it took me and my publisher totally by surprise when, in its first week on release in Italy, it went to #1 in the Amazon bestselling rankings for short story anthologies. This followed on from the book hitting the top of the charts in both the UK and USA, thus making After Armageddon a truly international bestseller.
This was in fact my second Italian bestseller as Sasha had already topped the rankings in it's English edition, on Amazon.it. Quite remarkable really!
Recently I was approached by Elisabetta De Martino, the translator of the original English version of the book with a request for me to do an interview for her literary blog, Penne in libertà. I was happy oblige and the interview has now appeared on her site at https://penneinliberta.wordpress.com/interviste/
Elisabetta has published the interview in English, and on visiting the site, it is possible to have the whole site translated to English as well. Though you can click the link above to visit her blog, I have also copied the full interview below for anyone who would like to read it.
After Armageddon can be found at After Armageddon a universal link that will take you to your local Amazon website. Italian readers can see the translated edition at Dopo L'Armageddon and for Italian language readers around the world the universal link is http://getbook.at/Armageddon
|Individual stories in the collection|
Ecco a voi l’intervista con Brian L. Porter, autore di Dopo l’Armageddon
Brian, what do you do in your life apart from writing?
Well, when I’m not writing, most of my activities are centred around our ten rescue dogs, especially caring for my epileptic dog, Sasha, the subject of my international award winning book, Sasha, which has been a #1 Amazon bestseller in the UK, Australia and in Italy, which was surprising for an English language book. The book has also been in the Top Ten on Amazon in Canada, France and Germany too. My wife, Juliet and I are avid dog rescuers and currently share our lives with ten beautiful dogs who share our home and our lives. After the success of Sasha’s story, I wrote a sequel, Sheba: From Hell to Happiness, detailing the life of Sheba, another of our rescues, and Sasha best friend which became an Amazon UK #1 bestseller on the day it went on preorder.
The rest of my time tends to be devoted to research for future books, most importantly for my successful Mersey Mystery Series, which is proving very popular. Set in my home town of Liverpool, it’s important to me that the factual content present in all my novels, in accurate and up to date and I work closely with my researcher Debbie Poole in Liverpool to achieve the necessary realism and accuracy my novels deserve.
How many books have you written already?
Including translated editions, I currently have 31 published works listed at Amazon UK as Brian L Porter. In addition I have three children’s/young adult books listed under the Harry Porter name plus one collection of romantic poetry published as Juan Pablo Jalisco, (also an Amazon #1 bestseller in the USA and UK). The majority of those books are my thrillers/mysteries, with of course, my short story collection, After Armageddon, a #1 bestseller in the USA and UK and also in Italy in its translated edition.
How did you start writing? Have you been encouraged by someone?
First of all, I’ve always been an avid reader, from being a young boy at junior school. I’d never entertained any thoughts of becoming a writer, however, until, some years ago I suffered a nervous breakdown which, together with a heart problem, meant I could no longer continue my career in business management. A friend suggested writing as a form of therapy, and so, encouraged by Isobel, I began slowly, writing poetry to begin with. I was quite successful as a poet and eventually had over 200 poems published, mostly in poetry anthologies and online magazines. I then saw an advertisement in my local library for a short story contest so I thought I’d try my hand at writing an entry. Although my story didn’t win the contest, I had caught the writing ‘bug’ and continued to write a number of successful short stories many of which were published in various anthologies, much like my poetry.
It was my son, Alan, who eventually encouraged me to try writing a full length novel. I gave it a go, and was delighted when my debut work, A Study in Red, The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper was accepted for publication by Canadian Publisher, Double Dragon Publishing. I have not looked back since that day and have gone on to become a fairly successful author, with a dozen Amazon bestsellers to my name, always encouraged by my current publisher, Miika Hanila at Creativia Publishing, in Finland. One constant during my early novel writing days was the support and encouragement I received from my wonderful mother, Enid Ann Porter, who was always ‘on my side’ always pushing me to do better and who picked me up when I felt down or my ideas had dried up and I felt like giving up. Sadly, my Mum died at the age of almost 91, just before my books really began to take off. I know she’d be proud to see how well my books have succeeded and most of my books carried a dedication to my dear mother.
Do you have any particular habits when writing?
My only habit is the fact that I like to be in total silence while I write. Some authors I know like to have music playing in the background or even have the TV switched on, playing in the background, but for me, the only way to maintain absolute concentration is by being surrounded by a wall of silence to enable me to maintain total focus on my work.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
Number one on this list has to be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the Sherlock Holmes stories. As a young boy, I became enthralled, first of all with the story of The Hound of the Baskervilles, and in the coming years I went on to read all of his Sherlock Holmes stories, both long and short, as well as Conan Doyle’s prodigious number of non-Holmes related short stories. I’m sure, even today, that many people only think of Conan Doyle as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, and don’t realise he actually wrote hundreds of wonderful short stories. I can thoroughly recommend them.
I’ve also been greatly influenced by the books of Clive Cussler, for me, the father of the modern adventure novel. I can read his books over and over again, and never get bored when revisiting one I’ve previously re, kind of like visiting an old friend.
In writing my murder mysteries, I was also influenced by the works of the late, great Ed McBain. His 87th Precinct crime thrillers never ceased to entertain me, and many of them still hold pride of place on my bookshelves at home, I see him as the grandmaster of crime fiction.
