Author Bio: John Brinling
I was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. on June 8, 1936. I grew up in Pittsburgh and didn’t leave home until I was 21 and heading off to graduate school at the University of Illinois in Chicago. I’ve attended multiple universities: Duquesne, U. of Illinois, U. of Pittsburgh, Columbia. And I have a B.S. in Pharmacy and an M.S. in Pharmacology. I was married in 1975 and have one daughter.
I have been writing all of my life. I wrote my first novel when I was sixteen. “Black Dawn.” It dealt with segregation and the KKK. Whatever happened to it I don’t know.
Since then, earning a living has preempted long periods of my life when I wrote very little. My wife and I are both in data processing (IT nowadays) and we usually work long hours when we are on a contract, which meant I spent little time writing fiction when gainfully employed. The birth of my daughter offered me another excuse for not writing, but that’s what it was: an excuse. Writing is hard. But it’s in my DNA and I keep returning to it, despite some part of me that prefers the lazy life. However, not writing is unthinkable, and I am constantly exploring ideas even when I’m not committing them to paper.
I lived and worked in Europe for seven years. I met my wife In Italy where we both worked for the same company, and were married in 1975. The contract we were working on ended that year and we took two years off to live in England, in a 300 year old farmhouse in Wiltshire. It was in that farmhouse that I wrote “The Ghost Of A Flea,” as well as another book titled “Quarantine,” which is a science fiction thriller.
“The Ghost” has a strong autobiographical component. I was a programmer/analyst. The office ambience in the novel is similar to life in my New York office, although the intrigues were of an entirely different nature. I had a good friend who lived in Sparta. I lived for a time near the George Washington Bridge. The building manager was an Irishman, who became a good friend, and an integral character in the book.
“Quarantine” is set in East Africa, where my wife and I vacationed, and I drew liberally on what we read, saw, and experienced.
I had an agent back then who marketed both books, and came very close to selling them to both Doubleday and St. Martins. Unfortunately he died before completing the sale and I put the books on a shelf and forgot about them for 35 years. Only this year did I resurrect them and publish them on Amazon’s Kindle and Smashwords.
In 1977, my wife and I returned to the states and founded our IT consulting firm, Brinling Associates. For the next fifteen years we worked hard building our business. I wrote one novel during that time, a book titled “Alone,” which dealt with a man in an irreversible coma who is aware of what is happening around him, but is unable to communicate with the real world. I thought the book was lost, but have just recently found a hardcopy of the book and have begun reworking it..
In 1990, during a down period in our business activities, I wrote several other novels which I am attempting to bring out of retirement. These novels were also put on the shelf when circumstances re-ignited our business opportunities. One book – “The Watcher,” an occult horror thriller – is already self-published. The other is a much larger work, a rural mystery series tentatively titled “The Valley Mysteries” set in Vermont, that I’m still working on.
As you can see, writing books is one thing, marketing quite another. I am perhaps the world’s worst marketer, which helps explain why my writings have spent most of their lives on a shelf in my home in Vermont staring out at me asking “Why am I here?”
For the past few years I have been writing screenplays, which are more bite-sized writing efforts. I have done fairly well in some contests, but am still waiting to be discovered. The small royalty checks I earned from Amazon this year are the only money I’ve ever earned from my fiction writing.
My writing is pure escapism. When I sit down to write, I embark on an adventure. I let things happen and I let the characters be who they are. Since I strongly avoid outlines, I am as surprised by events as I hope the reader is. Pulling together loose ends is a subject for revision, which I do endlessly. This undoubtedly makes for more work and takes me longer to “finish” something, but it seems to be the best, the only, way for me. It is the candy bar just out of reach that keeps me at the keyboard.
My background illustrates my chaotic approach to life. I have been at different stages a pharmacist, a pharmacologist, a tech writer, a programmer/analyst, a business consultant, a business owner, a teacher, a novelist and a screenwriter. At one time I thought it perfectly acceptable, if not desirable, to change jobs/professions every year or so. I didn’t worry about the future, assuming I would always find a way to muddle through.
I’m still muddling through.
Where to find John Brinling online
The Hitler Project
“High Noon” meets “Murder at 1600”
When a skull from the past bedevils a political dynasty, two lawmen contend with corruption, murder and personal tragedy while facing off against an adversary with unlimited power and resources.
