Mark Wayne Allen is a Louisiana native living in Merryville, La. He has been a quadriplegic since 1982 as a further result of a car wreck that happened in 1978. He was age 12 when the car accident happened and only 15 when the head injury happened. He was supposed to die in each accident and be a mental vegetable after the head injury.
Through all of the trials of his life, he has persevered with courage and dignity, He went on to complete high school, college at Louisiana Tech University, and a few years later, he attended Louisiana State University and graduated with a degree in business.
A few years later he married his wife Kelley and has been happily married for 8 years. In 2010, he was appointed to serve on the city council for the town of Merryville, Louisiana, by Governor Bobby Jindal. Eight months later, he ran for the city council position and was elected.
Through everything that has happened in his life, he has never lost his sense of drive or love of writing. Most of his works remain unpublished thus far, but the love of writing keeps him striving ever forward. His creativity stretches from music to art to design to writing starting in grade school. He was always an above average student that loved being creative. A vivid imagination has helped him cope with the tragedies in his life.
Since becoming a quadriplegic at age 15, he has found his passion for writing again, has published the novel, Star Siege, and is currently working on another novel.
For more about Mark, go to: http://www.markwayneallen.com
Book Link: http://www.amazon.com/Star-Siege-Mark-Wayne-Allen/dp/0989349012/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1381002486&sr=8-5&keywords=star+siege
1) How did you develop an interest in writing?
My interest in writing has been with me ever since I can remember. I have always had an interest in the arts of any kind. I drew my first picture, other than just the ones we all do as youngsters, at the age of 6. From there, my creative interest grew like a well planted seed and evolved into writing when I was in the fourth grade and it continued throughout my adult life.
In high school and throughout my schooling at Louisiana Tech University my writing was of a different sort: computer programming. When I started my studies at Louisiana State University between semesters I got bored and started my novel Star Siege and after graduating, I completed the novel, but did not publish it.
After many years in the field of web design, computer & IT consulting, I decided to publish Star Siege and embark on my writing career.
2) Tell me a little about your blog – address, how long you’ve been blogging etc.
I am a skilled web designer, but not much of a blogger. I do like to share my thoughts on different things at times, but most of all, I like to hear from people, their thoughts, feelings, and whatever they want to share.
3) I see you are working on a MS – please tell me a little about it – Title, genre, how you got the idea etc.
My first novel, Star Siege, was started and based on a book that I read: The Dark Beyond The Stars. I liked the idea and figured that I could do a lot of things with how the book began. I wrote the first three chapters off the top of my head then wrote the synopsis.
I began writing my current novel, “It’s Melvin Time”, the same basic way. I finished chapter 8 before I wrote any kind of outline. My outline is still incomplete and I have since written beyond it. I really don’t foresee the need to do more outlining unless things change. It’s a fantastic, unique, science fiction novel and one that I’ve had in mind for many years and completely my own idea. I have never heard about, seen, or read anything similar.
This book deals with a barely surviving private detective who unwittingly gets pitted against people who want to control the world using time as a means of wiping out everyone that stands in their way.
Other than sci-fi novels, I have written kids stories, short stories, articles, song lyrics, poetry, haiku’s, non-fiction, manuals, business plans, programs, websites, and just about anything else you can think of or imagine.
5) Is this a hobby or do you plan to make a career from writing?
I would absolutely love to make a career of writing. Nothing makes me happier than writing for the enjoyment of others. This is my goal. A career in writing is not what you would really consider a way to get rich unless you are Stephen King, but if I could make a decent living with it, that’s a day worth striving for.
6) What authors do you admire?
I have to love Frederick Pohl. The creativity of this man is awesome. I find his writing clear and concise. Anyone who has ever read, The Heechee Saga, really appreciates Pohl. Another great writer is Robert Heinlein. I grew up reading Heinlein’s stuff. Then there’s Margaret Atwood, another great writer; her novel, “A Handmaid’s Tale”, is fantastic.
7) What music, places, people inspire you?
First, and foremost, is the Bible. There are a lot of awesome things in there. We moved around so much as I grew up, I can find inspiration almost anyplace. Music, I listen to a lot of things, but I find classical, jazz, and soundtracks get my creative juices flowing.
8) Would you care to share your opening paragraph (hook) with us?
The first few pages of Star Siege are viewable at Amazon, but I would be happy to share the opening paragraph of the new novel “It’s Melvin Time”:
“Melvin did not know who was banging on the door at 4am, but he knew they sure better have a damn good excuse, otherwise the mortician would have more business today. He forced himself out from under the six layers covering his body: hands first, then arms, then torso. The cool air was stinging his flesh like he was actually in the morgue instead of wishing he could put whoever was behind that blasted door in there.”
9) How would you describe yourself as a writer?
Writing is not about the person that is writing the story, first of all. Writers must be everyone at one time or another. I think of writing as a privilege. To understand any writer, I think you need to think of who they are and why they write. Some write for money, some to share themselves, and some people write just to get their ideas down on paper such as a life story. I write to entertain. If I can catch people’s interest, make them smile, or make them happy for a while, then I am a success.
10) How does being a quadriplegic affect your writing?
Being a quadriplegic is difficult at best, but I think it gives me some insight into situations and people that others may not have. It also makes me appreciate the simple things in life. I’m not sure how that relates to writing unless it gives a better ability to empathize, but where other people think nothing about fixing a meal and eating it, I can neither fix the meal and there have been times where I couldn’t even eat it.