CONTACT TV broadcast its first ‘Scope’ – a live video broadcast on Periscope – on 19 November 2015 with a live interview at home with Chris Allen, action writer and creator of the Intrepid series.
During the live broadcast, there was one viewer question we didn’t get to live, but I’d like to pick up on it after the fact.
During our discussion around self publishing and engaging with an on-line community, @bobcrawshaw (who runs Maine Street Marketing) asked, “How did you find that on-line community?”
Chris responds: I think the online community actually found us. What I mean is that by sharing enough background about my service history and the premise around which the book was developed, it seemed that the extended service and ex-service network made the connection quite naturally and then got on board. I think the most important aspect that I’ve learned from Sarah in regard to interaction online, is that we made all (well, most) of our online messaging as conversational as possible – avoiding the hard sell that so many authors tend to resort to. I really believe that approach appealed to the service community. Bringing people along with how I got to be a writer (albeit a very new one!) seemed to resonate a lot more with people than trying to flog the book itself. This is as true today as it was four or five years ago. For instance, I get a lot more engagement online when I share flashback photos from my career or an anecdote about an experience I’ve had, rather than any posts that may be specifically book related. It’s weird!
Chris Allen writes escapist action thrillers based on real life, having seen and done it all.
A former paratrooper, Chris served in three Commonwealth armies across two decades and four continents. He left the military due to injuries, retiring at the rank of Major.
In addition to his military career, Chris has served with three law enforcement agencies in Australia, led security operations for an international aid agency in East Timor during the emergency in 1999, and took over the protection of Sydney’s most iconic landmark, the Sydney Opera House after ‘No War’ was painted on the sails. In 2008 Chris was appointed Sheriff of New South Wales, one of Australia’s most historic law enforcement appointments.
After self-publishing in 2010, Allen caught the eye of Pan Macmillan’s experimental digital publishing arm, Momentum, and soon became one of their bestselling authors.
In his Intrepid series, Chris puts the reader deep within the action. His protagonist, Alex Morgan, represents the embodiment of Chris’s own military and law enforcement insider experience. Intrepid is the Intelligence, Recovery, Protection and Infiltration Division of Interpol, a top secret black-ops taskforce operating in the shadows to protect the world’s most vulnerable people from the worst among us.
Cumulative decades of experience in the defence, police, counter-terrorism and justice sectors means Allen often features in the mainstream media, talking about his writing inspiration and publishing journey, including on TV (FOX Business) and radio (ABC), and in newspapers (West Australian, Sydney Morning Herald) and magazines (Good Living Magazine, Mindfood).
Allen also regularly appears at Sydney Writers’ Festival, Perth Writers’ Festival, Book Expo, SpyFest and numerous other writers’ centres and libraries around Australia.
Now represented by Curtis Brown, the same literary agency that represents the Ian Fleming estate, and with his series going into bookstores from late 2015, Allen has signed a deal for a full Intrepid series to appear on the big and small screens from 2016 and beyond.
Chris and his wife, Sarah, live in Sydney. They have two children, Morgan and Rhett.