New website

This site is a general introduction to my work, with links to a few stories and summaries of my books and professional experience as a writer and editor. Other stories, photos, videos, blog entries, links and updates can be found on sites linked under “Bio” on the page menu.

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2 comments on “New website

  1. Hi Alan,
    My name is Kane Simmiss a 29yr old New Zealander living in Australia and i have just finished reading your book Mississippi in Africa that i found at an little obscure bookshop here in Perth. I just want to say that I loved your book and it has left a bit of a lasting mark on me, as proven by me writing to you as ive never reached out to an author before haha. I consider myself pretty privagliged in life in this corner of the world and have often thought about how I could perhaps make a difference in someones world if i had the right idea and means to do it, which has lead me to reach out to you because I think I may have had that idea. In your book you talk about visiting a school and being invited to see the library which was devoid of books. In reading this I thought about myself and how many books I have lying around as Im a ‘one time read’ type of person and thought about how many others would be in the same position. My idea, in a nutshell, is that essentially I want to start going around asking people for books they can donate and send them over to schools where they could be put to use. Ive written to Australia Post to ask about costs and the possibility if this could work and pretty much just wanted to bounce the idea off you and see what you thought and perhaps be directed in the right direction of a school or person to be in contact with on the other end. I love books and consider my station in life to be directly attributed to the person I’ve become because of what I have read and the thought that I could bring that to others who don’t have that opportunity. My idea would also involve asking the person donating the book to possibly write an inscription to show that we are thinking of them from the other side of the world, that they are not forgotten, and essentially inspire a bit of hope into a world where a little more hope is able to be given with (what I consider) very little effort.
    Anyway, I don’t know if this idea is going to be one the never comes to fruition but the thought has inspired me to at least send a few emails and see where it leads.
    Any feed back or help would be appreciated so much and would just like to say again that I loved your book and an a big fan.
    I hope your well in whatever tract of life you are in at the moment and look forward to reading your future works.
    Thanks for reading anyway 🙂
    Kane Simmiss

    • Hi, Kane. First, I apologize for taking so long to respond. I’ve been remiss in checking for messages on this website, and in fact, I’d suggest that in the future it would be better to reach me though my regular email address, which is (I check it frequently).

      Thank you for reaching out, and for the kind comments about the book. I’m very glad you enjoyed it and that it prompted you to want to help in the way that you’ve described. I was moved in the same way — public libraries in the U.S. have surplus books, for starters. The problem I ran into was the cost of shipping. That, however, was a decade ago, and there may be cheaper options available today. Also, if you could enlist a partner, such as the newspaper you mentioned, that could eliminate the barrier. In any event, I’m happy to communicate further about this, and again, thanks so much for getting in touch.


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