Born in County Antrim, N. Ireland, D. S. Allen worked in various professions before settling on a career in teaching. He only recently decided to devote his spare time to writing, and Blood for Blood was his debut novel. While living in Germany with his wife, Sonja, he wrote his second novel, The Headmaster’s Cave, while teaching. D S Allen is now busy writing the sequel to The Headmaster’s Cave.
How did you discover indieBRAG?
I am always on the lookout for ways to promote my books, and I think I came across indieBRAG on Google.
Tell me about your story, Blood for Blood.
Blood for Blood is a story about revenge. How embracing revenge leads to inevitable and disastrous consequences, not just for that person who is seeking revenge, but also for that person’s loved ones and family. The reader watches on as the tragedy unfolds. We get to see how each character reacts differently to their tragic circumstances and how they deal with the consequences. Manfred Hugo’s desire for revenge is in stark contrast to Daniel Davenport’s need to save his sister, Johanna. But it is Johanna who recognizes that there are things more important that even one’s life. For when you lose your soul, when you lose yourself, you lose everything.
Tell me a little bit about the Battle of Worcester. What importance does it play in your story?
The Battle of Worcester, 1651, was the final and decisive battle of the English Civil War. Cromwell’s New Model Army destroyed Charles’ Royalist army, and, with it, his remaining hope of regaining the crown through a military victory. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams visited the site in April 1786 and, likening it to a place of pilgrimage, chastised the locals for not knowing its importance in the struggle for liberty. For the purposes of the story, The Battle of Worcester leads to the inciting incident that shapes the destiny of the main characters.
I’m curious about your thoughts on what sort-of of man Cromwell was. There are so many different opinions.
Even to this day, Cromwell is a controversial figure, but I think it’s important not to judge him according to present day standards. He was a man of his time. And it was a time of social and religious upheaval. There was a proliferation on new sects and political movements all jostling to be heard. There were the Quakers, the Fifth Monarchists, the Diggers and the Levellers, and many more besides. And only Cromwell, with the support of the army, was strong and respected enough to hold everything together. In fact, after his death in September 1658, there was one else who held the power base in either the Army or Parliament to be able to hold the Republic together, and this was the main reason for the Restoration.
Tell me a little about Daniel Davenport. Is he based on a real person or is he fictional? What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Daniel Davenport is a fictional character. I would say he is an honorable man, with a deep love for his sister. He is very protective towards her, and he is loyal and true towards his friends and the soldiers under his command. But his love and protectiveness for Johanna, which partly stems from guilt, also leaves him open for attack. The question is: how far will he go to save Johanna?
Why did you chose to write this story?
I wanted to write a story that reflected the times, but which could be told in any time period. I had a vague idea to write a story about a witchcraft trial and it developed from there. Sometimes I think I didn’t really chose to write this story, but that it developed organically from that original idea and almost wrote itself.
Where can readers buy your book?
Readers can buy the paperback directly from Createspace .Or buy the Kindle EBook version or the paperback from Amazon.
Where in your home do you like to write and what is your process?
I write in the spare bedroom and try to write when I have both spare time and some energy left after work.
Is there a favorite food or drink you like to enjoy while writing?
I usually don’t eat while at the computer, but I’ll often have a cup of coffee close by to perk me up!
Who designed your book cover?
The cover art for the paperback edition was by ebook launch . For the EBook cover I used a painting called The Wounded Cavalier by William Shakespeare Burton.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on the sequel to my children’s mystery novel The Headmaster’s Cave.
Do you stick with just genre?
I am currently writing a Middle Grade mystery novel, but my debut novel was historical friction.
Is there a particular hobby you enjoy when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing, I enjoy reading and watching television series.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
The first title I had settled on was Interregnum. But I thought the title wasn’t involved enough and after a lot of thought, I came up with Blood for Blood. I thought the new title was catchy and really illustrated the main theme of the novel.
When you’re stuck on a scene in your story, what do you do?
When I am stuck on a scene, I really try to visualize it—almost like watching a movie. I then try to sketch out what I am seeing through my words, only later fleshing it out. But I think that thorough planning is the best way to avoid these problems.
A Message from indieBRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview D.S. Allen who is the author of, Blood for Blood, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Blood for blood, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.