Alan Manifold is from Whittlesea and has been a fan of detective stories from an early age. He earned a degree in Literature in the US, where he and his wife lived before moving to Australia in 2012 and becoming Australian citizens in 2017. They are both members of the Bahá'í Faith, both compose choral music, and they run annual Bahá'í Choral Festivals in Sydney. Alan is an IT manager at the State Library of Victoria. Alan is one of our profiled local writers as part of the 11th Annual Booklovers Festival. To find out more about the festival view the program here
When did you start writing? What inspired you?
For a while in high school, I read an average of two books per day. All of those writers, both good and bad, seeped into my brain and generated ideas. I wrote lots of short stories and some poetry. I determined to study literature at uni and loved reading really good writers at their best. That inspired me to keep writing, which I have done through all the years of raising children, working full time, and being involved in lots of other activities. It's a need that must be fed.
What are you working on at the moment?
My first novel, Consulting Detective, was published recently. It features a detective, Mihdi Montgomery, who is considerably more respectable and relatable than most of the ones we read about and see on the screen. He's a good detective, but he's also a family man, a friend, and a bit of a scholar. I'm currently working on a sequel where he has to use all of his talents and interests to determine if a crime was even committed and, if so, by whom.
Do you have a studio or work space? What is it like?
I mostly work at home, but we have a group of State Library staff who get together for an hour each week at the State Library to write together. We have a rule that we don't talk, but just sitting together and writing at the same time is very encouraging and it guarantees that we write at least a bit on a regular basis.
Do you visit your local library? If yes, what do you love about libraries?
I get to read quite a bit on my daily commute into the city, so I rely on the YPRL's subscriptions to online eBooks to fill my tablet with books. The service that libraries provides is absolutely matchless for many reasons. Libraries provide good entertainment, excellent access to information sources, and classes and other opportunities for learning. I've worked in libraries all my life and I don't like to think about what our society would be like without them.
For more on Alan visit:
Consulting Detective, 2018, print and electronic detective novel, by Alan Manifold, published by Baha'i Publishing, Wilmette, IL, USA.