Alan was born in Sydney in 1955 and started writing poetry and stories as a teenager. His first poems and short stories were published in the late 1970s and he remained a prolific contributor to the major Australian literary magazines into the 1990s. His first book (of linked stories) The Romance Of The Season was published by McPhee Gribble in 1989. He followed this with the ‘dramatised biography’, The Australian Love Letters of Raymond Chandler (McPhee Gribble 1995): the story of the intimate correspondence between the famous American crime writer and an unknown girl from Orange, NSW, as well as Alan’s own correspondence with an author he’d never met. (Alan did eventually meet this woman and … well, it’s all in the book.)
To satisfy his curiosity about how other men write about their relationships, in 1995 he also edited the acclaimed anthology Men Love Sex (Random House 1995) which remains a benchmark of male writing about the emotions. For many years he contributed essays, feature articles and book reviews to The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and the Good Weekend magazine. He also wrote a regular column on relationship and social issues for men in Good Weekend.
After not completing a BA in English and Philosophy at Sydney University in the 1970s, he studied at both NIDA and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and has written for both stage and screen. In 2005 he gained a MA in Creative Writing from Queensland University of Technology.
He has taught creative writing at QUT and Southern Cross University and has mentored writers under both the Australian Society of Authors and Northern Rivers Writers Centre Mentorship schemes. In 2007 he joined Sarah teaching on her Bali and Byron Bay Writing and yoga retreats and continues to teach workshops on many aspects of writing for the Northern Rivers Writers Centre and Byron Bay Writers Festival. He also runs Life Writing and Memoir Writing workshops, particularly focused around the healing potential of personal story.
His latest book, Before You Met Me: A Memoir Of One Man's Troubled Search For Love was published by William Heinemann in 2008. Click on the pdf below to read an excerpt from Before You Met Me. Alan was interviewed about the book on ABC’s The Conversation Hour and on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters. And this is a link to a forum held at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre where he spoke on What Men Really Think About … Intimacy In Long-Term Relationships.