LKBR: Thank you for joining us today, Allen.
AB: Always a pleasure to chat with you, Lisa.
LKBR: Please tell us a bit about yourself.
AB: I’m the author of thirteen books for two different publishers. I’m a husband and father of three children. I also have a one-year-old Golden Retriever who insists on playing tug-o-war with me every night. So, in my house, it is a challenge to find time to write.
LKBR: Please tell us about your new book.
AB: Morning Mist and Murder is the title. It’s a murder mystery that takes place in a small community in Pennsylvania packed with artists and scholars. Since no one has experience with a homicide investigation, the mayor recruits a new resident to help with the case. August Summerfield is his name. He’s a retired government worker who’s more interested in bird watching than people. He also has a sharp mind for details and is usually one step ahead of other people.
LKBR: What is your writing process? Do you have a certain order you use when starting a new story, such as the crime, the characters, location?
AB: I actually started writing this book twenty-five years ago. I wanted to write a murder mystery and found myself stuck on a plot point, so I put the manuscript away. Fast forward to 2020 when I found the manuscript during lockdown and went to work. It was kind of like co-authoring a story with a much younger version of myself. So, I had this framework to work with, but a lot did change from the original story to what was published in Morning Mist and Murder.
LKBR: How many hours a day/week do you write?
AB: It can vary. I think a lot about scenes before I sit down to write, so it comes out pretty quickly. A good day for me would be about six pages.
LKBR: Do you have a favorite place to write?
AB: Lately on my back porch. I tend to listen to music while I write. I find that some good instrumental music really enhances the scenes that I work on.
LKBR: Where’s the strangest place inspiration has hit?
AB: Lots of ideas during a shower. Don’t know why but…it happens.
LKBR: Are you working on any new projects?
AB: I usually have two manuscripts going at the same time. I have about fifty pages done for another series I write. I’ve also been outlining the next August Summerfield mystery.
LKBR: Have you ever thought about giving up on writing? If yes, why? What kept you going?
AB: My brain is wired for writing. Whether fiction or nonfiction, it comes pretty natural to me so, no, I’ve never thought about giving it up.
LKBR: What can you see yourself doing if you weren’t writing?
AB: I have two sons, so we enjoy golf and tennis. My wife and I like to get away when we can. Also, our one-year-old dog needs lots of walks. So I do have plenty of activities to balance out the writing. Time away from writing, for me, gets the creative juices going.
LKBR: If you could make one request of a reader, what would that be?
AB: Take your time when you read and enjoy the story. As a writer, I began with poetry in college. I was lucky enough to have some published and then I progressed to short stories and eventually books. Language and how words sound together is something I put a premium on when I write. I just want the reader to appreciate that.
LKBR: Please let us know any links you have where we can follow you.
LKBR: Thank you so much, Allen! I’m looking forward to chatting with you again soon.
AB: Always a pleasure. Hope you, like your readers, have a good summer of reading by the pool, the garden or the beach.