Monday, February 10, 2014

#Author Brian Bloom on the #Books He Loved Growing Up @BrianB_Aust #Thriller

at 9:30 AM
What books did you love growing up?
My mother was a bit of a romantic. She read me Peter Pan and all the Beatrix Potter stories before I could read, and my grandmother – when she visited – used to read a few pages of Swiss family Robinson every night before I went to bed. I remember them all and I’m going to make sure that my grandkids read them all. Later on, my mother read me Little Lord Fauntleroy, which is very probably what turned me into a rebel. None of my friends called their mothers “mummy dearest”. It just didn’t feel “cool” to my 5 year-old way of thinking. Nevertheless, the story must have been interesting enough even though I can’t remember it today because I sat still for the entire time it took to read that book. Maybe I just enjoyed it vicariously because my mother loved it so much.

When I first started to read, Enid Blyton drew my attention for a few nanoseconds, but I was soon drawn to the Hardy Boys and then, later, I started reading books that can probably be best described as kitchen table philosophy – with an emphasis on the Holocaust; what it was about and why it happened.

My father had once owned a bookshop called Pickwick Bookshop. It eventually went out of business, but he couldn’t bear to part with some of the more unusual books so we had a room full of literally thousands of books. Most were dreary reference tomes or classical works or books on history, but now and again I would pick one out and scan through it, looking for pearls of wisdom. You could probably call it “dragonfly” reading. I would swoop down on a book, dip into it and flit away.

The book that undoubtedly had the biggest impact on my life was one I found on the desk of my friend’s mother. It happened to be lying there and I was bored. It was an out of print book of prose called Earth, by Frank Townshend. He was probably in his 70s when he wrote it. It described in non rhyming verse his perceptions of life on earth and I thought it had been written after World War II. When I finally turned to the flyleaf, I discovered it had been published in 1929. That book had an amazing impact on my thought processes for the rest of my life. It opened with the following statements:

“I wandered about the earth, meeting all sorts of people;
And I lived in every kind of place,
Doing all manner of work.
Of the people that I met, only one was completely and unalterably happy.
Indeed, I observed that most of them did, whatever they did, because of fear;
Fear of life or fear of death,
Or fear of after life or after death,
So they piled up possessions if they could,
Hid from sight their personal affairs,
Covered their risks with reasonable precautions,
Denied their inmost longings,
Or became deeply religious, or even thoughtful.”

I read it from cover to cover, all 164 pages, standing there at Mrs Morris’ desk. It took me hours; I don’t know how many. Time ceased to have meaning and nobody seemed to care where I was. It was school holidays and Peter was lying by the pool, probably asleep or reading.

Who is your favourite author?
I found Michael Crichton’s work fascinating. His approach to scientifically oriented thrillers captured my imagination and probably influenced me greatly in the writing of my books, although I’m not all that keen on blood and guts. I also enjoyed Dan Brown’s works and Beyond Neanderthal has a bit of his style of reasoning in it. Lately I’ve been reading thrillers by Sam Bourne.

What book genre of books do you adore?
Well, the word “adore” is a bit over the top. I really enjoy a good conspiracy novel and I particularly like books that have a feeling of historical mystery – for example, to do with the Knights Templar and their supposed links to the Freemasons. I like science fiction but draw the line at science fantasy. It needs to be credible. I also prefer books to have happy endings. I don’t enjoy books that are dark and leave me feeling scratchy.

My preference is to read a book and close it with a feeling of having been uplifted. Once in while I might pick up and old classic that has a bit of old-fashioned romance in it – something like Jane Eyre. Those books remind me of what it’s like to be human in a world that seems to have lost touch with what it’s like to be humane. Nowadays, for example, it’s all about the science itself as opposed to how our lives might be improved by the science. For example, if you watch a TV program on the adventures of (say) a pathologist, it’s all about the blood and guts and how the pathologist looks for physical evidence. No one seems to be interested in the lives of the individuals except if they’re hopping in and out of bed with each other.

I suppose, like my mother before me, I’m a bit of a romantic. I like to read any book that is about people who have something uniquely interesting about them. I’m not particularly interested in what a person has or owns or does. I’m interested in who the person is, how their mind works, and why they are doing what they do. In this regard, I remember something that J.K. Rowling was reputed to have said. It was to the effect that she started off by defining the characters so that each character would be a recognisable individual. Then she built the story around the people. Given the volumes of her book sales, I thought it might be a good idea to pay attention. I bore her approach in mind when I wrote my two novels. Hopefully, my characters themselves are of interest in addition to the storyline.

Do you find it hard to share your work?
Not at all. What would be the point of writing if I was the only person who ever read the stuff?

Beyond Neanderthal
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.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
More details about the author
Connect with Brian Bloom on Twitter


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