James Clancy Phelan
|Born||21 May 1979
|Genres||Thriller and Young Adult|
James Clancy Phelan (born 21 May 1979) is an Australian author, published as James Phelan. His first novel, Fox Hunt, went into reprint in its first month.
Phelan was born in Victoria, Australia. He was introduced to the world of books at an early age, with such works as The Hobbit, Treasure Island and The Jungle Book. As a teenager, he read many thriller novels, including works by Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy. In 1995, at the age of fifteen, he began writing his first novel, Fox Hunt. After attending Eltham High School and Wonthaggi Secondary College, Phelan studied architecture and English literature, graduating with a Master of Arts in Writing from RMIT while working for The Age newspaper. As of 2009, he teaches writing at Swinburne University in Melbourne. He is also a PhD candidate at Swinburne University.1 In 2006, Phelan was selected as one of the Cleo 50 Most Eligible Bachelors in Australia. As an architecture student, Phelan worked for two years on the Federation Square design team. 
Phelan's writing covers a broad range from newspaper work to fiction and non-fiction books. With his first published book, Literati (2005, non-fiction), and his short story, "Soliloquy for One Dead", appearing in Griffith Review's 2006 edition: "The Next Big Thing", many believed he would embark on a career at the literary end of the writing spectrum. His first published novel, Fox Hunt, surprised many by being a commercial thriller, highlighting the diversity of his writing skills. He has also written for The Age newspaper and Cosmopolitan magazine, and published several short story anthologies and a serialized novel. 1
Phelan's first book, Literati: Australian Contemporary Literary Figures Discuss Fear, Frustrations and Fame, was released by John Wiley & Sons in 2005. It documents a series of interviews in which Phelan asked questions of a broad range of literary figures in Australia, including Matthew Reilly, Tara Moss, John Marsden, John Birmingham, and Peter Craven.
Fox Hunt, Phelan's first fiction book, was published by Hachette in August 2006. Through the protagonist, investigative reporter Lachlan Fox, Phelan evokes the qualities typical of most !action heroes: charisma, strength, intelligence, and rugged good looks. For the main character it is a story of friendship and redemption. The story is set as a bridge between the aftermath of the Cold War and the perilous age of the War on Terrorism, with Lachlan and his best friend thrown unwittingly into a war that crosses time. The book exists as both an homage to trials past and contemporary issues, emphasising the role of politics in issues as farreaching as political instability in Chechnya to the Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative.
Patriot Act, the second installment in the adventures of Lachlan Fox, was published in August 2007.2. Set mainly in New York City, Washington, D.C., and France, it tells the story of Lachlan Fox investigating a series of murders in Europe that are linked to a forthcoming hack on NSA computers. For the main characters, it is a story of love and betrayal, on personal and patriotic levels. The USA Patriot Act is referenced throughout, as is the NSA program, ECHELON, and the Bilderberg Group. While Fox's character shows growth from the previous book, and there is hope in the form of a love interest in Kate Matthews, by the end of Patriot Act Fox is left dark and angry - hinting at the tone of the next book in the series.
James Phelan has stated in media interviews and on his website that the personal journey of Lachlan Fox has many parallels to that of the protagonist of Hermann Hesse's novel Siddhartha. Fox's quest for enlightenment is set to span the first five books of the series. Fox's friend Gammaldi has similarities to Siddhartha's friend Govinda, particularly since both follow their protagonist friends anywhere.
The third Lachlan Fox novel, Blood Oil, was published in August 2008 and is set in Nigeria, the US, and the UK. Blood Oil is a story of trust and revenge, and it depicts the chaos around Fox and Gammaldi, as well as that of Africa and a running theme throughout the book: disaster capitalism.
The fourth Lachlan Fox novel, "Liquid Gold", was published in August 2009 and is set in the US, Pakistan, and India. Liquid Gold has a macro theme of water scarcity and religions.
James is a favorite author of many other novelists, including Lee Child, who said of his 2013 thriller character "Jed Walker is right there in Reacher’s rear-view mirror." and Vince Flynn, who stated: 'James Phelan is one of the hottest thriller writers to arrive on the scene in years. His hero, Lachlan Fox, is just the kind of gritty man the world needs in a time of crisis.'
The author has also written a series of Post Apocalyptic Young Adult novels called the ALONE trilogy. Its consists of the three novels - Chasers, Survivor and Quarantine - and features 16-year-old Jesse and his three close friends, who escape from a crashed subway train to find New York City in ruins after an attack. The books contain many twists and surprise plot turns. In Australia, Chasers is in its 7th reprint as of 2011.
In September 2011, Phelan released a free Lachlan Fox short story titled "Trust". It was released through Get Reading and is included in a collection of short stories entitled "10 Must Read Short Stories for 2011". James has had two books selected on the Get Reading list of "50 books you can't put down": Fox Hunt, and Alone: Chasers, for which he has done national tours.
James has started a new series starring intelligence operative Jed Walker, with the first espionage thriller THE SPY (Hachette, 2013), and a new 13-book series of Young Adult novels about a series of adventurous teenagers. He claims the latter is a mix of The Famous Five and Indiana Jones, titled THE LAST THIRTEEN and they are under contract with Scholastic Publishers for publication 2013-2014.
Lachlan Fox novels
- Literati (2005)
- "Trust" Get Reading (2011) A Lachlan Fox short story.
- "I Am Alone" Pearson (2010) Features Jesse from the ALONE trilogy.
- "Watchlist" Vanguard (2010) A serialised novel with Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, and others.
- "Soliloquy for One Dead" Griffith Review (2007), Affirm Press (2008), SUP (2009)
- Phelan's Biography
- Phelan's Website
- Publisher's page for James Phelan
- International Thriller Writer's page for James Phelan
- Website for the ALONE series of books