About the Author:
By nature a do-it-yourself type of personality, his creative inclinations started with art and evolved to the written word. The process of creativity is a source of fascination for him, and the notion of bringing something to being that would not exist without personal effort and commitment serves not only as inspiration but as fulfillment as well. So whether it is writing, woodwork, or landscaping, his hands and mind are not often at rest.
Over the years he accumulated a dust laden catalog of his written works, with his reading audience limited to family and friends. After deciding to approach his writing as a profession, and not a hobby, the first glimmers of success came along. Since making the decision to move forward, he has secured publication for a number of short stories, has received a nomination for inclusion in the Pushcart Anthology, built his own website, and in November 2010 realized publication for an anthology of three novellas, titled Remnant, from All Things That Matter Press. Remnant has gone on to favorable critical review and placed as Finalist/Sci-fi, 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards; Bronze Medalist, Sci-Fi, 2012 Readers Favorite Book of the Year Awards; and Award Winner-Finalist, Sci-Fi, 2012 USA Book News Best Book Awards. Roland’s second publication, Oddities& Entities, also from All Things That Matter Press, followed in March 2012. It, too, has received favorable critical review, and is the recipient of four awards: Bronze Medalist, Horror, and Finalist, Paranormal, 2012 Readers Favorite Book of the Year Awards; Award Winner-Finalist, Fiction/Horror and Fiction/Anthologies, 2012 USA Book News Best Book Awards.
His writing can best be described as depicting strange people involved in perhaps stranger situations. He is not devoted to any one genre of writing. Instead, he prefers to let his stories follow their own path. Classification can follow after the fact, but if one is looking for labels, one would find his stories in several categories. Sometimes speculative, other times supernatural, at times horror, with journeys into mainstream fiction, and even some humor- or perhaps the bizarre. Despite the category, he aims to depict characters as real on the page as they are in his head, with prose of literary quality. His literary inspirations are as eclectic as his written works- from Poe to Kate Chopin, from Homer to Tolkien, from Flaubert to William Gibson, from Shakespeare to Tolstoy, as long as a piece is true to itself, he is willing to go along for the ride. He hopes to bring the same to his own fiction.
About the Book:
Praise for Oddities & Entities:
“Oddities & Entities” by Roland Allnach, categorized as horror fiction, is unlike any other horror fiction I have ever encountered. The book is comprised of six stories, each of which is written a cut above the norm. There are no recognizable monsters in these stories, no sophomoric zombies, no evil ancient vampires, and none of the standard fare I have become accustomed to in the horror genre. I do like the usual run of the horror genre, but this book is written with thoughtful intelligence, for an intelligent adult reader. I do not mean to imply sexual situations or coarse language. What I mean is, any intelligent reader, capable of deep thought, will find this book irresistible. The six individual stories are as unlike as any six stories can be, yet each one is so sufficiently well-written that, if sold as individual short stories, I wouldn’t hesitate to award 5 stars to each of them.
To say I like this book is a crass understatement. Each story drew me in and evoked my empathy for various characters. These stories forced me to actually think beyond what I was reading. Each premise was unique, at least in my experience; I have never encountered any other stories that even approach the situations these present with authority and authenticity. If I could boil down my perception of this book into a single word, that word would be WOW! Roland Allnach’s first anthology, “Remnant”, which I have also read, was placed as a finalist in the Science Fiction category in the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards. I absolutely expect “Oddities & Entities” to follow suit. If you read only one book this year, make it this one. Be prepared to have your comfort zone challenged.
– Readers Favorite (ReadersFavorite.com)
Oddities & Entities Tour Page:
BO N E VI EW
Before Allison knew the meaning of words or the context of visions,
she knew the Curmudgeon. It was there, lodged in her earliest memories,
the memories that imbed themselves deep in the psyche to shadow all
future memories. When she lay in her crib as a pale and lumpy baby, she
didn’t know to cry when it came in her room, when it passed through her
walls as if their existence were some unsubstantiated rumor rather than
studs, slats, and plaster. And though at any greater age she might have
cowered and screamed, in her unclouded infantile mind there was no
reference for fear or judgment, only the absorbance of what was. Perhaps
the Curmudgeon knew this but, then again, perhaps not. As the years
passed, it was a matter of little importance.
