Annie On Writing

August 19, 2015

Allan M. Heller – Author in the Spotlight for Twisted Tales 2015

Filed under: Interview with Author — Annie Evett @ 8:03 am

As part of our weekly announcements about Twisted Tales , I am interviewing the authors whose stories have been chosen to appear in this years Anthology published by Raging Aardvark.

 Allan has kindly agreed to be first off the rank to be interviewed about his writing and journey as an author.

The Title of your Flash 

The Bunk Bed Incident.

What was your initial motivation or prompt to write this story? 

I saw a prompt on the web site http://www.helium.com, and was spurred to creativity!

Is the character in your story a reoccurring character in your writing?

No. There are several characters, none of whom the reader can expect to see again.


What sort of message or feeling are you hoping you leave your audience with?

A sense of karma, sans pedantic.


What sorts of challenges or insights have you had writing this? 

I like historical fiction –this piece takes place during the 1897 Gold Rush- but some research was necessary.

What sort of research did you do before you began writing it? 


I traveled to Alaska and western Canada, and dressed like a late 19th-century prospector! No! I used reliable Internet sources, keeping in mind President Abraham Lincoln’s admonition, “Don’t believe everything that you read online.”


What sort of stories do you normally write? (Is this story a break from your norm?) What sorts of lengths ( short story, flash, micro, novellas, novels?) 

I’ve yet to tackle a novel, but I am a prolific poet, and a fabulous fiction framer. (Did I mention humble)?

Are you focusing on one particular genre or story length style (i.e Flash Fiction, Short Story, Novella, Novel)? What is yours? Why/ Why not? 


Recently I’ve tried my hand at flash fiction.

What projects or new story lines do you have coming up in the near future?

Oh, no! I don’t think so!

Do you enter many writing competitions ? Why/ Why not? 

I enter a fair amount, because they encourage me to submit and move on to the next project. I try to be like a shark, which has to keep swimming, or moving, lest it die. I write, submit, write something else.

Are you a member of a writing group – either online or a physical one?

I am a member of two real time writing groups: The Hatboro (Pennsylvania) Writers’ Group and The Coffee Shop Writers (Willow Grove). The latter is run by my friend, Ruth Z. Deming.


Do you think these groups help or hinder a writer’s journey? Why?

These two groups are good, but in the past, I’ve attended groups in which everyone pats each other on the back and coos, “You’re so talented!” I’m reminded of Twelfth Night, in which Feste the clown tells the Duke that we are better served by our enemies than by our friends, because

“ . . . my enemies tell me plainly that I am an ass.”


What encouragement or advice do you have for emerging writers?

Find another line of work! I don’t want the competition!


What advice or tips do you have for writers who feel they are stuck or have “writers block”?

This too, shall pass. Don’t try too hard. Get up from your chair, take a walk, go to the bathroom, have a glass of milk. Inspiration will return.


Where can others find more of your work to read? 

I have both a Twitter account and a Tumblr account.


How can others follow your journey?  


A simple Google search for “Allan M. Heller” should suffice! 

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