Can hold his breath for 97 seconds.
It’s harder than it seems.

Here’s where writers say they’ve knocked around a bit. So Alan Whelan says, truthfully, he’s been a probation officer, a house painter, a tenants’ union organiser, factory worker, a political activist, sexual therapist, builder’s labourer, PR hack, farm hand, writer, editor and researcher. He’s driven forklifts in a fruit market and written policy and legislation for governments. He once had a job sexing chickens, which is less criminal than it sounds.

He believes in clarity. He is not “in love with words”. If you read one of his sentences and you don’t know what it means, or a page and you don’t know what just happened, it means he’s written it badly.

A principle: the struggle between people who mean well and are trying to do the right thing is more real, also more interesting, than struggles between “good” and “evil”.

These two novels are complete, and now seeking representation and publishing:

Harris in Underland

Frank Harris, adventurer, literary man and liar, tells his son why Oscar Wilde never escaped to France before his arrest, and how the inmates of a London child sex brothel were rescued. And of the conception of his son.

Many of Victorian London’s literary lions appear, including Oscar, Charles “Lewis Carroll” Dodgson, Ellen Terry, the young Aleister Crowley, with Zhou Ch’en, widow of a great Chinese General. London’s underworld is dangerous and cruel.

Blood and Bone

Kai Kawiti, actor, political activist and womaniser, dies. Two tribes fight over his body and legacy, and many people are pulled into that struggle, changing their lives and their minds.

Falling Angels is a story of death, ruthless tribal politics, oratory, police corruption, robbery on a train, the obligations of friends and lovers, and the building of families. And betrayal, sex and love.

Work In Progress
April 13, 2020

The Lockdown Tales

A look at the political views of the composer Richard Wagner, an antisemite who was also a pacifist who despised German militarism, an anti-imperialist and an anti-racist who admired Lincoln…
Work In Progress
April 13, 2020

A hero, when needed

Byron needed a hero, and came up with Don Juan. Byron’s version of Don Juan, however, is very different from the hero of legend, or even of Mozart’s D0n Giovanni.…
Work In Progress
April 13, 2020

Harris versus the Assassins

I am working on Harris versus the Assassins, a sequel to Harris in Underland. It’s set in Persia in 1879, when Harris was lecturing in law at Heidelberg University.