Tiny Talk Tuesday with . . . Crystal Allen


I met Crystal during one of Houston’s SCBWI monthly meetings. When you listen to Crystal or have a conversation with her she is the real deal. She is definitely a people person with a vivacious personality. I originally thought she was a New Yorker, because of her honesty and openness. It’s quite addictive.

My first glimpse of Crystal’s writing style was when I read her first novel, How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy. The characters were so authentic and believable. Call it crazy, but I got a lesson on “tags” while reading this novel. Meaning, she mastered narrative lines. You knew who was talking when, no confusion. Besides that the writing is captivating.

Crystal is currently working on a series for Balzar and Bray featuring a young, African American girl named Mya Tibbs.  She may put you in mind of “Ramona.”  Mya’s sassy, yet funny, with a cast of family and friends that will keep you in stiches! Crystal is having a wonderful time getting to know Mya and all of the other characters.  She hopes Book 1 will be out in the Winter of 2016.

Crystal is married, has two sons and lives in Texas. She enjoys a good bowling war with family and uses some of Lamar’s bowling techniques. You can find more information about her and her books at http://www.crystalallenbooks.com.

Below, we learn a bit more about Crystal.  I hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to share!

ME: Do you have a nickname?

CRYSTAL: Yes, my family calls me Chris.

ME: Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you?

CRYSTAL: Before writing, I ran a home-based word processing business and employed women in the neighborhood to work for me. You would not believe the enormous amount of talent that, for whatever reason, was at home.  A few of those women typed over 95 words a minute! Accurately! My client list consisted of doctors, lawyers, hospitals, oil companies and news anchors.

ME: Describe your writing style.

CRYSTAL: My writing style is called “wide-open.” Characters come into my brain unannounced, fully dressed, with an idea of the story they want told. I’m not “creating characters” so, I write “wide open” allowing them to be free to act and talk in a way that represents them the best.

ME: Are you a Pantser or a Plotter?

CRYSATAL: I’m a bit of both.  I’ve tried outlining, and sometimes it’s a good idea for me to do one, but many times, I don’t follow it because usually my story ends up going in a different direction.  And that’s okay.

ME: If you could sit in a donut shop with anyone of your characters who would it be and why?

CRYSTAL: I would love to sit in a donut shop with Grandma from The Laura Line.  She is so funny, versatile, and full of knowledge and history.  I’d want it to be a Dunkin Donut Shop because they have lots of flavored donut holes and good coffee because I think Grandma and I would be there awhile!

Thanks so much Crystal for being part of my blog. I foresee a big future in writing a head of you. I look forward in learning more about Mya in your coming novel. See you at the next Houston meeting.


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