Interview with Van Allen

What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are a validation of that common chord that runs through many of us connecting us by what we may find entertaining. I write with the fans in mind. I write because I want to entertain an audience. I know you are out there, you who will like my very own unique style of writing and storytelling. Let's connect and find ourselves together in the same audience.
What are you working on next?
I just finished Bear and it was a bear to finally get 'er done. Bear is dedicated to my son, Ashton. Next, I'm working on a zombie apocalypse survival test, a memoir or two, and at least two business essays about workplace bullying. I'm also pitching in with ePublicity Plus Writers Group to help one of their premier artists launch her writing projects. My next major writing project will be a full-length novel about a group of kids who uncover an alien invasion plan where alien bugs have invaded our world. They hide by burrowing under our skin, secretly living inside our bodies, controlling us in ways we do not know. Bugs will be dedicated to my daughter, Ashleigh. After that, I'm planning to shift gears and write an epic fantasy novel. Then I've got another SciFi writing project planned about a major government conspiracy at a secret military base. Check my website for the current update on my many projects.
What is your writing process?
I often start with an idea. If I dream about or think of something cool, I like to work fast to understand what the point or message should be. I start with a frame, a skeleton that says here is the start, the middle, and the end. I decide what is the big thing that's happening. I know right away where the story needs to go and how it has to get there. From that skeleton of an idea, I begin fleshing things out more and more. I just continue to work on the carcass until at some point it is ready to come to life. When I hit a roadblock I shift gears to a different story. This way I always have a number of stories needing my attention. My writing lab is full of experiments and projects. At some point one of my stories is ready to come to life. On a dark and stormy night, I hoist the thing up to the rooftop and then raise my lightning rod and when lightning strikes, I pull the wet smoldering thing back down inside my lab and giggle at my work.
Who are your favorite authors?
Tolkien, Tom Clancy, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dean Koontz, Alex Haley, Malcolm Gladwell
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote that caught anyone's attention was in the 6th grade. My English teacher, Ms. Alexander, told me that she was blown away by a space saga I had written. She said she believed in me. Her nice words about my work made me cry. I had a tough childhood and reading and writing quickly became two damn nice distractions.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I would spend all my time writing if I could...or busting criminals if it paid well enough (it doesn't). I have a full time job as a Federal something or other. I also have two big kids who need my help with life, homework, tennis practice, driving them places, and paying for their stuff. For pure selfish fun I like to go on long motorcycle rides, stopping here and there, checking far and wide to see who's got the best margaritas.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Houston, Texas. We were a poor inner-city family, no TV, not very many toys, but we had lots of books. When I look back, I'd like to think that because we didn't have much, I developed a strong imagination. I never felt trapped by my circumstances. I read lots of books to escape, I daydreamed all day long, I made my own toys out of anything I found, and I made up my own stories. I liked to watch the world around me and try to understand the way things were. I liked to believe that I had the power in me to do something about the world around me. I looked up to heroes and difference-makers. I knew life would get much better later.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Bear is my first full-length novel. I would prefer to remain cryptic about what the book means to me. I am just so much more interested in what it means to the readers. What did you the reader take away from Bear? I tried to write the book in a way that the story is about much more than just trying to survive a bear attack. I hope the book resonates with all kinds of readers from all over the world and they will share with me what the book meant to them in their life. Then maybe when I'm ready, I'll share more about what the book means to me. Promise.
Published 2016-04-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Houston - City Streets Homeless Kids
Price: Free! Words: 12,780. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Biographical, Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
A memoir about homeless kids and growing up and trying to survive this world when almost every card in the deck is stacked against you.
Zombie Outbreak Survival: Clenched Fist
Price: Free! Words: 7,590. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Keep in mind I'm Captain Allen, USMC and you're not! The zombie apocalypse is a comin'. Are you paranoid? Are you afraid? I'm not. I'm The Captain. In this book I explore what a great political speech sounds like against the backdrop of a full blown zombie apocalypse. Imagine the world went to shit fast and some time later during the shit, new leadership steps forward. What would he or she say?
Zombie Outbreak Survival: My Fellow Citizens
Price: Free! Words: 6,830. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Educational
Keep in mind I'm Captain Allen, USMC and you're not! The zombie apocalypse is a comin'. Are you paranoid? Are you afraid? I'm not. I'm The Captain. In this book I explore what a great political speech sounds like against the backdrop of a full blown zombie apocalypse. Imagine the world went to shit fast and some time later during the shit, new leadership steps forward. What would he or she say?
Zombie Outbreak Survival: Make America Zombie Free Again
Price: Free! Words: 8,850. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(5.00)
My fellow American survivors, it's the American election season and change is a comin'. Are you paranoid? Are you afraid? I'm not. I'm Captain Allen, USMC. In this book I explore what a "Make America Zombie Free Again” speech would sound like against the backdrop of a full blown zombie apocalypse. Imagine the world went to shit fast and some new polarizing figure has stepped forward to save us.
Zombie Outbreak Survival: The Definitive Test
Price: Free! Words: 46,550. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult, Fiction » Horror » Undead
(5.00)
This is a public service guide to help you survive the end of times when you are up to your eyeballs dealing with the living dead (zombies), roving bands of ill-mannered hooligans (a$$holes), and panicked crazed survivors (zombie bait). Surviving the zombie apocalypse is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid. This book, this test, will help you be less stupid. Read this if you want to survive.
The Secret Society of The Great Pumpkin
Price: Free! Words: 13,230. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
(5.00)
This book is my account of my investigation into The Secret Society of the Great Pumpkin, a frightening annual Corps of Cadets Halloween tradition at Texas A&M University. Active Duty US Marine sergeant instructors assigned to Texas A&M play a cat and mouse game with cadets to stop The Great Pumpkin. If they can ever stop The Great Pumpkin just once, the tradition dies.
