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Welcome to the official website of the author Alan G. Brown

Books to Inspire the Imagination


About the author Alan G. Brown

Alan made up stories from an early age, but it was the advent of the word processor that finally allowed him to get these stories onto paper almost by accident during a spell of boredom. Short story competitions, and reading everything possible on writing, soon produced the first novel (as yet unpublished).

Author Alan G. Brown

Alan was born in London while the phrase "Looks like a bomb site" was still active. One of his friends still had their sunken Anderson shelter in the back lawn, while another had a more substantial brick-built shelter with a foot-thick concrete roof. Traffic was light, and he never saw a television until he was seven-years-old. History was in the making: The Beatles, Martin Luther King, President Kennedy (and all the paraphernalia associated with him), and, of course, the race into space. His last school was Bromley Technical High School (now Ravenswood), where David Jones (aka David Bowie) and Peter Frampton were two years ahead of him until they left early. This was his classical time, so he did not like their group's music.

 

Let's hear his own words:

 

I do not go out of my way to say, "Hey, did you know, I'm an author?". If I was to do that, then I would deserve the wary look that states: Oh no, not another one! Some people who know me never discover that side of me, while those who do find out show surprise and want to know more. The first question is always: "Have you been published?". The next is usually: "Where do you get the stories from?".

 

Every writer probably answers differently, with as many explanations about their stories as their working practices. Yes, every writer finds their own distinctive way of working, but all successful writers must develop a structured method, and stick to it. Also, every writer loves reading, and watching how people interact and move.

I suppose that I have always been a bit of a daydreamer, although many stories include my own experiences, dreams, and ideas based on a single word or phrase. Look at an old photograph of a person posing by a place of interest. Everyone has one. Find one showing a person you do not already know. Then look closer at that person's face and try to discover what they are thinking. Are they fit, injured, recovering from an illness, or infirm? What do their clothes tell you? Who is taking the photograph? Look behind everything and build a background. If the person is forcing a smile or scowling, are they annoyed at being photographed again, upset about the weather, just argued with the person taking the photograph, just lost their wallet or handbag, or what? Get into the characters, both seen and unseen. What are their habits, likes, and dislikes? Once you start something like this, you may find it hard to stop. Before long, you will know everything about the person(s), their lives, and what will happen next. But true writing is much more than this intriguing exercise.

So, what books do I like to read? The answer is simple. Almost anything. Throughout my life, I have read widely of all genres. After 'Thomas the Tank Engine', the titles rolled through my grasping hands. H.G. Wells, John Wyndham, Isaac Asimov, Michael Moorcock, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexander Pope, and all the original James Bond books by Ian Fleming (not those of the film versions). Then followed hundreds of little-known writers, plus Ed McBain, and the books one has to read at school. Later writers include Lee Child for his unique 'voice' and sense of immediacy, Clive Cussler for his outrageous adventures, Ben Bova for his innovative science, Alexander Kent for the taste of salty warships in the days of sail, Douglas Reeman for the later ironclads, J.R.R. Tolkien for his original fantasy, and Bernard Knight, Michael Jecks, Christian Jacqs, and Paul Doherty for their history. The range is increasing by the day, including Sue Grafton, Jeffrey Deaver and Dale Brown to name but a few.

Words can make people laugh, cry, or consider the world, and people, around them more deeply. Sometimes, a story can leave the reader thinking. Yet words can also hurt. These words, either misrepresented, misheard or misunderstood, or deliberately aimed like a throwing knife, can leave scars that will never heal. Reading one of my own stories months, or years, later, still leaves me extremely close to my characters. Perhaps I am evil for making them suffer, but I always try to leave them happy. The end of a story should usually be satisfying for the reader, the characters and me. Writers are like gods over their creations. They can build or destroy worlds, kill or maim the population, or allow them to find love and happiness.

Perhaps we are all trying to escape from the world in which we live. Writers invent their worlds and what happens in them, while readers share the problems and intrigues.

Do I write for pleasure or work? Perhaps more pleasure than work. Writing is pleasure, but marketing is hard work, for me, anyway. I love writing almost as much as knowing that others enjoy reading my books. Writing might not make me a millionaire, but if it does, fine, because that means millions of people must enjoy the worlds and dangers into which I place them. Writing properly is a serious business, but surely enjoying one's work is not a crime?

Now, escape with me to my Inspired Worlds, and enjoy!