Today we are chatting with author Ronnie Allen who just released a psychological thriller entitled Gemini.
How does it feel to finally have it out in the world for everyone to read?
First I'd like to thank you so much Jen for affording me the opportunity to be on your blog. It's wonderful to be exposed to a new audience.
It has been an amazing experience for me. I keep my book on my desk and when I'm working at the computer I stare at it, and wow it's me, it's mine. It's still surreal. It's been an amazing experience having Gemini out. Both from my standpoint, and from my readers. What has been really amazing, and it's something I had not thought about is that people who have bought my book who have seen me write every single day at the pool are so excited to actually hold my book in their hands. They are so excited to actually know an author that they hug the book. I must tell you how humbling that is. Very often as authors we think about the fact that being published has on us not how much we affect our readers.
Since this is your first novel, did you find it to be a challenging experience?
Yes. Because to get a manuscript into the world of publication takes a lot of work. My motto is never give up. I was lucky enough to have feedback with my first three rejections that came around the same time. The editor and two agents all said I had POV issues. I rewrote and edited a lot and it worked.
Everything fell into place with Gemini as it should have. I met my writers's chapter, SSRA, at just the right time when I was almost finished with my first draft. This is the most giving group of published men and women that you could ever meet. The guidance, support, suggestions, critiquing, was unsurpassed. Along with friends who critiqued and beta read, Gemini was ready for submission. In the scheme of things, the way things actually go in this industry, Gemini was picked up by Black Opal Books after a relatively short amount of submissions.
What made you decide to write this particular novel?
I love the psychological thriller genre. It's what I read so therefore it makes sense to be what I would write as well. I also love crime and forensics in novels and I am fascinated by the science of the latter.
When you wrote Gemini, did you have a target audience in mind?
Yes, actually there was. I was targeting an older audience. My protagonist and antagonists are over 37. I was also targeting readers who prefer depth and substance to their novels because Gemini is long and I write long.
Are there any scenes that hold a special place in your heart?
Yes. I won't say much about it because I don't want to ruin it for the reader but the chapter where Dr. Trenton rescues Ricky in the hostage scene that takes place in Florida. That chapter is very significant because it changes Dr. Trenton's view of himself and gives him a new drive.
Since Gemini deals with child abuse, were there any scenes that were particularly difficult to write about?
Children are very close to my heart and in my 33 years with the New York City department of education, I have been an advocate for the child. I've seen child-abuse to the extreme and children should never have to go through what Ricky did or the antagonist, Barbara Montgomery, for that matter. The scene that was the hardest to write was in the interrogation room when Dr. Trenton was interviewing Rick Dunn, Ricky's father and getting the horrid details of what Ricky went through.
Some authors cringe at the thought of having to write romantic scenarios into their novels, how did it go for you?
I love writing sex scenes, the wiggle in your seat scenes. I love the kind of alpha male that Dr. Trenton is. I did a lot of editing of word choices to make sure the level of heat was consistent throughout the scenes. I will say that my upcoming release, Aries, has a higher heat level which works in sync with its characters.
How long did it take you to write Gemini?
Here's my timeline. I began Gemini in October 2011. I met my writer's chapter August 2012. By July 2013 it was pitched at my first RWA conference. Mid May 2014 I was offered a contract by Black Opal Books. June 2nd the contract was signed and exactly a year later, June 6th 2015, Gemini was released.
Some authors are able to start typing out their books right away while others prefer to write it all down first then typing it up afterwards. Which style worked best for you?
I am what we call a planster. I outline quite a bit, know the novel pretty much till the end, do a lot of research first, write a synopsis of each chapter until about chapter 12 before I hit the computer. My characters do you take on a life of their own, even to the point they give themselves a bigger role and I go with it. For example, with Aries, The second novel in the series which will be released in the fall, I plotted, researched, and outlined for about five months. But then, Aries flew right out of me and I finished 122k words in three months and 10 days. Then after critique partners and beta readers, the manuscript was excepted by my publisher the first time out.
One of the unique features about Gemini is that it has a spirit guide. What made you decide to include him?
Dr. Trenton has the spirit guide named Max. Dr. Trenton is what we call a holistic forensic psychiatrist. He practices what I did in my alternative healing practice. I teach people how to contact and communicate with their spirit guides. And I wanted to include the alternative therapies that I do. Especially with the first novel,when querying agents and publishers, they do ask what makes you qualified to write this novel? I could honestly say that I have experienced what my characters have, in their environment. I had worked in education as the antagonist, minus the murder, lol, and had experience in all of the alternative therapies that Trenton does. Max does give Dr. Trenton some clues, but it is up to Dr. Trenton to put them all together and solve the case based on medical science and his profiling. Just as a point for your readers, I do not use the psychic element to in a sense say poof here's the answer. If you're readers are interested in alternative healing modalities and Tarot they'll learn a lot in Gemini and enjoy the connection.
