Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Author Interview – AFN Clarke


Who is your favorite author and why? This is such a hard question because I have several favorite authors whose books I would take with me to a desert island, but I think if I was forced to choose only one I think that would be JP Donleavy. His books The Gingerman, A Singular Man, The Onion Eaters and many more, opened my eyes to the fact that creative writing is a living organism. When you write creatively you have the ability to invent in many ways, both grammatically and even with vocabulary, which, if it works, creates a vivid colorful and satisfying event.

What are you writing now? I’ve just released The Orange Moon Affair which is the first in a new thriller series with many more to follow soon.  I wanted to create a central character, Thomas Gunn, and other key figures including a strong female character that I could grow and develop over time and in different situations. The series will reveal Thomas’s past he’d rather forget and how he deals with love and relationships while trying to stand for truth and what’s right in the world – and of course getting shot at, hunted down and all that fun stuff that goes on in any thriller.  It’s a series that will stretch your mind to its extremes in terms of what dastardly things could be possible in the world and blur the edges between fantasy and chilling reality.

Can we expect any more books from you in the future? I’ve written seven books to date and never stop writing.  I already have at least another seven in my head ready to be written. Once they are published, there will no doubt be another seven following on from those. The only way I will stop writing is when I stop breathing.

Have you developed a specific writing style? I write in what is called a “stream of consciousness” style, but my own particular form of this discipline. I do not write a detailed story or plot before starting a novel. I have the entire book in my head, which is to say the overall story line, places, and characters. As I start to write the story tells itself, situations develop and the characters experience those situations and because of who they are, react in a certain way.  So they take on their own identity and “spirit” so to speak, and because of that even I can sometimes be surprised at the direction a book can take.  But I believe being true to the characters gives my books an immediacy and depth, that is important and that readers respond to. I hope as a result, that my books breathe and expand and take unexpected twists and turns like life does.


This new expanded edition of AFN Clarke’s bestselling and controversial book CONTACT is a raw, visceral, “no-holds-barred” account of combat from one of the men we paid to kill. When first published it caused a furor for its devastating honesty and chilling revelations.

Clarke vividly recounts his experiences of two tours in Northern Ireland (in Belfast and Crossmaglen) as a Platoon Commander with Britain’s elite Parachute Regiment during the blood soaked 1970′s. Soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan comment on how relevant the book still is today, as the dangers, political agendas and religious roots underlying the conflict are eerily and heartbreakingly similar to their own more recent experiences.

Clarke takes us to heart of the action.  We feel what it’s like to live each day with senses on high alert, waiting to be ripped apart by the accuracy of a sniper or a well-hidden bomb.  We enter the private world of soldiers ordered to hold the lines in an ancient quarrel they have little affinity for, but whose consequences are deadly.  We experience their emotions, fear, courage, humor, bravado and the anguish of death.

This expanded edition continues from where the print version ended, revealing the untold nightmare Clarke lived through having nearly died, with half his insides missing, suffering from PTSD and being expected to return to a “normal life”.  A story of the scars of war that affect generations.  Of heartache, courage and hope for peace.

“I am an ex soldier who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and this is an excellent account of what it was like. I only wish we had an officer like Captain Clarke.” pm, 5 Stars Amazon UK“.. its honesty and passion cannot be denied .. Mr. Clarke has sent out a powerful and disturbing early warning signal.” Maurice Leitch, Daily Telegraph.

“..a major contribution to our understanding of war and how people act .. Contact is the work of a brave writer.” Kevin Toolis, Irish News.

“As a civilian it’s hard to imagine what’s it’s really like to be a soldier in combat but this book opened my eyes. I highly recommend it …” KTHuffy, 4 Stars Amazon USA.

CONTACT was reviewed by soldiers who served with Captain Clarke as verification of his recollections.  It was first published in the UK in 1983 by Martin Secker & Warburg, was serialized for 5 days in The Mirror and became an instant best seller. In 1984 it was published in paperback by PAN Books, by Schocken Books New York and made into an award-winning BBC TV film.  And in 2012 came the expanded ebook edition, which all these years later is still selling strong.  Readers outside the UK are invited to visit for soldier’s reviews and comments.

AFN Clarke is a full-time author and writes fiction of various genre – fast-paced thrillers (An Unquiet American), poignant human drama (Dry Tortugas), humorous satire (The Book of Baker Series - Dreams from the Death Age; Armageddon; Genesis Revisited), psychological horror (Collisions); and the Thomas Gunn suspense series (The Orange Moon Affair) with more coming soon. Visit the Amazon Kindle Store or for further information.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Autobiography / Biography & Memoir

Rating – 18+

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