Digital Book Nook recently caught up with Allen Keith, author of “The Average American.” We are excited to share this insightful interview with our readers today.
When did you first discover that you enjoy writing and wanted to become a published author?
Since probably middle school I’ve enjoyed writing and always felt like it was my “calling” of sorts. Then, in college, I began taking my writing a little more seriously with the goal of publishing in mind. Fast forward several years of personal struggles and tragedy and I became more determined than ever to have my voice heard.
What is your favorite and the most challenging aspect of writing?
My absolute favorite part of writing is connecting with the senses of the reader. My goal for every piece I write is to invoke an emotional reaction out of the reader and get the reader to reflect on their own life. The biggest challenge for me in writing is shaping a piece to deliver a message with enough potency to achieve that emotional reaction.
Tell us about your latest release.
The Average American is my first published book and my first collection of poetry. I began writing the pieces compiled within in the wake of the tragic death of my daughter. It was a time that nothing seemed right, not in the world, in my community, in my family. Everything was just off. My writing suffered for a brief time. But then I found that the death of my daughter caused me to begin reflecting on my life and purpose. What followed and comprises the pages of this book is a spiritual and philosophical look at the world and our place in it, while examining the hypocrisies we find ourselves wading through on a daily basis.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
What came first, the title or the picture on the cover? The title of the book comes from the last poem in it. Before publication, it actually had a different name but then came the picture. The young, angry looking child on the cover is actually my grandson. With a sense of humor rarely seen in a two year old child, that was his pose for his school photo. When I saw it, I was immediately drawn to it. I felt that it perfectly represented the book and title.
What do you hope readers are able to get from reading your story?
I hope those who read The Average American will find a message within its pages that they needed to hear. Each individual experience will be different for each reader but there’s something in it for every reader. A lot of which I hope leads the readers on a meditative quest of self discovery.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I admittedly don’t read as much as I used to. However, I jump at the opportunity to read other writers’ work. In poetry, Billy Collins, Joy Harlow, Yates and London. If I’m reading a novel, I enjoy the action work of Stephen Hunter or Lee Child.
Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t rush your work, take your time. A lot goes in to publishing and each step is another hair pulling experience but the satisfaction is worth it. If you want to see your name on the cover of a book, don’t hesitate. The only thing holding you back is self doubt. Step out and take a chance.
The Average American is available at Amazon on Kindle and on paperback.