AUTHOR JOHN F. ALLEN BOOK SIGNING AT DOWNTOWN COMICS INDIANAPOLIS

Hey true believers!

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I will be attending a book signing at Downtown Comics on Wednesday, September 4, 2013; at 11:30 AM!

I will be selling and signing copies of my debut novel, The God Killers!

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TheGodKillers1000X664While there enter a raffle to receive a FREE The God Killers poster!

Be sure to mark your calendars and  stop by to pick up a copy of The God Killers and hang out with me!

 

 

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Downtown Comics is located at:

Downtown Comics, Circle

11 East Market Street

Indianapolis, IN 46204

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REACHING OUT TO MAKE AMENDS

On Monday of this week I put out a Facebook post regarding the Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus awards show spectacle. As a result, some people took offense to poor word choices I made, which I never intended be taken in that manner.

Here I want to express that I’m sorry to all who were offended. My intention was not to cause any offense, pain, suffering or discomfort for anyone. Those who truly know the person I am know the content of my character and what’s truly in my heart.  I explained in the post when asked, that my statement was meant to be taken figuratively, not literally as some folks took it. It’s an expression that’s very common in urban settings.

As an indirect result, it was also that day that The Indiana Horror Writers (IHW) disbanded. I have been a member of this organization for nearly two years and have developed some very close and rewarding relationships as a result. These people became family to me and I love them dearly. We have fought, laughed and cried together. I became teary eyed when news of the disbanding occurred. I felt as though a part of me had died.

Some of the offended parties have publicly expressed their feelings on my words and me in general. Seeing this was very difficult on a personal level. Having your name dragged through the mud and having opinions attributed to you that you do not share in any way is hurtful to endure.

However, as difficult as it has been to witness, I have been largely silent. I haven’t personally engaged those who I offended in one way or the other. It has come to my attention that an unnamed supporter—someone whose identity I’m truthfully unaware of—has attempted to defend me and while I’m appreciative of the efforts, I don’t condone this type of behavior. To those who truly know my character and want to help, please don’t do so by posting angry, inflammatory internet rants. This does nothing to help the situation and only further alienates the parties involved.

To those I offended, I offer an olive branch and show of good faith. Anyone who would like to have an open and positive dialogue with me is welcome to do so and I’m open to it. I’m willing to listen, I’m willing to say I’m sorry and I’m willing to move on. We all make mistakes in our lives, the main thing is how we respond and address them. All I ask is the opportunity to demonstrate my sincerity in regards to making amends for this deeply regrettable situation.

SO YOU WANT TO FIND A MENTOR, HUH?

HOW AND WHEN TO APPROACH OTHER WRITERS FOR GUIDANCE AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

Many new and aspiring writers are eager to get started on their “Writer’s Journey” and don’t know where to start. Some think that obtaining an MBA is the way to go (and it is for some), while others plow ahead full throttle. Those brave souls who dive in head first, cast caution to the wind and put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard and never look back…well, most of the time perhaps.

This post is written to give the new and aspiring writer an idea of how to approach a more seasoned and established writer for advice, counsel and/or mentoring. Let me first say that there is nothing wrong about having an agenda in regards to networking and establishing contacts with other writers. In fact, most writers I know expect and encourage it. That said, there is a way in which to go about this and these helpful hints might come in handy to consider when engaging other writers.

1) Don’t be a fanboy/girl.

While most writers love and respect the fans of their work, they mostly don’t want to have a gang of groupies stalking them and following them around like rats to the Pied Piper’s tune. At conventions, book signings and other events, they engage and speak with fans on their work, the craft of writing or whatever the panel is called that day. By the way, conventions and book signings are perfect places to approach an author and network with them! For the most part, they enjoy talking about their work and what it means to them and what it means to their readers. However, what they don’t want is for crazed, demented people to stalk them until they become their bosom buddy. BE COOL! Even though you may approach an author because they wrote a book you liked, they write in your favorite genre or they’ve attained some notoriety, they are people just like you. Authors want to maintain their semblance of normalcy and unfortunately, they can’t be bosom buddies/bff’s with everyone (even if they wanted to).

2) Keep your topic of discussion focused.

I know that it’s hard not to get caught up in the fact that you’re actually in the presence of and speaking to someone you admire or at least whose work you admire. But take into consideration that authors simply don’t have time to shoot the breeze on any and everything ad nauseam. They don’t even have time to do that with each other, let alone with anyone else. Writers spend most of their time writing the books/stories that drew you to them in the first place. That said, you want to make sure to focus on some specific topic(s) to approach them with. Once you’ve established that connection and if the author is open to you contacting them outside of the convention either through email or social media, use your connection wisely! By the way, social media is a great way to connect and network with authors! Don’t bombard an author with a gazillion questions and gush over them like their biggest fan. Although they like to know when people dig their work, it becomes an uncomfortable situation when they have limited time to chat, correspond or conduct business and someone is calling on them everyday (sometimes more than once a day) to answer questions or give advice.  Contact them ONLY when necessary and do so sparingly! Writers are usually too busy to field every question and engage every reader, but they do their best.

