I am 44 years old, born and raised in Michigan. I have been married for 17 years to my wife Sue (who also designed my book cover). We have 2 children – Sophie, 15, and Jake, 13. I have a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Detroit – Mercy.
Bio Provided by Author
It was my pleasure to interview Christian and learn more about his book titled “Half a Vamp”. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did! So without further adeu I introduce to you, Christian W. Allers!
1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
A good hook for me comes from developing good characters. I find when reading other books that if I care about the characters, just about anything can make a good “hook”. My inspiration comes from other authors, movies, TV shows, everyday life, etc. In early 2011 I decided I wanted to try to write a novel. Just deciding that seemed to unlock a room in my mind, where suddenly I started questioning things – like ‘Why did the character do that? Wouldn’t it be more interesting if they did this instead?’ I started seeing story possibilities everywhere. Now it’s a matter of finding time to capture them all.
2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
I free write and work things out as I go. I am still fairly new at this and could change my methods as certain methods prove unwieldy. The ‘Half a Vamp’ book is supposed to be the first in a trilogy. I am working on the second book now and find that I need to keep the first file open and am constantly toggling back and forth. Taking notes is looking better and better.
3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
I really wish that I could have a ‘normal’ writing day. Maybe some day. I currently work at one of the Big 3 automotive companies during the day. I also have a small business (a videogame LAN Center) that I opened in 2007, and I typically put in a couple hours a day there. So I try to squeeze in an hour or two during the day whenever I can wherever that may be. I end up e-mailing myself whatever I write and compiling it all at home every week or so.
4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. My favorite authors are Roger Zelazny, Robert Heinlein, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, and many more. I’m not sure that they inspire me to write so much as they inspire me to write well. My inspiration to write came from reading a novel that I felt was poorly executed. I was thinking through the whole thing, “I could do so much better.”
5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
Some of the self-publishing process has been tedious and frustrating. I am on my third edition of ‘Half a Vamp’ already and it has been published less than a month. I don’t know how I will react to negative reviews, as I don’t have any reader reviews yet. I hope I can use the feedback to improve my writing, but I’m sure part of me will want to react by assuming the fetal position with my thumb in my mouth.
6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
I am currently making my way (for the third time) through Roger Zelazny’s ‘Chronicles of Amber’ series. It is pretty rare that I don’t have a book on my nightstand, ready for a quick chapter or two at the end of the day.
7. What drew you towards this writing style of a regular person becoming a vamp instead of the steriotypical Hollywood type person? Is there personal life experience in the writing?
I read several books and series in the past couple of years dealing with vampires — the Twilight series, Patricia Briggs’ Mercedes Thompson series, Kim Harrison’s Hollows series — and they all pictured vampires as super-powerful and super-sexy, and I wondered at some point, “What if somebody becomes a vampire but isn’t all that?” Even though the story is based in fantasy, I wanted it to have realistic locales, which is how it ended up being based in and around the state of Michigan.
8. Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
I am still very new to the industry and very new to even thinking of this as an industry. I have always loved reading books but hadn’t really considered where or how they were made. In my case, I wrote ‘Half a Vamp’ in the spring of 2011 and tried to follow the traditional route to getting published. After getting nothing but negative responses, I started researching self-publishing. It seems to be a tremendous option for authors to get their work out when the traditional route doesn’t work. It also gives readers more options, which is usually a good thing.
9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
I am currently working on the second in the ‘Half a Vamp’ trilogy. I should have that finished by this summer. I have two shorter books aimed at middle-schoolers (written for my 11-year old niece last Fall), and I will probably add one or two of those this year. I also have an idea for an adult-urban-religious-fantasy-action series that I’d like to start sometime this year.
11. Who would be your first choice to play Tim Scarsdale in your book “Half a Vamp”?
It’s funny that you ask this. As I was writing I didn’t have anybody in mind for the Tim Scarsdale character, but Seth Rogen was the inspiration for the vampire hunter Robert London. I suppose Tim could be played by the lead from the old “Revenge of the Nerds” movies (without his glasses). Or for a more recent actor, Simon Helberg who plays Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory.
12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
Out of all of your questions, I find this to be the most difficult to answer. If I want to know what historical or famous people thought or did, I usually look it up and read about it. I guess if I have to choose, I’d like to have some more time with my father. He left us when I was 2 years old and I didn’t see him again for 25 years. I had a chance to reconcile with him, but he died of lung cancer shortly thereafter. The few times I did get to speak to him I learned that he was definitely an odd duck and I would have liked to have learned more, like “Why/How did you end up living in a trailer in a nudist park in Phoenix?” or “What did you intend to do with the big box of genealogy information we found in your trailer?”.