Alan Russell

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For the Scottish footballer, see Allan Russell.

Alan Russell (born June 4, 1956) is an American novelist.

Life and work[edit]

Early life[edit]

Russell was the youngest of four children of Mark E. Russell and Carolyn Lois Russell. He grew up in Sunnyvale, California where his father was a City Councilman and Mayor. His grandfather and great-grandfather were also mayors.[1] Russell’s parents met while serving in the Navy; his father was second-in-command of a tug in Alaska and his mother was a naval flight nurse that tended to the wounded being flown out of Korea. She was also a member of the Ninety-Nines, an International organization for female pilots.

Russell’s childhood was spent in Sunnyvale, California and Short Hills, New Jersey. In 1972 Russell’s family moved to La Jolla, California. He played varsity basketball for two years, and in his senior year ended up second-team All Coast League. Russell went to UC San Diego and was the first Triton player to ever make the varsity basketball team as a freshman, but a back injury caused him to quit the team late in the season. While healing, Russell found a writing outlet in the student newspaper, The Triton Times. By the time he was a senior Russell was the paper’s editor-in-chief. Under his tenure the newspaper became independent of the University (later, it was renamed The Guardian).

Writing career[edit]

After graduating from UC San Diego, Russell worked for twenty years in the hospitality industry. He wrote and sold newspaper and magazine articles all the while he worked on his novels, using his experience in the hospitality industry as a backdrop to some of his fiction.[2][3]

Russell’s short story, "Married to a Murderer" was selected as one of the year’s 25 finest crime and mystery stories (1997) [4] and was performed on stage in Carlsbad, California in April 2012. In 1990 Walker & Company published No Sign of Murder, which received positive reviews, including a standalone rave from The New York Times.[5] The work was followed up by The Forest Prime Evil and comedic mysteries The Hotel Detective and The Fat Innkeeper which won him The Lefty award, given to the best comedic mystery of the year,[6] and a Critics’ Choice Award [7] His novel Multiple Wounds, a psychological thriller earned him a nomination for both an Anthony Award and the Macavity Award for best novel of the year.[8] Russell then published Shame, a novel of psychological suspense. His next books, Exposure, Political Suicide, and Burning Man, have been categorized as suspense novels.

In addition to his twelve officially published novels, Russell has ghostwritten other non-fiction books.[9] He wrote a screenplay for Disney of his recently published novel St. Nick. A number of his novels have been optioned for film.[10]

Russell's novel Guardians of the Night (January 1, 2015) made it to number one on the Amazon bestseller list.

Personal life[edit]

Russell’s wife Laura is a licensed clinical social worker. They are the parents of three children, Luke, Hart, and Brooke.



  1. ^ North County Times, "Cardiff’s Alan Russell casts mystery in midst of election year", January 18, 2004.
  2. ^ San Diego Union-Tribune, "A Marx Brothers Movie, with Stephen King Overtones" April 17, 1994.
  3. ^ Travel & Leisure Magazine, "Hotel Detectives" June, 2004
  4. ^ Iblist Shortlist
  5. ^ "Even the Gorilla Is a Suspect" November 11, 1990 New York Times
  6. ^ Lefty Award
  7. ^ USA Today Critics’ Choice Award
  8. ^ Bouchercon awards
  9. ^ "Boohoo, My Life as a Ghost," July 5,2009
  10. ^ Hollywood Reporter, "Wanted: Filmmakers unafraid of offending church", D.C., VIPS, November 10, 2003

External links[edit]