3) Don’t ask an author to be your mentor…at least not right after meeting them.

I know that sometimes being direct is a way to cut to the chase however, in this instance it’s a sure-fire way to get an author to avoid you like the plague! Developing a mentor relationship with an author should be something VERY ORGANIC! When it’s forced, it’s as though you’re throwing yourself at them like an obsessed stalker. That’s not to say that once you’ve established a relationship with another writer that you can’t ask for help, guidance/support and even mentoring. Most authors are at least somewhat honored when another writer names them as an influence/inspiration and/or mentor. The key here is not to be overzealous and presumptuous. Feel out the author and the relationship that you’ve developed carefully before approaching them in this regard.

The above statements are meant to be guidelines for how and when to approach an author in order to develop a relationship and to seek advice/guidance/mentoring. Every author and every relationship is different, some develop quickly and others take a longer time. The bottom line is that you take your time and don’t rush things. Be yourself and let your dedication and talent speak for itself.

REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

WRITE ON!

© 2013 John F. Allen

THE GOD KILLERS IS NOW AVAILABLE ON KOBO!

Good Afternoon Staunch Perusers!

the-god-killers-cover-layout1 I’ve just got word from my publisher, Seventh Star Press, that my debut novel, THE GOD KILLERS, is NOW available on Kobo!   That’s right, if you have a kobo reader or even if you don’t have a reader, but you have a Kobo account, you can order your copy   today!

Follow the link below and as always, REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!
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Kobo (ebook)

SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER?

FIVE THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU BEGIN A CAREER AS A WRITER

typewriter_1_lgMany people who aren’t writers or who aspire to one day write the “NEXT BEST THING” have absolutely no idea what a writing life entails.  It is because of their skewed and/or misguided ideas on what being a writer is about that they often suffer from severe delusions of granduer. It is the intent of this particular post to dispell the erroneous notions many have about the writing life and what it means to be a writer.

I’ve had people actually ask me when I got my book deal, “So now that you’re published I suppose you’re going to quit your job and move to a big house in the hills?”

I was astonished at first…did they know something I didn’t? Don’t get me wrong, every writer wants to reap the rewards of their work, but extreme changes in lifestyle, affluence and riches are not in the cards for the vast majority of us. The fact is that only 1% or less of (fiction) writers are able to live off of the revenue generated from the sales of their writing endeavors. This is further compounded by the fact that an even smaller group of that meager 1% are well off, let alone wealthy.

Some folks think that all published writers own some measure of noteriety and I suppose that’s true to some extent. However, very rarely does it result in an easy, carefree lifestyle like the allusions created in the minds of those who don’t know any better. Even those wealthy writers like Stephen King, James Patterson, Danielle Steel or JK Rowling, didn’t get their rewards overnight. Sure, there are a miniscule number of virtually overnight success stories, but believe me when I say those are very far and few in between and it didn’t exactly happen overnight.

The following is a favorite quote of mine from best selling fantasy author RA Salvatore and it happens to be in my opinion the best advice for an aspiring writer to consider when contemplating a career as a writer.

There’s way too much pain in this business (writing) for anyone who doesn’t have to write. I always tell beginning writers, “If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.”

~ R.A. Salvatore

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Five questions to ask yourself before embarking on a career as a writer.

1) Do you like to write?

I know that this seems like a given, but surprisingly there are a number of people who don’t like to write and still aspire to do so. These folks may have an idea that they think is great (and it might just be), but have absolutely NO PASSION for the craft. While I’m not one to discourage anyone from their dreams and/or goals, I think that folks who answer no or even “not really” to this question, should think long and hard about perhaps finding something more fulfilling and rewarding to do with their lives.

2) Can you quit writing?

This question is very much tied to the Salvatore quote and is a very legitimate question to ask yourself before pursuing a writing career. If you can go days, weeks, months, years without writing or at least thinking about it, then perhaps you should find a more attention grabbing and fulfilling vocation. But if you can’t (and you answered yes to question #1), then by all means I encourage you to proceed.

3) Do you want to write because you want an easy, carefree lifestyle with wealth and adoration aplenty?

If you answer “yes” to this question, PLEASE don’t continue to pursue a career as a writer…YOU WILL BE VERY DISAPPOINTED! Again I will acknowledge those rare overnight success stories, but the odds of becoming one of those fortunate few are very slim to none. Even if that sort of success eventually finds you, that shouldn’t be what drives your writing. This is a prime example of those delusions of grandeur I mentioned earlier.

4) Are you a storyteller?