She remembered her first years of school. She was different; this
realization was as stark as the full moon visits of the Curmudgeon were
fantastic. When other children clamored to play in the sun and warmth,
she found herself possessed by an ever-present chill. She felt most
comfortable wearing black, without perceiving any conscious decision to
that end. She preferr ed to stay inside, or in places of deep shade or
shadow, and gaze out at the light. It wasn’t that she shunned the warm
light of the
sun, but the glare seemed to scald her eyes with its Florida
white intensity. Her eyes were her source of distinction, after all. Vast for
her narrow face, their luminous, sea green irises formed tidal pools about
the tight black dots of her pupils. Her stare was one that few could bear
for long. Children and teachers alike found her unblinking silence a most
uncomfortable experience, and her mute distraction in school led to the
inevitable conclusion that she wasn’t very bright.
She had no friends. Her world, though, wasn’t as lonesome as it may
She lived with her grandmother, a reclusive widow of Creole descent,
who wandered about their old manor house singing under her breath in
her broken French dialect. Allison loved the old house, despite its state of
disrepair and the ratty look of its worn exterior, with the few remaining
patches of white paint peeling off the grayed wood clapboard. The oak
floors creaked, but there was something timeless about the place, with its
high ceilings, spacious rooms and front colonnade. The house was
surrounded by ancient southern oaks; they were broad, stately trees, the
likes of which one could only find in
. Their sinewy, gargantuan Florida
branches split off low from the trunk, with gray-green leaves poking out
between dangling veils of Spanish moss. The trees shielded Allison from
the sun, and provided a home for squirrels, chipmunks, and birds. The
Curmudgeon would leave their cleaned skulls on her windowsill as gifts
when the moon waxed in silvery twilight.
Her parents loved her—or so they claimed, when she would see
them. They seemed more like friends than her elders. She often watched
them with curious eyes, peering from her window at night as they
frolicked about the front lawn. Her mother, very much a younger vision
of her grandmother, had long dark hair, hair that would sway about her
as she danced naked under the trees at night. Her father would be there
with her, dancing naked as well, the strange designs tattooed down his
back often blending with the swaying lengths of Spanish moss. They
claimed to be moon cultists, though Allison had no idea what that meant.
It was of no matter. Soon enough they became part of the night,
passing to her dreams forever.
The memory of that change was the first emotional turmoil of her
secluded little life. She was seven, and her parents had come out for the
weekend. It was one of those times when her parents sat under the
sprawling branches of the oaks, drinking and smoking throughout the
day until they lay back on a blanket, their glazed eyes hidden behind
their sunglasses. The hours drifted by, and the day faded to the lazy
serenity of a
evening. Beneath long, golden rays of sunshine they Florida
began to stir, rising from their stupor to a restless sense of wanderlust.
They came in the house after dinner, settling themselves at the table and
exchanging small talk as Allison ate a bowl of vanilla ice cream with
rainbow sprinkles. They smiled over Allison’s drawings, complimenting
her budding artistic skills, and talked to her grandmother about some
plans for the next weekend. Even at her young age Allison could tell her
grandmother humored them. Her parents didn’t have a false bone in
their body, but they were not reliable people. Free spirits, her
grandmother would say.
Yet as those thoughts rolled about Allison’s head her eyes seemed to
blur, and she stared at her parents with that unnerving, unblinking gaze
of hers. Her heart began to race, her skin tingled, and then it came to her:
not a shadow, but a different kind of light than the sun, a light that
seemed to seep from within her parents, until the tactile periphery of
their bodies became a pale shadow over the ivory glow of their skeletons.
She trembled in her seat as the sight gained clarity until she could see all
their bones in all their minute detail, but then it changed, changed in a
way that froze her blood in her veins. Black fracture lines spread across
the smooth ivory like running rivers of ink, until every bone in their
bodies was broken to jagged ruin.
Her grandmother called her name, snapping her out of her stupor.
She blinked, then screamed and ran from the table to the living room.
Her parents and grandmother came after her, but she buried her head
under the couch pillows. Despite the pillows, the moment she opened her
eyes she could see them, right through the pillows and couch, standing
there in their shattered translucence. She ran for her room, scratching at
her eyes, and that was when things changed. Her grandmother charged
after her, following her to her room, and tore through every drawer until
she found the small collection of skulls Allison kept—the tokens the
Curmudgeon had left her. Her grandmother stuffed her in her closet,
closed the door to her room, and sat outside the door. She could hear her
grandmother’s voice, even in the dark of the closet. She clamped her eyes
shut; it was a desperate final measure to blot out the sight of her parents.
She could see them, through the walls, through the floor, through the
trees, as they hopped on her father’s motorcycle and raced off.
She screamed for them to stop, but she was a child with a trifling
voice, stuffed in a closet.
She cried herself to sleep.