#IndieAuthor Friday Allen Long #Memoirs

It’s Friday!!!!!  Today’s indie author is Allen Long, here with his memoir, Less Than Human.  It’s received positive reviews, with one Amazon reviewer stating the ‘….writing style is unique in that in draws the reader in, tells of sadness experienced by the author, but has an undertone of triumph and joy.’

“In Less than Human,” Allen Long tells the story of his often nightmarish childhood in the wealthy suburbs of D.C., the wonders and mysteries of teenage love, his ill-advised journeys into corporate America and a hellish marriage, and ultimate breakdown. And yet, his story is mostly one of triumph. He draws strength from the joys of fatherhood, he finds true love in his second marriage, and through working with psychotherapists and leading a life rich in self-examination, he overcomes both child abuse and the resulting PTSD, finally learning that instead of being less than… he is, indeed… human.

“Less than Human” follows an unconventional path, arranged as much by theme and association as by chronology. These stories take many forms, from driving narrative to lyrical reverie, at times evoking mythic overtones, and this variety, along with an unflinching confrontation with the conditions and consequences of childhood abuse, creates its own form of suspense-in what direction will this book take us next?

What are your favorite books in your genre?

My favorite memoir books include:

  • This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff
  • Townie by Andre Dubus III
  • Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Wherever I Wind Up by R.A. Dickey
  • Fortunate Son by John Fogerty
  • A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
  • Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
  • Clapton by Eric Clapton

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

One reviewer said she enjoyed the high number of surprises in the book and not knowing what was going to happen next.  My book is about how I overcame child abuse, PTSD, and a nightmarish marriage before finally finding true love and happiness.  Several readers have commented that the narrator’s triumphant and joyful voice assures the reader that everything will turn out all right. I divorced my first wife because she cheated on me several times and was verbally abusive to our three sons and me. When my oldest son read my book, he thanked me for making his mom a well-rounded sympathetic character, despite her bad behavior. This is my favorite comment.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

My book is populated by a number of villains, the three worst being my parents and my ex-wife.  While I’ve made peace with my parents, my ex-wife has been hostile toward me since we split up in 1992, despite the fact that I was the wronged party. My ex-wife’s family and I believe she has a chemical imbalance in her brain that she has never attempted to correct by working with a psychiatrist. I wish her good luck in fighting this affliction.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Chocolate chip.  In general, I’m not crazy about cookies.  I find them too sweet without satisfying flavor, but chocolate chip cookies really hit the spot.

Any unusual talents or hobbies?

I’ve been swimming ever since I was five.  Swimming was a great comfort to me as I was growing up in an abusive household. I actually became addicted to swimming as an adult. My book contains the story of my swimming addiction and cure.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

Current favorite TV shows include The Walking Dead, Black Sails, Game of Thrones, and The Magicians. Also, just watched the movie Arrival.

Author Bio

Allen Long was born in New York City and grew up in Arlington, Virginia. He holds a B.A. in journalism from Virginia Tech, an M.A. in fiction writing from Hollins University, and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Arizona. He has been an assistant editor at Narrative Magazine since 2007, and his fiction and memoirs have appeared in a wide variety of literary magazines. He lives with his wife near San Francisco.

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Indie Author Friday: Lucinda E. Clarke #IndieAuthor #thriller #autobiography @LucindaEClarke

Today’s author, Lucinda E. Clarke, has lived a colorful life so far – and after reading this interview, I’m inclined to believe more adventures lie in her future.  She shares with us a variety of award-winning books and a special talent I can identify with – ‘I’m a very average cook and my claim to fame is I’ve not poisoned anyone yet.’  My family can confirm this.

Walking over Eggshells:  myBook.to/WoE – available on all outlets

My story of growing up with a mother with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and my whirlwind life with a Walter Mitty husband who country hopped all over Africa. It covers 5 decades, 8 countries with never a dull moment.

Truth lies & Propaganda: http://goo.gl/Ws7b4w  &

More Truth, lies and Propaganda http://goo.gl/Ws7b4w – available on all outlets

Tales of my writing and filming career in Africa, from meeting Nelson Mandela, witchdoctors, royalty and everyday people in rural areas.

Amie: African Adventure Book 1 of 4 myBook.to/Amie1  – in Amazon KDP

I take Amie from her comfortable home and family outside London to Africa, but the moment she settles in, civil war breaks out and soon she fighting for her life.

Amie and the Child of Africa Book 2 myBook.to/Amie2 – in Amazon KDP

Amie and her husband are in hiding, but she is determined to rescue the little African child she fostered in book 1. Little does she know that Angelina is being held by a group affiliated to IS and she must use all her wits against this group of international terrorists.

Amie: Stolen Future Book 3  http://amzn.to/2ie5N72   – Amazon KDP

Amie loses everything, her possessions, her home, her family and even her name. She has never been more helpless or more alone. She is now forced to work for those who do not have her best interests at heart but she is determined to survive.

