Interview with Allan Leverone: 'I've worked very hard to get book reviews'

Allan Leverone is a three-time Derringer Award finalist as well as a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee for his short fiction. The Lonely Mile, released by StoneHouse Ink in July, is Allan’s second thriller, following Final Vector from Medallion Books in February. He has been hailed as “the successor to Michael Crichton” by bestselling author Vincent Zandri, and bestselling author Scott Nicholson calls The Lonely Mile “a taut crime drama full of twists and conspiracy.”

Learn more about Allan at his website at www.allanleverone.com.

Visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/allan.leverone.


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Allan. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, The Lonely Mile?


Thanks, I’m excited to be here! I’ve always been interested in books, but didn’t start writing fiction in earnest until about five years ago. I was blogging about sports at the time, and enjoying a fair amount of success, when it occurred to me that as much as I love sports, what I really wanted to do was write fiction. Crime fiction and horror, specifically.


I wrote my first novel manuscript, thinking I would sell it to the highest bidder, not realizing how difficult it actually is to sell a novel. I continued to write, short stories as well as novels, eventually selling my debut, Final Vector, to Medallion Press for publication in February, 2011.


Meanwhile, I had this thought for a book that kept bugging me and wouldn’t let go. I had driven back and forth on I-90 from Massachusetts to Indiana for four years as a college kid, and discovered there are literally miles and miles of some of the remotest territory you can imagine along the interstate highway system. What if a serial kidnapper/murderer were to use that territory as a hunting ground? Wouldn’t that be easy?

That idea, which refused to go away, formed the starting point for The Lonely Mile.



Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?


The manuscript went untitled for a long time while I was writing the first draft. I knew I wanted a title which would convey the depths of the emotional desolation a father would feel if he knew his actions had led directly to the kidnapping of his only child, that he was responsible for her disappearance.


The significance of “The Lonely Mile” is explained in the book, so I’m not going to get into it here, but I believe the title, along with the outstanding cover art provided by StoneHouse Ink, conveys what I was going for perfectly.



Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?


It’s a great story; one that I believe resonates with everyone. Bill Ferguson in The Lonely Mile is an ordinary guy, a man who steps in to prevent the kidnapping of a young girl from a highway rest area, thinking he’s doing the right thing, but never realizing that by doing so, he’s placing his own family directly in the sights of an amoral sociopath.


Anyone who has at least one person they care about can relate to the sense of guilt and the increasing desperation they would feel as they searched for their loved one, all the while knowing time was running out.


Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author. What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?


The first thing that appealed to me about StoneHouse Ink was their ability to get the book turned around quickly. With my first book, Final Vector, it took another publisher fourteen months from the signing of the contract to the release of the book. StoneHouse did it in just a few months with The Lonely Mile, while still providing editorial support and fantastic cover art.


Plus, the folks at StoneHouse are very approachable. Aaron Patterson, a bestselling author himself besides being a publisher, has a unique understanding of my concerns as an author and can provide important insights into what has and has not worked from his perspective on both sides of the desk.


On my end, in addition to undertaking a blog tour in support of my book, I’ve worked very hard at seeking out book reviews. I believe one of the best ways to get my book in front of potential readers is through reviews, and I’m confident enough in the quality of my work to believe most of the reviews will be positive. So far, that’s been the case.


Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?


I don’t know that I want to specifically compare The Lonely Mile to another title. I think the work stands on its own, and I don’t want anyone to think I’m comparing my work to books from authors who have accomplished so much more than I have.


But I will say this: Some of the authors I most admire are Tom Piccirilli, Lee Child, Lawrence Block and Harlan Coben, among many others, and readers of The Lonely Mile may be able to detect similarities to some of their styles. The story, though, that’s all mine.



Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?


My protagonist, Bill Ferguson, thinks he has located the run-down home in which his daughter is being held after being kidnapped. He’s determined to save her, and is searching for a way into the house as a storm builds, the sky moments away from erupting in thunder and lightning, heavy rain and wind.


Q: Do you plan subsequent books?


Absolutely! I’m always busy writing, and in fact my novella, Darkness Falls, was released on September 1 as a limited-edition hardcover collectible by Delirium Books. The hardcovers are sold out, but the ebook edition will be released later this month and I’m very excited about it!



Q: Thank you for your interview, Allan. Do you have any final words?


Only that I very much appreciate the opportunity to introduce my work to your readers. I’m well aware how many different options readers have for their entertainment, and any time I can connect with people who love a good thriller, I’m grateful for the chance. Thanks!
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