Improving Corporate Diversity: My Graduate Paper
Price: Free! Words: 5,980. Language: English. Published: September 18, 2016. Categories: Essay » Business, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Careers
My I/O Psych Graduate paper...Focusing on increasing diversity at the highest corporate levels. Executive level corporate positions are often considered as difficult to enter as some of societies more secretive clubs and fraternities. Many corporate boardrooms operate similar to Masonic Lodges in that selections to the “order” are carefully considered.
Старик из больницы
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,630. Language: Russian. Published: September 14, 2016 by Boris Seaweed. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Psychology » Depression
Рассказ о том, как автор попал в больницу, и его соседом по палате оказался раздраженный, тяжело больной пожилой человек. Эта встреча заставила автора задуматься о том, какие ценности в жизни являются подлинными, а какие мнимыми.
Workplace Bullying: A Growing Epidemic
Price: Free! Words: 13,220. Language: English. Published: August 28, 2016. Categories: Essay » Business, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Management and human resources
"If you always treat your employees like thoroughbreds, then you'll never end up with a team full of jackasses." Many working people are still back at the schoolyard playground somewhere stuck in their childhood using mean words and shoving and big bullying kids get to make all the rules. Time, training, proper incentives, and more so than anything else, Leadership, is the difference-maker.
The Old Man in the Hospital
Price: Free! Words: 2,950. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Aging
(5.00)
Another short simple memoir from my life. In this very short story, I find myself stuck in the hospital, sharing a room with an irate and bitter old man. Location: Centennial Medical Center in Frisco, Texas. Warning...contains a few uses of profanity.
Zombie Outbreak Survival: What's Left of America
Price: Free! Words: 2,690. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(5.00)
You already know you can count on me for great zombie apocalypse survival ideas, but I want you to come to me for all your zombie apocalypse and zombie outbreak needs. Of course, survival is my expertise. I promise to continue delivering the survival goods to you as I continue to write. I thought just for this one PSA, I would take an interesting detour. By the way, did you get your flu shot?
Bear
Price: Free! Words: 110,080. Language: English. Published: April 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
(5.00)
A monster bear terrorizes a couple looking to get away to the mountains to rekindle their troubled relationship. In this intense psychological thriller by Van Allen, a grizzly bear, the largest carnivorous land predator in North America reestablishes the natural pecking order where it is at the top of the food chain and soft squishy pink city folk are trespassers in its sacred kingdom.
Zombie Outbreak Survival: Weaponology and Gun Control
Price: Free! Words: 8,380. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Essay » Political
Retired USMC Captain Van Allen, a special operations trained combat officer, unloads his expert level knowledge of zombie outbreaks and shares recently declassified information to help you get ready for and survive the coming zombie apocalypse. Don’t be scared. Be prepared. If you want to live, read this, learn this, and ignore most of what you see or read anywhere else. It's not too late, yet.
Zombie Outbreak Survival: The Rules
Price: Free! Words: 5,840. Language: English. Published: February 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead
(3.33)
Retired USMC Captain Van Allen, a special operations trained combat officer, unloads his expert level knowledge of zombie outbreaks to help you get ready for and survive the coming zombie apocalypse. Don’t be scared. Be prepared. If you want to live, read this, learn this, and ignore most of what you see or read anywhere else. It's not too late, yet.
Hire the Right People and Win Big
Price: Free! Words: 2,240. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2016. Categories: Essay » Business, Essay » Legal
Follow me as I cover a series of important business success ideas starting with Hiring. Are you hiring the wrong people most of the time? The goal of an organizational selection process is to add people to the organization (fill positions) who will benefit the organization. Likewise, a secondary goal must be to keep out any people who will harm the organization.
CNSEV Tormalinas, Lost
Price: Free! Words: 18,790. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(4.67)
Newly promoted Major Amy Porter of the Commonwealth of Nations is the senior ranking Portal Navigator onboard the CNSEV Tormalinas. Portal Navigators, always women, are known for their high intelligence, high emotional control, high imagination, and most of all for being able to survive in the deepest darkest holes of space without losing their minds.
Jasper and Van
Price: Free! Words: 2,870. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Adventurers & explorers
(5.00)
Short simple memoirs of my life growing up in Houston, Texas. In this very short story, two young whimsical boys go off on an adventure to find monsters.
I Tawt I Taw a Putty Tat
Price: Free! Words: 2,950. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Special Agent Trent Johansen wanted to do something big one day, save the world, save the President, make the world a better place. His recent reassignment to Phoenix was a sign that his career derailed somewhere along the way. Now he’s babysitting paranormal wackos who think the world has been invaded by hostile aliens.
Zombie Outbreak Survival: Get It Right or Die
Price: Free! Words: 32,830. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(4.50)
Forget most of what you think you know about zombies based on Hollywood movies, TV shows, and video games. What you don’t know will get you and everyone else killed. In this public service series, Capt. Allen delivers expert survival strategies for zombie outbreaks and shares recently declassified information to help you get ready for surviving the coming zombie apocalypse. Get it right or die.
Zombie Outbreak Survival: Zombie Hive Incident #83-2005
Price: Free! Words: 21,420. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(4.50)
Retired USMC Captain Van Allen, a special operations trained combat officer, unloads his expert level knowledge of zombie outbreaks and shares recently declassified information to help you get ready for and survive the coming zombie apocalypse. Don’t be scared. Be prepared. If you want to live, read this, learn this, and ignore most of what you see or read anywhere else. It's not too late, yet.