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Monday 23 May 2016

ℚ Less than Human - Allen Long

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Less than Human (, Black Rose Writing, 135 pages), a Memoir about experiencing and overcoming child abuse and the author's long but successful search for true love.

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Allen Long; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Less than Human?

"The story of my life.  I overcame child abuse, PTSD, and a nightmarish marriage before finally finding true love with my second wife Elizabeth.  We’ve been married twenty years now.
The book also features all of the most dramatic highs and lows in my life.   Topics include the corrupt business world, teenage love, fatherhood, and a brief stay in the psychiatric ward of a hospital."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Less than Human - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover image is an alligator.  I chose this image because when my brother David and I were in elementary school, our neglectful parents encouraged us to swim in a Florida lake inhabited by an adult alligator while they visited inside with our grandparents.

The design artist is Dave King.  All of his covers are brilliant."
... that sounds safe... not...

Why should we read Less than Human and what sets it apart from the rest?  What makes your book unique?

"My favorite journalism professor once told me that he believed you could take anyone off the street and if you got them to tell you the complete and honest story of their lives, it would make a fascinating book.  My book is the complete and truthful story of my life, and that story is unique.

Also, as I mentioned, my book contains all of the most dramatic events of my life, both good and bad, and many of these topics are not focused on child abuse or recovery.  I would have gotten bored writing solely about how I was abused as a child and how I recovered."
Can you tell us something quirky about Less than Human, its story and characters?
"Two quirky things come to mind.

First, the book contains some overtones of myth and fairy tales that I believe give it extra punch.

Second, the chapters are arranged more by theme and association than by chronological order. My goal was to create maximum surprise for the reader as he/she goes through the book.  Also, this structure is sort of the literary equivalent of someone putting a jigsaw puzzle together, hopefully giving the reader an increasing sense of delight as more and more of the puzzle pieces snap into place."
Who would you recommend Less than Human to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"This book is for readers who have an interest in reading the life stories of others for entertainment and also to find out what lessons the author’s life has taught him/her.

There is only one explicit scene of child abuse.  The book contains swearing and a few references to sex but no explicit sex scenes."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I like to write both memoirs and short stories.

I like to write true stories about my life and make a lot of discoveries about why things happened the way they did and how I was affected.   I often can see subconscious motivations behind my actions when I look back with 20:20 vision.  Many people don’t live examined lives.  Memoirists live examined lives, and that makes the life experience richer in my opinion.

I also like the freedom in short stories to make up an entire story from scratch.  There’s a real pleasure and satisfaction out of successfully creating something out of nothing.

I read a mix of memoirs, literary novels, literary short story collections, and detective novels (a guilty pleasure)."
That makes absolute sense.   I would actually like to share one of your memoirs that did not make it into this book - Sleepover

What is your writing process?

"I write on a PC in my quiet upstairs study.  I like for the house to be empty or for my wife to be absorbed in a cooking project downstairs.   I work full time as a hospital nurse, so I write on my days off, which are one weekday per week and every other weekend.  Sometimes I work in the evenings as well, but this is usually just when I’m revising, not composing out of whole cloth.

When I wrote Less than Human, I completed all but the last chapter in 3.5 years.  Then I spent 1.5 years writing the final chapter and writing five more complete drafts of the book."
What is in store next?
"Right now, I’m writing magazine-length memoirs and short stories.  My next book probably will be a memoir or short story collection."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a beloved 1.5 year old golden retriever named Ruby. I don’t have any pictures of us, but I’ll send one along soon, before my book is featured on your blog. Thanks so much for this opportunity."
Hello Ruby! You are a very beautiful girl :-)

Thank you for sharing her with us and for the great picture :-D  I hope you are having a great tour.

Less than Human
Available NOW!

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Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Unknown said...

Hi, this is Allen Long, author of Less than Human: A Memoir. Thanks so much for hosting me. Readers--it's 5 a.m. San Francisco time, and I'm on my way in to work as a hospital nurse. I'll be pleased to address any of your questions and comments after I return home.

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the post, thank you.

Unknown said...

Great. Thank you. I'm available now to address any other questions or comments.

Unknown said...

My pleasure. Thanks for stopping by.

Unknown said...

Also, I invite readers to visit my author's Facebook page at or drop me a line at

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post - I love your Ruby, she's beautiful :)

Unknown said...

Thank you. Ruby's also really sweet, and she loves to have her tummy rubbed. If I say, "Ruby, where's your tum-tum," she rolls onto her back so I can rub her tummy.

BooksChatter said...

We are definitely sending Ruby lots of belly rubs :-D

... And thank you for popping by :-)


Unknown said...

Thanks very much for this opportunity.

Ally Swanson said...

Great pic! Ruby is so gorgeous! Such beautiful coloring! Looking forward to checking out this book!

Victoria Alexander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victoria Alexander said...

LOL... aww that is the cutest thing ever! Makes her even more lovely :)

Unknown said...

Thanks, Ally.

Ally Swanson said...

Excellent interview! Can't wait to read this book!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Ally. Also, here's some more info on Ruby. She was supposed to become a Guide Dog for the Blind, but she flunked out of the program: she doesn't like to ride in cars, she doesn't like loud noises, and she didn't like wearing the guide dog harness. So my wife Elizabeth and I adopted her from her foster family, and she's brought great joy into our hearts.

Nikolina said...

How did you come up with the idea for the book?

CJ said...

Oh, Ruby is beautiful!!! <3 This was a great interview and I wish you continued luck with the book tour! :)

Nikolina said...

Shared on G+, have a great day!