{Interview} Fact and Fiction with Belfast’s cack-handed scriber Alli Weir

Alli(son) Weir, ‘Alli Bobs’ or simply ‘Ginger’ is a redhead from the Midlands and has been living in Belfast for the last nine years.

Since 2016, Alli has been busy scribing short stories, poetry, cinematic reviews and full-length novels whilst interviewing writers, presenters and publishers in between.

Her works include a range of genres, mostly in horror and sci-fi. She is also looking into travel writing for future projects.

KR: Coffee?

KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

Hello hello to all at Kendall Reviews! I am formally Allison Weir but prefer to be called Alli. I have been writing (seriously) for about three years now and started out as a cover writer for someone who fell ill. After filling the void of an anthology with my first short story, I have now reached my fifth in the Gruesome Grotesques series and my first contribution to the Short Sharp Shocks! series with Blood, Bears and Dolls, thanks to Dean M Drinkel. I also enjoy writing long-length fiction across many genres. Randomly I am probably the only Wolves fan from Wolverhampton living in Belfast! (If you are aware of any others, please do let me know…) 😀

KR: What do you like to do when not writing?

Gosh, that is not too often! Well, I relish travelling. I am not long back from Ukraine and Bulgaria where I spent ten amazing days on the hoof and sightseeing to my heart’s content. When I am over the holiday blues, I eventually get back into the socialising swing of things and visit friends and family, whether it be over coffee, food, cinema, crazy golf, tenpin bowling or board games.

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

One that sticks out is an obscure book called The Tale of Herbert Plug. It is insanely funny and brilliantly illustrated.

KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?

I don’t have a favourite album as such – my music tastes change so quickly. I will always be a fan of groups like Maximo Park and The Killers and for a time, they did help me to write. However, I love listening to Two Door Cinema Club’s music as it seems to be the magic remedy in helping me chill during the writing process. It enables me to experience writing as a hobby, not as a work chore.

KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director? 

Tim Burton I think. I really don’t do favourites, I must admit. Hmm, now you come to mention it, Near Dark is a preferred vampire film of mine…! 😀

KR: What are you reading now?

I was hoping to re-read Animal Farm soon but one of my Spanish students has yet to loan me a copy. I read a lot of George Orwell stuff in my younger days!

KR: What was the last great book you read?

Great book? Hmm… I am embarrassed to say I cannot remember. I have not actually read a book in months!

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

If I had to choose, it is nearly always in paperback. Traditionally I like being able to smell the pages as I turn them and to be able to hold the book itself, but not a hardback one because they are usually really too big to cram into my many small handbags. E-books are so useful when travelling though!

KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

I would probably say a mixture of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton in my early days and Philip K Dick in the last decade. They are all very different writers in their own right.

KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

I switch between the two. Sometimes I have a vague plot in my head which I sketch out in a diagram to visualise it a wee bit more and other times, I just write free-flow and hope I can flesh it out that way.

KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Oh good question! It does depend entirely on the story – for example – my first full-length piece ‘Oveds of Ohncara’ involved a huge amount of research on spiders and their living conditions. I would have spent a nice chunk of time researching whilst I was building my characters, so I take it very seriously.

KR: How would you describe your writing style?

I am not entirely sure I can. I mean, I try and write in a different way every time so I am not too predictable with my characters. I enjoy delivering elements of dark humour in my writing and I like to keep readers guessing as to where the story could go next. As much as this may sound chaotic, it is definitely not predictable!

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

It is pretty boring! The writing days are also few and far between as I work in an office full-time :/

However when they do happen and depending on the time of year… If threatened with a melting hot day (which is rare in Belfast!) I procrastinate a lot and start by working on paper outside as my laptop screen is not too ‘sun’ friendly. In the colder months, I lock myself away in the warmth of the kitchen with a nice hot brew and sometimes music will play – then I begin to blissfully lose myself in a quiet zone for a few hours and simultaneously bash out a thousand or so words.

KR: Do you have a favourite story/ short that you’ve written (published or not)?

Yes! Beauty and the beastly assassin – it’s completely quirky and mad but that was its intention. I had it published earlier in the year as part of the Gruesome Grotesque series under the theme ‘In Space!’ It tells the story of a beautiful girl called Jeanie Walters who inadvertently upsets a lot of women and unintentionally attracts a huge deal of men. But someone in her village has had enough and decides to hire world-class assassin Raquel Faloon to sort her out for good. Now it is up to her best friend Louise and an alien called Draixx to keep her alive in her safe passage to the moon where she believes she will be safe from all humanity!

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

Yes, 100%. At first, I cringed but after a while, I believed it to be best practice for improvements toward future stories. I think it is truly important to know what does or does not work so well for readers and why this is the case!

KR: How do you think you’ve developed as an author?

Honestly, I do not know. I would like to think I have grown more confident across the board with my writing. In the way I describe my character’s actions and in the dialogue I choose for them. It is hard to say because I am the one reading my work repeatedly so although I believe I am improving with each story/ novel, I could not pinpoint how exactly.

KR: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received regarding your writing?

Keep on with what I am doing and be bold. As in go far and keep exploring. Writing is a risk and sometimes you have to really push your characters, even if you think it’s a huge gamble that might not pay off. Because one time, it just might!

KR: What scares you?

The fact that I cannot always recognise my own material. For example, I will read over some of my works months later and go ‘Huh, did I really write that?!” Sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse! Haha…

KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?

Oveds of Ohncara is a fantasy based on a set of characters who have been trapped in my head for at least half a decade. I see their types every day outside my windows and doors and have always wondered how exactly they feel when trying to beat mankind indoors and the harsh outside elements so I had no choice but to write about the Oveds. It focuses on a fearsome little clan of arachnids, Tarah E in particular, a young female who is trying her best to fit in whilst they all rebuild their lives in Ohncara. Their skills are tested when long-term residents Kasper and Rodger move out and Linda and Dennis move in…

KR: What are you working on now?

Currently, I am working on a short for a special anthology, which I cannot reveal too much on at this moment in time however the theme for it is very exciting!

Also my own personal project which is due for release in 2020 – a time travel adventure with a murderous element! Watch this space…

KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?

You can choose…

  1. One fictional character from your writing.

Definitely Felicity Walker – she’s a survivor in every aspect!

  1. One fictional character from any other book.

Does being from a comic book count? Diana Prince. I would never be bored in her company, busting a few warrior-like moves!

  1. One real-life person that is not a family member or friend.

Henry Cavill because I’d need a man to keep me sane, plus he’s a bit dishy 😉

KR: Thank you very much Alli.

Alli Weir

You can follow Alli on Twitter @Alli22235324

Oveds Of Ohncara

What is worse – Being caught and eaten by a predator in the ‘cold outside’ or being savagely pursued by a depraved glory hunter or two?After picking up the pieces of a dismantled existence among some ordinary jumbos (or humans as they are better known), the Oveds are somewhat coping with life. Every day is survival day. However, they can never ready themselves enough for the residency of loony Linda Wallington and her psychopath partner Dennis, who are soon on the warpath to renovation, demolition, and then some.

You can buy Oveds Of Ohncara from Amazon UK Amazon US

Blood, Bears & Dolls

Ms Whiting deals with a plethora of predicaments every day. It’s the way she was made.

Her biggest challenge? Ousting her rather disturbing demons. No easy task for a person in her state…

What’s involved?

Lots of blood, many teddy bears and some occurrences with dolls.

You can buy Blood, Bears & Dolls from Amazon UK Amazon US

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