One of the best things about editing is that I get to read some really inspiring works. I want to share some of the amazing people I have had a chance to collaborate with.
I have always enjoyed various genres, so you never know who I will be featuring here!
This month, I have Greg Alldredge. He graciously agreed to be my first male interviewee. And for those of you who love strong women in their fun-time reading, you have to check out his work! I am continuously amazed at how well he depicts very complex characters (both male and female). Do yourself a favor, and pick up one of his books! I mean, check out this video for what is probably my favorite series of his so far:
So let me share Greg Alldredge with the rest of you.
Who are you?
That is a great question, does anybody really know who we are? I have gone searching for myself several times, and I keep getting lost, so I try on new jobs every few years. I guess a few have stuck. In no particular order, I am a traveler, a husband, a father, a storyteller and a screw-up. I wish I could be a better person, but I’m a work in progress, a lifelong learner willing to try new things, much to my stomach’s chagrin.
Sounds pretty similar to my story, minus the husband/father part! No wonder we work well together.
How did you know you wanted to be an author?
I’m still not sure I want to be one. I teach theatre and I tell stories. Since high school, I’ve played games and told tall tales. I tried to write down a few stories in the 80s and 90s, but I never finished. I don’t think I was ready. Now I am ready. When I get an idea for a series or single book, I have a hard time not finishing it.
What is most important for your writing routine?
Waking up early and consistency. Much to my wife’s horror I am a morning person. I get most of my words in before I go to work. I get up around 5:30 most mornings and write. When I’m not putting words on the paper, I’m thinking about how I need to finish a scene or story as a whole. My mind seldom rests.
What do you think is important in shaping characters?
I let them shape themselves. When I first started the Helena Brandywine series, I thought of a Jeeves and Wooster type of relationship. Before I finished the first chapter with Helena speaking, it didn’t ring true to me. I let her do most of the talking.
I am so thankful you did! She is a great character. And her Jeeves is pretty great, too.
How did you make such a kickass female lead?
I wanted her to be real. I have spent my life looking for stories that would represent 50% of the population. I have seen how most scripts are written for male-heavy parts and how females are the underrepresented parts in most theatre plays. I have watched movie after movie with weak female roles, and it didn’t feel right to me, unbelievable. Once I start writing, the voices come to me naturally. I just let my fingers put their words down. I hear the conversations in my head.
Wow, that is really refreshing to hear. Thank you for sharing!
What do you look for in a good book?
A good plot. I am old school when it comes to my stories—like Aristotle old school. Plot is the most important thing to me. I’m a horrid writer. I am, however, a story teller. I’m sure my proofreader will tell you my English is terrible. I think I write like people speak, and most people don’t use perfect grammar and words when they talk. As a matter of fact, I hope this is proofread before it is published. 😉
No worries! I’m on it!
What are your favorite examples of strong characters in literature?
I loved the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison, something about the style of the story and the persona of Slippery Jim. I love a MC from one of my short stories I hope to have published soon, R. O. Smith. She is an unlikely hero, a woman that takes care of the water levels on a space station. I love Helena because she seems more real than some people I know. This might seem a tad dark, but I love the role of Lady Macbeth. She is such a juicy role for women to play. Antigone and Helen of Troy are some others from antiquity I think are great roles.
Hmmm. Now I think I know why your female characters are more than just “sugar and everything nice.”
Do you have any advice for would-be authors?
If you want to write, you have to write. I love the saying, the first draft of everything is crap. I tell myself that most days. I try to keep a schedule up, as I do better with goals set for myself. Finish what you start and give it to someone to read, that is the only way you can tell if it is any good. No matter how hard you try, it will never be perfect. Sooner or later, you have to take the leap of faith. Start today, let tomorrow take care of itself.
Wow! Great advice. One of my mantras is “Done is better than perfect.” I’ve heard stories about famous artists tweaking their paintings while they were already hanging in museums. Creators will never consider their work perfect. But it’s always possible to call it done and move to the next project.
Where can we learn more about you and keep track of any new releases?
My Amazon page and Bookbub author page. I am the worst at posting “buy my book” links to Facebook and what not. Right now, I am focused on writing. This year, I will become more focused on touting my books, but I hate to feel like a snake oil salesman. I have a website, but it will be reworked shortly. I am horrid at keeping it up.
Did I forget anything that you really want to say?
I have two new series coming out. One is two books and will be out in March. It follows a herder on his way to becoming a godlike figure… It is a crazy look at how people react at bad situations they are placed in. Cobe I and Cobe II.
Don’t forget to mention most of those bad situations involve fire! Kampot’s Curse had me on my toes the whole time.
Next, I have a seven-book dark fantasy series called Fractured Lands. I wanted to explore how a world would cope with a new technology being introduced, i.e., gunpowder, to a pre-Iron Age civilization. These books will be free on Kindle Unlimited and are ready for fast release starting in March.
I feel like this is a series that is up to filling the void until George R.R. Martin finally finishes A Song of Ice and Fire.
Hopefully you will find strong (female) characters in all my stories.
I always do! You have an amazing way of crafting characters. They are so believable. And while Cobe is clearly the lead in his series, I adore the main female character, Adriana. So many quirks, just really well-rounded. I can’t wait to see what they get up to in the second book. And Kanika in the Fractured Lands series is about as badass as they come!
Thank you so much! Greg Alldredge, everybody. I hope those stories keep coming to you!