John Brinling

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.  Unfortunately, most of that book is lost.

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,” a horror thriller – is already self-published.  The other is a much larger work, a rural mystery series, 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?”

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 check I earned from Amazon this quarter is 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.

Book(s) By John Brinling

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Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?


Pharmacist, pharmacologist, tech writer, business owner, programmer, business analyst, author. I currently have ten books/short stories available on most ebook sites, The Ghost Of A Flea being one of them. My newest book is titled "Shared Emptiness," and is a family drama based on a mugging that totally disrupts a family's destiny.


Describe your book ‘The Ghost Of A Flea’ in 30 words or less.


An action based mystery thriller set in NYC in 1975. When the hero's world falls apart, he is being pursued by the bad guys as well as the police, and must find an address book before his pursuers realize he doesn't have it and he becomes expendable. A mysterious blond bombshell who he doesn't trust might be his only hope of survival.


What was the hardest part of writing your book?


Keeping the various plot elements consistent, since this is a topsy-turvy thriller with more layers than the proverbial onion.


What books have had the greatest influence on you?


To Kill A Mockingbird, Guns of Navarrone, the Bond books, the Harry Potter books.


Briefly share with us what you do to market your book?


Interviews, giveaways, forums, some paid advertising.


How do you spend your time when you are not writing?


Reading, watching TV, attending plays, walking.


What are you working on next?


A new novel titled: "Nation At Risk." An imaginative thriller with all the plot elements I thought a reader might want to see between the covers of a book. Space aliens, political intrigue, attempted assassination of the President and Vice President, overthrow of the government, attack by terrorists with nuclear suitcase bombs, romance, and The Rapture.

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