Wednesday, January 13, 2016

We Were Heroes Author Interview: Chris Allinotte

Hello, and welcome to an all new series of author interviews.  The long anticipated anthology "We Were Heroes" will be coming out in 2016, and in preparation for this release we'll be running interviews of various contributors.

MTI:  Today I'm interviewing a returning contributor, Chris Allinotte, who has crafted the compelling story Faded Instincts this time around.  Thank you for being here, Chris.

It's been a while since we did one of these interviews.  Why not tell our new readers a little bit about yourself?

CA:  Well, the basics are that I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with my wife and children, but I grew up in northern Ontario, and went to University in Toronto, where I stayed for awhile.

I’ve always loved creating stories, but I got serious about it during theatre school, when I wrote my first play, Late Last Night. I later staged the production at the Staircase Café Theatre in Hamilton.

It was awhile after that that I got back into writing fiction, joining a writing group in Toronto. One of the pieces I came up with in that group later won first place in the Toronto Star short story contest. I’ve written pretty constantly since then. Two years ago, I published a collection of short fiction, called Gathering Darkness, which I’m very proud of

MTI:  Your story, Faded Instincts, appears in We Were Heroes, an anthology devoted to the theme of aging, retired, or out of their element superheroes and villains.  Tell us a little bit about your contribution to this collection.

CA:  Faded Instincts is about a father coming to terms with the son he left behind. So much of superhero mythology is dependent on the protagonists having no responsibility other than fighting evil in the name of justice which, while admirable, is sort of a juvenile mindset. I thought it would be fun to explore what happens when real life catches up to the mythology. The fact that the son finds himself developing the same powers as his father provided a nice catalyst to get them together.

MTI:  Who's your favorite superhero (or villain)?

CA:  I find myself going back to Batman a lot. When I was younger, I loved Spiderman and the X-Men, but as I’ve aged, I keep coming back to Bruce Wayne. I particularly like the Frank Miller books (The Dark Knight Returns, Batman:Year One), as well as Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, that expose the hero as being nearly as damaged as the villains he fights. There’s something intensely gripping about Batman’s sense of urgency – that he cannot rest until the job is done – but it’s never done.

MTI:  If you, yourself, could have any superpower, what would it be?

CA:  I think it would be great fun, actually, to have the powers that “Animal Man” in my story has – to transform into any creature that’s ever lived, at will.  Just exploring the possibilities of that would take a lifetime.

MTI:  Shifting back to your writing, can you tell us a little about what you're working on right now?

CA:  I’m nearly through the first draft of my first full novel. It features characters I’ve used before in short stories, so it’s been really great to find out more about them as they stretch out to fill the greater space.

MTI:  Other than Faded Instincts appearing in We Were Heroes, do you have any other stories being published in the near future?

CA:  There is a novellette that I’ve done which may border on fan fiction (it takes place in the world of the Wizard of Oz), so I’ve been hesitant to send it out – but I like it a lot, so I may polish it up and release it myself on Smashwords. Everything else I’ve been doing has been to try and finish a book length manuscript for once, so my editing/submitting pile is pretty robust right now.

MTI:  On a lighter note, have you watched any good tv lately?

CA:  I’ve really been enjoying this season of American Horror Story, much more so than previous seasons. The story seems about a thousand times more consistent, with real stakes. I was also very satisfied by Series 9 of Doctor Who.

MTI:  How about music?

CA:  A friend told me he liked to create a playlist devoted to his work in progress, and fill it up with related songs that could help inform the tone of the book. I tried to do that with my current WIP, so it’s a lot of classic rock and  Alice Cooper, Epica, Within Temptation and Tool for example.

MTI:  What was the last movie you saw, and what did you think of it?

CA:  Most recently, the new Star Wars. I absolutely loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be, and everything that made the original movies great. Mostly, it was a movie that was about something, rather that simply being the product of a “create your own Star Wars movie” CGI kit.

MTI:  Readers love samples.  Do you happen to have a story excerpt you'd like to share with us today? 

CA:  Not at this time. The most new work I have is the novel manuscript, and it’s still in ‘just for me’ stage.

Thanks for having my story in We Were Heroes, and for a very enjoyable interview!

MTI:  And thank you for a great interview, Chris.  Those who want to read your work can get a copy of We Were Heroes.

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