For a fiction writer, this is essential. If you aren’t a storyteller then regardless of what your answers to the above questions are, it is my opinon that you might want to find something else to do with your life. The very essence of fiction writing is to convey a story and if you don’t have stories to tell, then what’s the point? Many people enter into writing (or at least attempt to do so) and have not one story to tell. They’re under the impression that stringing a few sentences into paragraphs and putting together some dialogue constitutes a story. Well, the sobering truth is that it takes a lot more than that to make a story, let alone a good one. Stories generally start with an idea, but an idea alone does not a story make!

5) Can you write only when inspired or in the mood?

Some may argue that it’s still possible to be a writer who writes only when inspired to do so and I’d have to respectfully disagree. I can assure you that if I only wrote when inspired, I’d never finish a damned thing! Being a writer (especially a novelist) is about writing whether you’re inspired or in the mood, because deadlines are deadlines and the story WILL NOT write itself.  The following quote from successful, best selling author Neil Gaiman, I think says it all.

“If you only write when you’re inspired you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist because you’re going to have to make your word count today and those words aren’t going to wait for you whether you’re inspired or not.
You …have to write when you’re not inspired. And you have to write the scenes that don’t inspire you. And the weird thing is that six months later, a year later, you’ll look back at them and you can’t remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you just wrote because they had to be written next.

The process of writing can be magical. Mostly it’s a process of putting one word after another.” ~ Neil Gaiman in conversation with Chris Hardwick. (via terribleminds)

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In closing, I want it to be clear that in writing this post I am not attempting to dash the dreams and goals of new and aspiring writers. My intent is to merely dispell the very problematic and misguided ideals that some pepole pursuing a career as a writer might have. I’m the first to be very encouraging to new and aspiring writers, but please consider the questions I’ve posed and answer them truthfully before you devote yourself to the writing life.

WRITE ON!

© 2013 John F. Allen

FOREST OF SHADOWS FEATURED IN SEVENTH STAR PRESS ANTHOLOGY TITLED THUNDER ON THE BATTLEFIELD

GREETINGS STAUNCH PERUSERS!
Double Book Cover Thunder on the BattlefieldMy latest character creation, Prince Jaziri of Kagiso, makes his debut in my BRAND NEW Sword & Soul short story “Forest of Shadows”! Available now in eBook format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and by mid-August in Print, as part of the Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword and Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery anthologies from Editor James R. Tuck, author of the dark urban fantasy series featuring Deacon Chalk and published by Seventh Star Press!
Here’s the full list of authors and stories in the two volumes:
(click link above to purchase!)
Featuring:
G. Jerome Henson: “THE HORDE”
Jay Requard: “PAPER DEMONS”
D.T. Neal: “THE WOLF & THE CROW”
John F. Allen: “FOREST OF SHADOWS”
Marcella Burnard “EMISSARY”
David J. West: “THE DOGS OF WAR”
Alexis A. Hunter: “THE RED HAND”
James R. Tuck “WHERE THE RED BLOSSOMS WEEP”
Loriane Parker: “THIEF OF SOULS”
W. E. Wertenberger: “THE GNAWED BONE”
Stephen Zimmer “ALL THE LANDS, NOWHERE A HOME”
J.S. Veter “THE WITCH OF RYMAL PASS”
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REVISED_SORCERY_COVER1200X835Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery  
(click link above to purchase!)
Featuring:
Jeffe Kennedy: “NEGOTIATION”
Alex Hughes: “THE FOURTH RULE”
Selah Janel: “THE RUINS OF ST. LOUIS”
Steve Grassie: “MARK OF THE WARRIOR”
James R. Tuck: “ANGELS OF SCRAWL”
M.B Weston: “THE CHERUBIAN, THE LINDWORM, AND THE PORTAL”
Brady Allen: “GRINDING THE GEARS”
S.H. Roddey “BLACK ICE”
Steven S. Long: “THE TWO FIRES”
D.A. Adams: “ACROSS THE WILDS”
Mark Taverna “DARK GENESIS”
Steven L. Shrewsbury “WHORE OF JERICHO”
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The awesome cover art for the anthologies were created by Enggar Adirasa, the same cover artist for my debut novel The God Killers!)

AUTHOR JOHN F. ALLEN TO APPEAR AT THE 7TH ANNUAL PARANORMAL MEET & GREET!

Greetings Staunch Perusers!

2daysHere’s a friendly reminder that on Saturday, August 10th, I will be selling/signing my debut novel, THE GOD KILLERS at the 7th Annual Paranormal Meet & Greet, along with other Indiana Horror Writers (IHW) authors (including TCQ members, RJ Sullivan, Eric Garrison, and Michael West).

We will be at:

The Hannah House

The Hannah House

Hannah House

3801 Madison Ave.

Indianapolis, IN 46227

12 noon to 4pm

Admission is FREE!!!

Hannah House is Indianapolis’s premier haunted house!