J. Allen Wolfrum is a fiction author and former Marine.  He served four years as a Marine Corps Infantryman in the most decorated Regiment in Marine Corps history.  During Operation Iraqi Freedom he led an infantry squad on missions spanning from the oil fields of Southern Iraq to the streets of Baghdad.

After the Marine Corps, he spent the next fifteen years exploring life from several perspectives: press operator in a plastics factory, warehouse stocker, confused college student, Certified Public Accountant, bearded graduate student,  management consultant, and data analyst.

J. Allen Wolfrum’s writing career began in 2017 with his debut novel, Selected.  He uses the unique combination of his Marine Corps, professional and life experience to create a realistic perspective on the political thriller genre.  He lives in Southern California with his beautiful wife and two cats.  He is currently working on the sequel to Selected, which he anticipates publishing in late 2018.

From an Interview Conducted in November 2017

What music are you listening to?

I’m late to the game but I recently started using Spotify. Right now, I’m listening to a playlist I named ‘91x Jams’, which started as songs I hear every morning on the local radio station in San Diego.  The list quickly expanded.  Currently on that playlist, I have: Queens of the Stone Age, Lumineers, K. Flay, Bob Marley, Booker T. and The M.G.’s, Nirvana, Warren Zevon, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Alvin, Pete Seeger, John Prine, Blink 182, Social Distortion, Tom Petty and Bob Seger.  It’s all over the map.  When I’m writing, I find myself putting songs on repeat and cranking up the volume, the music becomes background noise.

What is your writing process?

That’s a loaded question, I feel like my writing process is still evolving.  I lean heavily on the Story Grid methodology developed by Shawn Coyne.  The Story Grid methodology was developed for editors but I’ve used many of the Story Grid techniques in my writing process.  Without Story Grid, I would have never become a writer, it provided me with a foundation for learning storytelling and story structure.  One of the Story Grid lessons I use every day in my writing are the 5 Commandments of a Scene.  The idea is that every scene must have five elements: an inciting incident, progressive complications, a crisis, climax and resolution.  Before I sit down to do write each day, I write out a sentence describing the scene and an outline of the 5 Commandments.  I’ve found that it gives me a solid roadmap before I start writing.  Despite having a rough map of the scene, I’m constantly surprised about what comes out when I start writing.  One day I’d like to analyze the differences between my original 5 Commandment outline and what makes it onto the page.  I’m in the process of writing a series of blog posts describing in more detail about how I use the Story Grid methodology for writing.

Are you a morning or night person?

I’ve always been somewhat of a morning person but in the last few years our cats have taken it to the next level.  At 4:30am Richard and Pam both wake me up for breakfast and my compliance is mandatory.  Getting up that early isn’t all bad, I started working out right after feeding the cats.  At that time of the morning, the workout is over before I’m fully awake.  I’m usually in bed by 8:30pm, I couldn’t tell you the last time I was awake after midnight.

If I came to your home and looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?

The first thing you would find is cat food.  Next to the cat food is, arugula and spinach, tomatoes, beer, cheese curds, yogurt and some apple cider.  The embarrassing shelf of the fridge has a leftover pizza, donuts and rice pudding with cinnamon.