HEIDI'S PICK SIX
1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
'Marshall Connors' is my favorite. He is the "other" me I never was. That's probably why I decided to portray his scenes from a first person perspective (as opposed to the rest of the story which is in the eyes of the omniscient narrator). Marshall became a professional umpire, making it to the majors. That was something I once had on a list of possible career choices. Through him I get to be "in" the story. I find that fun.
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?
I've been an accountant/financial professional for 25 years or so. What that means is I'm good at numbers and details. A few have noticed that latter item in my writing, as I try to put little bits and pieces into scenes. I can also umpire. I've been doing that on and off, more on, for 30 years or so. I love baseball, but like Marshall, couldn't hit a lick so did the next best thing. Some would say I'm a fairly decent coach/teacher type. I wouldn't argue.
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I love baseball (as one might deduce from the book). It is the greatest game ever invented in my opinion. I've played, coached, and officiated. And I watch. A lot. I'm an avid follower of all teams Philadelphia. That's always going to be my 'home' no matter what address I might have. Modern technology lets me remain a close fan of the teams of my youth. As for other physical activity, I try to exercise regularly, "try" being the key some days. The baseball season keeps me busy physically as well.
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I do some of each. I did Game 7: Dead Ball more from a sketch than a formal outline. That is probably why I had close to 200k words at one point. I often allow the story to simply take me along. There were more than a few times I had no idea where it was going and found myself surprised when it got there. The follow up story was done from an outline. The third was a bit of both.
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
I read most of Grisham's books when he first came on the scene. That might be why a couple people have said my style is "Grisham-like" - I take that as a big compliment. I have a long way to go to be remotely like him. Harlan Coben's stories were an influence. Carl Hiaasen is another. Witty suspense has always been a favorite.
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Absolutely, although of a more "adult" nature. South Park, Archer, Simpsons are current favorites.
After 20-some years of day-to-day grind in the business world as a CPA, Accounting, Finance guru, Allen Schatz stepped off the edge and finally did something about all the "Hey, you should be a writer" comments he'd heard over the years.
He grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and will always consider himself a "Philly Guy". Say what you will about the city, but those were his formative years and he'd never change a thing about it. After college -- Widener University -- he got married and settled first in Springfield (Delaware County). Two kids were added and a new job eventually took the family west to the Pittsburgh suburb of Washington, PA where they've been since '95.
The kids are grown now (one in Hollywood, California, the other at college -- Temple University), but their absence from the house is more than compensated for by Rocky and Penny. If Allen had more room, he'd have a few more dogs no doubt.
When he's not writing, Allen's other day job is self-employed financial consultant, specializing in TM1 and Essbase system administration.
You can also find him on the ballfield. He's been an amateur umpire for the better part of 30 years. Currently, he's registerd and working games for PONY (international youth program) and PIAA (high school).
Game 7: Dead Ball, his first of hopefully many novels is available to everyone as an eBook. You can read an interview with Allen at Fire Eric Bruntlett and hear one at Tandem with the Random. Visit Allen's site at http://www.allenschatz.com.