We had the pleasure of speaking with Allen Weiner, author of contemporary fiction Watch Tower.
He speaks of his experiences writing, the lessons he took to teach himself more ticks, and what the future holds.
Watch Tower is available here.
1). What themes did you consider when writing ‘Watch Tower’? What do you hope a reader will feel after they have finished it?
I wanted to focus on the struggles of growing up in a difficult situation and what it takes to overcome such an upbringing. The story was familiar to me as I knew people who were raised in similar ways, and some were able to rise above, while others were not.
The locations were essential as they are places, I am familiar with, and I could incorporate the nuances of those environments into the narrative. I chose watchmakers due to a personal interest in horology and the time and patience one has to use to be a master craftsman.
2). You mention that you attended a university class on how to approach writing your first novel. What is the most crucial thing you feel you learned about writing during that time?
I have been a professional writer since 1978, but always in a short-form style, working for newspapers and magazines. In 2020, took a class to learn how to write a novel; what I learned was discipline and the need to work the process by writing every day and being open to criticism.
3). What inspires you more in your writing; other authors and books, or life experiences?
Definitely life experiences both personal and professional. Also, extensive global travel where I got to see and meet people from all walks of life. Having lived in six different U.S. cities played a part in my evolution as a writer. A colleague once described me as a lyric from a Bob Dylan song- “I have a head full of ideas, and it’s driving me insane.”
4). What advice would you give to writers who are considering writing a novel, but have yet to take the plunge?
Discipline. Be prepared to be frustrated. If you give up easily it’s not a task you want to undertake. I suggest you follow the process as I did. It starts with an idea then you create a logline, characters, etc.. It is vital, especially when starting.
5). If we may ask, what is next for you and your writing endeavours?
I continue to write freelance for a company that deals with the future of food technology and am hosting a weekly radio show called, “Food Forward: Nourishing the World.”
I have several paths—I have a mystery trilogy in print with a character named Max Rosen, a semi-autobiographical. He is/was a newspaper reporter who solves mysteries and helps folks out of jams. I may write the fourth in the series.
I have a new novel in the works that deals with the contemporary issues of growing old and feeling out of touch with an evolving world. I may take Mark Tower, the hero of Watch Tower, to a new level, but I am not sure. It will depend on the reader's reaction to the current novel.
I am shopping a completed and professionally illustrated non-fiction book in the humor space on the trend of wearing two watches—one on each wrist. It is called “How to Double Wrist Like a Pro.”
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