Sunday, April 4, 2021

Interview with Horror Author Mark Allen


1.      What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into a book? A couple of things happened in my life just prior to writing NOCTURNAL. I had been working on breaking into the film industry as a screenwriter, and finding little success. I managed to get a couple of my scripts made into micro-budget horror movies, but the career had cooled. I had tried writing NOCTURNAL as a script, but it wasn't working in that format. My wife suggested writing it as a novel. Then in 2014 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Throat Cancer and faced with a grim prognosis: a 23% chance of living to 12 months. This inspired me to write a book asking, what part of us lives on after we die?  I hoped (and still hope!) that somehow the love we feel survives. So I wrote NOCTURNAL so I could write a novel that is essentially driven by a love that transcends the boundaries of life and death.  

2.      What is it about and who is it for? The book is really about love, duty, honor. The Vampire is bound by his word, a promise he made to the women he loved in Life. But he also loves his family, loves his descendants, and wants to help them when he can. But he's got this pesky code of honor that forbids him from breaking his promise. So it puts him in a bit of a bind while he saves an undercover cop from a murderous drug cartel and then helps the cop take them down. Who is the book for? Anyone over 17 or 18. Horror fans, vampire fans, even detective/crime/mystery fans.  

3.      What do you hope the reader will be left with after reading it?  A feeling of emotional satisfaction that some family bonds can still be maintained even after a period of years, and a feeling of satisfaction that good triumphs over evil.  

4.      What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Two things: 1) Read VORACIOUSLY. I have personally never met a writer worth their salt that did not read on a daily basis. Read popular fiction, nonfiction, blogs, essays, etc. And read the classics. Read Shakespeare. Read Hemingway. Read O'Neil. For horror writers, in addition to the above, read King, Barker, Laymon, Poe, Stoker, Lovecraft, Shelley, Pierce. And find some of the more obscure or indie writers working today like Hunter Shea and Terry M. West. Talented writers, and good all-around guys. And some of them might want to give me a try.   2) Writers... WRITE. Get the seat of your pants into the seat of a chair and WRITE. Do the grunt work of the craft. Sweat it out. To create something that might end up being a work of art, there is no shortcut. As Stephen King says, "Some writers wait for inspiration. The rest of us get up and go to work."  

5.      What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?  There's more and more consolidation in the industry as it tries to adjust the prevailing business model to meet changing times and shifting audience preferences. There is more vertical integration going on, just like we see in other forms of media, especially in Hollywood. There's more ebooks now, audiobooks. Hardcover and paperback are no longer the only games in town. And writers need to be aware of this. Also, more and more authors are choosing to go indie through various services like KDP. Just be aware that if you go indie, you have to do your own marketing and publicity too, and that takes time and energy away from creating new content.  

6.      What challenges did you overcome to write this book? I had to keep from dying. My mission was to live long enough to finish the book and see it published.  

7.      If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? Because my book hits all quadrants. It is entertaining, yet also introspective. It is a horror tale, a crime thriller, a police/detective procedural, a family saga, a mystery, historical fiction, and a love story. People say I wrote a vampire story. I say, no I didn't. I wrote a story with a vampire in it so I could talk about other things.

About The Author: Mark was born and raised in Jacksonville, Texas. He fell in love with writing at age ten, and has been writing ever since. Upon high school graduation, he joined the Navy and spent 20 years as a Navy Hospital Corpsman and was a Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist. He retired in early 2001 and returned to his first love, writing. Mark is now a produced screenwriter (DELIRIUM, 2007 York Entertainment; EARLY GRAVE 2013 Fenix Pictures) and published novelist (NOCTURNAL, 2017). His next novel, BLOOD RED MOON, is due for release in the fall of 2021. He is currently working on JUST BEFORE DAWN, a sequel to NOCTURNAL, for release late 2022. Mark lives in a small town on the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest. He writes every day. For more information, please consult:


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