Interview: Flash Fire 5 with Christopher Allen

His name is Christopher Allen. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ruthless Peoples Magazine, Flash Fire 500, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. But don’t let his picture fool you. This disarming, charming, clean-shaven man is one of the most methodical, relentless, talented writers out there. We recently found him poised atop Mt. Everest conferring with his Sherpa about the best way to launch himself into the literary stratosphere. While we couldn’t hear the Sherpa’s response, the diamond eyes of Christopher Allen told us all we needed to know. Shiver. Luckily, he took a few moments to answer The Flash Fire 5 before continuing on his journey.

1) What's the most ridiculous thing you've worn when writing?

“Ridiculous” is relative. I’ve written naked of course (in bed, in the bathtub), but I think the most ridiculous thing I’ve worn while writing is the residue of forgotten shaving cream when I just had to get something written down before I forgot it.

2) Who is your greatest writing influence?

Homer Simpson informs everything I do and believe; Bill Bryson, and the hundreds of writers on my shelves, influence me (which means I just steal things from them); the people standing next to me waiting for the bus inspire me. So: everything and everyone. But mainly Homer.

3) Did you ever imagine you'd be doing an interview at an obscure ezine called Flash Fire 500 one day?

The obvious answer is “yes, of course”. I also imagined I’d be doing a second interview at a very well-known ezine called Flash Fire 500 (with a following of 2 million).

4) In terms of writing, where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Is “rich” a place? If it is, then I see myself there. At least somebody sees me there, right?

5) You crash a party out in the middle of nowhere. There are celebrities in each corner of the room, but you can only visit with one . Corner #1: Oprah. Corner #2: The Dalai Lama. Corner #3: Kermit the Frog. Corner #4: Dustin Diamond a.k.a Screech from "Saved by the Bell." Who do you talk to?

Why did I crash this party? I hate parties. I can only assume someone has a gun jammed into my left kidney, so I’ll have to ask him which corner we need to visit. We confer. He says he wants an autograph from Dustin Diamond, but then I ask him if we can Google Dustin first because I don’t recognize him and I never watched Saved by the Bell. We confer. Guy with the gun then says the Lama will do since I’ve seen Seven Years in Tibet (despite Brad Pitt’s awful German accent) at least seven times. “But what about Oprah(’s Book Club)?? We went to the same elementary school in Nashville.” “Urban legend,” guy with the gun says and pokes me toward Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso. At least seven times.

If you missed Christopher's Flash Fire 500 contribution, you can read it here.