About Al


(Stands up) My name’s Al, and I’m a writer.

How long have you been a writer, Al?

While probably not as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing for a long time.

That’s me in the photograph, the one who looks like a golem. I’m a husband of one (she’s also in the picture), and father of two (yeah, those two). I grew up in Dublin, but moved to Vancouver in 2009. With the magic of the Emerald Isle combined with the epic beauty of British Columbia, how could I not be inspired to write fantasy?

I didn’t always write fantasy. When I was younger, I didn’t even read fantasy. I consumed Science Fiction, Mystery and History by the shelf-load. Then it happened. I had put it off for a long time for one reason or another. After spending many years on my to-read list, I finally read it – The Lord of the Rings. That was it for me. I loved it, every single page. I liked it so much, I’ve read it seven times since. More importantly, I discovered the Fantasy genre in all its glory.

Still, I only read Fantasy, I didn’t write it.

I remember writing stories on my father’s old typewriter back when I was a kid. I remember writing essays in school that always got the highest marks, but I never thought of myself as a writer. I wrote articles that appeared in newspapers, and then I discovered blogging.

I love American football (among other things). I played for years, then coached when my knees said I couldn’t play anymore. When I emigrated, and I couldn’t play or coach, I needed another outlet. I could write. I knew football well. Why not combine the two? Over the next six years, I built up something of a following, while writing for some reputable sites. I made a few dollars, and turned down more offers than I accepted, but it was hard work. Not that I mind hard work, but I needed to do something different, so I stopped. Just like that. In mid-season nontheless.

Here comes the bit about the book (finally). I’d never written a book before. I had no idea how to go about it. I started reading all the stuff I could about it, but it was pretty depressing, so I decided to start writing. Luckily, I knew what I was going to write. I work in a library, and when you wander the stacks of a library, you can’t help but be inspired to write. The story I wanted to write (actually, two stories) was locked and loaded in my head, I just needed to find the time to put it on “paper”.

It took me nearly two years to write a reasonably short novella, trying to find the time in between all the other nonsense life throws at us. When I finished it, I sent it off to an up-and-coming publisher, and they accepted. I still have a little editing (and all that jazz) to do, but the provisional release date for the King is Dead is November 29th. Exciting times.

Now the big question is, what will be next book be?

Here’s my five favourite books, for those who care about such things:

(In no particular order)

The Lord of the Rings

Helter Skelter


Catch 22

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy