12 years ago, I was introduced to Steve Kurtz by a mutual friend. Steve has a deep interest in philosophical matters and was once an associate member of the Club of Rome, a global think tank. He reads voraciously and copies me with articles that he thinks might be of interest. We have a mutual interest in population overshoot, resource depletion, energy, ethics and various other matters that will likely impact on the future of civilisation. There’s a lot we don’t agree on but that is an advantage from my perspective because Steve forces me to be absolutely clear in my thinking.
5 years ago, arising from one of my blogs that I had been writing since 2002, I was contacted by a reader, Anselmo Pedroni with whom I formed a friendly relationship based on an exchange of views in our various fields of expertise. Within his field of expertise Anselmo was a world renowned physicist, Geo- and Cosmo-chemist but he had to retire for health reasons. He has been mentoring me on the science that underlies climate change and energy and various other physics based subjects in my novels. I would like to thank both Steve and Anselmo, and also my wife Denise, who has been extremely supportive of me as an individual, and who has educated me in matters spiritual for over 40 years.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
The editor/publisher of my first novel advised me to stay away from “purple prose” and to avoid becoming too caught up by adjectives – unless it was patently appropriate to the scene I was describing. She also advised me to talk in active language rather than passive language – so that the reader would not be bored to death by rambling passages. The active language typically flows in dialogue and the passive language typically flows from descriptive puffery.
I have tried to follow that advice. I have also discovered that readers can follow more than one thought thread at a time, provided the thoughts are seen within context. For example, the mystery stories that dump random ideas, the relevance of which only emerges a couple of chapters later, forces the reader to concentrate very carefully. My books already require concentration, so I try to have some mercy. I try to lighten the boredom by using different techniques than “tension building”. For example, switching from one scene to another; using humour, using dialogue for as long as it feels comfortable and then switching to descriptive prose, presenting a part of an idea to stimulate curiosity, which encourages the reader to read on in order to get the balance of the idea.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
I have what the Harvard University Business School guys call a BHAG – a “Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goal”. My BHAG is to reach 140 million readers/movie viewers across the planet – which represents 2% of the global population. To put some perspective on how B that HAG is, Michael Crichton’s books, cumulatively, sold 100 million copies across his entire career; Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code sold about 80 million copies, and Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ had about 60 million viewers.
My target market is those same readers/viewers, but augmented by similarly minded people in The Middle East, Pakistan, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, India and China. “Success” will be defined as realising my BHAG. Anything substantially less, and I may as well play golf. I’m not holding my breath.
On the other hand, I am giving it my best shot. Following a 35 year career in Strategic Planning, at senior level both inside large corporations and for small, high growth businesses, I devoted nearly 8 years of my life to researching and writing those books. They represent the best I was able to produce. From my perspective I have nothing to be ashamed of. My novels capture the essence of life on earth in the early 21st Century and in that sense they can be genuinely classified as “literature”. Hopefully they may one day be seen as classical literature.
I would also like to emphasise one fact: “Success” will not feed my ego. I wrote Beyond Neanderthal and The Last Finesse because I could, and because I perceived a crying need on society’s part. I am genuinely worried about the future for all our children and grandchildren. If your readers are as worried as I am, then – for their own sakes – they should read my books and start talking amongst their circles of friends and acquaintances. Let’s move to heal society and our planet. My success will be everyone’s success. As an aside, if we are successful then it will prove that the pen is indeed “mightier than the sword”.
What dreams have been realised as a result of your writing
None, I am not by nature a dreamer. I try to be a visionary. Will my vision be realised? The market will decide if they want to hear what I have to say. But the market needs to become aware of the fact that I have something to say.
Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us?
In respect of writing, no. However, I did score a hole-in-one for the first time after 50 years of playing golf on and off, and I will be appearing at my local golf club to receive a trophy.
In the global corridors of power, a group of faceless men is positioning to usurp control of one of the world’s primary energy resources: uranium. Climate change looms large. Luke Sinclair is a young, Australian-born professor of mineralogy and an expert in the nuclear-fuel cycle. Up to now, he’s led a carefree, hedonistic lifestyle.
But things change: renegade North Korea is about to transfer its illicitly acquired nuclear-weapons technology to Myanmar. The CIA wants to block the development. It enlists the aid of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. ASIS commandeers Luke, who quickly discovers there are wheels within wheels. Who has the real power? Who are his real friends? Is the attempt to corner the nuclear market ‘The last finesse’ of the faceless men who are so fixated on their personal goals they’ll risk a planetary cataclysm? Has ethical behaviour become merely an anachronism in the 21st Century gladiatorial arena?
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.
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.
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Genre - Conspiracy Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
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