Monday, July 18, 2016

Straight Chatting from the Library: Allen Long


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Allen Long will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

READ THE INTERVIEW


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury really knocked me out when I was thirteen—great stories with poetic use of language. I remember reading The Martian Chronicles and The Golden Apples of the Sun by Bradbury soon after that and finding the same alluring combination of good storytelling with skilled use of language. I also really enjoyed reading The Hobbit and the The Lord of the Rings trilogy in high school.

What is your favorite book today?

My favorite recently read book is the novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. A book I’ve read and enjoyed several times is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

Man overcomes child abuse and nightmarish marriage, finds true love.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading the 2015 O. Henry Prize Stories. Other recent books include Fortune Son by John Fogerty, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Shotgun Lovesongs by Nikolas Butler, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, and The Goldfinch by Donna Tart.

What books do you have on hold at the library?

Euphoria by Lily King.

Least favorite book you've read this year?

I thought The Goldfinch was going to be one of the best books I’d ever read, but it fell apart at the end, in my opinion.

Favorite book you've read this year?

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Great story with brilliant use of language.

When do you do most of your reading?

Print books on my days off. Audio books while I’m commuting to work.

Favorite genre?

Literary fiction, memoir, and crime fiction.

What would make you not finish a book?

If I lose my trust that I’m in the skilled hands of an author who can deliver on his/her promises.


READ THE BLURB


In Less than Human, Allen Long tells the story of his often nightmarish childhood in the wealthy suburbs of D.C., the wonders and mysteries of teenage love, his ill-advised journeys into corporate America and a hellish marriage, and ultimate breakdown. And yet, his story is mostly one of triumph. He draws strength from the joys of fatherhood, he finds true love in his second marriage, and through working with psychotherapists and leading a life rich in self-examination, he overcomes both child abuse and the resulting PTSD, finally learning that instead of being less than, he is, indeed, human.

Less than Human follows an unconventional path, arranged as much by theme and association as by chronology. These stories take many forms, from driving narrative to lyrical reverie, at times evoking mythic overtones, and this variety, along with an unflinching confrontation with the conditions and consequences of childhood abuse, create its own form of suspense--in what direction will this book take us next?

READ AN EXCERPT

While the zookeeper threw apples into the makeshift pool and coaxed the elephants to swim to retrieve them, he recited a long string of facts. These awe-inspiring creatures have 150,000 muscles in their trunks and they can use this appendage to suck up to 15 quarts of water at a time, which they then squirt into their mouths. Also, he said, elephants can hear with their ears, trunks, and feet. In addition, these captivating mammals are believed to have the same level of intelligence as dolphins and non-human primates and they can feel grief, make music, show compassion and kindness, mother one another’s infants, play, use tools, and recognize themselves in mirrors.

When some of the elephants exited the pool, they used their trunks to throw dirt on their backs.

“Dad, what are they doing?” Ben asked.

“Putting on sunscreen,” I said.

The boys giggled.

The zookeeper continued to lecture, but we tuned him out and focused solely on the elephants as the great gray wrinkly creatures with the small dark eyes and long eyelashes and formidable, floppy ears shaped like the African continent bobbed and swayed in the hot July afternoon. Perhaps the boys’ minds wandered briefly to Babar, one of their favorite books about an anthropomorphized elephant, just as mine may have flashed briefly upon the proverbial elephant in the room at home, but our thoughts quickly returned to the magnificent elephants and our simple but immense male joy.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Allen Long was born in New York City and grew up in Arlington, Virginia. He holds a B.A. in journalism from Virginia Tech, an M.A. in fiction writing from Hollins University, and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Arizona. He has been an assistant editor at Narrative Magazine since 2007, and his fiction and memoirs have appeared in a wide variety of literary magazines. He lives with his wife near San Francisco.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AllenLongAuthor/

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway

39 comments:

  1. This sounds lime a very interesting book to read.

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    1. Thanks, Danie. I hope you give it a try.

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  2. Thanks for hosting me. Readers--I'm a hospital nurse on my way to work, but I'll be happy to address all of your questions and comments when I return home.

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  3. Congrats on the tour and I enjoyed reading the blurb.

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    1. Rita--Glad you enjoyed it. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

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  5. I loved the 10 words you used to describe your book! Definitely a good mini-intro to the book, thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thanks, Victoria. The book also contains chapters about my experiences with teenage love, greed and corruption in the business world, fatherhood, and a nervous breakdown. Also I doubt you'd find the book depressing. Here's a quote from a five star review I received on Amazon: "Allen Long’s writing style is unique in that in draws the reader in, tells of sadness experienced by the author, but has an undertone of triumph and joy. Even as you read the chapters outlining Long’s abuse at the hands of his parents, you still know there will be a triumphant ending. I enjoyed this memoir much more than most memoirs telling of abuse. This was a quick read and the pace of the book is excellent. I had no idea what to expect next."

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    2. I love that!! Truly sounds amazing, I'll definitely be picking up a copy and leaving my own review :)

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  6. Do you write full-time or part-time?

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    1. I'm a full-time hospital nurse, so I write on my days off. I don't believe a writer has to write every day to be successful, but I do believe an author should write on a regular basis whenever he/she has time available.

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  7. In case anyone is wondering about the alligator image on the book cover, here's the explanation. When my brother and I were in elementary school, our negligent parents encouraged us to swim in a Florida lake inhabited by an adult alligator while they visited inside with our grandparents.

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  8. Please feel free to ask me any additional questions about my book, writing, or me.

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  9. Great interview! I wish you good luck as you continue your book tour! :)

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    1. Thanks, Clojo. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

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  10. The excerpt comes from a chapter entitled "Saturdays in Kid Heaven." This chapter tells the story of how my first wife kicked our three sons and me out of the house every Saturday after breakfast and wouldn't allow us to return until dinnertime. Despite these negative circumstances, this created a wonderful opportunity for me to spend time having fun and bonding with my sons. For all of us, these were some of the happiest days of our lives.

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  11. I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

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  12. Be sure to check out Allen's book. As long as i can remember, Allen has been a great story teller. During the hot summers growing up, we used sleep in twin beds in the basement, and he would tell me a new story every night. It was the best! I would be interested to see how many of you relate to the "coming of age" stories. I know i have some that i learned from. Great book. READ IT!

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    1. Thanks for the plug, Dave. I'll pay you later.

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  13. Shared on G+, have a great day!

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  14. A bright Good Morning to you and thank you for the opportunity you have brought all of us to win

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  15. Wow, cannot believe it is Thursday already. Flying by for me. Have a great day and thanks again for the chance to win

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  17. Shared on facebook to help spread the word! :)

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  18. Happy Friday! Thank you for the giveaway and chance at winning

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  19. Wishing everyone an awesome Saturday. Enjoy your weekend and thanks for the giveaway!

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  20. Good Sunday Morning! Thanks once again for the opportunity to win and enjoy your day!

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  21. This sounds like an interesting read. Entering under the name of Virginia

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  22. This sounds like an interesting read. Entering under the name of Virginia

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  23. Good Monday Morning, have a great day and thanks for the opportunity you have given us to win

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  24. A bright good morning to you! I really appreciate you offering us this giveaway. Thanks and have an awesome day!

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  25. Good Sunday Morning to you and thanking you once again for the opportunity you've given us to win.

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  26. Hope you had an awesome weekend. Let's keep it positive as we start the week by saying it's gonna be a great one for all.. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  27. Thanks for the chance at winning, you're awesome! Enjoy your day and have fun!

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