Alan Cook writes mystery/suspense novels and children’s’ books. His Carol Golden series features a young woman who has amnesia. In attempting to put her life back together she discovers that she has a talent for mathematics and code breaking. Sometimes her past comes back to haunt her, such as when she is asked to help find a former lover she can’t remember who is an alleged threat to world order, or when she is helping to find a serial killer she might have known. Alan’s children’s book, “Dancing with Bulls,” takes place 4,000 years ago on the Greek island of Crete.
What inspires you to write?
I write from necessity, and, hopefully, to tell stories that have universal appeal.
Tell us about your writing process.
I start with an idea and a scene "with necessary action" and expand from there. I usually outline each chapter after I write it, because outlining too much in advance can suck the fun out of writing. I make brief character sketches as I go, and use them mostly as reminders to myself of how a character looks or behaves.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I am the unseen presence observing what my characters do when they meet challenges. To some extent my characters are a better version of me, more daring and more able to overcome the obstacles that prevent me from doing the things I want to do.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ray Bradbury, who spoke to my writers' group for 60 years, and taught us passion. Favorite book: "Fahrenheit 451."
C. S. Forester, who wrote the Hornblower books about the British navy, and a man who, despite self-doubts, was always able to overcome adversity. Any books in this series.
Sir Walter Scott, adventure and love in another age. One of the best of his books is "Rob Roy."
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-publish. One reason is that I've never found an agent that I hit it off with. Another is that I don't want to wait for excruciating months and years to get my book in print after I finish writing it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It has never been easier to publish a book. One result is that there has never been so much competition among authors. However, the future is bright for anyone who wants to write.
What genres do you write?
mystery, suspense, adventure, children's, biography, history
What formats are your books in?
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