Author Interview: Allan Ashinoff


   Tell me about yourself.

I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I am an honorably discharged veteran of the United States      Navy who proudly served under President Ronald Reagan. In my 40+ years, I’ve been a business owner, an unpaid online political commentary columnist, and, for a very short time, an online radio talk show host.


 When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve been writing something for as long as I can remember. In my early teens, I created a space-centered role-playing game that became very popular with my siblings and the kids in my neighborhood. In high school, I wrote hundreds of poems. In college, I continued with poetry and added lyrics. But it wasn’t until 2004 that I began writing online political commentary and, because of the election, put down my commentary pen to write Shadows Live Under Seashells.


What is Shadows Live Under Seashells about?

Shadows Live Under Seashells is a frighteningly relevant look at the fears we allow to guide our decisions today and their impact on the future of the United States and, ultimately, all of mankind. The story follows the life of Elliot Fintch, a man raised by the new world order and taught to think, act, and conduct himself as the Administration, mankind’s single governing body, dictates. Elliot, because if his profession as an Educator – a creative thinker, is sent to Mars to investigate a string of murders that have been quietly occurring on the Red Planet for decades. To continue advancing in his profession and maintain favor with the Administration, Elliot must discover why these murders are happening and work out how they can be stopped before they become known to the public and raise questions about the Administration’s legitimacy to govern.

Shadows Live Under Seashells is a story of one man’s enlightenment in what some would consider a Utopian society. It exemplifies the notion that although a seashell may look ornate, bright, and beautiful on the beach, there is always a shadow underneath that could be hiding something ugly, dangerous, or even threatening.


Who is your favorite author and what do you find most striking about their work?

I have several authors I admire and hope to emulate. In no particular order: Ayn Rand (her vision and philosophy), Isaac Asimov (his vision and depth of knowledge), Robert A Heinlein (his vision and ability to see the future), Jack London (his gritty writing style) and Mark Twain (his sarcasm). There are a few more authors I could add, but these would be the ones who truly inspired me.


Is there anything you find most challenging in your own writing?

Grammar. I wish I paid more attention in school.


Do you have any advice for other writers?

Be stubbornly committed to your work. Don’t be discouraged by naysayers, bouts of laziness, or what you may or may not know about writing or your subject. Don’t be afraid to do research! Recognize your writing weaknesses and work to strengthen them, and write in such a way that it favors your strengths.


Revise, revise, revise until your ideas are expressed exactly as you want them to be presented.


What’s next for you?

Next up, hopefully within the next 30 days, is a prequel novel to Shadows Live Under Seashells called Fallacies of Vision, a collection of short stories which use actual statements made by people in contemporary history to show how they could be implemented to lead up to the utopian society presented in Shadows Live Under Seashells.

Also in the works is an as-yet untitled novel that will stretch 20 million years into the past and extend approximately 2,000 years into the future. This story will be less philosophical and more purely science fiction.

Lastly, because so many people have mentioned it in the Amazon reviews, I will be working on a follow-up to Shadows Live Under Seashells.


Where can we find you?

Whenever possible I can be found local coffee houses writing. I also have accounts on Facebook and Twitter. If you drop me a note, please do not be discouraged if I do not respond immediately. While I make it a point of pride to answer every message I receive, there are times where I find myself backed up a few days.


Tell us what you think!