If we could ask for advice from your spirit guide, what would they say?
My guide has been with me since the early '90's. She doesn't like her name to be mentioned, but I do address her by name. Right now, I'm asking for her guidance re marketing, though I use Tarot to answer my questions about that. In pitching or in speaking in front of an audience she takes over and dictates to me what to say. It's almost as if I'm channeling.
One of your characters teaches about the mind-body connection, can you tell us more about that?
Yes Dr. Trenton is a holistic forensic psychiatrist. Some practitioners call it energy psychiatry. I believe in the mind-body connection and how stressors in the body can lead to physical illness. Dr. Trenton uses Barbara's inability to make the connection to profile her and discover her murderous past.
Now that you have experience as an author, will you be writing a sequel?
Yes. Aries will be released in a few months and I am writing Scorpio now. At every event I will be speaking at, I will ask people to write down the sign that should be the fourth title. So far, Taurus is in the lead. In fact, in comments to this blog, I'm inviting your readers to tell what they'd like the fourth novel to be entitled and I'll add their responses to the tallies.
I've noticed that you have an amazing list of accomplishments. What inspired you to expand your field of knowledge in alternative healing?
In the early 90s, I started looking into goddess psychology and found out about Isis being the first doctor. I began my study of Crystal therapy and other alternative healing modalities to basically heal myself in some areas that were not working well for me. The more I learned the more I wanted to investigate. I took classes to become an advanced metaphysician, and then found my doctoral program at the American Institute of Holistic Theology where I completed a four year study and completed a PhD in Parapsychic Sciences, studying all aspects of the paranormal, nutrition, mind-body sciences. I was certified by the Association of Drugless Practitioners as a Holistic Health Practitioner.
Living in New York City sounds like it’s an exciting place to live in. Can you tell us what made it special for you?
It's the only place I've ever lived except for now, in rural central Florida. What a difference. I love the energy of the city. When I went to NYC for ThrillerFest last week, when I got out of the cab in front of the hotel, the energy riveted through me. I felt like shouting, "Yay, I'm home!"
Thank you so much for joining us today Ronnie!
The Sign Behind The Crime Series
Synopsis to Gemini:
His life is exactly the way he wants it to be—until he meets her…
Both psychic and clairvoyant, Dr. John Trenton is a forensic psychiatrist who has a wife he worships and a position as a department head at a hospital for the criminally insane in Manhattan. His patients—young adult men, who are some of the most psychotic and psychopathic criminals in NYC—enable him to live his life on the edge, just the way he likes it. Then he meets a woman who changes everything.
She is two days from accomplishing the revenge she lives for—until she meets him…
Stripper by night, school psychologist by day, Gemini obsessed Barbara Montgomery, makes a critical mistake and is committed for seventy-two hours of observation, where she risks it all in an unnerving escape. Furious with Dr. Trenton for interfering in her life, she is now determined to kill his wife and unborn child, along with everyone else who has ever caused her pain—real or imagined.
As the killing spree continues, John is forced to use all his ESP, as well as his knowledge and expertise, to interpret this psychopath’s Gemini obsession and unravel her dark and murderous past. But can he track her down and bring her to justice—before she destroys his world completely?
Okay, girlfriend. Let’s get serious here. Tonight’s gotta be the night. Time’s runnin’ away from me.
She jammed her eyes shut, swallowed hard, and blew out a prolonged breath. Tonight could be rough. Or impossible. Her heart thumped in expectation of finding the right person to accompany her in the train wreck of her life.
She had no choice, but to make it work.
Her life depended upon it.
Before she could overthink it, she grabbed the pink paisley duffle bag, which held her outfit for the job, off the Queen Victoria chair that graced the corner of the hallway. The entire getup could fit in her jeans pocket but she had to go fancy. She zipped up the black patent leather stiletto heeled boots, hesitating for a moment, contemplating if she was getting too old to wear them. After a last minute once-over in the full length mirror on the adjacent wall, she reconsidered. Nah, not with her knockout bod. Women half her age didn’t look so good. Not even any laugh lines around her eyes to give it away. She winked in the mirror and her emerald contact lenses twinkled back.
She eased the door closed to her ritzy Manhattan apartment at one a.m. with her right hand on the knob and her left palm on the door, guiding it to the latch so that her ears alone heard the soft clicks of the bolt.
Can’t wake those old geezers next door. Otherwise, I’ll just have to do what I do best.
Chills of anticipation snaked through her as she traversed the darkened hallway to the elevator all the while listening for footsteps in her neighbor’s apartment. The elevator door opened. She slipped in.
All was good.
They got to live another night.
Ronnie has a nifty book trailer, go check it out!
Gemini is now available to purchase in bookstores worldwide!
In : July 2015
Tags: "ronnie allen" gemini "the mind behind the crime"