Phoenix Entertainment and Development

Phoenix Entertainment and Development

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Allen Renfro Interview Part 1

Welcome everyone to another big week on the Writer's Revolution. I am your host, the author of The Phoenix Blade, Andrew Hess. This week our guest is an amazingly talented author, Allen Renfro.

Let’s get to know you a little more.  Tell us a about yourself.

Thanks for having me, Andrew! Well, I am a graduate of Tusculum College with a degree in business which I utilize in my real world. Back in the early 90s at the height of the zine culture I wrote and drew art pieces for several different zines. Before that I gave screenwriting a shot but that didn't work out at the time but is something I would love to try again. I am an absolute history buff and could watch documentaries all day long. I can see myself taking vacations centered around a location of historical significance.

What inspired you to write?

You know, I think the desire to write is genetic. It seems like I've always been inspired to write though I didn't write for a long period in my life. I discovered I had a knack for writing in the sixth grade when an English teacher praised a short story I wrote for an assignment.  I think now what inspires me are stories that haven't been told. Subjects that people haven't really touched before; giving a voice and shedding light on subjects that are in the dark. I think that's what challenges and provokes me, and hopefully it will do the same for those who read my work.

Tell me a little about your book.  (Title, plot)

Ambiguity is a story that begins with a shocking and tragic event. This tragedy leads to the revelation of several characters' deepest secrets. It's a story of closets that, due to circumstances, are forced open for everyone to see. There is a ripple effect that moves throughout the book as investigators attempt to piece together the history of a suspect and his connection to his victims. What is believed to be merely another hate crime turns out to be a deeper and darker mystery none of them could ever have imagined.

How did you come up with the story?

The story begged to be written. It's contemporary. It's a reflection of what's happening in our world today. It offered me an opportunity to talk about something that a lot of people are very uncomfortable with. I guess you could call it one my own personal fears, that when someone can't win their argument through respectful debate and with facts that they will turn to violence to accomplish their goal. And personally, in my writing, I want to be challenged myself. I want to take a story that may seem to be only one layer and reveal that there are many layers and that perception is rarely fact. It can make for riveting story telling.

Tell me about your main character.  Who is he/she, what makes them special to you?

Ambiguity is the first book I've written that actually has no one main character but several main characters.  In essence the tragic even that happens at the very beginning of the book is a character itself that affects all the other living and breathing characters. When I began writing Ambiguity I decided, because of the controversial topic, to bring in characters from my novel Bridge Water and create a complete, stand alone story with them just to see how it would affect them.

The story itself is told by three sets of characters from different perspectives. I think the characters that are the lead characters would be Detective Will Jones and Erik Layton, aka Laylay; Reverend Ed Wallace and his wife Judith; and Laura Jennings. These characters are the centerpiece of the story. They afforded me the opportunity to express all sides of the story in a way that allowed me to tell the story as I wanted it to be told.

What makes these characters special is just that they are all human to me, normal everyday people you could see on the streets. I think we can relate to all of them in one way or another, from the characters desperately trying to keep their secrets hidden, to characters that have to live with the fall out of the secrets that are revealed.  I believe Erik's reaction to the tragedy is one that a lot of us would have. Determined to never be a victim again, he wants to fight back. And there's Laura who has her world turned upside down by the tragedy and didn't see it coming, like being hit by a train and never knowing the train was barreling toward her. And then there's Will who makes a promise to God that if Derek is okay that he will tell Derek his deepest secret from his past.

Who has been your greatest writing inspiration?

As far as writing I think I'm not alone in saying it's tough to pick one inspiration, but for me as far the quality and style of writing I would say Anne Rice. I think her novel Interview with the Vampire is beautifully written.  She makes vampires human with the same emotions and desires that humans have. And her attention to detail to this day amazes me. And I think her own personal history inspires me especially when she describes how the vampire series came to be.


Make sure you check out Allen's books on Amazon

and of course your copy of The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice:

And remember to rate and review the books on Everyone has a voice; let it be heard.

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