Author Alastair Brown's answers to some commonly asked questions.
Q: How long have you been writing novels?
I began writing in the winter of 2016. I started work on a project that ultimately never made it any further than its first one-hundred pages. It just wasn’t falling into place. But I persevered and I reviewed my core idea. And, while that particular book got shelved, many elements of it actually appeared in my first Joe Beck novel - Army of One.
Q: In what order should the books be read?
In the order they are written, and published. Start with Army of One.
You can get a complete list via the link below.
Q: Who do you enjoy reading?
I mostly enjoy reading mystery and suspense-led fiction. There’s something innately satisfying about reading a detective or vigilante story and seeing bad guys get their comeuppance.
Q: Who are your favourite authors?
Anyone who writes and publishes a book deserves a great depth of respect. It isn’t something that’s easy to do, otherwise everyone would do it. That said, though, I do have a few personal favourites. The list includes legends like Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Dean Koontz, Robert B. Parker, Chris Carter and much, much more.
Q: Where can a complete list of your novels be found?
You can fine a complete list via the link below.
Q: What advice can you give a person interested in writing books?
Start reading, keep reading and just do it. Just start writing. Write the book you want to read. If you’ve ever dreamt up a character, a situation, a plot and a story arc, just start putting it down on paper. Even if it’s rough, you can re-work it later. Just get it down and get it done. You’ll not only feel like you’ve scaled a personal mountain, you’ll also feel like you made a difference in the word. And, chances are, if you like it, somebody else will, too. So, go do it. What are you waiting for?
Q: How has the internet affected authors and novelists?
The internet is probably an author’s biggest asset. For research purposes, the potential is endless. Of course, the internet doesn’t help with everything as there are certain elements where it pays to put yourself into the scenario that you’re writing. But when time and cost makes that prohibitive, just Google it. You might be surprized by what you stumble across.
Q: Is there a specific audience your books are written for?
Yes, myself. I write stories that interest me. I write what I want to read, because I’m fairly sure that if it iterests me, it would interest hundreds of thousands of other people around the world.
Q: How can I find out more about you?
You can find out more about me and my background via the link below.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
Mostly from looking at a given scenario and asking myself ‘what if?’ I also read a lot of online crime news, so that definitely helps to plant a lot of seeds. But it’s really the ‘what if?’ test that makes ideas blossom. For example, take a window cleaning van driving through an empty suburban street. What if it wasn’t window cleaners inside?
Q: What’s your writing process?
Believe it or not, I write my first draft on my phone. The idea of sitting behind a laptop and drafting an entire novel absolutely terrifies me. I’ve tried it many times. And I’ve failed at it many times. But, when I get out and about, whether that’s sitting on trains, on planes, in departure lounges, drinking coffee in cafes, using the equipment at the gym, the words just come to me. And I note them down. Some of them are rough, but they’re there. I then leave it a few days and re-read it back on the laptop. And, at that point, that's when it becomes what you see in the books.
I tend to write a chapter at a time. I really focus on getting it down and then I edit it later. I don’t typically write more than two, or three, chapters more than I’ve managed to edit.
So, in summary, I draft it on my cell phone and I edit it into a book on the computer.
Q: What sort of research do you do?
Lots. I not only read up on what I’m writing, I like to get out and see my settings in the flesh. For example, if I’m thinking about a café scene, I’ll go sit in a café for a half-hour and just take it all in. Obviously, there are scenes and settings where that’s not possible. For example, if I put a character in a morgue. In those instances, I just let my imagination do the work, and then I Google it after I’ve scribbled it down. I may revise one or two fine details, but for the most part, I usually get it pretty spot on.
Q: How did you become a writer?
I just started writing. Simple as that. Anyone can sit and dream of writing a novel, but nobody’s a writer until they’ve done it. So, I just put it down word-by-word, as I thought of it. Easy as that.
Q: Why did you become a writer?
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Even since elementary school. I would always write stories and win the weekly ‘Super Writer’ award. It’s always been in me, I guess. And, one day, I just decided to do it and started typing words into a note-taking app on my phone. And, eventually, those words became my first novel.
Q: Will you read my manuscript and give me your opinion?
No. For legal reasons, I will not read unpublished material. But I’m sure it’s great!
Q: I have a great story idea. Will you consider writing it?
No. For legal reasons, I will not write someone else’s material. You should just write it yourself. You’ll thank yourself later.
Q: I have a great story idea. Will you help me write it?
No. For legal reasons, I will not get involves in someone else’s project. You should just write it yourself. You’ll thank yourself later.
Q: How can I get a signed copy of your book?
You can meet Alastair Brown at his event. More information on events including book signings is available via the link below. Be sure to bring a copy of the book you'd like signed.
Q: Where can I buy your books?
You can buy my books from any of the retailers listed below:
Q: When is your next book due to be released?
The next book due to be released in the Joe Beck series is Easy Money. It's a thriller set in a snowy Detroit, Michigan, with Joe Beck on the hunt of a murderous drug dealer who's wanted by the U.S. Marshals.
Easy Money is due to be released Friday, 1st March 2019.
Q: Are you working on any television/movie projects?
I’m always open to seeing one of my books appearing on the silver screen. If you would like to discuss motion picture entertainment opportunities, you can use the form on my contact page to get in touch.
Q: How can I contact you?
You can get in touch via the link below.
Q: Do you use social media?
I do. You can find out how to connect with me via the link below.
Q: How do I book you to speak at an event?
Visit my contact page. You can use the form to detail your event and get in touch.