Interview of Fantasy Sci-Fi Support Group Author JK Allen
Author Bio: JK Allen wrote her first story when she first learned how to write and hasn’t looked back since. Common writing themes that can be found in her work address identity, everyday magic, and the type of strength that can be found in ordinary people. Several of her short stories and four poems are featured in anthologies. Angelborn is her first novel in her debut series with Heavenfire continuing the journey. She is currently working on the trilogy as well as several shorts, while researching for a new series in the works. Her reading tastes are as varied as the genres she enjoys writing, from Jane Austen to J.K. Rowling. When she’s not writing, you can find her painting, drawing, or lost in another world between the pages of a book. Or on Facebook.
Book Title: Angelborn
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Synopsis: High school is all about boy meets girl, girl gets demon mark, and girl finds out she’s half-angel. At least that’s how it is for Ginny Gracehurst.
Sixteen year olds have a lot going on in their lives, and Ginny is no exception. Grades, homework, pimples, oh and now the sudden appearance of a demon mark. And discovering her father, who she thought was dead, is actually the great angel Grace. Who is very much alive.
With unforeseen powers growing, she has to figure out who she really is. While also staying out of the reach of a powerful half demon who is hell-bent on bending her to his will. The Alliance, an organization that is supposed to help people like her, is threatened by her potential gifts. They are more invested in their own hierarchy than in upholding their divine mandate. It’s up to her and a new friend, Aiden, to protect not just herself, but the ones she loves.
Publish date: September 27, 2018
Publisher: OWS Ink
Author Interview with JK Allen:
Cheryllynn: “Today, I have the wonderful JK Allen sitting in with me so you can get to know her a little bit better. Welcome, have a seat and lets get this ride going! Don’t mind the bumpy start, sometimes even machines don’t like to get going first thing in the morning.
Cheryllynn: What was the defining event that made you start writing?
JK Allen: I learned how to write and thought to myself, “What next?” It suddenly occurred to me that I could write a story, which I did the very next day. I wrote all growing up and another turning point for me happened when I went to college. I was changing my major and learned I could major in English and Creative Writing. It was then I decided to become an author.
Cheryllynn: It would seem that college really influenced you with writing, that’s wonderful. What other writing have you done?
JK Allen: I write a lot of poetry, it’s what I did my senior thesis on, and an early love of mine. I also write in different genres, like horror or dystopian. But I find myself adding magical elements to everything.
Cheryllynn: Poetry is a wonderful way to write about the world and yourself without having to create an entire story, it lets you open up in such a unique way to the world. One of my personal favorite types of writing. What made you choose this genre?
JK Allen: I love to write fantasy because I love exploring the ideas of everyday magic and the kind of strength that can be found in ordinary people. I love to write YA because it’s the story of someone figuring out who they are and who they want to be. And to me, that’s powerful.
Cheryllynn: You’re correct – it’s very powerful! What’s the story behind your book title?
JK Allen: Angelborn is what they call the descendants of the angel Grace who protect humans from demonkind. They make up the Alliance, a secret organization pledged to keep humans safe.
Cheryllynn: That sounds like an intriguing storyline! Do you have another job outside of writing?
JK Allen: I am on the Executive Board and am the head editor of a small publishing house. I love my work because it helps me make other people’s dreams come true when it comes to the stories they create. Editing is a passion of mine and also lets me read a ton of great stories before they even come out.
Cheryllynn: What advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book?
JK Allen: Give yourself permission to write ugly. It’s called a rough draft for a reason, so let it be rough. As someone said, you’re shovelling sand into a box so you can build a sand castle later. Editing is what makes it pretty, let it be ugly to get it down.
Cheryllynn: What’s your writing routine?
JK Allen: I don’t have a specified time when I write. In fact, when I’m going through my day working and writing, I like to jump between projects. So I will edit for a while, then reward myself for my hard work by writing on my own WiPs. So, I don’t sit down at the same time every day. But I put on a favorite show and sit crossed legged and begin. I use the show as a way to insulate myself from the noise in my house my family makes, but since I’ve seen the show a million times, I don’t have to pay attention to it. So I just use it to block out the outside world. It helps put me in my little writing bubble and get to work.
I used to always write everything by freehand with pen and paper, but when you get writer’s block, they say to change up your methods. So for my third book, Demonkind, I typed directly on my comp. I sit down and start with an idea of what I want to write next and what my goals are for that scene or chapter before I begin, so I don’t just stare at the curser blinking on a blank page.
Cheryllynn: Sounds like you have a plan and method that works very well for you. What do you do when you have writers’ block?
JK Allen: This is a weird hack that I saw on Facebook, but it really worked for me on the first draft of the third book that I just finished. I used the Comic Sans font when I was writing the draft. I don’t know why it works, but it does.
Cheryllynn: Interesting, not sure I understand how that works but if it does…I’m glad for you! How did you go about developing your cover artwork?
JK Allen: I had my cover designed through my publisher, but I had a lot of input on it. The best advice I’ve heard is that it’s not literally from your book (a scene or exact character) it’s just supposed to represent what your book is about and advertise that. So we went with a winged theme on it, even though Ginny doesn’t have literal wings.
Cheryllynn: It’s a very unique design, nicely done! Who are your five favourite authors?
JK Allen: Jane Austen, JK Rowling, Shakespeare, Sanderson, and Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Cheryllynn: Who’s your favourite indie author and why?
JK Allen: My favorite indie author is also a dear one to me. It’s Rebekah Jonesy. She writes urban fantasy as well as some romances. Her stories have strong themes and characters you root for and learn right alongside with. I love her writing style as a nice blend of excitement and description without bogging the story down. And you learn about her world as you go along. Her Mab’s Doll series starts with Moss and Clay and I’ve loved every book in the series so far.
Cheryllynn: Her work sounds interesting. Do you have a blog? What do you write about in your blog?
JK Allen: I do have a blog. It’s hijinksblog.wordpress.com. I write about writing tips and what I’ve learned about the authoring business and the publishing business. So I talk about how to use Deep POV or in real life events and what you’ll need and how to do a book signing.
Favourite thing to cook: Korean food
Silliest saying: Poke him in the eye!
Best holiday spot: Chicago
Most played song: Hallelujah (any version) or It Hurts by 2NE1
With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser? Reformed pantser aka plantser
Do you prefer to read SciFi or fantasy: Fantasy because I love magic
Best superpower: Telekinesis or flying
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Tell the ones I love that I love them as often as possible
JK, I thank you so much for swinging by and talking with us today! I’ve really enjoyed your company and I’m sure the readers will enjoy the interview just as much. Ladies and Gents, you can find JK Allen online with the links below, thank you for stopping in.