Australia Day for a thriller author

January 26 is Australia Day, and I had the most low-key day imaginable, complete with naps, swims in the pool, and dreaming up the new Alex Morgan adventure (hint: it's going to be a kick-ass page turner).

But I did come across this picture with my good mate, Tim from Tim Anger Photography, taken a handful of years ago when my self-published book (Defender of the faith) was hot off the press. I handed a signed copy to Tim at an equestrian event just outside of Canberra.

Of course, we couldn't resist capturing the moment, as the irony of the signage was not lost on us.

After all, I've never taken myself too seriously.

Happy 'Straya Day.

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Technology shifts power back to authors

What a great Christmas surprise to see this news story televised on ABC TV around Australia - highlighting Chris's publishing journey to date and growing momentum.

"If you're reading a book this Summer, chances the author faced an uphill battle getting published... But technology is shifting that power back towards authors, and publishers are taking note.

"James Bond and the books of Ian Fleming got Chris Allen hooked on adventure. He began a paratrooper, serving in Australia and overseas. Using his life on the edge, and the characters he met as inspiration, he wrote a book about an Australian action hero." - ABC TV

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Keep Moving Forward

This post first appeared on Reading Kills blog.

So, I was going to put together a few words about my writing process but then I started thinking about why I approach the books the way I do, particularly the central character – Alex Morgan. After all, before you work out how you’re going to write something – the process – you need to be clear about who or what you’re writing about. Writing in the Crime/Thriller/Espionage arena, I’m sometimes asked about why I don’t equip Morgan with all the latest high-tech gadgets and weaponry.

The simple answer is - I don’t want to.

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Steve Vincent's Top Five for Thriller Readers

This week we hear from my author mate Steve Vincent on his top five for thriller readers. Take it away Steve...

I’ve never been a ‘favourite’ kind of guy. I can’t name an absolute favourite movie or book or song or travel destination, but instead enjoy a wide variety of all of these (and other) things. This puts me at a natural disadvantage when trying to write blog posts on the topic.

My own writing is a good example of this. The themes my Jack Emery series covers vary widely in scope. The Foundation deals with the concentration of the media, the power that unelected individuals can wield, and the chaos both can cause in certain circumstances. State of Emergency deals with the extent to which laws can be enacted and freedoms curtailed in order to defeat terrorism, and the risks in doing so. The newest, Nations Divided (released 10 December), is about the lengths some individuals and groups will go to in order to win, and the potentially shattering consequences of their actions. Each theme is different, fun to write about and important to me.   

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Contact TV Interview with thriller author Chris Allen

This November, CONTACT TV broadcast its first ‘Scope’ – a live video broadcast on Periscope – with a live interview at home with Chris Allen, action writer and creator of the bestselling black-ops Interpol / Intrepid series.

During the live broadcast, there was one viewer question we didn’t get to.

During our discussion around self publishing and engaging with an on-line community, @bobcrawshaw (who runs Maine Street Marketing) asked, “How did you find that on-line community?”

Chris responds:  "I think the online community actually found us. What I mean is that by sharing enough background about my service history and the premise around which the book was developed, it seemed that the extended service and ex-service network made the connection quite naturally and then got on board. I think the most important aspect that I’ve learned from Sarah in regard to interaction online, is that we made all (well, most) of our online messaging as conversational as possible – avoiding the hard sell that so many authors tend to resort to. I really believe that approach appealed to the service community. Bringing people along with how I got to be a writer (albeit a very new one!) seemed to resonate a lot more with people than trying to flog the book itself. This is as true today as it was four or five years ago. For instance, I get a lot more engagement online when I share flashback photos from my career or an anecdote about an experience I’ve had, rather than any posts that may be specifically book related. It’s weird!"

You can watch the Interview on Contact TV below.

The ghosts in Spectre

There’s a lot of conjecture at the moment around whether or not Spectre is a great or a not so great Bond film.

I went in with mixed feelings based on many of the reviews and comments I was seeing online. And for those who don’t know me, I’m a die-hard Bond fan, Fleming first – movies second. So I have high expectations of each of the films and I must say on this occasion, I was not disappointed.

Here’s what I liked about it.

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Lest We Forget

Pulling on a uniform has been a very big part of my life. I’ve served in the Australian Army, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Protective Service and in 2008 was appointed Sheriff of New South Wales. I’ve been attached to the New Zealand Army and the British Army and I’ve served alongside soldiers of various other nations. On days like today, Remembrance Day, while I take time to reflect on how my service has shaped me, my most important consideration is to reflect on how military service has impacted others. Specifically, I refer to our veterans and their families.

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