Alan McCluskey’s books

All Alan McCluskey’s books are about the self-empowerment of young people, girls in particular, in a world that tends to curtail their opportunities, belittle their abilities and discourage them from doing great things.

Just out!


chimera is an organism containing two or more distinct sets of genes and, potentially, several beings in one. Sami and Sam are a chimera, two people in one, a girl and a boy, a leader and healer of people sharing a body with a brilliant but autistic child.

Sam talking to himself on discovering he is one half of a chimera…

:: not being able to speak, to move – such was the price I had to pay – to cut out the chaos and confusion from a world run wild – a raw satisfaction – being barricaded in my head these past twelve years – all for nothing – that blasted girl has ruined everything – surging out of nowhere – pirating my body – bridging the gap between me and the others – letting chaos rush in – beguiling everyone with her codswallop – not me – I’m not impressed – some say she’s destined to be our saviour – as if the block-head could save a fly – I just want her gone

Sami’s first ever words to her teacher and her father…

“I … need … to explain. Words come with … difficulty. I must … be brief. Sam and I are a … chimera … there are two of us… Sam is the boy you know. New things terrify him. He cannot speak … out loud. He stumbles. He falls. I am new. I just awoke. I am a girl. I play piano I talk. I walk. As for that violence you just saw, that was Sam trying to kick me out”

Chimera is a new novel by Alan McCluskey that was published mid-May 2019

For more details, click here.

Stories People Tell

Stories People Tell is a tale about Annie Wight, a shy schoolgirl who, despite sustained, cruel treatment and personal doubts, blossoms into a major voice in the grassroots movement ‘London Whatever’ celebrating gender diversity while struggling to end violence against women and care for the weak and marginalised.

Annie wasn’t expecting to fall in love with a girl or to shoot to notoriety when she got swept up in ‘London Whatever’. Nor could she have known that, right from the outset, she would become the number one target of Nolan Kard, the homophobic Lord Mayor of London. who was campaigning to ‘Keep London Straight’. She bore the brunt of attacks from his rogue police, not to mention from a sinister gang of ghostwriters, the nightmare of all Kard’s enemies.

Stories People Tell is a new novel by Alan McCluskey. The first draft was completed mid-February 2017 and the book was published in February 2018.

Local Voices

Local Voices – In her campaign to re-affirm the role of women at the heart of hearthside healthcare, 17-year-old Annie Wight finds herself pitted against Health England, a conservative think-tank backed by pharmaceutical giants and private healthcare providers. Pretexting the defence of the National Health Service, they stop at nothing to stamp out Annie’s efforts. They target not just her but those close to her, wreaking havoc in friendships and affairs of the heart. As part of her response, Annie launches a project to share the stories of those that never figure in the spotlight. By celebrating local voices, the project fights against isolation and disempowerment.

Local Voices, which is currently being finalised, is a sequel to Stories People Tell. It will be published later in 2019.

For more details, click here

1. The Boy & Girl Saga

A series of novels that explore the adventures of a young boy and girl as they develop a new paradigm for healing with all the difficulties that entails and seek a new approach to gender in the face of violent opposition.

Boy & Girl

When Peter awakes in the head of a girl, he is both delighted and alarmed that his secret yearnings have become reality. Very quickly, however, his error is apparent; this girl is not him. Kaitling –that’s her name– is twelve years old, like him. She’s the daughter of a magician, a prominent figure in another world. Boy and girl travel back and forth from each other’s minds but have little time to get acquainted before the island is overrun by warrior priests and she has to flee. At home, a conflict erupts when Peter is caught wearing his sister’s clothes. He takes refuge at a friend’s place who encourages him to dress as a girl. Meanwhile at school, a haughty new girl goads him about his girlishness and, spitting in his face, vows to rid the earth of him. The stage seems set for a desperate struggle to survive, but will ingenuity and youthful fervour be enough against folly and fanaticism?

Written by Alan McCluskey, it was published in September 2012. This revised edition was published in September 2014.

For more details, samples and to buy a copy, click here.


This book is brilliant. I’ll be thinking about these characters and this plot for a long, long time. (…) the writer has crafted a wonderful story that I love, and I can’t wait to start reading the sequel. – Leland Dirks

In Search of Lost Girls

If you listen carefully you can just hear the mournful tolling of a convent bell over the shuffle of girls’ feet as they traipse to Mass, nursing bruises and a numbing despair. No one cares. No one is there to stem the torrent of injustice and abuse. They are lost and forgotten. In another world, the walls of the cathedral still reverberate to the sound of angelic singing as the mourners make their way to the exit, heads bowed, voices hushed. If only they knew that those girls who delighted them with their music were really boys in disguise, sanctity would flee in the face of raging indignation. The scene is set. The author picks up his pen with trembling fingers and begins to write.  Time to tear Kate and Peter apart. The thought of making her life hell has him dribbling in anticipation. He ought to know better. Things rarely turn out as an author expects.

In Search of Lost Girls is the sequel to Boy & Girl.

For more details, samples and to buy a copy, click here.


I have just sat and read this book in a day – isn’t that what holidays are for? And I loved it. (…) One of the main themes is about being different, a theme so close to my heart.  – Kate Lindley (on Facebook)

Girl, Boy, Whatever!

Girl-or-Boy Cover

Maintaining gender ambiguity beyond a certain age entails difficult choices as does defending the rights of girls, especially orphans, to develop their capacities to the fullest.

