Monday, 12 September 2011

Interview with Allan Leverone, author of The Lonely Mile

This week, I'm pleased to welcome Allan Leverone, author of the gripping book The Lonely Mile! Welcome, Allan!

Thank you for having me, Casey, and for giving me the opportunity to connect with your readers!

Thrilled to have you! So let's start with a standard question; What inspired The Lonely Mile?
When I was in college, I had a drive of nearly a thousand miles to get back and forth to school. Most of the time, I made this drive with a friend, and we would go straight through, stopping only for gas and coffee at some of the many roadside service plazas dotting the Interstate highway system. The thing that struck me most visiting these rest areas was how isolated most of them were and how easy it would be for someone to wreak havoc at one if he so intended.

That memory stayed with me for years, and when I began writing thrillers in earnest, I drew upon the notion of an amoral sociopath using those isolated service plazas as a staging point for kidnapping young women. After that, it was simply a question of asking, “What if?” What if a man happened to witness such a kidnapping? What if he stepped in and broke it up, in the process thrusting his own family into the sights of a brutal kidnapper/murderer? The story just sort of took off from there.
We've all heard of incidents like that, sad enough. It makes for a brilliant story, though, and serves as a reminder to always be careful!

Are any characters based on yourself or anyone else?
Not intentionally. My bad guy, Martin Krall, is a compilation of a number of sadistic American sociopathic killers, including Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. I suppose Bill Ferguson is probably closest to me; all I had to do was consider what my reactions would be if one of my own children had been taken, God forbid. It’s a little unsettling to think about, considering the types of characters I write about, but I suppose there’s a little of me in all of them.
We all like to think that we'd be brave in the face of adversity, especially when it concerns our children. We can only hope that we never have to face situations like that.
It reads like a movie or television show, was that your intention?
I had a lot of people make the same observation about my first thriller, FINAL VECTOR, as well as about THE LONELY MILE. The books weren’t written with TV or movies in mind—although I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to a TV or film interpretation of either of them—but when I write, I have scenes playing in my mind, kind of like internal movies, and I simply describe what I see, so that might explain why they read so visually.
It does make for an interesting style, and is very successful with drawing in the reader!

Would you consider putting this in to screenplay form to approach movie or television producers? Absolutely, although without an agent, approaching TV or movie producers would be a little bit like spitting into the wind. All things in good time, though. If I were to be approached, I would definitely consider any legitimate offers.
This is definately a movie I would watch on the big screen! I shall keep my fingers crossed for you.

How long did this take to write, and what sort of process would you go through to get in to the zone?
The first draft of the manuscript probably took me two months to write, but once it was complete, there was still a lot of work to be done. The way I write is to get the story down on the page (I suppose “into the computer” would be a better way to describe it) without worrying too much about phrasing, characterization, or any of the thousand other things that make for an entertaining book. Once I get that first draft down, then I go back and begin the process of self-editing and rewriting.

That’s a really good question about getting into the zone. I like to get between 1500 and 2000 words a day done on the first draft when I’m writing a book. Some days it’s easy, the words just flow like magic, and every one of them seems perfect. Other days it’s a complete struggle, and formulating a single decent sentence feel damned near impossible. Those are the days it’s most important to keep working and fight through the difficulties. There’s an old writer’s saying that I firmly believe in—“You can’t edit a blank page.”
A sage piece of advice there. I know the struggle of a bad day well, having had many of them myself! 
I find the way you write out a story quite interesting; and  quite practical.

Do you have any other projects in the works? How about past projects, or is this your first? 
I always like to have a couple of projects going at once. I just submitted my next thriller to StoneHouse Ink, publishers of THE LONELY MILE. It’s a paranormal suspense novel titled PASKAGANKEE, and I’m hard at work on the followup, tentatively titled REVENANT, right now. Additionally, my horror novella, DARKNESS FALLS, was released September 1 in limited edition collectible hardcover form by Delirium Books, and the ebook version of the novella will be available September 20. A second Delirium Books horror novella, titled HEARTLESS, will be coming in January.
Aren't you a busy little bee, then? Keep up the good work, and good luck with the new projects!

Are there any authors that inspire you, or whose books you read for pleasure?
I’m inspired by a number of incredibly talented authors, including Lawrence Block, Lee Child, Sophie Littlefield, Harlan Coben, StoneHouse Ink’s own Vincent Zandri, and probably a thousand other wonderful writers. I’m first and foremost a reader, a lover of the thriller and horror genres, and am in awe of the talents of many of my peers.
The range of talent out there is astounding indeed. There's especially nothing like being able to discuss your work with one of your favourite authors!

How about outside of writing, what are your hobbies?
Aside from writing, I work a full-time job of forty hours a week and have a family, with a wonderful wife, three children and one beautiful granddaughter, so free time is hard to find. But I’ve always been a sports fanatic; I love baseball and football, and am always happy watching a game.
Sounds like a well balanced life, and quite a full one at that!

Do you have any advice for those dreamers out there, striving to make their dreams reality?
My advice would be to follow that dream but be realistic about it. I wasted decades thinking about writing but never actually sitting down and doing it. Once I began seriously pursuing that dream, I began to realize just how much work was actually involved. Follow your dream but understand it’s probably going to be harder than you realize—stick to it, take it one day at a time, keep working, and eventually you will accomplish what you’re striving for.
Brilliant advice! I know a few people who could learn from that, myself included!

Thank you, again, Allan, for this opportunity. It has been an honour to review your book and have you on here. I wish you all the best for your future endeavours and look forward to hearing from you again!
For those interested, Allan has kindly offered a copy of THE LONELY MILE to 1 lucky winner, so get those comments in, everyone, and best of luck to all. 


  1. Great interview. Love the "Can't edit a blank page"
    Good luck in all your writings.

  2. Allan has definately got some sage advice, for sure. I truly hope this gets picked up by a network or movie producer, it's fantastic!!
    Thanks for the comment!