Our interview today is with Allison Kohn. Thanks for being here today, Allison and for agreeing to do this interview.
Question: What do you think prepared you or qualifies you to write in your chosen genre?
Answer: The first thing that qualifies me is almost sixty years of profuse Bible study. I have been depressed, discouraged, and emotionally challenged and know what God says about those things. The thing that qualified me to write historical novels is an intimate acquaintance with history since childhood. My sister and I used to act out the history we got from our parents and grandparents. When I begin to write these books and did the research for them, I discovered everything I wrote historically was accurate.
Question: Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?
Answer: Yes, my family and church life are what inspired me to devise what I write. In the seventies I was in charge of all the single adults in my church. They gave me ample material to write about. I can no longer attend church and miss the inspiration.
Question: Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction?
Answer: I enjoy painting but haven’t had time for over a year. I get personal satisfaction out of helping other authors get coverage for their work. I tire easily so my days are shorter than most.
Question: Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
Answer: A young man starting out in the business of making covers asked for someone to make a cover for free for advertising purposes designed the cover for my latest book. I have used photos I took for most of the others; and a photo from createspace’s pictures for the fourth book.
Question: Since you have several books out, tell us what you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on ebooks versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?
Answer: ebooks sell a lot better than paperbacks because they don’t take up space and a kindle is easier to carry with a person to read along the way than a paperback.
Question: Have you done anything writing-related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
Answer: I published a lot of letters to the editor in newspapers that I got a lot of positive feedback on; and I published articles in school papers that students and teachers complimented me on.
Question: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Answer: Banner of Love is the record of Linda Baker’s response to being snared in the south during the Civil War. Linda has never learned that discretion is the better part of valor, so she states her mind loud and clear, and it doesn’t agree with the South’s version of the war. Being arrested and headed for Andersonville is only topped by becoming attached to a young soldier from the “wrong side” of the conflict. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heart wrenching, and sometimes thrilling; her time in the south is anything but boring.
Question: What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
Answer: My purpose is to follow the example Jesus set for his followers when he told stories to impart truth. One of my reviewers said Deep Trouble could be used for Bible study. Another said she thought the story must have been about real people. That’s my purpose, to show readers how real people approach real life incidents in the realm of the Spirit.
Question: Share something that makes you laugh, with just plain humor, or happiness, or because it’s so stupid.
Answer: When I sent my hand written first draft of a book into a publishing company in the early eighties, I got a three page rejection letter back and I was to ignorant to know I should be encouraged and keep trying, with that publisher, to get it right. Instead, I threw it in a pile in a junk “closet” and cried a lot.
Question: What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!
Answer: I thought I would be finished with the Baker family saga with the fifth book, but when I wrote the last paragraph, I realized there was another one to be written. It will follow both Linda and her cousin Wayne’s journey back to the Willamette Valley. Being stuck in the south during the Civil War would have left them without money for travel.
Question: What is your current WIP?
Answer: I am re-writing and publishing on my web site, Word, and Facebook a devotional called Running the Race as a Winner.
Question: How many books do you have out?
Question: What are your future projects?
Answer: I will write the sixth book in the Baker family saga and a Bible novel about Joseph along with some short stories.
Question: Are their characters/stories/scenes/etc based on anything in real life?
Answer: The story of Joseph is based on his life. I usually include some actual historical facts in my books.
Question: What is your favorite book/character?
Answer: Published – Deep Trouble and Alice. Unpublished – Joseph.
Question: What is your writing style?
Answer: Probably old world.
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Thanks for sharing, Allison and Russell. Banner of Love sounds like my kind of book!