Amie: Cut for Life – due out in September 2017

Amie the most reluctant spy in history is sent on a look see mission which turns out to be more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. She has no idea who to trust or how to get 4 kidnapped children home to England.

Unhappily Ever After: A Fairy Tale for Grown-ups http://goo.gl/s7IQT4

A parody set in Fairyland in the genre of Rowan Atkinson and Tom Sharpe which shows the well-loved characters in a whole new light.

The very Worst riding School in the World – my free novella  myBook.to/WRS

What do you love most about the writing process?

Power! Now, this is going to sound awful, but I promise you I’m quite a nice person and would never do anyone any harm or hurt them in any way – but the same cannot be said about my writing. I just adore creating characters and then doing exactly what I want with them. I can put them in wheelchairs, give them a fatal disease, transport them unwillingly across the world and then, if they begin to annoy me I can kill them off after they watched the love of their life being tortured to death. As a writer I can do all those things I would never dare – or possibly want to do – quite safely, and know I’ve not broken the law.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

“Sign it and make time!” I’m going back now over 20 years to the day I wrote in my diary “My publisher flew down from Johannesburg and took me out to lunch.” One of those magical moments in any writer’s career, and yes, she worked for one of the big 5. They had already published one of my educational books, she held out a contract for a whole series and I turned it down. Not as crazy as you might think. At the time I was writing for radio, television and videos and they paid me quickly. I knew that royalties from further books would take months to arrive, and I needed to pay the rent and put food on the table. I didn’t have time to write books, scripts and go out on location, I was working 24/7 as it was. Now I’m retired and self-publishing I often wonder what if I had signed? Probably starved to death!

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

I had no intentions of publishing my first book, a memoir “Walking over Eggshells.” I wrote it to explain to my children my life with my mother who could not or would not love me. It was only after her death that I discovered she suffered from a personality disorder and that knowledge washed away years of guilt. I met someone who’d had the same experience and after comparing notes, I decided to share the knowledge. I’ve received dozens of emails from all over the world thanking me for telling my story and how it has helped them. Those readers’ responses mean more to me than the silver medal I won.  It was worth all the hard work and I hope it will continue to enlighten many more people in the future.

Oh and a couple of readers have called me the new Wilbur Smith – for the Amie books – I loved that!

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’m not sure I have! It has been a massive leap from radio and TV to the printed page, even though in my almost 40 years I’ve scribbled all the other stuff from mayoral speeches, to brochures, plays, adverts, articles, newspaper column etc. Each day I write I learn something new but the hardest thing for me is to keep track of timelines and characters for over 100,000 words. My editor tears her hair out. I am getting there, but I’ve always written from the heart, not mechanically plotting out from scene to scene before I write the first paragraph.

My biggest learning curve is the marketing side – what a nightmare for a techie idiot like me!

Any unusual talents or hobbies?

I really shouldn’t answer this one as I’m pretty mediocre at most things. My daily exercise – on the odd occasion I’m not writing – is to walk from the front door to the car. I’m a very average cook and my claim to fame is I’ve not poisoned anyone yet. I used to knit and sew, but nothing earth shattering. Is it unusual to move house at the drop of a hat? I’ve got permanent itchy feet, lived in 8 different countries to date and would relocate again if asked. I know the moment I press end on this I’ll remember some amazing talent I’d quite forgotten about, but right now, no, I’m nothing special.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

I’ve retired – the retired bit is a joke – to Spain so we don’t get Netflix and only watch a couple of programmes a night if that, but my favourites are the European series and the one I watched last night on BBC 4 “I Know Who You Are” a Spanish production is excellent. Needless to say we read the subtitles! – but we do that with a lot of British programmes too, after living in Africa for most of my life, I can’t understand many of the local UK accents. I love series like “The Bridge,” “West Wing,” and “House of Cards,” programmes that are cleverly written and make you think and try to guess the end.

Author Bio

Abandoned in the African bush with a 9 week old baby and no resources Lucinda could look back on a childhood of mental abuse, without knowing that before her lay an even more bizarre future. She would run the worst riding school in the world, broadcast live with a bayonet at her throat, be fired from her teaching position and thrown into the media world. She would learn how to lie in the name of propaganda, write about dozens of topics for a variety of clients and have her own newspaper column. She would meet kings and statesmen, international artists and rural Africans. She would win several awards along the way for her scripting and films. Eventually she would reluctantly leave Africa to retire in Spain. A few months later she would begin writing books – seven to date in a variety of genres – and start a whole new career, collecting more awards.

Back in Europe Lucinda met many people who knew little about Africa except for what they had seen in the media. And so, the Amie stories were born, to paint a true picture of the peoples and culture on the Dark continent wrapped up in a thrilling series of adventures which reflect the author’s love for the lands she unwillingly left behind.

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Web: http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com
Blog: http://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com
Amazon author: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7996778.Lucinda_E_Clarke
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucindaEClarke
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucindaeclarke.author