Only indirectly. One or two scenes of the story are really just descriptions of similar things that have happened in my life, but the characters are not based on any particular individual/s.
How important do you think villains are in a story?
If you ask any agent or publisher, I suspect the answer will be: “Critically important”. I fundamentally disagree. I believe it has been counterproductive in modern fictional literature to pay such close attention to the villains. The various media have become so realistic in their ability to depict villains that impressionable minds have come to regard villains as “normal”, even perversely heroic. The view of the world that emphasises “Super Heroes” in battle with “Super Villains” is, I think, yesterday’s paradigm that needs to be jettisoned as a matter of priority. Of course, tens of millions of youngsters readily embrace that paradigm in all media including comics, movies, TV, electronic games, books and they will not be happy if such a turn of events were to manifest.
Nevertheless, in my view this paradigm has diverged so far away from ethical reality that it has contributed to generally impaired mental health across society. The youngsters of today are unable to tell the difference between a genuine problem and a fictional one. Villains have become part of everyday life. We invite them into our homes. Many young people now even have problems in differentiating right from wrong. By way of example, the latest “fad” in Australia is “King Hitting” total strangers. The equivalent in the US is known as the “Knockout Game” where teenagers – just for the fun of it – try to knock a complete stranger (innocent) clean out with a single blow.
What are your goals as a writer?
I see my two books together as a single, small pebble. I see the worries that hang over global society as being akin to deep snowdrifts that have accumulated on the slopes of a range of tall mountains following years of cold winters and heavy snowfalls. I see the possibility of the mother of all avalanches if something constructive is not done.
My goal is to cast the pebble in such a way that it starts to get people to focus more intently on the depth of these snowdrifts of worries – so that people in general (across the planet) are galvanised into action rather than continue to let other (untrustworthy) people solve their problems for them. Of course, no single pebble can hope to achieve such an outcome, but I think of it this way: If the timing and the conditions are just right, and the pebble causes sufficient disturbance of just one single unstable snow drift, the result might be perceived as the threat of a terrifyingly destructive avalanche; and, in turn, this high profile threat will cause sufficient people to get up off their butts.
Hopefully, increasing numbers of people will start to take prophylactic action of a type that we cannot rely on self-centred, vote hungry politicians to take. What will be this prophylactic action? Well, my novels propose some answers but they don’t seek to be prescriptive. Their objective is to get people thinking and talking amongst themselves. Out of those thoughts and discussions – guided by my novels’ definitions of the seven “core” problems – some sensible plans will emerge and the parasitic politicians will either follow now informed public opinion or be voted out of office. Up to now, it has been in the interests of the media and the politicians and the lobby groups to keep the public confused, dumb and docile. My carefully researched books seek to enlighten readers.
Do you have to travel much concerning your books?
I assume you are talking about promoting the books. To date, the answer is “no”, I have been relying on the internet and “virtual” promotion. To do book signings and speaking appearances will require an organisational infrastructure which I don’t have – and which is usually provided by a mainstream publisher. Perhaps that day will come, but not in the foreseeable future. For the foreseeable future I will have to rely on a concept called “viral marketing” which is easier to say than to do.
Have you ever considered anyone as a mentor?
Many people have mentored me. It is my style that, when I need guidance on a subject in which I have limited expertise, I actively seek out a mentor who is also a world class expert in his/her field.
One problem that I have had in the book industry is that many people consider themselves experts who are only too willing to experiment with my hard-earned capital, or try to force me into mindless compliance with their ideas of what will become a commercial success. Unfortunately whilst many talk the talk, few walk the walk. When I hear the words “Don’t expect immediate results” I know that I’m very probably listening to someone who doesn’t really understand how to get results at all.
If there is really anyone out there who believes that they have the ability to act as my mentor in the book marketing business, I will be happy to hear from them – provided their advice doesn’t require me to fund grandiose ideas. If they are willing to structure their reward on a success basis, then I will happily talk to them. Eight years of researching and writing these books has been a capital draining exercise. Marketing is supposed to be the domain of a publisher.
There is an energy force in the world—known to the Ancients—that has largely escaped the interest of the modern day world. Why? There are allusions to this energy in the Chinese I-Ching, in the Hebrew Torah, in the Christian Bible, in the Hindu Sanskrit Ramayana and in the Muslim Holy Qur’an. Its force is strongest within the Earth’s magnetic triangles.
Near one of these–the Bermuda Triangle–circumstances bring together four very different people. Patrick Gallagher is a mining engineer searching for a viable alternative to fossil fuels; Tara Geoffrey, an airline pilot on holidays in the Caribbean; Yehuda Rosenberg, a physicist preoccupied with ancient history; and Mehmet Kuhl, a minerals broker, a Sufi Muslim with an unusual past. Can they unravel the secrets of the Ancients that may also hold the answer to the future of civilization?
About the Author:
In 1987, Brian and his young family migrated from South Africa to Australia where he was employed in Citicorp’s Venture Capital division. He was expecting that Natural Gas would become the world’s next energy paradigm but, surprisingly, it was slow in coming. He then became conscious of the raw power of self-serving vested interests to trump what – from an ethical perspective – should have been society’s greater interests.
Eventually, in 2005, with encouragement from his long suffering wife, Denise, he decided to do something about what he was witnessing: Beyond Neanderthal was the result; The Last Finesse is the prequel.
The Last Finesse is Brian’s second factional novel. Both were written for the simultaneous entertainment and invigoration of the thinking element of society. It is a prequel to Beyond Neanderthal, which takes a visionary view of humanity’s future, provided we can sublimate our Neanderthal drive to entrench pecking orders in society.
The Last Finesse is more “now” oriented. Together, these two books reflect a holistic, right brain/left brain view of the challenges faced by humanity; and how we might meet them. All our problems – including the mountain of debt that casts its shadow over the world’s wallowing economy – are soluble.
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
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