The Walrus: Monster in the Mist
The story of a young boy coming of age under the tutelage of a charismatic and compelling man who seems too good to be true. Could the curious vacant lot next door hold the key to the mystery, wrapped in an enigma, that is George Albert?
This book can be purchased by clicking the picture. My interview with Alan will give you a better look inside where his creativity and being an author began.
What inspired you to write this book?
Alan: Three things, actually: The real-life mentor I was fortunate enough to have when I was a young boy; the close relationship I had with two other boys when I was in my teens; and the horrific nightmare I had when I was in my mid-twenties. The initial idea for "The Walrus" came to me during the Covid-19 pandemic, and was sparked, in part, by the tragic killing of George Floyd. There actually was a somewhat mysterious vacant lot in the neighborhood where I grew up, but as far as I know, it wasn't supernaturally afflicted.
What is your favorite childhood book?
Alan: I read and enjoyed all kinds of books when I was young, including poetry. But I probably liked horror stories and science fiction most of all. Anything by Stephen King and Issac Asimov, for sure.
What does literary success look like to you?
Alan: Years ago it would have been becoming a best-selling author. These days, I am happy just to write things that family, friends, and perhaps a handful of strangers might enjoy reading.
Does your family support your work as a writer?
Alan: My wife, Jan, a voracious reader all her life, is my number-one fan and gentlest critic. And, yes, the rest of my family have been very supportive as well.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Alan: Many come from people I have known in the past; some of them somehow just feel right; and others are occasionally dictated by the nature of certain characters themselves.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Alan: My first book, "Confuchsia: An Early Bird's Tale," was a children's book that I had originally written for my then eight-year-old daughter, Carolyn. It was accepted for publication by a small publishing company that unfortunately went out of business before the book could be released I put the manuscript on a shelf and resurrected it many years later, after my first grandchild was born. The second, "Surviving the Frog Bog," was a collection of essays aimed at Baby Boomers and published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. The third, "Mercy: The Devil is in the Details," and fourth, "The Walrus: Monster in the Mist," were my attempt at writing horror stories similar to the ones I've admired all my life. The process has changed little over the years , but hopefully the writing has gotten better with each successive book.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Alan: I would be surprised if there existed a writer who doesn't enjoy reading his or her reviews--especially the favorable ones. Fortunately, there haven't been too many bad ones. I greatly appreciate anyone who takes the effort to read one of my books, whether they ultimately like it or not. As with all other endeavors in life, you can't please everyone.
Alan J. Paul