The quiet town of Avan with its port, its provincial university and its conservative seafaring folk would hardly be the place you'd expect to run into an adventure and frankly neither Brent nor Sally nor Keira were going out of their way to have one. At least nothing more than the occasional torrid love affair and the awkward self-questioning typical of many young adults like themselves. Sally was finishing her studies in the Theosophy Department of the University hoping to become Professor Rafter's assistant, Keira, Sally's best friend and lover, was a young librarian who occasionally sang in a popular folk group and Brent was a would-be writer who couldn't quite get his act together and who spent hours wandering the streets and lanes of the town in search of inspiration. Yet unbeknown to them forces had long been at work that would throw them together in a series of adventures that were going to tax them to the extreme forcing them to develop abilities that went way beyond what would seem possible during a voyage from the real world to the realm of dreams and on into another world called the Reaches that at first sight looked deceptively like their own.
The Reaches is the first book of the Storyteller's Quest. The second book is called The Keeper's Daughter and the third book is entitled The Starless Square.
Not wishing to pursue the route traced out for him by grammar school and university as a mathematician, Alan McCluskey turned to English, which he taught to foreign language students in France and Switzerland on a part-time basis for many years. His favourite teaching method was role-playing often with quite unexpected and not so catastrophic results. One pupil once confessed, with typical candour and ambiguity, that he had taught her the creative value of madness. He attended fine arts school for a while as he continued to teach, studying cinema and video. He went on to make a number of works of video art shown in different festivals around Europe and directed some ten short television programmes about artists. He was one of the three organisers of an international video festival in Geneva, he founded a video art association and created a short-lived European bilingual magazine about electronic arts. He enjoyed the challenge of organising large-scale networks, coordinating a worldwide network of companies selling Internet domain names, for example. In a quite different sphere, he created "The Hundred Venues" with friends: a network of a hundred screening venues for electronic arts across Europe. For a year he played at being the CEO of an Internet start up. Apart from drafting business plans and convincing investors to give them five million, it was one of those rare times in his life that he systematically wore a suit and a tie in a vain attempt to appear different from the geeks who went about the office barefoot. Almost all of his activities have involved writing. Although professionally he mostly had to write reports and studies, he tried to create occasions to adopt what he called the Martian perspective, which entailed questioning the self-evident. He has brought that questioning perspective, along with a passion for images and what they can reveal, to novel writing and artwork together with a long-standing fascination for the dream world and the magic of fantasy.