author, book review, reading, writing

Author interview: Bret Allen

It is a great pleasure to introduce author Bret Allen. Although this fine young man is a British author, one living almost in my own backyard for that matter, I was recommended his work by a friend of mine who now lives in America. As soon as I read the synopsis I knew his work was a must buy and I was certainly not disappointed.

His book Strange Matters is a collection of expertly crafted short stories, ones which pay tribute to his talents. I personally am looking forward to seeing more of his work in the future.

Without further ado, I present to you, author Bret Allen.

About the author

Tell us a little bit about yourself. (Author Bio)

Well, I’m fairly new to the business, in that I’ve only just published my book last year, but12626096_10153349174831526_548518929_n I’ve been writing since I was around 16. I have a blog site at where I keep my creative writing, copy writing and musings. I currently work for myself as a copywriter.

I’ve lived most of my life in Shropshire and Staffordshire. I have a few great friends, a myriad of mates, a large and wonderful family, a fur baby and a long suffering partner!

What are your hobbies?

I’m an avid gamer, have been since I was little. I’m especially fond of retro games and RPGs, as these are part of the reason I got into writing. Games like the old Baldur’s Gate and Final Fantasy 7 made me love the idea of exploring fantastic worlds. Sadly, the time is getting harder to find!

Which writers inspire you?

I draw most of my inspiration from Neil Gaiman, Tolkien, Tad Williams, Kim Newman and Terry Pratchett. Gaiman has certainly flavoured the stories in my collection, but I was raised on Pratchett!

For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or paper/hard back books?

I’ve been converted to e-books. For starters, you get a hand free for your cuppa.

What are you reading at present?

Right now I’m reading Darrienia, by yourself!

What is your favourite book and why?

I love American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It captures the essence of the gods, despite the modern day setting, plus it paints a really unusual picture of America.

What is your favourite film/ series and why?

My favourite film is Fight Club, though it has been since I was a kid and should probably be updated. I loved the twist, the stylistic choices and the humour.

How do you relax?

Mostly with gaming on my PC! Occasionally with pen and paper RPGs too.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I think the best advice is to simply write; you can only get better and get recognition by writing more, practising and discovering. Don’t worry too much about the peripheral stuff.

About writing

What made you realise your calling as an author?

I think it was in school, when I tried writing a couple of very short stories as part of an English lesson. They were rubbish, but I enjoyed it so much that it just stuck.

Where do your ideas come from, what inspires you?

Some of them come from dreams, which I always write down in case there’s something useful in there. I find that the majority come from daydreams, however, when I’m out and about.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Strange Matters took about two and a half years, but of course that’s around working full time and other things. The editing part seemed to take the most time!

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I generally just dive in, which was pretty suitable for short stories, but in future I intend to plan a bit more carefully.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

I think it’s just staying the course, not being distracted by new ideas, by life or by doubts.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

That’s a tricky one! For me, I think it’s the first page. I tend to get straight into a flow, which is not to say that it’s great when I read it back.

Do you ever get writer’s Block and if so, how do you deal with it?

I fortunately haven’t suffered much from this, but when I do get stuck I find it helps to discuss it with people. Even just saying things aloud can help you spot new routes.

How many books have you written, which is your favourite?

Technically two, my favourite being Strange Matters, which is my collection. The other was a co-authored children’s horror story called Frankenstein’s Daughter.

What are you working on at the moment?

Right now I’m working on an interactive Choose Your Own Adventure comedy story, called Hipster Quest!


About the books

What genre are your books?

Mostly mythic fantasy.

What book titles have you released so far?

Strange Matters and Frankenstein’s Daughter.

Tell us a little bit about your work.

Strange Matters is a collection of short stories, which are all fantasy in nature but vary from modern day supernatural tales to high fantasy. Some are one-offs and others are parts of wider worlds that I’m working on.

Where can we buy them?

They can be found on Smashwords, Amazon, Google Play, iTunes and more places, though the hard copy is just on Amazon.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

In the story ‘Arcturus’, the main character is unnamed but referred to as ‘the animal.’ He’s a cunning and savage criminal with some potent magic, but what’s special is that he does have a heart in there somewhere.

Who is your favourite character and why? (an unfair question I know)

My favourite is probably the aforementioned animal, because I first created him about 17 years ago, when I started experimenting with writing!

In what formats is your book available?

You can get paperback and .mobi on Amazon, but on Smashwords it’s available in all the major eBook formats and even as a Word or PDF doc.

When is your next book due for release?

No due date yet… probably next year now!

Book titles and synopsis:

Strange Matters

A collection of tales of fantasy, myth and magic. Some are funny, some are dark, some are 61AEAed1AyL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_both. Some are set in our world, with the skin peeled back to reveal the magical mechanisms beneath. Some are set in fantasy worlds, where instead it’s the reflections of reality which are hidden. All contain matters best described as ‘strange’, because to me, strange matters.








Frankenstein’s Daughter

Lizzy loves school, even though she’s not the most popular person there. In fact, she’s 51kG-icOnaL__SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

So when Alice joins the list of missing girls Lizzy goes on full alert — against her parents wishes, she decides to find out what happened to her best friend.

And now there’s a new girl in school… who has exactly the same eyes as her best friend!

But no one will believe Lizzy and her crazy theories about the new girl, so she must take matters into her own hands and go to the new girls creepy old house on the hill… the truth might just give her a bit of a headache.

Co-authored by Dylan Wilder and Jack Simmonds.


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