Interview with Patricia Allen

Who are your favorite authors?
I'm a sci-fi fan, so I'd have to say, Issac Asimov is right up there and Poul Anderson, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur C. Clarke, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert A. Heinlein, Ursula K. Le Guin, C. S. Lewis, George Lucas, (of course) Anne McCaffrey, George Orwell, Edgar Allan Poe, Gene Roddenberry, Rod Serling, Steven Spielberg, H. G. Wells. In other genres, I much adored Mark Twain in my youth, as well as Rudyard Kipling, Robert Lewis Stevenson... Then, nearly in a class of his own, is JRR Tolkien.

Unfortunately, I don't have the right imagination or back ground to write Sci-Fi. They say write what you know. I know cross-dressing and transgender, so here I am.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I still need to earn a living. I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend more time than I'd like at a real job. For entertainment, I surf the web, mostly visiting transgender sites, reading stories and news relating to trans issues. Though I do some online gaming. Off line, I'm trying to beat Zuma Deluxe for a the second time.

Spending time with the family is great. I have two grandchildren who are the delight of my life. Evenings are spent with my wife of 40+ years... Looking forward to our 50th anniversary in a few years. And, I'm quite active in my church.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I own a Nook, so Barnes and Noble plays a big part. I also look right here on Smashwords.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh yes. It's available in print or PDF from Reluctant Press. I wrote under the title of "Alan Through the Looking Glass," but Reluctant Press renamed it "Looking Glass Girl." It's a rather amateurish nearly autobiographical tale of a young boy's discovery of the feminine nature within him. I much prefer my second effort... "Why" also available in print or PDF at Reluctant Press. It's a much better tale of a young man who discovers another boy is a cross-dresser and when asking why he's told he'd have to experience it to understand.
What is your writing process?
Something has to give me the germ of a story line. My early writing often involved some things that happened to me and were if only kind of stories. I give my characters names and set up the story line and then mostly the story takes on a life of its own and I try to hang on long enough to get it written.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to find an image that represents something in the story. I usually get mine from freedigitalphotos.net. Then I re-size it using Gimp (a photo shop like program) then import it into Word and work with the title and my name in different spots. When all is to my liking I export as a PDF, pick it up with Gimp and export it as a png. Works pretty well.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
JRR Tolkien has four of them. "The Hobbit," and "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy." I love the way Tolkien not only created the story and characters he also created a world for them to live in. The fifth one is hard to pin down, though I think that C. S. Lewis has it with "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe," for much the same reasons that The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy does. I'm told that Tolkien and Lewis were contemporaries and knew each other.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mysteries, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and of course TG-fiction.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Nook hands down. On my computer I use Calibre usually in conjunction with my Nook.
Describe your desk
You want my description or my wife's? I'm currently using a small computer desk with a slide out keyboard tray. The tower sits on the right, monitor in the middle with the router behind and my printer/scanner on a file cabinet to the left and a phone occupies a small corner on the left. My wife has added a potted palm. My decorations consist of various papers, pens and a few stray tools that have yet to make it back home.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I published some of my stories on a short lived web site and the few people who found them seemed to like them and when the world of eReaders turned up, being a techno geek I had to have one. That led me to discover Smashwords and after year of simply being a reader, I decided to publish. What the heck, it's free and I might even pick up some pocket change.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the inner Southwest Portland, Oregon and spent a lot of time wandering the great outdoors. As the youngest of four children, the next eldest being five years my senior, I was latch key kid being raised by a single parent. The rain in the winter kept me indoors a lot. The result, I was pretty much a loner and I think that was responsible for my love of reading which led writing.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is singlehandedly been responsible for my publishing at all. Mark Coker's "Smashwords Style Guide" is a great resource for indie author to get the kinks out. My first effort came into being after only three evenings going through the Style Guide and working my manuscript into shape. Once I was confident that I had it right, it went up without a hitch first try... no errors.
Published 2014-06-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

An Invatation to Come Out
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,030. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Transgressional fiction
Charlie has never been caught cross-dressing but still it seems that someone know. While renting a duplex, he and his wife of 8 years become friendly with the neighbor/landlady Martha. They begin renting movies on the weekends and when Tootsie come up in the rotation, it seems as though Martha has seen something. Charlie allows himself to be cajoled into experimenting in the feminine.
The CNA
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 22,900. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Patrick was beginning to feel a quite a panic setting in. Here it was already the second week of September. Patrick would rather have gone to school. But his father had not supported his choice of schools. Linfield’s College of Nursing at Good Samaritan Hospital was accepting men in the nursing program. But his Dad said "I’m not paying anybody to turn my son in to a pantywaist male nurse!"
Michelle's Summer of Discovery
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,430. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Mike's sister Lucy won't throw away any of her old clothes. That suits him fine; he's come to enjoy wearing them. Moving to a farm gives him the freedom to do so outside. He makes the fatal mistake of losing track of time and gets caught more than once. This results in him being required to wear them full time indefinitely. The neighbor girls meet him as Michelle; the fun begins.
A TV's Dream
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,870. Language: English. Published: November 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban, Fiction » Holiday » Family
Larry is a young in the closet cross-dresser from a broken home. The youngest of four children he's the only one available when his mother needs help in California. He plans ahead and secretly packs the panties and bra's he has purloined from the Goodwill bag. The plan is to underdress the whole summer. It was to be an interesting summer... it was more interesting than he planned.
My Cousin's Clothes
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,600. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance
John's mother is divorced from his father for philandering and his aunt has found herself in a similar situation. John and his mother help them move and it seems a shame that his cousin's old clothes have to go to Goodwill, they'd look really good on John.