Roland Allnach has been writing since his early teens, first as a hobby, but as the years passed, more as a serious creative pursuit. He is an avid reader, with his main interests residing in history, mythology, and literary classics, along with some fantasy and science fiction in his earlier years. Although his college years were focused on a technical education, he always fostered his interest in literature, and has sought to fill every gap on his bookshelves.
By nature a do-it-yourself type of personality, his creative inclinations started with art and evolved to the written word. The process of creativity is a source of fascination for him, and the notion of bringing something to being that would not exist without personal effort and commitment serves not only as inspiration but as fulfillment as well. So whether it is writing, woodwork, or landscaping, his hands and mind are not often at rest.
Over the years he accumulated a dust laden catalog of his written works, with his reading audience limited to family and friends. After deciding to approach his writing as a profession, and not a hobby, the first glimmers of success came along. Since making the decision to move forward, he has secured publication for a number of short stories, has received a nomination for inclusion in the Pushcart Anthology, built his own website, and in November 2010 realized publication for an anthology of three novellas, titled Remnant, from All Things That Matter Press. Remnant has gone on to favorable critical review and placed as Finalist/Sci-fi, 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards; Bronze Medalist, Sci-Fi, 2012 Readers Favorite Book of the Year Awards; and Award Winner-Finalist, Sci-Fi, 2012 USA Book News Best Book Awards. Roland’s second publication, Oddities & Entities, also from All Things That Matter Press, followed in March 2012. It, too, has received favorable critical review, and is the recipient of four awards: Bronze Medalist, Horror, and Finalist, Paranormal, 2012 Readers Favorite Book of the Year Awards; Award Winner-Finalist, Fiction/Horror and Fiction/Anthologies, 2012 USA Book News Best Book Awards.
His writing can best be described as depicting strange people involved in perhaps stranger situations. He is not devoted to any one genre of writing. Instead, he prefers to let his stories follow their own path. Classification can follow after the fact, but if one is looking for labels, one would find his stories in several categories. Sometimes speculative, other times supernatural, at times horror, with journeys into mainstream fiction, and even some humor- or perhaps the bizarre. Despite the category, he aims to depict characters as real on the page as they are in his head, with prose of literary quality. His literary inspirations are as eclectic as his written works- from Poe to Kate Chopin, from Homer to Tolkien, from Flaubert to William Gibson, from Shakespeare to Tolstoy, as long as a piece is true to itself, he is willing to go along for the ride. He hopes to bring the same to his own fiction.
ABOUT ODDITIES & ENTITIES
‘Oddities & Entities’ is a surreal, provocative anthology of six tales within the supernatural/ paranormal/horror genres, exploring a definition of life beyond the fragile vessel of the human body. The stories are: ‘Boneview’, in which a young woman struggles to balance her ability to see through people with the presence of a supernatural creature in her life; ‘Shift/Change’, in which a hospital worker struggles to regain his memory as he is confronted by a series of desperate people; ‘My Other Me’, in which a lonely college student finds himself displaced from his body by his alter ego; ‘Gray’, in which a frustrated man is stunned to discover a little creature has been living in his head; ‘Elmer Phelps’, in which a brother and sister find themselves linked in a strange reality by a bat bite in their youth; and lastly, ‘Appendage’, in which a cynical mercenary is hired by his son to protect a research lab on the verge of a stunning discovery.
Praise for Oddities & Entities:
“Oddities & Entities” by Roland Allnach, categorized as horror fiction, is unlike any other horror fiction I have ever encountered. The book is comprised of six stories, each of which is written a cut above the norm. There are no recognizable monsters in these stories, no sophomoric zombies, no evil ancient vampires, and none of the standard fare I have become accustomed to in the horror genre. I do like the usual run of the horror genre, but this book is written with thoughtful intelligence, for an intelligent adult reader. I do not mean to imply sexual situations or coarse language. What I mean is, any intelligent reader, capable of deep thought, will find this book irresistible. The six individual stories are as unlike as any six stories can be, yet each one is so sufficiently well-written that, if sold as individual short stories, I wouldn’t hesitate to award 5 stars to each of them.
To say I like this book is a crass understatement. Each story drew me in and evoked my empathy for various characters. These stories forced me to actually think beyond what I was reading. Each premise was unique, at least in my experience; I have never encountered any other stories that even approach the situations these present with authority and authenticity. If I could boil down my perception of this book into a single word, that word would be WOW! Roland Allnach’s first anthology, “Remnant”, which I have also read, was placed as a finalist in the Science Fiction category in the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards. I absolutely expect “Oddities & Entities” to follow suit. If you read only one book this year, make it this one. Be prepared to have your comfort zone challenged.