Finally, I have always been influenced by the style and content of the medical thrillers of U.S. author Tess Gerritsen. I actually contacted Tess while I was writing my first novel and she was wonderfully encouraging to me, an unknown author, an I was delighted when she sent me a ‘good luck’ message to be included on the cover of A Study in Red. Not just a great writer, but a real lady too!
Apart from writing, what form of art do you like the most?
Definitely cinema. I love watching movies, particularly older, classic movies from the 1940s and 50s. Some of those films managed to create some superb special effects without the modern day benefit of Computer Generated Imagery, (C.G.I.). In particular, I loved the superb effects created by the great Ray Harryhausen for the old Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts etc. I loved the old musicals too, such as Singing in the Rain, with Gene Kelly. Slightly more modern, but I loved films like The Great Escape with Steve McQueen, and a stellar cast of great actors and from the modern crop of movies, I love the work that went into the producing of Independence Day.
What themes are you interested in and what themes do you like writing about?
Anyone who has read my After Armageddon collection of short stories will probably have guessed that my tastes are quite eclectic. I enjoy thrillers, mysteries, science-fiction and good old-fashioned adventure stories. When it comes to my novel writing though, I stick to writing what I do best, which is of course thrillers and murder/mysteries. My true-life dog rescue books were totally different of course and extremely personal ventures, which I thoroughly loved writing and seeing my wonderful rescue dogs receive the exposure they deserved.
We know that you care for dogs, what is it you love most about them?
Dogs have a seemingly endless capacity for giving their unconditional love and loyalty to their owners, in return for so little. All they ask for is a good meal, a warm place to sleep and a little love and affection, and they will truly become the best friend a man (or woman) could wish for. I will never understand the way some people can be cruel towards, or abuse these wonderful, intelligent animals that are capable of bringing so much pleasure into their owner’s lives.
My wife Juliet and I currently own ten beautiful rescue dogs, of varying breeds who bring joy and happiness to our lives every single day. All of them share our home, our lives and our affection. Some of them went through terrible abuse or neglect before coming to us, and yet their capacity for love and loyalty was undiminished and they quickly responded to the love and care we gave them from their first days with us, and all have become valued and well behaved members of our canine ‘family’. We truly would not want to be without any of them.
You co-operate with ThunderBall Films. Can you tell us more about your work with them?
I was first approached by the CEO of ThunderBall Films, Mario Domina, some years ago. He wanted to buy the rights to adapt my book, A Study in Red, The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper, into a movie. As our working relationship grew, we became good friends and Mario read and enjoyed more of my books, until he finally told me he felt my books were written as if for movie or TV adaptation, they were so ‘visual’ to use his description. As a result he signed the rest of my novels to a franchise deal and also asked me to become a screenwriter for ThunderBall. I’m currently working on a screenplay for them based on a true story of demonic possession, written by a U.S. author and entitled The Devil Called Collect.
Which story from After Armageddon are you most fond of, and why?
Although I like them all (I wrote them, after all), I think my joint favourites would be The Voice of Anton Bouchard, and Toxic Bitch. The Voice of Anton Bouchard is novelette length and is set in Paris during a very hot, steamy Paris summer. A serial killer is at loose in the city, striking at young women in the dead of night. The story is told from the perception of the chief of police, Anton Bouchard, and I can guarantee readers they will be faced with not just one, but two surprise twists in this tale.
Toxic Bitch was originally commissioned by the now defunct Sonar 4 Publishing and first appeared in their anthology, Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror, in 2011. It’s a salutary tale, a warning of what may become of mankind and our planet if we continue to pollute and defile the environment. Some people have described it as a very, very scary story, and others have called it a lesson in how to destroy the world. When I was writing it, I just thought it was a good storyline and never expected it to have the kind of effect it has had on readers. I suppose that’s a good thing.
Those who enjoy something a little more ‘quirky’ will probably enjoy Megalith, a strange and rather frivolous piece of work I wrote while in a particularly ‘outside the box’ mood. Again, it has had a positive effect on readers who have reported to me that they enjoyed the story, especially for its unusual and almost impossible but equally satisfying premise.
Do you think that your books could change the world in some way?
The short answer to that, in the most part, would be no. My novels and mysteries are intended to be read as pure entertainment and it makes me happy to think they bring a few hours of reading pleasure to those who buy and read them.
In the case of my dog rescue books however, I would like to think that they might encourage those who read them to spare a thought for all the abused and neglected dogs in the world and maybe, just maybe, the next time they are thinking of buying a dog, they might consider adopting a rescue dog from their local animal shelter or sanctuary. Saving one dog’s life might not change the world, but it WILL change that particular dog’s life, for ever.
How can our readers find out more about you and your books?
Readers can obviously visit my author page at any Amazon website. For your Italian readers that would be at https://www.amazon.it/Brian-L.-Porter/e/B00466KITC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
I also have a website at www.brianlporter.co.uk
And a blog at https://sashaandharry.blogspot.co.uk/
I’m also on Facebook, as Harry Porter at https://www.facebook.com/harry.porter.12139862
Thank you for talking to me Brian and I wish you continued success in your writing and in your dog rescue work.
Thank you for inviting me to talk with you, Elisabetta. It has been a pleasure and a privilege. I hope your readers enjoyed the interview and I wish them all…Happy reading, ciao!