Interview with young adult urban fantasy author N.R. Allen

I’m kicking
off this new week with an interview with N.R. Allen about her young adult
urban fantasy novel Lot’s Mountain.
Allen grew up in Dooms, VA, and currently lives in Blacksburg, VA, with her
husband and family. While this is her second full-length novel, she has written
and published poems, short stories, and flash fiction, including “Teddy
Bear Heads,” “That House at the End of Carver Street,” and
“A Song for Miss Cline”.
Welcome, N.R. Please tell us about
your current release.
Magic isn’t
gone, only hidden. For countless centuries monsters, men, and things in between
have fought hidden battles over the fate of magic … in a small rural town in
Virginia. Now their skirmishes threaten to explode into open war, with the
entire world held in the balance. Dylan Caid, a troubled misfit whose secret
just might hold the key to victory, finds himself thrust into the center of
this ancient conflict. With both sides urging him to join with them and
threatening death or worse should he not, Dylan must seek out an ancient force
that even monsters fear.
What inspired you to write this book?
I actually
wrote a poem about ghosts living in a house. After that poem was published, I
couldn’t get my mind off it. I also wanted to write about the myths and monsters
of Appalachia, as well as other legends.
Excerpt from Lot’s Mountain:
a reason that we’re afraid of the dark. A lot of things in it are pretty dang
nasty,” I tell her. “But there’s a lot more in the dark than you
know, and they’re asking for help, Jamie. Our help.”
seems to spark something in her. She looks up and slowly nods.
wish you could see the good things.” And then I realize something. She
soon as I pull out the orb-thing Grim gave me, it starts to glow and pulse with
orange light.
don’t know if it’s because I’m thinking of Grim or if it’s just something that
the orb thing can do, since it’s a wisp’s map, but all of a sudden, light
splashes against one of the walls of the theater and we see something. It’s just
a glimpse, but we see it—Belle Lake. I can hear soft music that digs down to my
soul. Jamie hears it, too. Shimmering trees rise from the floor as a breeze
brushes warmly by us. The water … it isn’t really there, but Jamie leans over
and watches it glow next to her. And I know that she feels how I felt the first
time I saw the lake. She feels like she finally belongs somewhere.
Jamie smiles. Well, that’s not saying much, since most smiles always mean that
I’m shit out of luck. But this one … well, this one is a whole lot different.
It isn’t Diane’s pity smile, or Shard’s I’m-gonna-eat-your-heart-when-I-can smile,
or the sheriff’s creepy, possessed smile. This one really
makes me want to smile back, and I do.
this is what we have to save.”
the mirage of Belle Lake fades and the orb becomes just an orb again, Jamie and
me just sit there on the theater floor. Then, for a few minutes, we forget
about the war looming over us. We forget about Stone and Glass.
at her face, I want to say a thousand different things, but I don’t say
anything at all.
neither does she.
that’s okay. That smile of hers is enough.
What exciting story are you working on
I’m working
on a new edition of my first novel, Blood
of the Revenant
. I also have several novels lined up to explore Urban
Fantasy in more Appalachian settings and also want to weave in a few more
Cherokee myths.
When did you first consider yourself a
When I was
five, I was totally in love with Smokey the Bear and wanted to be a forest
ranger. But I kept making up stories and by age seven I just knew that I wanted
to be a writer.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I have
three children so I usually take summers off from writing. But when they’re in
school, I write full time. I have several chronic illnesses that keep me from
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I talk to
myself when I write and do the voices of the different characters out loud.
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
Ranger, definitely.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I first
started writing horror stories, but then found that Urban Fantasy was really
where I belonged. I love blending in myths and legends. I also love working
with different languages. I’m part of a medieval reenactment society and try to
weave in little tidbits here and there.

Thank you, N.R.!

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