– Readers Favorite (ReadersFavorite.com)
The thing about me is that I …..have a diverse range of interests, because I’m fascinated by the way things work. What the ‘things’ are doesn’t really matter. It could be the fusion reaction in the heart of a star, or the way a set of gears operate in a crane, but I try to soak up as much information about as many things as I can. Everything in the world operates by a process, and understanding the processes not only fosters an open mind but fosters my creativity.
When I first get up in the morning, I …..take a moment to hear what lanes of thought are running in my head. There’s no point in avoiding them, so I just listen in, and figure out which ones I’ll keep and which I’ll try to shut down. If I ignore them, I’ll just end up with a headache – not a good way to start the day.
The most important thing in my life is …..the time I spend with my wife and sons. Everything in life can come and go, but it’s those basic human attachments that I think really define a person. People are entitled to their opinions, and I hope people think well of me, but of greatest importance to me is that when my time is up I’m remembered as a good father, a good husband, a good son, a good friend. Oh, by the way, I hope people think of me as a good author, too.
I love to travel to …..some place warm, with water. One place I think of as a little slice of heaven is St. Augustine Beach in Florida. A summer evening on that beach, looking across the ocean, provides a welcome dose of tranquility. Medicine for the soul, as the saying goes.
In my spare time, I ….. think. That might sound strange, but I have a restless mind. Even when I’m dead tired there are least two or three threads of thought whispering away in my head. Sometimes it would be nice if everything was quiet, but it’s thanks to all those whispers that I get to have the joy of writing.
One thing I learned about life was …..you have to be patient. I’ve become a true believer of the adage that slow and steady wins the course. I don’t particularly like to think of it as ‘winning’ in a competitive sense, but more in a sense of fulfilling life ambitions. Our life on this world works in subtle ways we may not appreciate or even recognize, so it’s better to calm down a little bit, keep focused, and keep things in perspective. Knee-jerk reactions, inflexible opinions, and closed minds are not the best attributes of human character, and I think they get in the way of realizing the things we truly desire in life.
The sole mission I am on this earth is to …..do what every person should be responsible doing, and that is to raise my children to be the best they can be. Humanity has to move forward, and our children will be responsible for that motion, just as we will be accountable for fostering the mindset under which they pursue that journey. In terms of my own personal ambition, I would say my sole mission is to share stories that inspire people to think about things in ways they hadn’t thought of them before.
One little known fact about me that might surprise you is …..I worked a night shift for twenty years. Day and night don’t have too much delineation to me. The big markers of my time are being awake and being hungry. Other than that, everything else is just a matter of what I need to get done. Light, dark, night, day – whatever. It’s weird, but it’s allowed me to see the world from a different perspective.
My favorite time of day is …..evening. I love summer evenings, when the sun is slipping away, and the light comes in long rays that paint everything with a golden hue. If there’s some water nearby to catch that light, even better. It just seems to be a time of day when you should take a few moments to relax, and enjoy the beauty of the world as it slips away for another day.
I love to write about … strange people in strange situations. That doesn’t always mean otherworldly creatures or situations, but even mainstream situations or contemporary fiction has a fairly wide avenue for depicting characters and situations that challenge common conceptions of how the world should work. One of my aspirations as an author is to depict stories that continue to evolve in a reader’s mind upon repeated readings. When I write, I’m not just thinking about the first encounter of the story, but when a person reads the story for the second or third time.
The most difficult aspect about writing is …..not necessarily the writing itself, which I love to do, and given the time, I think I could write all day long, but the discipline to research promotional options is an exercise of persistence and patience. It’s also something that is a much bigger part of my responsibility as an author than I ever imagined upon entering the publishing world.
My most favorite aspect about writing is …..creating compelling characters, and seeing their stories through to completion. Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment and emotional release that comes with the successful ending of a story, regardless of the length or genre of the piece in question.
When I became a published author for the first time, I …..jumped around the house and bombarded my older son with my shouts of excitement. Then the phone calls started, and, later that week, a nice dinner out with my family.
The inspiration behind my book comes from …..my natural curiosity for how things work, in this case, life itself. I’ve always wondered how different things function, and this question of system processes opened the creative door for strange considerations of the biggest function of all, existence.
The most asked question about my book is …..where do all these weird ideas come from? I like to think that they stem from an imagination that doesn’t seem to find a limit to ‘what if’ and ‘why not’ questions, but I’ve always had strange dreams from as far back as I can remember. Sometimes, I think there might be some therapy sessions in my future, but, for now, writing is my form of therapy, and so far it’s done quite well.