Author: Jonathon D Allen
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Published: November 5th 2012
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Thanks for joining me on the Room 3 Spring 2013 Promotional Tour. Very few of us writers are crazy about jumping onto the promotional wagon; we see it as something of a necessary evil to make sure that you, the readers, know that our novels exist and might be worth some of your precious time. I’m probably not much different in that respect, but I also feel that my novel, and the story surrounding its creation, has some real emotional depth to offer a reader.
Room 3 has been a labor of love from the beginning. The story has its roots deep in concepts that made me uneasy even in my childhood – the idea that others could somehow “hijack” your mind or your body for their own purposes. Stories like Alien, The Shining, and Videodrome use these horrors to stunning effect, and I had always hoped to be able to give my own spin on the concept.
It’s not an easy one to write, however; the very concept is rooted in an intensely personal idea of self, which means that a storyteller must work hard to establish a person within his or her own skin. Would, say, The Shining be nearly as effective if we didn’t have a sense of Jack Torrance as a man with a flawed psychology hoping to make good? I think that awareness of Jack’s inner emotional landscape lends itself to the horror that we then witness through his child’s eyes.
In this way, a tale such as Room 3 lives and dies based on the emotional landscape of a handful of characters. My first novel, The Corridors of the Dead, may have been effective at putting a reader in touch with the core of a woman on the cusp of an important transformation, but it also worked from an action-based premise. It seems a little easier to show such a change when so much of the story is externally-driven; you can show how a character’s reaction to changing scenery and circumstance reflects his or her inner drives and transformation.
Room 3 demanded something a little different. I had to tap into that afore-mentioned emotional landscape. I had to understand and live Kelli Foster’s emotional path. I had to comprehend what it meant to go from being a scared, trapped person who transformed into a hardened, bitter veteran of circumstance. I then had to make a leap from that closed-off person to learning to trust and love again.
It seemed a tall order, and I despaired at times on whether I could ever get it right. The answer came to me slowly: tap into circumstances that I had experienced. Look at my own path from one place to another, for my own life has moved in similar circles. This was the key to understanding Kelli and not only sharing but affirming my own experiences.
Viewed that way, you can see Room 3 as a chronicle not only of a character’s transformation but also of my transformation and learning experience. It means a lot to me to be able to share that with other people, and I hope that you can enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
This is the first time we see one of Kelli’s visions, following an injection of the mysterious hallucinogen.
Something rustled in the corn. I whirled, but I knew who it would be before she even appeared. She always found me. “Mimi?”
A little girl appeared from between the rows, pushing the bottoms of the stalks apart. She had blue eyes, dark brown hair, and a smile that could just melt your heart – the kind of smile that never, ever survives into adulthood.
She cocked her head. “How’d you know my name?”
She always asked me that.
“We’ve met, but I’ve told you that before, too.”
She put her hands on her little hips. “How come I don’t remember you?”
“I think it’s this place. It always makes you forget.”
“I don’t like that.”
I looked around. “I don’t like it much, either. But don’t worry about it. I’m here.”
Wheels turned in her head. “But why are you here?”
No clue how to answer that one. “You’re looking for something, right?”
I leaned down, putting my hands on my knees. “What are you looking for, sweetheart?” I already knew the answer, but this had gone down a certain path forever, and the show had to go on.
She rubbed her eyes. “Cici’s gone. I can’t find her.”
Cici. The girl forever searched for Cici. I had no idea if she even existed. “Now where did you last see your sister?” I said.
Her eyes widened, like I’d shown her the secret of the universe. “We did meet, didn’t we, that’s how you know about Cici?”
I nodded. “Where did you see her last?” Knew the answer to this one, too.
She pointed over my shoulder. “There.”
I knew what I’d see when I turned. I’d seen it so many times that I’d even started to see it in my dreams. It didn’t matter, though. Every single time I turned to gaze on it, it knocked me on my proverbial butt: an enormous, gnarled tree, soaring up into the sky. This wasn’t just any tree, though. Somebody had carved a wooden organ out of the trunk, with two levels of wooden keys and wooden pipes rising out of the higher reaches.
The largest keyhole you’ve ever seen had been connected to that organ, its details carved right into the trunk, between the keys and the pipes.
“She’s locked in there, isn’t she?”
About the Author
Born and raised in the rural Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Jonathan wrote his first fantasy/sci-fi novel at the age of 13. After studying writing and communication at James Madison University, Jonathan turned his passion for writing into a full-time technical writing career in the DC Metro area, working for companies like Sprint/Nextel, Time Warner Cable, and Sirius XM Radio, where he had an opportunity to combine his love of music with his love of writing. He may have drifted away from fiction at times, but it was always his first love – and he always returned to it. Now living in Bethesda with his wife, two cats, and two quirky guinea pigs for which his publishing company is named, he crafts the kinds of stories that he had always hoped to read but just couldn’t quite find.
During the tour, you have a chance to win a $20 Giftcard or your very own copy of Room 3.