Alan was born and raised in the United Methodist Church. While he does proudly embrace his background and personal history within the United Methodist Church, he feels that ultimately what is important is not the denomination that you are a part of, but rather the relationship that you have with the Lord. Part and parcel to any relationship is the level of commitment that one makes to it. With any and all relationships they are going to take time to grow.
Through the years, if Alan were to describe his relationship with the Lord using one word it would be “transformation.” Continuing to grow daily in his walk with the Lord, and as well continue to display the fruits of his Spirit daily is, for Alan, what his life is all about. Frankly for these times, his attitude and belief is that the world is looking to those who are Christians to see if in fact their talk does indeed match their walk.
As is the case with each of us Alan has experienced many twists and turns along the road of life, but each and every step along that road has led him to this point in life to humbly say that not only is he an author, but most of all to be able to say that he is a Christian author, which to him is the most important thing of all.
To everything there is a time and season. Though Alan was unsure of what was in store for him, he is blessed that by just being obedient and trusting in the Lord he is now able to say and mostly importantly show others that God will qualify you and lead you to accomplish what His charge is for you by just being a willing servant. As this is a fact, what He has done through Alan, it was done so to give Him the glory.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I’m now over the last year or two coming to embrace the fact that I am a writer. My greatest love is to challenge myself to see if I can meet deadlines and create the content needed for radio program that I am a part of. The one thing that is frustrating about being a writer is finding outlets to write for. For me writing is the most creative form of expression.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I have written three books up to this point. I am a Christian Inspirational author. My books are a collection of reflections and experiences over the course of my life and their impact on me as a Christian. Readers can find more info on my website: alantblack.com
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
My inspirations have come from various experiences and moments in life that are now providing greater insight into my relationship with God.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
My most consistent writing time is between 7AM-9AM. All but one chapter in the three books was written during this time window. I don’t do an outline. For me with the inspiration hits me I set down and start writing. My next book project for late 2023 early 2024 is a co-write with my sister. It is going to be a Christian book as well.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
The very first book that truly stuck home was The Autobiography of Malcolm X. This was back in the 70’s. Currently I am reading a couple of books from local authors from my home town.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
My greatest achievement was been recognized as a Best Selling Author via Amazon. Within the next five years I see myself expanding into writing for additional online publications, and as well continuing to release additional books as an author.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
I honestly have not let rejection bother me. No is a part of the journey, but it does not define who I am or what I have a passion to do. Traditional vs Self-publishing? I have found that self publishing is the best route. You are in position to move forward with your book. As well you are not subjecting yourself to the whims and desires of a publisher who may or may not have the understanding of what you are doing or the purpose of your writings.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
It is a challenge to balance creative versus business. I have found that the best way to maintain balance is to separate them as it relates to time devoted to each. When I am in a creative mode that is my sole focus. When I am working on the business side is strictly business only. I make it a point not have anything around or on that can create a distraction.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
I am comfortable reading my own work after say a couple of months. I find it difficult to revisit anything that I wrote say weeks after I have completed it. For me the months afterwards allow me to be more appreciative of what I have written.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
It is NEVER too late. I became a published author at 60 years old. And believe me it is still a shock to me that I was blessed to do so. There are so many resources available to each of us. Ask and you will find answers.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Writing has actually allowed me to be more open and transparent. Not truth be told for most men that is not the norm. I feel that what makes my writing unique is I am very down to earth and my content is easily consumed and relatable. I am at a point where the challenge of writing is something that I look forward to.