Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Captain Alexandre Cornelius “Neal” Du Bois is a US Army Ranger and decorated war hero. When his unit is ambushed by supernatural hostile forces while in Afghanistan, only Neal survives. When he wakes up in a secret government facility, Neal discovers that his whole life has changed forever.

A shadowy government agent named Elijah Bishop arranges for Neal’s brain to be transplanted, without his permission, into a bio-engineered body capable of amazing feats. Armed with advanced body armor and weaponry, he becomes the epitome of the Ultra Soldier.

To protect his family and those closest to him, he must let the world and everyone he loves believe he is dead. With assistance from Dr. Avery Clarkson–the scientist responsible for his new body–Neal reluctantly utilizes his superhuman abilities to work for Bishop and his organization called G.E.N.E.S.I.S. (Global Espionage Network of Elite Supernatural Intelligence and Surveillance), in order to track down those responsible for the slaughter of his unit and keep the world safe from supernatural terrorist forces.


CREATIVE HELP BOARD: Where did you come up with the character Captain “Neal” Du Bois and the KNIGHT RANGER storyline?

JOHN F ALLEN: I was reading an article on U.S. soldiers who returned to life after suffering severe injuries while serving abroad. It also alluded to the breakthroughs in bionics/prosthetics. I did some research on those modern technological advances and recalled my childhood fascination with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Captain America and Iron Man from Marvel Comics, James Bond and the TV show The Six Million Dollar Man, based off of the Cyborg novel series by author Martin Caidin. Thus, Captain Alexandre “Neal” Du Bois aka Knight Ranger was born.

CHB: With your military background, how much research, if any, did you put into KNIGHT RANGER? Are there elements and/or knowledge from your time spent in the USAF that intermingle with the elements within the novel and characters?

JFA: To be totally honest, I was only an enlisted Airman through tech school. I got a medical discharge early on and although I didn’t actually serve a full term. However, I’m still a registered veteran because I was active duty for at least one day.  That said, my time in the military didn’t contribute to any research directly, but it certainly did inspire me to create this character and write the novella. I’ve talked with other veterans and conducted research via the internet, interviews and the VA to compile the data I used to write Codename: Knight Ranger.

CHB: Did you already “know” the KNIGHT RANGER characters before you started writing the story, or did Captain Du Bois, Elijah Bishop and Avery Clarkson write their own story and identities as you wrote the novel?

JFA: Elijah Bishop was first introduced in my debut novel, The God Killers, which features my urban fantasy heroine, Ivory Blaque. Also, Captain Alexandre “Neal” Du Bois aka Knight Ranger made a cameo in the novel as well. It was from there that I decided to tell Du Bois’ story and in the course of writing it, I wanted to develop Dr. Avery Clarkson as a character prior to getting into Neal’s journey. I felt it was an important aspect of Knight Ranger’s origin which helped to solidify the bond between the two characters. Since I’d already written Bishop, I knew he was a butthead and that part came easy.

CHB: Is it important to know the full background, quirks, etc., of each character when writing a story about/around them? Why and/or why not?

JFA: I keep a wiki site where I write out the histories and statistical data for each character and storyline which appears in my writings. I suppose you could look at this as reverse outlining, as most times the stories are already written or at least started before any wiki entries are made. The wiki also helps me keep the timelines and continuity for the characters/stories straight in my mind.  I don’t necessarily think having all of this data prior to writing the stories and developing the characters in important, at least for me. I like for things to develop organically through storytelling, so any background info is shown in the writings themselves.

CHB: What do you like most about writing Paranormal and/or Urban Fantasy tales?

JFA: In writing Paranormal/Urban Fantasy stories, I enjoy the freedom in such story telling which allows me to use a familiar, modern setting and its history, to spin tales of fantasy adventure. Anytime I can incorporate real history into my writing I’m on cloud nine, as those are two areas I thoroughly enjoy researching. I also enjoy using the urban setting as a character in and of itself.

CHB: What do you like most about writing in general?

JFA: I enjoy world building first and foremost. I equally enjoy storytelling in general, as it allows me to live vicariously through my characters and incorporate actual history and real life world scenarios into my writing.

CHB: What do you like least about writing?

JFA: The thing I like least about writing is that I can’t write fast enough to keep up with the voices in my head and story ideas which I come up with. If I could extract my stories from my brain digitally, I’d have about a dozen novels, fifty stories coming out each year.

CHB: It has been said nothing truly new has been written. I find writers who write in their favorite genre usually have READ and/or quite learned in the specific genre. What are your thoughts on that beginning statement, and writing within a genre that you also enjoy reading?

JFA: I wrote a guest blog post on this blog tour which directly addresses your initial statement. I believe that essentially there are no entirely new stories. What separates each story is the life experiences and unique creativity of the author which is derived from those experiences. For those interested in a more detailed assessment of my position, please read the post.

(Note: The link to John's more in-depth comments on the subject above has been linked.)

CHB: What is your writing routine? When is the best time for you to unleash your muse?

JFA: I generally write in the early morning or late at night, both are times when my family is gone for the day or asleep. I usually have music playing while I write as well. I have an eclectic playlist which consists of: R&B/Soul (1960’s through now), Old School Rock (1950’s through now. Some Hard, but no Heavy Metal), Pop (70’s & 80’s), Jazz (1930’s through now), Old School Hip Hop (late 1970’s through mid-1990’s), World Music, some Classical and instrumental movie soundtracks. This helps me to relax and sometimes I play specific songs which inspire the muse for certain characters and/or settings.

CHB: For anyone interested in getting into the writing business as a writer, what would you say to them?

JFA: I immediately think of two quotes from two authors I admire.

"If you can quit, then quit. If you can't quit, then you're a writer."
~ R. A. Salvatore

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
~ Toni Morrison

CHB: Can we expect more stories and/or novels involving Captain Du Bois or is this a standalone novel? If so, anything on the literary horizon from the mind of John F. Allen?

JFA: Yes, this is Book One in a series of novellas featuring Captain Du Bois. He will also appear in various other works I have planned throughout the coming year(s). One is a trilogy of epic length thrillers which utilizes every current character in the Ivoryverse to some degree.

CHB: And final words on the CODE NAME: KNIGHT RANGER?

JFA: I’m looking forward to writing the expanded adventures of Knight Ranger and further integrating him and the other characters surrounding him, into the Ivoryverse. I will be tackling real world issues such as terrorism, fallout from the Cold War, emerging weapons technology and domestic/international political intrigue.


About the Author
John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a member of the Speculative Fiction Guild and the Indiana Writers Center. He began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued all forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John’s debut novel, The God Killers was published in 2013 by Seventh Star Press.

John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, son and daughter.

Author Links
Website: www.johnfallenwriter.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johnfallenauthorwriter
Twitter: @johnfallen1970

Code Name: Knight Ranger Book Links
Print Version:
Kindle Version

Tour Schedule and Activities

11/2  On Cloud Eight-and-a-Half Guest Post
A Charmed Life Review
Creatives Help Board. How may I direct your call? Author Interview
Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post
Book in the Bag Interview
RJ Sullivan Top 5 List
Darkling Delights Interview
Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
Sheila's Blog Guest Post
Bee's Knees Reviews Review
The Infamous Scribbler Review/Interview
Vampires, Witches, & Me Oh My! Top Ten List
Sapphyria's Book Reviews Guest Post

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