Author Interview- Seven Questions with Jonathan D. Allen

What’s news?

– I’ve been given The Versatile Blogger Award from fellow horror writer, Blaze McRob at Blaze McRob’s Tales of Horror.  As part of his own receiving of the award, he has listed seven interesting things about himself at his blog. And he is definitely an interesting guy.  I plan on putting him a little further under the microscope soon with my Seven Questions.  Until then, to learn more about Blaze and see his other nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award, click here.

– Had these nice comments from Aniko Carmean on The Imaginings.  Okay, I know I said I wouldn’t publish every review, but this also counts as promoting Aniko who has some pretty great things to say at her blog, as well.  Her byline is “the happy horror writer.”  I love it.  And somewhat like my own blog, she spends a good bit of time just talking about the art and craft of writing.  From Aniko at

“. . . I am also reading The Imaginings by Paul D. Dail. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but there are scenes that take place in the underground tunnels of a partially constructed, possibly cursed mansion that combine psychological anxiety and good, old-fashioned scary . . . I read (half of) another indie horror book by a big-name in the biz and that one didn’t come close to matching the complexity or creepiness of either The Imaginings or The Well (by Peter Labrow). Yet another reminder that big sales don’t mean big time enjoyment for this humble reader.”

Thanks, Aniko.

What does the future hold?

With the craziness that was Halloween in the blogosphere, it is my hope that in this also busy month of November (especially given NaNoWriMo), next Friday’s post, “One Night after Going to a Horror Movie… or… Why It’s Scary Being Me,” a guest post I wrote for another blog last month will still be new to most of you. 

But without further ado…

Like many of my new writing amigos, I met Jonathan D. Allen, author of the soon-to-be-released The Corridors of the Dead, through Book Blogs.  Since then, it seems like we just keep discovering that while we may be a few years different in age, he and I have traveled many of the same paths in our lives.

He’s going to tell you about his book, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the writing side of Jonathan that is his blog, Shaggin’ the Muse.  Let me just say that Jonathan is a prolific writer.  This isn’t counting what he’s doing for his other job as a technical writer.  Nor the writing I’m pretty sure he’s doing daily on a novel or other story project.

If I were to make a guess, I’d say Jonathan puts out an average of 800 words a day at his blog alone.  To be completely honest (and Jonathan knows this), I don’t have enough free time to read all of his posts.  But I wish I did.  Because I’m never disappointed when I take the time to follow up on a particularly interesting sounding post when it comes across my email.

His posts are always visually appealing, he has a good sense of humor, good things to say, and again, it’s often like hearing my own thoughts.

So NOW without further ado…

Seven Questions with Author Jonathan D. Allen

1- As far as writing is concerned: a- your favorite hobby, b- your fiery passion, c- your full-time profession, or d- a combination of the above.  Feel free to expand.

Fiery passion and full-time profession. I’m incredibly fortunate that my everyday job involves getting paid to write (technical writing), but without a doubt I would love to be crafting fiction full-time.

[PDD: Yes, you’ve made some comments about this at your blog.  I like that you’ve said it’s not the most important thing that you are the next best seller, but that you want to write something that will survive the test of time.]

2- What was the last book you finished reading?  What are you currently reading?  If it doesn’t seem obvious by title, what are the genres?  Do either of these fall under your favorite genre (you know, the book you pick out when you’re going on vacation)?

Recently finished Finch by Jeff VanderMeer. Interesting take on world-building – the book is set in a world where an underground race that has built technology out of fungi is slowly taking over a city in a fantasy world. The book is about what it means to be a day-to-day worker (a detective, in this case) in the face of overwhelming oppression, amongst other things. I’m currently reading the Revenge of the Sith novelization by Matthew Stover, which I’ve reviewed on my site, and Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, a steampunk novel. Obviously, these are either fantasy or sci-fi, and yes, they absolutely fit into my preferred genre.

[PDD: The story by Jeff VanderMeer sounds interesting.  So, umm, what kind of fungi are we talking about exactly here?  ha ha.  And it’s been interesting to see a rise in the steampunk genre.  I’m still not 100% sure what it is, but I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately.]

3- What is the TV guide synopsis of your most recently completed project… or whatever project you’d like to talk about today?  (I’ve heard several people say you should be able to hook someone in 25 words or less, but I’m not offering to represent your work professionally, so 30 words will be accepted 🙂

The Corridors of the Dead: A young woman discovers that angels are not only real, they’re fighting a war to control the Multiverse with her as their pawn.

4- Okay, now your book jacket version (200 words or less).

