I’ve been a playwright for over twenty years. I’ve enjoyed seeing my plays produced in several forums and by many groups. The hardest work I do is writing and composing full-length musicals, but it is worth the effort when I see families and young people working in tandem as cast and crew. My wife and I worked many shows together; Alex, my son, made a cameo–at a few months old–in James and the Giant Peach. (In which I played Aunt Sponge.)
In October 2015, I decided to publish a book of short stories, most of them fantastic in nature, the resulting anthology called Odd Men Out. I’ve just published a collection of short holiday stories, Christmas Eves, under the same name.
Why choose to publish fiction under an alias when already well-known as a playwright, actor/director, and magazine/newspaper writer? Those adult themes in the anthology did it. I don’t believe in censorship, but I think things should be properly labeled. (Things, not people.) I shudder to think of someone brought up on “wholesome” entertainment getting their hands on something of a questionable nature–thus the moniker.
Gabriel A. Cook is a playwright from Northeast Arkansas. A boring man, he delights in long naps and undisturbed rest. He reads as much as he’s able (when his failing eyesight permits), and he enjoys classic film. He has a wonderful wife and a young son determined to make a drunkard of his father. Gabriel A. suffers from melancholia and severe depression, as all proper artists should do. When he goes off his meds–as he’s done at the time of this writing–he can be found raving in the street (until his wife takes him inside). He is, in other words, as dull and mundane as one could possibly hope to be, sans DT’s.
G. Allen, however, is a bird with somewhat brighter plumage. Little is known about him, other than he writes strange, often profane tales, has been seen in every big city across the continental United States, and loves a great Vodka (when it’s cheap). Of indeterminate age, G. Allen likes late, noisy nights, is of unknown sexual preference, and most certainly does not have a wife (though his having children is possible). Most of this is taken from his writing, both published and found in the best trashcans in America, and it is inferred that G. Allen, though he has a working relationship with God, carries no mainstream religion.
That’s all to be found on the guy.
Oh! And he would not hesitate to use the words f*** or s*** in common conversation.
You see? This was written by Gabriel A., who holds serious qualms about being in the same room with such language…at least, in written form. That’s why he publishes plays and journalistic pieces in his own name. One knows what one is getting when they read Gabriel A. Cook in the byline.
One never knows what to expect when they see G. Allen Cook carved onto the page.
As G. Allen’s voice, curator, and major domo, it is my place to sweep out the cobwebs, compose a blog, and add a new pic or two to the old place while he sleeps through the day, wakes up in a new–sometimes strange–bed every night, and writes an occasional short story (when the mood rarely hits). He has the fun; I clean the place up of a morning. One wonders what I get out of such an arrangement.
Well…I like his work. Simple as that. It is nothing to find me reading a G. Allen Cook anthology for the fifth or sixth time…but I blanch when faced with the task of reading anything by Gabriel A. Cook, the lesser talent of the two.
Considering I get some…er, darn fine fiction out of it, I consider the proposal a good deal. I recommend it to everyone, artist or bum.
(Not that there’s much difference in the two. — G. Allen)
Gabriel A. Cook