Author Interviews, Blog

Author Interview: Allen Madding, Southern Fiction

Hi, I’m Allen Madding. I write southern fiction. My most recent project is Summer of ’82: Coming of Age in the Forgotten South.

From Planning to Published

When did you start writing and why?

Author:      I wrote my first short story in 1982 (my senior year in high school) called “The Bug” after reading The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I had a creative itch and enjoyed story telling so it seemed like a logical extension. I wrote a few manuscripts that I wasn’t happy with and didn’t publish anything until the release of Shaken Awake in 2014.

Has your publishing timeframe improved at all since your first publication?

Author:      Amazingly enough I wrote the first book of the Shaken Awake trilogy in under 3 months. I’ve not completed anything that fast since.

Are you indie, traditional, hybrid, or vanity, and why?

Author:      I’m indie. Strictly because I’m too chicken to deal with all of the rejections involved in submitting query letters.

In her work as a loan processor at Sunshine City Bank in Saint Petersburg, Colleen Smithwick has always found it hard to cope with the increasing pressures of work–suffering myopic and tyrannical loan officers while grinding through unreasonable deadlines. She plays the part of a committed wife well, but a restlessness weighs heavy on her mind. When murders of two high-officials rock the bank, Colleen becomes enamored with the lead detective investigating the case.

It’s Detective Gary Black’s job to see the risk in every situation, but he is unaware of the danger surrounding his own life. Since the time he first met Colleen, he has felt a strange attraction for her, the attraction that leads him into a world of dark secrets, throwing him into the path of a psychopathic killer. He must do whatever it takes to solve the case. That is, if he can stay ahead in the game.

Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this devilishly gripping thriller, nothing is what it seems on the surface.

If a homeless man froze to death on the steps of a church, what would it change?”

Shaken Awake – The Complete Trilogy is three books in one (Shaken Awake, Awakened, and Woke!)

“A dreadful chill ravages the city and a homeless man is found frozen to death on the church steps…

The city of Atlanta had weathered a thousand wet and chilly days in winter with occasional snowfall… but never one like this. A snowfall that begins in the noon turns into a vicious ice storm by evening, obliterating everything in its way. People are stuck into the whiteout, and trying to look for a way out.

Now, as the Peachtree Church opens its door to those out in cold, the church members come face to face with a stark reality.

About Your Work

What type of content do you write and why? Fiction Novels? Poems? Songs? Screenplays? Short Stories? Epic?

Author:      My main content is fiction. I grew up in a family of storytellers and enjoy the freedom that fiction provides.

How many works have you published?

Author:      6 – the Shaken Awake Trilogy, Volunteer Management 101, Lendercide, and Summer of ’82

A coming-of-age YA story that is as hauntingly authentic as it is deeply thought-provoking.

The summer of 1982 in Whitiker County in Southwest Georgia was another hot and dry season. The best friends, Ricky, Jimmy, and Buck, are ready to graduate from high school and step into adulthood. But when the lovely Jenny catches both Jimmy and Buck’s eye, Ricky has a bad feeling about the whole thing. Soon, Ricky’s fears come true. Madding’s storytelling is entertaining, and readers will laugh out loud at the boys’ adventures and sympathize with their heartbreaks and failures. As enjoyable as all the characters may be, the standout character of the book is Ricky, whose grounded, sensible nature will have readers rooting for him throughout. While the storyline is intriguing, what sets this novel apart is how beautifully Madding explores the boys’ vulnerabilities, hopes, and passions while delving into themes of love, young adult drama, friendship, mistakes, and regrets. Setting his tale against the quaint backdrop of the forgotten South of the 1980s, Madding skillfully weaves together multiple story strands to create a poignant coming-of-age tale. This is a page-turner. – The Prairies Book Review

An employee needs the paycheck to pay the rent, the mortgage, the car payment, student debt, the credit card bill, the utilities, and a host of other bills.

Volunteers, on the other hand are not motivated by a paycheck to stick it out when the manager is chewing someone out or things get uncomfortable.

The volunteer is simply motivated by making a difference and being a part of the organization. Their commitment hinges on how vested they are with the vision and purpose of the organization. When it gets to be too much of a hassle to serve, when they begin to feel unappreciated, when they feel the commitment is too demanding, they will walk away – usually without any warning or explanation.

With several decades of experience between them, Madding and King share insights on how to manage these valuable resources in your organization.


What has been the hardest thing to overcome on your journey to authorship?

Author:      MARKETING! Ugh. I have tried Amazon ads, Google Ads, GoodReads giveaways. I’ve read marketing books, and it still seems like I’m floundering. The only real success I can claim in marketing is author signings (which are few and far between).

If you could do it all over again, what would you change?

Author:      I would have stuck to it through the 80s and 90s. I often wonder where I would be in the whole process if I had not shied away from if for 30 years. Perhaps it would have been easier if we had platforms like KDP to publish in the 90s. But, I think if I had adopted a writing regiment after releasing the Bug, I would have been able to really hone my writing skills over the 30 year gap.

How do you combat writer’s block?

Author:      I read a quote from Hemmingway that I have used to avoid writer’s block:
“I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day…” — Ernest Hemingway

Fun Stuff

What is your favorite writing snack and drink?

Author:     Drinks: Coffee, Old Fashions, or Crown and Coke Zero. I’ve about swore off all snacks as they all seem to be carb loaded and I’m trying to slim down.  I guess my latest snacks are nuts and beef jerky.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Author:      WRITE! And then write some more. Don’t throw away or delete your writings. Keep them all and go back and consider revising them once you feel your writing has improved. Don’t quit!