[Courtesy photo]

When former Moab resident John Starley Allen was in the second grade, he began writing stories.

His mother called them “The Road Stories,” because each one invariably began with “I was walking down a road…” What followed would be an encounter with a friend, an animal, an insect, a mini-natural disaster and so on.

Allen is the author of the holiday novel “Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices,” and most recently wrote a collection of true inspirational stories called “A Splash of Kindness: The Ripple Effect of Compassion, Courage & Character.”

Caralyn and Mark Buehner, The New York Times-bestselling creators of “Fanny’s Dream” and the “Snowmen” series, said of Allen’s new book, “It’s reassuring to be reminded of how simple expressions of character can influence lives for generations.”

Richard M. Siddoway, The New York Times-bestselling author of “The Christmas Wish,” called Allen’s book “a wonderful set of stories that will cause you to examine the ripples you have caused.”

Allen said he hopes his new book will “empower people with the knowledge that they can make a positive difference in the world.”

“A Splash of Kindness” includes stories about Olympic great Jesse Owens; Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (the physician father of the famed Supreme Court justice); and Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television.

Allen is also a songwriter who received a gold record for a song he co-wrote with Motown’s Smokey Robinson. He has performed his music at Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Café.

When Allen lived in Moab, he worked at Technica Pacifica as part of a team that included his brother Sam, whose job was to create a technical writing course with an emphasis on Japanese translations.

“I’ll never forget one particular hike in the at Arches,” he said. “We rounded a corner, and there it was: Delicate Arch. It was spectacular!”

Allen grew up on a farm in the Holladay, Utah, area. Besides living in Moab, he has lived in Cottonwood Heights, as well as Nashville and Sweden. Allen has now come full circle, recently moving back to the Holladay area, just a few blocks from the farm where he grew up. He and his wife JoAnn are the parents of four daughters.

John Starley Allen publishes collection of inspirational stories