I am writing. To truly see and feel it. So hopefully all that carries over to the readers.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles are tricky. I always start with a working title and somewhere during the writing the final title presents itself.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Unplug, disconnect, and let yourself escape. Exciting mysteries and adventures wait in the shadows.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
My novels are about vampires and supernatural creatures, so of course they’re all one hundred percent realistic! On a more serious note, I did an extensive amount of research to make the settings and history as authentic as possible.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Again, since my novels are about vampires and shadowy beings there are certain secrets I must keep.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
No mentor. Mine has been largely a lone wolf’s journey.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
“100 Cities of the World” as continued research for my upcoming projects.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve been so laser-focused on writing, publishing, and promoting that I’ve had precious little time for reading these past months. I miss it.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have a few vying for my attention. The next book in my ongoing vampire series, more short tales for the next volume of The Dreadfuls, and something entirely new. It’s going to be a busy 2016.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
There’s a whole new community out there rallying to support Indie authors. People such as yourself and PJ Boox. I love you all.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Writing is a passion and often it consumes me, so yes I would treasure being able to do it full-time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. Before I release them I work diligently on rewrites to polish and make them shine. In the years ahead I will probably look back with new eyes and see things I could have done differently, but for now I am pleased with each of them.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My mother read to me. A lot. So I’m sure it started there. It’s all your fault, mom!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
No details. But in the spaces where I write, I like to think of them as the crypt and the midnight garden, energy is still very strong. The muses flirt with me constantly.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Honestly? It’s spreading the gospel. Once the stories are written and bound, the greatest challenge is promoting them. I want to share them with the whole world.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
The words of F. Scott Fitzgerald resonate with me. His impassioned advice about rewrites, rewrites, rewrites and how they truly polish a writer’s craft. I will remember that always.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. I understand the importance of it, to promoting, but the day job simply doesn’t allow the time needed.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Primarily a graphic designer in Australia, with additional work by a lovely lady in Pakistan and even my talented son Ryan. Truly a global enterprise. I love saying that.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Being disciplined and carving out the time needed to do so. Life is filled with distractions.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
The first one, Vampire Poison, was too long. In its original release it was a 600 page epic. I’ve since re-released it as a special edition trilogy so it won’t terrify potential new readers.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Find joy in the small victories, and hopefully for all us the bigger ones will come.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Thank you all for taking the chance, for running through the nights with my characters and breathing greater life into them, and for keeping the art of the written word very much alive. You rock!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The very first book I remember was read to me by my mother. Over and over because I loved it so much. Where The Wild Things Are. A picture storybook about loveable monsters.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A complex question. But I think I can safely say what makes me laugh most is the joy of innocence. And it is the loss of innocence that makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would’ve loved to be at that lakeside villa in Switzerland in 1816. With Lord Byron and the Shelleys for that crazy, stormy mind-trip of a night. Mad imaginations and unbridled passions that gave birth to legendary monsters!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Hopefully no headstone and no grave, because that would mean I finally unlocked the mysteries to eternal life!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Scuba diving, hiking, history, and family road-trips. Every road-trip is a grand adventure for me.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
These favorite films spring to mind, and of course they all involve vampires. Van Helsing, because it’s one big action-packed monster party, and it’s beautiful to look at. The Underworld movies, because they show a sort of vampire royal society with a sexy heroine as one of their lead warriors. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, because it’s stylish, erotic, fierce, and has a tragic love story as its beating heart. And, of course, the silent horror classic Nosferatu. Dark and creepy and unforgettable.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Pizza at the outdoor café at the beach, under the moon and the stars/ scarlet and black/ and I love all kinds of music. Music touches the heart and stimulates the soul.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Marine biologist. Because I’ve always been enthralled by the oceans, and the world below its surface that relatively few of us have ever been blessed to really see and know.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
No website yet, but I need to build one soon to have an internet presence other than Facebook. But for now, please visit my Facebook page Vampire Poison for a deeper look inside my world of writing, vampires, and things that go bump in the night.