“When I look at a girl, all the girl’s in the choir, for example, what strikes me is that being a girl comes natural to them. They don’t have to think about it. It’s what they are. If I were a girl like them there would be nothing special in dressing or acting as one. But for me there is something special about being a boy who dresses as a girl. I’m attracted to girls, I identify as a girl, I feel like a girl, especially when I’m dressed as one, but I am not prepared to go the whole road and become a girl. In a strange way, that ambivalence is an important part of who I am.” – Peter talking to Kate in the first chapter of Girl, Boy, Whatever!

Girl, Boy, Whatever! is a Boy & Girl novel.

The novel is currently being written. For more see: Girl, Boy, Whatever!

2. The Storyteller’s Quest

Book 1: The Reaches

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. When he wasn’t exploring his dreams, he spent hours wandering the streets and lanes in and around 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 discover gifts and to develop abilities that went way beyond what would seem possible. Their’s would be 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 by Alan McCluskey. The second book, The Keeper’s Daughter, and the third book, The Starless Square, are also available. Book four, The World o’Tales, has been drafted and the draft of Book Five, Forget Me Not, is almost complete.

For more details and to buy a copy, click here.

Book 2: The Keeper’s Daughter

It wasn’t Brent’s fault if he was stuck in the form of Jake the Owl, at least he didn’t think it was as he sat on a branch preening despondently. The threads of all his stories had become inextricably muddled in his owlish head. To think that he’d once prided himself on being a storyteller. His stories had become adventures and some of those adventures had become nightmares, and now he was stuck with them. He’d flown in search of his friend and lover, Mia. She’d been dragged off by a band of thugs just when it was time for them all to return to their world. Only Sally, their mutual friend and lover, had made it back from the world of the Reaches to their hometown of Avan. Hearing her story, despite the dangers she’d had to face, her friends suggested Sally teach them to travel to the Dream Realm and beyond to the Reaches. The idea appealed to everybody. Not that Sally knew how to get back to the Reaches, but the idea of a ‘dream class’ as they called it pleased her and, above all, she wanted to return to the world where her newly-found half-sister lived and where her two friends had so abruptly disappeared.

The Keeper’s Daughter is the second book of The Storyteller’s Quest by Alan McCluskey.

For more details and to buy a copy, click here.

Book 3: The Starless Square

A weekend of joyous festivities! Such was the Theosophy department’s response to a group of fanatics bent on destroying their reputation and having them shut down. Theosophy? Professor Rafter, head of the department, calls it “the study of our direct relationship with that which is beyond and above the normal range of human experience”. He could just as well have been describing the adventures of a group of young friends who have been called back from their travels in another world to defend their department with their new-found abilities. But how could entrancing singing or breath-taking storytelling or exquisite cooking possibly stand a chance when pitted against the evil black cloud that threatens to obscure the Starless Square?

The Starless Square is the third book of The Storyteller’s Quest by Alan McCluskey.

For more details and to buy a copy, click here.

Book 4: World o’Tales

World o'Tales front cover72x196x300

World o’Tales is the fourth book of The Storyteller’s Quest by Alan McCluskey. The first draft is now complete.

For more details, click here.

Book 5: Forget Me Not

Kidnapped and transported to the secret refuge of the outlawed Immortals, several of the members of the Dream Class struggle to survive and escape from what turns out to be a frighteningly hostile world… while back in Avan …

Forget Me Not, follows on from World o’Tales as the 5th book of The Storyteller’s Quest. It is currently being drafted.

For more details, click here.

3. Other Novels

People of the Forest

Isla, a  fifteen-year-old computer wizkid, has escaped from a prison for young offenders in a world where everyone is electronically tabbed by the ever-present Trackers. She crosses paths with Jake, a boy of her age from another world, who is on the run from the Baron’s henchmen. She is flung into his feudal world, getting involved in the intrigues of the Baron’s castle, while Jake tries to survive in her world in the company of a group of dissidents living in the wild.

People of the Forest is a new novel by Alan McCluskey, the draft of which is currently being written.

For more details and extracts, click here.

Twisted Paths

Twisted Paths

“The face of the world is more malleable and permeable than it would seem. With the right touch, ways open onto endless worlds. With the right intentions, doors lead to whatever you might want.”

Twisted Paths is the first book of Beyond the Face of the World by Alan McCluskey.

For more details, click here.


StoryFolk front cover

“What mad folly made some humans cease to be human and believe they could abuse and then kill these creatures that they thought less than human because they were man-made?”

StoryFolk is a science fantasy novel by Alan McCluskey about clones, cloning and the right to be different.

For more details, click here.















2 Replies to “Alan McCluskey’s books”

  1. Hi Alan,

    I hope you are well and have had a good Sunday.

    I recall from yesterday that you wanted some feedback to the blurb on the back of “Boy & Girl”.

    Based solely on a reading of the back cover, I think this book is about a young pre-pubescent boy coming to terms with what gender means to him. Combining the blurb and the quote at the top of the book, I’m given the sense that there may be a homosexual theme. Peter’s sister has a girlfriend and Peter is behaving in a punishable “gay” manner. The suggestion is homosexuality, but it isn’t explicit. What is explicit for me is that this book is about gender ambiguity.

    Best and thanks again for your feedback yesterday,

    1. Thanks Ben. Your comments are useful.
      The message I was seeking to give was about gender ambiguity. I mentioned male homosexuality in the short text as a way of pointing to the climate at the time (1960). While there were male comedians that dressed up as women, like Benny Hill, a boy dressing as a girl in daily life was probably as taboo if not more so than homosexuality at the time.
      I could well have chosen other themes to highlight, there are several of them: finding a place where people accept you as you are; exploring a completely different approach to healing; learning by exploring without school; becoming a leader but in an unconventional way;… But I thought the question of gender ambiguity would touch a wider audience even if it might leave some younger readers feeling uncomfortable.

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