Iain H. McLean

Writer. Purveyor of fantasies. Peddler of dreams.

me & my work

Manchester to Melbourne via Los Angeles

I'm a former musician from the UK that's written for TV networks in Hollywood and became an advertising copywriter in Australia.

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I currently divide my time between writing and advocacy work for Young Onset Parkinson's Disease, because I have it, and there's no cure. Parkinson's disease has a big role in how I approach my work now - it doesn't rule my life but it does give boundaries because I can only write in the times my meds allow my hands to work properly.

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My writing floats around hardboiled noir but more recently it's been a bit more realist. Must be my age. I have a couple of novels in progress, and recently have found myself writing short stories which is something that I never saw coming.

I write hardboiled noir that's crisp, with laconic dialogue and often understated emotions that sometimes verges on transgressive.

And I write short stories that are more colloquial, with simple, direct words building a rich image in your mind.

I also write children's stories that range from something akin to Julia Donaldson, to longer, darker work that harks back to the edginess that Roald Dahl used so well.

My hardboiled noir writing is definitely influenced by the genealogy of Dashiell Hammett, through Raymond Chandler, to Michael Connolly. I adore Hunter S. Thompson's work and mind and consider him one of the best writers of the last century. And, as a former copywriter, I admire Hemingway's literary punch. And when I was young I wanted to be Roald Dahl.

I spend twice as much time reading as I do writing and will give anything a go. I'm in awe of Sir Terry Pratchett. But I could never write like him. I think one of the best chapters ever written was in 'American Psycho' by Brett Easton Ellis. I'll let you figure out which one. And I'm fascinated by Murakami. No, not that one, the lesser known one; Ryū Murakami.

I subscribe to the idea that I'm not a writer, I just tell stories. Like James Patterson said - "a lot of people focus on writing wonderful sentences and paragraphs, and they fall in love with their prose style, but their stories aren't terrific". I like my writing to disappear and the stories become movies in your mind.

I write on the go, making notes on Google Keep, which are later fleshed out. If the words stagger, that's my signal that I've taken over from the characters and it's time to take a break. I always write to music; every book or story has a soundtrack.

And I love dialogue. It's the dark art of writing.

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If you've got this far, it's high time you read a story, here >

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You can read free chapters from my novel "Self-Affirmation For The Dead", some of my short stories, and the introductions to my current projects: "Sucker Punch Republic" and "The Three Lives of Shinichiro Yakimura".