Thumbnail Sketch: Alan Oathout was born and raised in Central Illinois, where he lives today with his wife Lesa, and their two children. He holds a Master's degree in Psychology and has practiced in the field of Human Services for over 23 years. A lifelong reader, Alan began writing fiction in 2000.
Vocational: Alan graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1987, and began his career as a Behavior Specialist serving persons with developmental disabilities. He worked in northern Illinois for ten years in that capacity, before returning to Central Illinois and taking the position of Training Coordinator at an agency for youth suffering from trauma and abuse.
Writing: As a child in the late 60s and early 70s, Alan banged out bad story openings for Edgar Rice Burroughs-type fantasies (rarely more than one page) on the family's manual Royal typewriter. He began writing seriously in 2000, taking three years to complete a novel about a young woman who dreams of becoming a missionary to Colombia, and her cynical college classmate who views a short-term trip as a way to fatten his business resume.
Primary Source was his second novel, which earned its share of rejections before being shelved for other projects. In 2009, Alan submitted PS to Frank Creed at The Finishers manuscript evaluation service, for an objective opinion regarding the novel's marketability. Frank provided valuable insights and positive reviews, encouraging Alan to continue trying for publication.
In the fall of that same year, PS was entered in Jeff Gerke's Marcher Lord Press Select contest. While the novel did not reach the final rounds, editor Rowena Kuo of Written World Communications had her eye on the contest, and saw something in PS that excited her interest. She contacted Alan about the possibility of working together, and after discussions, in the fall of 2010, the contract was signed.
Favorite Movies.... Not much of a movie buff, honestly... To give you an idea how out of date I am, I still haven't gotten around to watching "Chariots of Fire." But I do love "Titanic"... great love story, great historical detail, and a great reminder: none of us is promised tomorrow. Big fan of Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, King Kong) and looking forward with great anticipation to The Hobbit.
Favorite Music... Very eclectic, here. I'm open to a little bit of everything. Modern Christian bands = Fireflight, Switchfoot, The Afters. If I'm feeling mellow, I'll take Enya. I like classical, jazz, and a lot of movie soundtracks (I like the soundtracks better than most movies...go figure). Ok, have to admit this, though you can categorize it as a guilty pleasure: Love ABBA. I know....I know...Swedish pop from the 1970's? But if your ABBA exposure is limited to "Dancing Queen" on American radio, then you're missing the boat. Nobody does the seriously sad ("The Winner Takes It All") or the seriously happy ("Bang-A-Boomerang") like the Swedes. Must be the climate or something...
Favorite Comedy... No debate on this one: Silent film comedian Harold Lloyd from the 1920's... If you're not familiar with his iconic "glasses character," do yourself a favor and check him out. Start with "Girl Shy" (1924); "Why Worry?" (1923) and "The Kid Brother" (1927).