Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your novel, The Coven’s Son! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Preston Allen: The Coven's Son is a story about a boy named Oak who grew up in a coven of witches. Oak is the first male first born to the coven in over 250 years and, with that, the first male witch that any living witch has ever known. His powers are unruly, as any young witches are, but his family soon discovers that he might just be a little more powerful than they had expected, after discovering that he is having visions of things that aren't actually happening. I created this story out of my love for witches and magic. I wanted to tell a story that I had never seen before. I researched and utilized real witchcraft practices, supplies, and history to write the most realistic rendition of a fantasy book that nods strongly to anyone who is familiar with the occult.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in bringing this new world to life, and what have been some of your creative influences?
PA: A lot of my creative process involved going to sleep with the last thing I wrote in my mind. I would play it in my head over and over and let my mind wander to the next part of the story. If I woke up and could remember what happened, I would run to a pad and paper and jot down the idea for when I sat down to write again. I also did a lot of studying of different herbs and witchcraft methods, learning the purpose and meaning for things they practice to get ideas. I think the strongest influences for me were Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman and the movie, The Craft; those really paved the way for magical realism.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that The Coven’s Son’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
PA: I think readers will find my protagonist Oak to be relatable to them in many ways. He is in high school and is dealing with bullying. His parents aren't getting along. He only has one friend. He goes through real-life struggles and even though he grew up as a witch, he still has to deal with the same battles we all did at his age. I really wanted to bring this story to life to show readers that you don't always discover the best part of yourself later in life. Oak was born a witch, he grew up a witch, it wasn't a secret and it wasn't something he found out about when he got older. It was normal for him to grow up this way and later on he realizes that the way he was born is exactly the thing that makes him who he is.
BD: If given the opportunity, would you like to revisit this story’s world and characters in subsequent novels or other mediums?
PA: I would love to revisit the world of The Coven's Son. I see this world portrayed as a trilogy, and I would love readers to follow him through life as he gets older. The peak of the book is such an explosion that you never get to see just how incredible this world can become, and I really hope that the book is successful enough to revisit, to expand the world and really show the power of a witch and their coven!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
PA: I am currently tinkering with a new book. I have a few chapters written. It's meant to be a dark comedy about death and the afterlife. Finding out what really happens when you die and where you go. Also, it will touch on the other side of things and guide you through the experience of losing someone you loved. It will hopefully have readers laughing and crying, maybe even at the same time.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Coven’s Son and your other work?
PA: The easiest way to follow me about The Coven's Son and future projects is to go to my website (www.authorprestonallen.com). There, you will be able to order hand-signed copies of The Coven's Son at no additional charge than the normal retail cost, or you can find retailers who carry the book if you prefer to order from a specific store. You can also find some behind-the-scenes goodies along with all my social media accounts and my blog where I post important updates specific to my published work. You can follow my Instagram and Facebook at @authorprestonallen, and my twitter (@authorpresallen).