An Interview with the Flying Allan Leverone
L. Vera: Allan Leverone, it’s a pleasure to have you here on my blog.
Allan Leverone: Hey, Luis, thanks for having me – I hope I don’t drive away all your readers…
L. Vera: Impossible. I hope.
Once again, I like to start off with a little off-beat question. So off the top of my head, since I know you’re an air traffic controller . . . who’s worse Pilots or Airport Security?
Allan Leverone: Well, I don’t have to deal with airport security on a regular basis, but on the other hand, I’m not normally in danger of getting groped by pilots, so it’s probably a wash. And, while pilots can occasionally be difficult to work with, if it weren’t for them, I’d be out of a job, so I can’t complain too much about them. Plus, if they want to land at the airport they have to do what I say, so most of the time we get along fine.
L. Vera: Sounds like a fun job. Ever think of a story idea while telling pilots what to do?
Allan Leverone: Occasionally, although it’s kind of funny – I was having little to no success getting anyone to pay attention to my work back in 2007, when I attended Thrillerfest, in New York. I was pitching a novel to an agent and he was completely uninterested in the concept. To pass the time, he asked me what I did for work, and when I told him, he looked at me like I might just be the dumbest person he ever met. He asked why I hadn’t written an air traffic control thriller, and I had no good answer for him. A couple of months later I began work on the manuscript that eventually became FINAL VECTOR, and things have gotten better and better, writing-wise, ever since. I wish I could remember the agent’s name, because I would love to thank him!
By the way, I’m not saying I’m NOT the dumbest person that agent ever met, but I figure literary agents meet a lot of people in their line of work; what are the odds this one never met anyone dumber than me?
L. Vera: Low, I hope.
I’ve read “Dead Weight”, found in Burning Bridges, and wondered where the inspiration came from for such a story?
Allan Leverone: “Dead Weight” is a story with real relevence for me, because the major plot element is something I have personal experience with. I’m not a mob accountant in real life, so if you read the story, you can probably figure out which major plot point I’m talking about. While I didn’t handle the situation in the manner my main character does in “Dead Weight,” I can’t say the thought didn’t occur to me. But in the end, the story is about a parent giving up everything for his child, a subject most parents can relate to pretty easily.
L. Vera: Why Burning Bridges? Why did “Dead Weight” find it’s way with those lovely band of misfits?
Allan Leverone: I was really excited to have the opportunity to contribute a story to BURNING BRIDGES, not just because of the ideal it represents, but also because it was being edited by Heath Lowrance, a guy I have a tremendous amount of respect for. Everyone who contributed to the anthology was burned by a relationship with an unsavory upstart publisher a while back, and a few months ago, someone had the idea of striking back through an anthology. BURNING BRIDGES is the result, and while I admit I’m a little biased, I think the result is truly spectacular.
L. Vera: What should we expect from you in the future, besides fame and fortune?
Allan Leverone: Well, while I’m certainly not about to turn down fame OR fortune should they come knocking, my goal is always to concentrate on the things I can control. For a writer, as you know, that means continually working to improve, and putting out the highest quality work I can. There are so many outstanding writers generating so much outstanding material that it’s really easy to get lost in the shuffle, and there’s a very real element of chance involved in determining who gets noticed and who falls by the wayside.
That said, I have a lot of stuff coming up that I’m very excited about. I just released my third horror novella, THE BECOMING, about a twelve year old boy who accidentally unleashes a horrific force when he explores a long-abandoned coal mine in Pennsylvania. I regained the rights to my first thriller, FINAL VECTOR, from Medallion Press and will soon re-release it in ebook form. And I’m working hard on the sequel to my novel, PASKAGANKEE, which should be available in a couple of months, titled REVENANT.
I just keep writing and hope good things happen.
L. Vera: I’ve already read half of Burning Bridges and think it’s a must read for anyone who simply like good short stories. I think a gateway drug to many other crazy books, but I suggest you delve in and not look back. Also check out Allan at his blog and on Amazon.
Allan Leverone: I couldn’t agree more. Thanks very much for having me, Luis, and here’s to brisk sales a great reviews!