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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Author Interview: Gregory G. Allen

Today I am pleased to present to you all the 64th in a series of Author Interviews. Recently I sat down with the teenage mutant ninja turtle acting Gregory G. Allen  and our conversation went something like this:

Paul:  I like to start my interviews by asking if you have any writing rituals?
Gregory:  I wish I could say that I have this really cool way of approaching my writing, but sadly I am one of those ‘when the moment hits me…I write’ type of people. I can actually write when people are even talking in the room just by blocking everyone out in the background.

Paul:  If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Gregory:  They would see a pretty messed up room. My brain can go all over the place when a storyline is coming into my mind. I usually see snippets of a story. Small moments that I then go and flesh out. I’m sure those snippets would completely frighten someone if they were seeing them in their raw form.

Paul:  Do you have a favorite character in each of your series, aside from the lead? If so, which one and why?
Gregory:  I’ve written stand-alone novels and at times, it’s the supporting players that I love. When I wrote Patchwork Of Me, I had a sassy character named Hahn that was no-holds barred in how she spoke. I love that she has no issues saying what is on her mind and makes no apologies for it. As a matter of fact, she has stayed in my head and told me she wants the sequel to be more about her.

Paul:  In all the years you’ve been publishing your work, what is the biggest mistake you made that you could share so others can avoid making it?
Gregory:  As authors, we want as many people as possible to find our work. And sometimes that means putting our money into the wrong marketing places. I spent much money my first time out on a publicist that unfortunately did not do reap much benefits. In hindsight; I shouldn’t have spent that kind of money when I am an unknown author.

Paul:  How do you find the time to write?
Gregory:  This is so difficult. Once we have a book out there, we spend so much time promoting it that getting back to writing is not always easy. When I’m feeling creatively charged, I make the time for writing. Usually at night time when I’m most creative.

Paul:  What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Gregory:  That Gregory carries himself as if he always knows what he’s doing, but many times it is all by the seat of his pants.

Paul:  Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Gregory:  The idea usually comes first and then I will sit down and create an outline. However, once I start writing – I always veer off from the outline as the characters really drive the story at that point.

Paul:  Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Gregory:  I write and then tend to go back and always self-edit when I read over again. However, in the end, I always use an editor before I ever submit my work anywhere.

Paul:  Do you have to do much research for your stories?
Gregory:  I tend to write many types of stories, so to make them authentic I do research. I want the places, occupations of characters, and storylines to ring as true as possible.

Paul:  What is your most recent book? Tell us a little about it.
Gregory:  Cool Side Of The Pillow tells the story of Zachery Kleinmann who lives in the elite world of New Canaan, Connecticut and left his accounting job four years earlier to be a modern stay-at-home father. But as his son is starting pre-school, his wife is passionately involved in her own career, and Zach is knocking on forty years old, he begins to wonder how he will find his own serenity and define himself moving forward.  Enter Ginger Charman, an older, eccentric, free living actress who has dedicated her life to bringing joy to children and keeping all those around her young at heart. As Zach is pulled into her world and discovers secrets about his new friend, he is not sure he'll ever be able to leave the rabbit hole once he has fallen through - or if he'll even want to venture outside of it again.

Paul:  What inspired you to write this book?
Gregory:  I spent many years as a children’s theater actor (even toured the country as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle), so I thought writing a book that utilizes that setting could be interesting. People in the theater can be thought of to be wild and kooky and this older eccentric actress is just that. I also wanted to explore role reversal where the wife is out working, the man is at home; delve into marital issues; as well as the question of if men and women can be friends.

Paul:  Do you also write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Gregory:  I’ve written a memoir novella about my half-brother that died when he was only 34 as well as a children’s book on autism awareness.

Paul:  Do you enter competitions? Are there any you could recommend?
Gregory:  I have done some of the Book Festival competitions and won those (New York Book Festival). Also the Reader’s Favorite competition was a great one that both one of my novels and my children’s book did really well in.

Paul:  How much marketing do you do for your published works or for your ‘brand’?
Gregory:  I find that I am always marketing. Social media. Reviews. Features. Blogs. I market everywhere that I can reach out to find new readers.

Paul:  What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Gregory:  I manage an arts center on a college campus and still dabble in theater. Sometimes performing or also reviewing shows and writing articles for When not doing that, I love to travel. And those travels sometimes turn up in my writing, so maybe that can be counted as research.

Paul:  That was wonderful, Gregory. I wish you every success for the future.

About Gregory G. Allen: Gregory G. Allen is the author of COOL SIDE OF THE PILLOW, PATCHWORK OF ME, PROUD PANTS: AN UNCONVENTIONAL MEMOIR, WELL WITH MY SOUL, and the children's book CHICKEN BOY: THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF A SUPER HERO WITH AUTISM which won the People's Choice Grand Prize Award in the MeeGenius! Author Challenge. He has been in the entertainment business for over twenty years as an actor, director, producer, songwriter, playwright and author. Gregory contributes articles and blogs to several online sites including and Huffington Post.

Gregory's Blog: Gregory G. Allen
Gregory on Twitter: @GregoryGAllen
Gregory on Facebook: Gregory G. Allen
Gregory's latest book: Cool Side Of The Pillow (Amazon)

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