Monday, September 19, 2011

Author Stuart Aken in the Spotlight

Welcome to Stuart Aken!  He's going to share a bit about his journey as a writer and his latest book, The Methuselah Strain.

Thanks for inviting me as a guest here on your blog, Denise.

Stuart Aken is a pen name, which I adopted when I discovered over 800 references to my real name in a Google search. It has the advantage that is incorporates my own first name with the name of a small village in England that, itself, contains my real father's name, Ken. As he died before I was born, it seems a fitting tribute to the man who gave me life.

By the age of 11, I'd exhausted the children's section of my local library and had to ask the formidable Miss Burgess if I could start taking books from the adult section. She scrutinised me with her steely gaze and nodded her approval, but only because she knew I always took care of her precious books. The two conditions were that I could take one book at a time and they must pass her scrutiny. That she allowed my first adult book to be a classic account of the First World War, written from the German point of view, and containing references to violence, anarchy and prostitution, perhaps says more about her than it does about me.

I've been writing for quite a few years, with a radio play and several short stories under my belt before I started my first novel. 'Breaking Faith', my romantic thriller, was published as a paperback at the end of 2009 and as an ebook in 2010. I followed this with a collection of dark speculative fiction; 'Ten Tales for Tomorrow' is available as an ebook. An anthology of gentle love stories followed, again as an ebook. You'll find 'Ten Lover Tales' holds no nasty surprises and is full of those stories that make you smile or sigh with simple pleasure, I hope! I've also compiled, edited and designed an anthology for my writers group. Hornsea Writers is a gathering of professional writers, meeting weekly to discuss works in progress and exchange information about the world of books and writing. 'A Sackful of Shorts' contains thirteen disparate tales from this bunch of talented writers and is available as an ebook.


My latest book, a novelette titled 'The Methuselah Strain', is a science fiction tale set on Earth a few hundred years in the future. Catastrophes and indifference have reduced the population, the world is largely automated, and life is easy; perhaps too easy. Certainly, the Prime Renegade believes that humanity could do better and is determined to end their dependence on machines before her fellow survivors die out from indolence and hedonism. But she also wants a mate to father a child. The story weaves her search for love into her dangerous plot to end automation. If you like your science fiction with emotional content, you'll find it here.

As a writer, I am fascinated by relationships between people and love putting my characters into difficult situations where their innate qualities will reveal their true natures. My stories explore the themes of injustice, hypocrisy and love, always with a relationship at their heart. Holding strong opinions on the author's responsibility to provide the best possible for the reader, I believe quality of writing to be paramount, but I also want to entertain, move, educate and arouse my readers, so I try to make my stories full of interest, emotion and activity. My plots are always driven by the characters, who sometimes take over and move the tales along routes I hadn't envisaged at the start. I always write the complete story before attempting any revision. But I revise extensively so that the final piece that is published and placed out there for readers to buy is the best I can produce.

If you're interest in language, writers and matters relating to books, you might like to visit my blog at
 and my website (currently about to be redesigned) at

You'll find my books available for all ebook platforms at :

And as either paperback or Kindle versions for USA here -

Once again, Denise, many thanks for this opportunity to interact with your readers.

A very big thanks to you, Stuart!


Denise Verrico said...

Stuart, it's a pleasure to have you on the blog!

Stuart Aken said...

Denise, many thanks for this invitation. My apologies for the late reply: I've been away on holiday and the promised wi-fi connection at the accommodation was non-existent. In fact, I couldn't get a signal where I was at all!
I do appreciate this, Denise.