Gordon Brown lives in Scotland but splits his time between the UK and Spain. He’s married with two children. Gordon once quit his job in London to fly across the Atlantic to be with his future wife. He has also delivered pizzas in Toronto, sold non alcoholic beer in the Middle East, launched a creativity training business called Brain Juice and floated a high tech company on the London Stock Exchange.
He almost had a toy launched by a major toy company, has an MBA, loves music, is a DJ on local radio, compered the main stage at a two-day music festival and was once booed by 49,000 people while on the pitch at a major football Cup Final.
Gordon has been writing since his teens and has five books published – his latest, Darkest Thoughts, being the first in the Craig McIntyre series.
Gordon also helped found Bloody Scotland – Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival.
My Writing Story(ish)
‘My writing career began at school. Sneaking in the odd short story when the teacher wasn’t looking (some of those stories sit in a suitcase in a spare room). My first major attempt at writing came on the back of a trip to Crete when I was on holiday with friends, back in my early twenties. I spotted a lad with a back pack in the middle of nowhere. He was miles from civilisation (well as miles from civilisation as you can get in Crete) and looked a little worse the wear. I was strap hanging off the back of a jeep and my mind starts to whir. That night I borrowed an order pad from a the Greek restaurant, and started writing.
‘The Machine’, a novel and a tribute to one of my heroes, Stephen King, began. In order to finish it I migrated from the order pad to a battered old jotter, then to some spare sheets of paper lying around the holiday apartment. When I got home I kept going. More jotters, more spare sheets of paper. The finished novel has lain in that suitcase for some three decades.
And so a cycle was born. I’d write, mainly short stories, and file them. Occasionally a novel would sneak out. Only to be buried with the rest. There are at least three complete novels that I know off, and a few false starts.
At the turn of the Millennium some colleagues and myself, with dreams of becoming a multi millionaires, floated off a tech company on the London Stock Exchange (the millions never materialised – the day we floated was the day the dot-com bubble burst). My kids were six and four and I was flying to London every Monday, flying back on a Friday. I had all but stopped writing by then until my wife suggested I take it back up. Why? Well since they were very young I made up stories for the kids, on the fly, about a gaggle of creatures called the Doms. Each night I’d make up a new story, invent new characters and the kids were all given roles in the stories. Lesley suggested I start writing them to let her read them out to the kids each night while I was away. So my job was simple, a story a day, five days a week for nearly a year and half. This got me right back in the groove.
Fast forward a few years. I had added to my novel and short story pile but still with no sign of a publishing deal. By now I was running the marketing department for a TV station. My contract was due up. I took a breath, announcing I was giving it ‘one last go’ at writing a novel. (No I didn’t believe me either).
Three months later ‘Falling’ was born. I duly edited it, despatched it to four publishers and sat back… and nearly died of fright when one publisher came back, telling me they liked what they saw. Really? I bundled off the rest, in my haste sending copy that was a month old and full of typos, and the publisher still bought it.
So here’s the thing. I’m five novels in with a new one in the Craig Mcintyre series out this year. ‘Falling’ has been re-published in the U.S. and a short story I wrote for Bouchercon 2016 was included in their anthology. Falling Too, the second in the Charlie Wiggs series, will be released this month and I’ve been included in the Historic Environment Scotland short story anthology – Bloody Scotland.
I still work. Would that writing provided all the bread on the table. But you know what, I’m just happy that nearly forty years of writing has turned into something more than a pile of dusty paper in an old suitcase.’
Gordon Brown, September 2017.