AQFQ: Thomas Allen

1. Working Wonders and The Darkness Within, books 1 and 2 of The Legend of the Keepers Series are out. When should we expect the third book?

To Raise the Dead (The Legend of the Keepers Series Book Three) will be out in November of this year. We’re working hard on it. This is a true series; no book is standalone. So, if you want to read it, you have 4 months to catch up on the first two. The series is about the owner of an occult/magick shop that was left to him by his (now missing) father. With the help of his trusty employees, a homicide sergeant, and a revolving group of supporting characters (many of the mystical, magickal, paranormal-y variety), they set out to save the world. As one does on a random Tuesday.

2. What’s it like to be a developmental editor and publisher?

Chaos. Wrangling writers, or any creative person, is like herding cats. This is understandable since stories are such a personal thing. In creating something, it becomes part of the person who created it. So, any negative feedback, no matter how gentle, can be difficult to handle. A developmental editor has to know how to communicate effectively with so many personality types, understand different ways of communicating, and take nothing personally. You have to know how to deliver criticisms and compliments equally well. You have to know how to listen, especially to the things not being said. That’s aside from all of the technical and creative skills one needs. Ultimately, it’s a rewarding job. You get to help a creator make a dream tangible.

3. You edit and publish for a lot of romance authors, young adult authors, and the like. Have you ever thought of writing similar stories?

No. I’m a horror, suspense, mystery, and urban paranormal kind of guy. Of course, we’ve all learned to never say never lately, so who knows? For the foreseeable future, however, it’s unlikely.

4. What’s an important thing someone in this business needs to know?

Unless you’re one-hundred percent self-published and doing all the work yourself, it’s a team effort. Check your ego at the door. If you don’t like something, have a discussion. Don’t snatch your toys away, jump up, and run home to play by yourself. I see a lot of writers who tuck tail and run at the first sign that things aren’t perfect for them. It’s better to speak up, make your voice heard, and have difficult discussions. The people who work with you don’t know what they don’t know, so you have to make your expectations and desires clear to them. Have those discussions. Otherwise, you may be passing on a situation that could lead to something extraordinary. Learn to work with others or go one-hundred percent self-published. Don’t waste people’s time by not knowing how to work with others and communicate.

5. What do you think is the most important thing a writer needs to do when writing stories?

Make us believe it. Give us something to invest in. Give us someone to root for, and someone to root against. Whether you’re writing realistic fiction or high fantasy, readers need to feel that they can relate to the story and characters. Great characters and world-building are integral to that. Relatable, believable human emotions are as well. Never forget that even if something is fiction, it has to be rooted in reality for readers to fall in love with it.

Thomas Allen is the author of THE LEGEND OF THE KEEPERS SERIES. Book one, WORKING WONDERS, and Book two, THE DARKNESS WITHIN, are available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Aside from his pen name, Allen T. St. Clair is the owner and publisher of The Lion Fish Press. He is also a developmental editor, now working solely with TLFP authors. With a back catalog of poetry and urban paranormal books, he plans to keep writing on the side even as he helps TLFP authors fulfill their dreams.

You can find Thomas Allen here:

The Lion Fish Press

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