Long ago, a mysterious being known as The Lost Aetelia crafted an elaborate series of Watchtowers, along with their resident guardians, the Aetelia, to watch over the Universe. In time, they sent a select group of their own to Earth, tasked with watching over the fledging human race. This group used humanity to challenge the established structure of the Universe. A bitter war ensued, and these rebels, who had come to be known as Watchers, disappeared from history.

The Aetelia – now known as angels – are returning. Following a fateful night of violence, Matty DiCamillo finds herself drawn into this world by a mysterious savior, who becomes a driving force in Matty’s new life.

Both driven by and fighting the prophecy that lay out her destiny, Matty, her lover Kristy, and her best friend Daniel accompany this mysterious woman on a journey that crosses time and space. Matty soon discovers that her savior may not be what she seems, and that even the denizens of this twilight world have no idea what lurks behind the stage dressing of reality. Matty finds herself racing to rescue the woman she loves and learning that she herself could cause the Universe’s day of reckoning.

[PDD:  Okay, what kind of fungi are we talking about?  Just kidding.  Sounds like a fascinating story.  I look forward to its release.  I haven’t read that much in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, but this one sounds like one I would enjoy.]

5- What is one of the biggest obstacles you have to (or have had to) overcome in regards to writing?  Could be about content, your process, or any other way you interpret the question.

I would have to say emotional issues, though it’s not always easy to talk about. I’ve lost years of my writing career to emotional struggles and some dark turns, but I like to think that I’ve managed to come out on the other side and turn some of that negative energy into a positive. At the very least, my struggles have transformed me into the man that I am today, and I’m grateful for that.

[PDD: Amen to that.  I know you’ve also talked about some of these things at your blog, and I’ve been impressed with your ability to put yourself out there emotionally, saying basically, “Hey, this is how I feel?  Anyone else?”  Good to see you can find the positive in it.]

6- What is something that your readers might be surprised to find out about you?

I lived in South Africa for three months in the late 1990s, with the intention of eventually becoming a resident and then a citizen.

[PDD: Okay, we’re going to have to talk more about that one later.  I’m so curious to hear more.]

7- I know “Vision Boards” are kind of hokey, but it will make a good way to ask this question.  If you had a mental Vision Board (or an actual one posted on your wall.  Hey, that’s cool.  No judgment here.), what would be three of the objects and/or goals that would be represented there?

A picture of myself standing at a podium giving a book reading, a picture of myself riding a bike once again (working weight loss goals), and a stack of about 10 completed novels.

[PDD: Three excellent choices and worthy visions.  God speed, my friend.  Looking forward to hear of your success at the release of the book.  Thanks for taking the time with me.]

What do I want from you?

– First, any comments responding to Jonathan would be great.

– Or what about you?  What might be something on your Vision Board?

– Also, here are the links for Jonathan:

His blog, Shaggin’ the Muse (click here)

Samples of The Corridors of the Dead (click here)

The Kayson Cycle, a short story available for Kindle (click here)

– Finally, don’t forget to check back next Friday for “One Night after Going to a Horror Movie… or… Why It’s Scary Being Me.”

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27 thoughts on “Author Interview- Seven Questions with Jonathan D. Allen

  1. Thanks, Paul! Love the comments on each one. Great questions; it was a lot of fun to answer them. Oh, and if you haven’t read Paul’s book yet (but come on, you’re at his site, why not??), seriously READ IT. I’m enjoying it greatly.

    1. Thanks, Jonathan. Glad you enjoyed the questions and my responses to your responses. And thanks for the kind words on The Imaginings. Hope you have a good weekend.

  2. Thanks for the fascinating interview with Jonathan. I really enjoyed reading more about him and his work.

    Dorothy – The Alaskan Bookie
    Blog ~
    Twitter ~

    1. Thanks Dorothy. I agree. Jonathan is an interesting guy. It’s been a pleasure getting to know him better these past few months. Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Hi Dorothy! Thanks a lot. Sorry for not replying sooner…caught up in getting ready for release. Have a great day!

  3. Jonathan sounds cool, even if he didn’t threaten to burn your moustache off. I suppose that makes ME a meanie. I accept the job and the responsibility.

    I did some technical writing back in the day, myself, so it’s interesting to see how a fellow writer makes the constant transitions.

    Great post!


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Blaze. Yes, he is a pretty cool guy (and all the better for allowing me to keep my facial hair 🙂 )

      And you’ve done technical writing, eh? Never have myself, but I’ve always been curious about it. You know, wondered if it would be something I could do and make a living at it without it distracting from my fiction writing. Apparently Jonathan is pulling it off. Actually, ironically enough, I had a professor once (Bill Ransom– he cowrote with Frank Herbert on a couple projects) who said the worst job for a writer is a creative writing teacher. I can see that, although when I taught creative writing (at least for one year), I felt pretty inspired by it.

