His reply to my recent query about what he has been reading:
Right at this moment I am reading two old Alistair MacLean novels simultaneously: Ice Station Zebra and Night Without End.Visit Brian Falkner's website, blog, and Facebook page.
This is mainly for research as I am soon going to start the second novel in my Bzadian series, Ice War, which is set in an unforgiving artic environment. Alistair MacLean was a master of describing that kind of world: the blizzard conditions and cold below what any person is able to endure.
But there is more to it than just the descriptive passages. MacLean was also a master of suspense, and was my favourite author as a young reader. The series I am working on is partly an homage to his early thrillers, with traitorous villains; sudden, violent action; and heroes pushed to the limits of their mental and physical endurance.
MacLean not only influenced my style of writing, he influenced my decision to become a writer. I can still feel the heart-thudding excitement of a Friday night trip to the library to find that a new Alistair MacLean novel was available.
There was also a sense of loss, in some of his later novels, that did not live up to the promise of his name on the front cover.
Revisiting his books after so many years I have found them very readable, enjoyable thrillers. They are old friends, and even if they have faded and their covers wear the ravages of time; even if the characters seem a little one-dimensional, and the plot devices clunkier than I remember them; I still find my fingers flicking through the pages in my eagerness to find out what happens next.
My Book, The Movie: Brain Jack.