Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Oddities & Entities by Roland Allnach: Interview: PUYB Tour Stop

 






How did you start your writing career?

Creativity is something that was fostered throughout my childhood, and something to which I was always drawn.  My first venue for expression was through drawing, crafting ever larger scenes that tried to capture a moment, and tell a story, at the same time.  I wrote my first story when I was still a teenager, and when I put the final period on that piece I knew writing was far more satisfying than artwork.  Crafting stories became cemented into my life, a never-ending hobby that didn’t take the forefront of my pursuits until many years later when I finally decided to pursue publication as a job, and invest that pursuit with the accompanying discipline and patience it would require.

Tell us about your current release.

My current book, Oddities & Entities, is an anthology of six stories straddling the horror, paranormal, supernatural, and speculative genres.  The stories are linked in theme, exploring a definition of life beyond the fragile vessel of the human body.  As the quote goes on the back cover, “There’s more to this world than flesh and bone.”


What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a very supportive circle of friends and family.  That said, I think they sometimes wonder about my mental health when reading my stories.  I tend to write things that are a bit on the strange side, with that impact more resounding for the efforts I put into my character composition.  I’ve always had strange dreams, and writing is almost a form of self therapy to free those things from my subconscious.  My wife knows that, so sometimes when I’m grumpy she just tells me to go write something.  One of my friends says she sometimes would like to spend a little time in my head just to see what’s going on.  Be advised, things can get pretty surreal in there.


How do you describe your writing style?

I have a number of goals when I sit down to write a story, stemming from the very things that compel me to write in the first place.  I want to tell a story, but since there really aren’t too many truly unique stories left to tell, I want to tell a story in a way that is unique to me.  I want to invest a story with characters that come off the page, translating to readers with the same level of reality that I felt in the creation of those personalities.  Last, but certainly not least, I’m a big fan of classical literature, and look to that as my author’s studio for the written word.  I want to express a story not just for the story but for the very love of crafting words and sentences, so that they have an artistry all their own.


How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I entertain two on-going considerations in my head, one for story ideas, and the other for character ideas.  I won’t endeavor to write a story, no matter how thrilling I find the idea, until I have a solid character to go with the story.  So, while I see a story idea as motivation, it is the study of character that compels me to write the story.  Having that idea of character guides the focus and view of the story, and allows the story to be humanized.  Without that critical factor, I don’t think any story idea will successfully translate to a reader, because character is what allows a reader to bridge into a story.


If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

I have a grand ambition to one day see a series of novels I’ve written over the years make their way into the publication world.  They follow a five decade arc of human interaction in the future, when the turmoil of society not only leaves humanity looking for spiritual growth, but also recognizing that humanity stands on the verge of an evolutionary leap.  This change requires a new definition of our place in existence, and, with that change in definition, struggle and division arise. 


Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it?  If so, can you share it?

There’s a single line in one of the stories, and it found its way onto the back cover of the book.  It goes like this: “There’s more to this world than flesh and bone.”  I think it lets readers know right off the bat that they’re in store for things you don’t encounter in the everyday world, while also hinting at the more philosophical aspects of the book. 

 

Do you have a Website or Blog?

Both, actually.  My blog is at rafictionzone.blogspot.com, and I post essays there when some thought or other compels me to expound.  I look at the blog as a companion to my website, rolandallnach.com, which is the true center of my on-line existence.  On the site I keep everything regarding my published works.  All my published short fiction is available for reading, along with excerpts of my books, reviews, interviews, and book videos.  I also have an evolving page called ‘For the Writer’, where I share things I’ve learned along the way while pursuing the adventure of being an author.  The part of the site I enjoy the most is a feature I call ‘Behind the Stories’, where I have essays regarding the creative process behind each published work.  I mirror this on the pages dedicated to my books, discussing what went into crafting each story, and the process of putting together thematically linked anthologies.
 
 
 
 
 

Roland Allnach has been writing since his early teens, first as a hobby, but as the years passed, more as a serious creative pursuit. He is an avid reader, with his main interests residing in history, mythology, and literary classics, along with some fantasy and science fiction in his earlier years. Although his college years were focused on a technical education, he always fostered his interest in literature, and has sought to fill every gap on his bookshelves.
By nature a do-it-yourself type of personality, his creative inclinations started with art and evolved to the written word. The process of creativity is a source of fascination for him, and the notion of bringing something to being that would not exist without personal effort and commitment serves not only as inspiration but as fulfillment as well. So whether it is writing, woodwork, or landscaping, his hands and mind are not often at rest.
Over the years he accumulated a dust laden catalog of his written works, with his reading audience limited to family and friends. After deciding to approach his writing as a profession, and not a hobby, the first glimmers of success came along. Since making the decision to move forward, he has secured publication for a number of short stories, has received a nomination for inclusion in the Pushcart Anthology, built his own website, and in November 2010 realized publication for an anthology of three novellas, titled Remnant, from All Things That Matter Press. Remnant has gone on to favorable critical review and placed as Finalist/Sci-fi, 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards; Bronze Medalist, Sci-Fi, 2012 Readers Favorite Book of the Year Awards; and Award Winner-Finalist, Sci-Fi, 2012 USA Book News Best Book Awards. Roland’s second publication, Oddities & Entities, also from All Things That Matter Press, followed in March 2012. It, too, has received favorable critical review, and is the recipient of four awards: Bronze Medalist, Horror, and Finalist, Paranormal, 2012 Readers Favorite Book of the Year Awards; Award Winner-Finalist, Fiction/Horror and Fiction/Anthologies, 2012 USA Book News Best Book Awards.
His writing can best be described as depicting strange people involved in perhaps stranger situations. He is not devoted to any one genre of writing. Instead, he prefers to let his stories follow their own path. Classification can follow after the fact, but if one is looking for labels, one would find his stories in several categories. Sometimes speculative, other times supernatural, at times horror, with journeys into mainstream fiction, and even some humor- or perhaps the bizarre. Despite the category, he aims to depict characters as real on the page as they are in his head, with prose of literary quality. His literary inspirations are as eclectic as his written works- from Poe to Kate Chopin, from Homer to Tolkien, from Flaubert to William Gibson, from Shakespeare to Tolstoy, as long as a piece is true to itself, he is willing to go along for the ride. He hopes to bring the same to his own fiction.

 

‘Oddities & Entities’ is a surreal, provocative anthology of six tales within the supernatural/ paranormal/horror genres, exploring a definition of life beyond the fragile vessel of the human body. The stories are: ‘Boneview’, in which a young woman struggles to balance her ability to see through people with the presence of a supernatural creature in her life; ‘Shift/Change’, in which a hospital worker struggles to regain his memory as he is confronted by a series of desperate people; ‘My Other Me’, in which a lonely college student finds himself displaced from his body by his alter ego; ‘Gray’, in which a frustrated man is stunned to discover a little creature has been living in his head; ‘Elmer Phelps’, in which a brother and sister find themselves linked in a strange reality by a bat bite in their youth; and lastly, ‘Appendage’, in which a cynical mercenary is hired by his son to protect a research lab on the verge of a stunning discovery.
 
 
 
 
Praise for Oddities & Entities:

“Oddities & Entities” by Roland Allnach, categorized as horror fiction, is unlike any other horror fiction I have ever encountered. The book is comprised of six stories, each of which is written a cut above the norm. There are no recognizable monsters in these stories, no sophomoric zombies, no evil ancient vampires, and none of the standard fare I have become accustomed to in the horror genre. I do like the usual run of the horror genre, but this book is written with thoughtful intelligence, for an intelligent adult reader. I do not mean to imply sexual situations or coarse language. What I mean is, any intelligent reader, capable of deep thought, will find this book irresistible. The six individual stories are as unlike as any six stories can be, yet each one is so sufficiently well-written that, if sold as individual short stories, I wouldn’t hesitate to award 5 stars to each of them.

To say I like this book is a crass understatement. Each story drew me in and evoked my empathy for various characters. These stories forced me to actually think beyond what I was reading. Each premise was unique, at least in my experience; I have never encountered any other stories that even approach the situations these present with authority and authenticity. If I could boil down my perception of this book into a single word, that word would be WOW! Roland Allnach’s first anthology, “Remnant”, which I have also read, was placed as a finalist in the Science Fiction category in the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards. I absolutely expect “Oddities & Entities” to follow suit. If you read only one book this year, make it this one. Be prepared to have your comfort zone challenged.

– Readers Favorite (ReadersFavorite.com)
 
 


 
 
 
 
Monday, February 4 – Interview at Examiner
Tuesday, February 5 – Interview at The Writer’s Life
Wednesday, February 6 – Interview at Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews
Thursday, February 7 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Friday, February 8 – Interview at Books Books the Magical Fruit
Monday, February 11 – Book Review at Beauty in Ruins
Tuesday, February 12 – Guest Blogging at Delphina Reads Too Much
Wednesday, February 13 – First Chapter Reveal at Beyond the Books
Thursday, February 14 – Interview at Blogcritics
Friday, February 15 – Interview at Book Marketing Buzz
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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