    2. Thanks Blaze! Hmmm…how could you burn the Dali mustache off?? That thing owns. And glad to meet a fellow technical writer. You never quit. It stays with you til you die, you know!

  4. Great interview with Jonathan Allen. I liked how you asked some interesting questions rather than the redundant and canned ones I find on some blog sites.

    As far as my own vision board, I can see an author (who makes a living at it) named Andrew Hudson standing with a pretty wife in front of a nice house up in the San Bernardino mountains. So kind of George McFly in the happy 1985.

    And I’m glad to stumble upon your site through Allen’s post. I will definitely put your site in my blog list.

    1. Much thanks, Andrew. Yeah, Jonathan is a good guy. To be honest (since it sounds like you’ll be stopping by again), I like to use the same first six questions for all of my authors and then I switch up the seventh, but I’m glad you feel they are good questions. And Jonathan definitely provided me with some good answers.

      I like your “vision.” And nice Back to the Future reference. Classic. Nice to meet another writer. Hope you have a good weekend.

    2. Hey Andrew! Glad to see you over here. Paul’s blog is definitely worth reading, and his book is worth a read too. Good stuff.

  5. Paul, thanks for ‘introducing’ me to Jonathan!

    The TV pitch for The Corridors of the Dead has me ready to seek out and read. Nice work boiling down an entire novel into a single, compelling sentence. Where can I get some of that magic?

    Good luck to Jonathan with getting back to riding! I believe that a person with the will and drive to finish a novel while balancing a day job (that’s you, Jonathan!) has the determination, creativity and inventiveness to get fit, too. It’s a different kind of difficult, but keep with it, be compassionate towards yourself, and it’ll happen.

    Now, here’s a funny thing: when I saw my name in this post, I thought, “Wow! Paul knows someone else with my exact same name!!” Then I read what this other Aniko wrote and it seemed really familiar. I get it now and say a huge thanks for helping me promote my blog! 🙂

    1. Hi Aniko, thanks for stopping by and your comments to Jonathan. I agree with what you’ve said about riding. I have no doubt that he can do whatever he wants to do.

      And funny last comments. Nope, I don’t know anyone else named Aniko. Which makes you the unique person you are. Thanks again for your kind words on The Imaginings, and I hope this link will get some folks to your blog as well (I’ve already seen a few clicks through to you. Once they’re there, I’m sure they’ll like your stuff as much as I do). Have a good weekend.

    2. Hi Aniko! Said hi on my site and wanted to say hi here too. That’s so funny about the TV pitch; I have been struggling to boil this book down to an effective synopsis for close to six months now and I’m just finally getting there. I’m TERRIBLE at synopses and queries. So bad. But I find I’m improving, so the answer is: just keep trying. Eventually it’ll come clear.

      Thanks for the words of encouragement on weight loss – really, I can’t tell you what it means. I’ve been there before and I know I can get there again. Emotionally, I just think I’m ready.

      1. Boom sakahlkaa boom boom, problem solved.

        1. Hmm. Not sure what you mean, Regina. But I’ll assume you must know Jonathan. Or that you just solved his problem by providing a synopsis? Hope you stop back by for clarification.

  6. Congrats on the award, and great interview. South Africa must have been an awesome experience. I know someone who spent the summer there.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kelly. I see you have also received the Versatile Blogger Award. And well deserved. You have some great material at your blog (and apparently a whole slew of followers… impressive).

      And yes, I look forward to speaking with Jonathan more about his experiences in South Africa. What a fascinating time that must have been for him. Anyway, thanks again, and I hope you’re having a good weekend.

    2. Thanks Kelly! Yeah it was pretty great. I mean, I also saw some of the dark side of the country and they still had and have a long way to go toward true equality, but it was a lot of fun anyway.

  7. Hey, Paul. Thanks for introducing us to Jonathan. I had actually already been following him on a few other places, so I grateful to you for helping me fill in the blanks. Very interesting answers.


    1. Yup, he seems to be a man around town already. I didn’t anticipate mine being his big release, but I knew that at least one of my three loyal readers probably hadn’t been introduced to him yet 🙂

      Seriously, though, glad you enjoyed the interview. I like “filling in the blanks” with other authors I’ve met around the facebook/blogosphere, as well. Always fun to learn more about people you like, especially in this electronic world where we can’t necessarily do it face to face. Thanks for stopping by.

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