Interview with Allison Floyd

Interview with Allison Floyd

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. What made you want to become an author?

A) I was born and raised in New England and knew from a young age i wanted to be an author. As a little girl I would write stories and staple
printer paper together to make “books” that I would illustrate myself. I initially thought I wanted to be an English teacher but then I
realized while I liked analyzing and reading literature, I didn’t think I wanted to spend the rest of my life teaching the same books year
after year. I have been writing creatively my whole life but it wasn’t until I mentioned to my friend I had an idea for a novel but that I
didn’t think there was any point in finishing it that she convinced me I should absolutely go for it. I’m very grateful to her for that.

2) What was the inspiration for A Wider Universe?

A) I was inspired to write A Wider Universe during my senior year of college at Fairfield University. I was taking two classes, a British
Literature Survey, and a class called American Lit and Religion that were both really making me think about the Big Questions. One day in
class I was listening to a discussion on Sir Thomas More’s Utopia and it just clicked with the readings by Ralph Waldo Emerson I had been
doing in my other class. I became fascinated with this idea of paradise being a place where no one was legally permitted to force their
beliefs on others and I thought a great deal about how that isn’t the reality we live in today. That’s how Gene and Patrick came to exist.

3) What message or theme do you hope readers take away from your book?

A) Ideally I hope that readers will connect with or relate to the characters and their journeys of self-discovery and realize that we are
all complex and flawed. I also hope it gets them thinking about the idea of making human connections while respecting people’s differences
but still working to find common ground.

4) If you could have a conversation with any of your characters, who would it be and what would you ask them?

A) I love this question. I think I would most want to have a conversation with Jansson. He’s had a very interesting life, and as a
psychology professor, he’s well versed in human behavior yet he still has a lot of emotions and sensibilities that he doesn’t seem to
understand himself, so I would want to ask him what he thinks about the human condition and whether he feels safer seeing it as purely
academic instead of applying it to his own life.

5) What advice would you give to any aspiring authors out there?

A) If you have an idea or a sudden inspiration strikes you, put it to paper. Whether or not you think it will lead to anything or go
anywhere it’s very important to write it down and tell your story. That way it will be there if you decide it’s a project you want to
come back to. Great ideas are few and far between so don’t let it go to waste because you’re worried it won’t amount to anything.

6) What are your future plans? Any other book’s on the horizon?

A) I have written the beginning of a second novel about a young woman who was adopted who discovers she has a biological sister across the
Atlantic. I don’t know what my plans are for it yet; whether or not I want to shelve it to work on something else or whether I want it to
be my next project. I’ll have to wait and see where my inspiration takes me.

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A Wider Universe by Allison Floyd Review

A family struggle and a question of man’s place in the universe take center stage in author Allison Floyd’s A Wider Universe. Here is a synopsis:

Gene Shepherd, still grieving his wife’s death, alone in his home after his daughter moves in with her good-for-nothing boyfriend, has grown
accustomed to a life of solitude. When he gets a series of unexpected visits from bible-toting Patrick Frye, a young man on a personal crusade
for Jesus, Gene must confront not only the pushy young missionary, but the painful past he has been quietly suppressing.

Gene’s nineteen-year-old daughter, Chelsea Shepherd, caught in a destructive relationship, finds herself at a crossroads in her life, unsure of
her future, as well as her present. One night, after an argument turns violent, Chelsea flees from her relationship and finds solace, safety,
and an unexpected friendship with Swedish college professor Alexander Jansson. Both Gene and Chelsea must face choices and challenges that will
guide them towards their places in the world with the help of some unexpected characters and a major test of faith. A Wider Universe is a story
of family, redemption, and one man’s discovery that even the loneliest man is not truly alone.

Now I won’t lie to you guys: when I first started to read this book, I was worried it was going to be a very religious oriented outlook on the
story. For those of you who don’t know, I myself am not religious, and while I personally believe we should respect everyone’s right to
believe or not believe whatever they want, I myself do not enjoy or respond to religious based stories. However as I continued to read,
I found myself surprised and happy. I identified greatly with one of the main protagonists, Gene, as his personality felt very similar to my own.
His confrontation with Patrick and the frustration that comes with dealing with overly aggressive religious people is something I can relate to,
and so I found myself drawn into this story more and more.

This story really showcased a fresh, young voice in the literary world. Other than a few grammatical errors, the only piece of advice I would
share with the author is that at times, this story utilizes the show vs. tell story-telling device. What this means is that at times the writing
goes into too much detail, and could benefit from some editing to leave a little bit to the readers imagination. Other than this, the
story is well thought out and is a modern drama story that deserves to be told. The struggle for Chelsea is an all too common issue that young
women must face, and the loneliness that comes with loss is a theme that drives into the emotional core of the reader. Overall this is a
fantastic read, and I give this story an 8/10 rating. If you haven’t yet, please be sure to pick up your copies of A Wider Universe by Allison
Floyd today!