War Of Choice
A reluctant extraterrestrial holds sway over war and peace when drawn into the Machiavellian politics of a warmongering White House. An FBI agent, his daughter and girlfriend must survive the murder and mayhem that ensue, and convince the ET to help them prevent a war with North Korea.
Death In The Arena
A decade-old vengeance coursed through John Studebaker’s veins.
Everyone and everything counseled against it.
But in the end, did he really have a choice? He was who he was. And that man killed those who needed killing.
Sinkhole: A Short Story
How devastating is a sinkhole?
How tragic is it when it occurs in the bedroom of a small house?
How much worse is it when the sinkhole begins talking to the young woman it has thrown out of bed about a child’s murder?
And how unwise is it for the young woman to climb down into that sinkhole?
Free To Die: A Short Story
Amos, the enforcer, wanted out.
After twenty-nine years of following orders, he knew his time was limited.
He had served his masters well, but age and sloppiness made him expendable.
But how to exit gracefully?
“Unlike the living, the dead tell no tales.” That was their motto. The way they did business.
Was he smart enough to find away around this modus operandi?
Or was he fish food?
A portrait of the harrowing despair and remarkable courage of a middle-class family tormented beyond endurance by a mindless act of violence.
Chris Carter, at 24, a medical student, had it all. Good looks, intelligence, a winning personality, a loving family. His girlfriend, Louise, was his dream girl, and he had everything ahead of him, everything to live for....
Until he was mugged....
Occam's Razor: A Short Story
Can a post-hypnotic suggestion make Peggy Sue do things she doesn't want to do?
When Rick and Peggy Sue go to the fair, they are more or less happily married. When they leave, Rick is facing significant jail time for rape.
But who is really the bad guy? Rick or his friend, Patrick, who was dissed by Peggy Sue?
Coffin Humor: A Short Story
Noah awoke in a casket.
The casket was on display in a funeral parlor.
He awoke several times more in the same casket and each time had a conversation with the funeral services practitioner.
During these exchanges, he became aware that his memory was seriously impaired.
He also learned that the recovery of his memory would lead to his death.
Problem was: It might already be too late.
The Robbery: A Short Story
Walter decided to rob his company when his business was failing and his wife, Muriel, no longer loved him. His plan was simple: grab the bearer bonds and run—worry about the details later.
Everything was fine until a Puerto Rican youth robbed him while he was making his escape.
Now he was the victim--and that changed everything.
A Memorable Weekend: A Short Story
When Marge Harper decides to host a Special Olympian for the weekend, she knows only that he is somehow handicapped and is an avid skier. Despite her own infirmities--which are significant--she is sure she will be able to help her Olympian—until he turns the tables and changes how she sees the world.
A Whale Of A Myth: A Short Story
When Noah visited Atlantis, his encounter with Pinkie was a disaster. When he told Neptune, there was only anger and recrimination. When Pinkie tried to make amends, Aphrodite got involved. However, it was up to Sedna, goddess of the seas, to remedy the situation.
His First Kill: A Short Story
Mr. M gave the boy a difficult assignment. A public killing on the Fourth of July. In Vermont. Of a friend. Who he really cares for.
This mission is of great political significance and the boy can’t fail to complete it, because he will be assassinated if he does.
Janet Stapleton – widowed, confined to a wheelchair, living in a remote Connecticut farmhouse - didn’t believe in out-of-body experiences until she had one and witnessed a brutal murder. The second and third ones were no less horrific. Her investigation into why she was chosen to see these murders soon has the demonic killer pursuing her.
When Paul Henry emigrates to Uhuru, he knows he can never return once exposed to the deadly fever, that Oneida, his love, is scheduled to join him in two weeks, and that his life is pretty damn good. Everything changes even before the unmanned Uhuruan Airways Flight lands in Mombasa, when he sees things out the plane’s window that challenge his sanity and threaten his future.
The Ghost Of A Flea
The novel is a romantic, suspenseful action thriller that tests the endurance and love of a man and a woman, and threatens the security of a great city. It is a tale of greed, passion and death centered on a painting of haunting beauty and mystifying significance. “The Ghost Of A Flea,” painted by William Blake 200 years ago.
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