Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shaun Allan

For today's interview, please welcome Shaun Allan.  Shaun has a very diverse writing background including poems, short stories and an online magazine that he used to run.  As a result of his work on that magazine, he was invited to appear on Sky TV where he debated the virtues of electronic publishing with a prominent agent from Curtis Brown.  While I don't know the exact outcome of that debate, I think I can speak for many independent authors when I say I hope and expect Shaun kicked serious butt. ;)

His writing challenges the imagination with unique and very creative themes.  I have not yet had time to read his novel - Sin, but I have read the opening and it is powerfully written with a unique and skilled voice.

As of this writing, Shaun was anxiously anticipating the arrival of an over-due baby, so let's all wish Shaun and his family the best!

You can view Shaun's main website HERE where you can find links to buy Sin or other books by Shaun.

You can also go directly to Sin's blog HERE (he's the crazy one . . . not Shaun).
Please also stop by Shaun's Facebook Page when you have some time.

And as a special offer to visitors of this Blog, Shaun is offering 50% off Sin.  Just use coupon code LS52L  HERE

TAS: Let's get the plug out of the way.  Tell us a little bit about the project you are currently promoting - who will be interested and why?

SA: Although I’m promoting three stories at the moment, Sin, Zits’n’Bits (a collection of offbeat poems for children) and Tooth (the mastodon story – 5 star reviewed!), Sin is my main focus as it’s taken me 10 years from the original story to write.  There were times, due to life getting in the way, where I didn’t write for almost a year.  Then, on holiday in Egypt last year, I managed 15,000 words!  Sin has a lot of me in him – his thoughts can be random, his experiences not always good.  He had a poor childhood and just wanted to be a normal guy.  The fact that people die around him doesn’t make him a bad person, does it?

TAS: What aspects of being an author do you most enjoy?

SA: Finding out what is going to happen.  I, normally, have no idea where a story is going to go.  I just start writing.  When I had neared the end of Sin and had an idea of what was going to happen, I was so excited because, up until that point, I didn’t know.  I read about his dead sister taking him to the Seven Hills (an area of urban legend when I was a child) when it happened, for example.  For his blog, I have a one sentence starter, with no inkling of who he will meet or what he will say.  I just let it flow.  The discovery is a great feeling.

TAS: What aspects of being an author do you least enjoy?

SA: The year where I didn’t get to write.  The feeling just wasn’t there.  Nowadays, I have the constant urge to write, but can’t because of work etc.

TAS: What moment as an author have you experienced that you are likely to remember 20 years from now (good or bad)?

SA: Appearing on Sky was a highlight for me, definitely.  Finishing Sin was too.  I’ve got about three other novels partially finished so completing one – especially when it was so much a part of me – was wonderful.

TAS: What bad habits do you have when it comes to writing/promoting your books and/or what do you wish you could do better?

SA: I don’t make notes or plan the story.  Luckily I tend to remember things that happen so I know if I’m contradicting myself, but I really should make notes as I go along.  The closest I come to doing so is typing a few words at the bottom of the document to remind me of things.  As for promoting, I have all the best intentions, but none of the time.  I wish I could invest time to figure out the best ways and follow them up.

TAS: How important do you think a cover is to a book?

SA: Very important.  It’s your first impression.  Many people are limited, unless they pay for bespoke covers, on what they can produce, so I do take that into consideration with indie authors, but in a bookstore, it’s usually the cover (unless it’s an author I follow) that grabs me.

SA: How many hours a week do you spend writing?

TAS: Not enough.  But then would it ever be?

TAS: What's the greatest thing you can realistically imagine happening as a result of your writing?   How likely do you think that is to actually happen?

SA: Seeing it on the shelf in a shop.  I think it’s a fairly reasonable intent, although I need to get to the pushing for it stage!

TAS: Have you ever changed the way you worded something you were writing because you weren't sure the grammatically correct way to say it as originally imagined?

SA: I have indeed.  Saying that, though, in Sin’s case it’s a narrative so it’s written as he would say or think it, grammatically correct or not.  That’s a great feeling of freedom!

TAS: Tell us about the most interesting thing you’ve ever eaten.

SA: Hmmm...  I was brought up in a house where, if it went with chips (fries) it was ok so I grew up with very bland tastes.  I’m only now getting into curry, chilli and other things.  I ate my first kiwi fruit only the other day!  Go me!

TAS: If you could go back in time and spend a 24 hour period observing one full day at the time of your choosing, what year or event would you choose and why?

SA: I’d like to watch Neanderthal Man discover the Monolith.  Well, really I’d like to watch the moon landing.  I was only 3 when it happened so can’t remember it, but that would be SUCH an experience.  The whole world was entranced.  Seeing it featured on Doctor Who only the other night only served to remind me of this.

TAS: If you could have any super-power, what would you choose and why?

SA: Well, Sin can kill people without a thought and teleport (though he can’t control either).  I’m not sure what I’d want for myself.  My favourite X-man was Storm.  That was impressive power – to control the elements.  Cool!


Anonymous said...

'Sin' sounds like an intersting concept for a book! I look forward to reading it.

Ruby Barnes said...

I also prefer the organic approach to writing. Then, as author, you experience all the potential reader's emotions as the story unfolds.

Dean Lappi said...

Great interview Shaun, or should I say Sin? :-) I enjoyed reading Sin very much and recommend it to people who enjoys a very unique character in very unusual circumstances. Cheers Shaun.

Alison said...

I'm also experimenting with the organic approach - I used to outline everything, so it is a big change. Hey, your book sounds GREAT!