Archive for April 10th, 2013

Allison M DicksonAllison M. Dickson lives in southwest Ohio and has been writing since she could hold pencil to paper. It’s only in recent years that she started treating the craft as a career. After earning a few small publishing credits, she started selling her stories online, where she gained a decent following with such dark tales as “Dust” and “Vermin.”

She soon caught the attention of author and visionary Vincent Hobbes, and her relationship with Hobbes End Publishing solidified with her two contributions to the second volume of The Endlands (volume 2), and finally with their recent acceptance of her upcoming science-fiction novel, The Last Supper. She is also scheduled to have another release by Hobbes End Publishing, a horror novel titled Strings.



Q: Welcome to the Dark Phantom Review, Allison! Tell us why readers should buy your upcoming novel, The Last Supper.

A: Because I think it has something for everyone. There is fear and adventure and love and magic and heartbreak. The story has a very organic feel to it that I think will please readers of all stripes, be they fans of hard sci-fi, contemporary fantasy, or mainstream. It’s basically an amalgamation of everything I ever loved as a reader and what I want to be as a writer.

Q: What makes a good science-fiction book?

A: The same thing that makes a good horror book and a good romance book and a good anything book. Characters. As a reader, I think you just have to care enough about the characters to see them through. Of course, in stories of this type, I think a healthy amount of speculative thinking is also good. You have to build a world that is exciting and believable in some way. But don’t get too hung up on the details, because that can be discouraging and an excellent reason to stall on the actual storytelling. Readers will forgive you a few trespasses in the world-building department if they love the characters you’ve drawn.

Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?

A: I don’t think I would call any of my writing days regular. My routine is subject to change at any given moment for any given reason. But on most days, I get up relatively early, see my kids off to school, and then set about waking up for the next hour or so. This may or may not involve a happy cup of coffee or two and spending some time on the social networks.  Then I will get some writing done for the next couple hours. After that, I break away to take care of necessary household chores or perhaps feed myself. Often I won’t return to the manuscript until the evening hours. But it really depends on how hard the story is holding me. I’ve had days where I wrote for nearly eighteen hours straight. I’ve had days where I wrote until my fingers were numb and my eyeballs felt like prunes. I’ve also had days where I wrote two sentences and called it good, or decided that blogging was going to be my form of writing for the day.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?

A: It’s the readers. It’s watching your kids tell people with a shine of pride in their eyes that their mom is a writer and then watching them start to explore their own creative spaces because they feel comfortable doing so. It’s getting a letter from someone who said your story stuck with them for a long time. It’s a lot of things. I think a lot of us choose career paths based on how much of an impact we can make in other people’s lives, whether we’re doctors or engineers, presidents or musicians. So seeing that effect actually happen is the greatest reward ever.

Q: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?

A: Talent alone isn’t going to get you anywhere. You have to be willing to do the work. In fact, the people who work the hardest, even if they aren’t as talented, get further than people who are monumentally more talented but hang back. People always like to snivel and snicker over how people who can’t write wind up making millions of dollars. Take Twilight, for instance. A series of books that’s as much loved as it is ridiculed. Do you think that Stephenie Meyer got where she got on the strength of her writing talent? I can’t say for sure, but what I can say is this: she was willing to do the work. She wrote her ass off and got her manuscript in to the right person at the right time. Don’t rest on your laurels thinking publishers are “only looking for mediocrity.” They aren’t. They’re looking for people who don’t think they’re too good to do the work.

About The Last Super:

After a massive agricultural cataclysm leaves the world a weed-eaten wasteland, a theocratic regime known as the Divine Rite rises to power and brings the remainder of humanity to its knees, forcing them to test yearly for the right to continue living. John Welland grew up in this world and never knew any different, at least until his wife died due to this murderous bureaucratic policy. He soon embarks on a quest of rebellion and revenge that takes him far outside the protected borders of his town of God’s Hope and into a landscape more treacherous and haunted than he ever could have expected, where people possess unworldly powers, and the weeds own all.

Allison’s novel, The Last Supper will be released by Hobbes Ends Publishing this summer. In the mean time, check out her stories in The Endlands (volume 2), an anthology containing 17 mind-bending stories in genres ranging from horror, to dystopian to science fiction.

The Endlands picture

Purchase The Endlands on Amazon.

Check out Allison’s other stories on Amazon.

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