When I was writing my novel The Birdcatcher, a book that is, to some extent, an exposé of much that goes on in the North American world of personal injury claims, I began searching for a pen name that would allow me to keep a low profile and remain employed in that business.
I tried different names, but nothing worked until I came to Conrad.
During my last year of high school, 1965, I read Joseph Conrad’s short novel Youth. That’s when I realized that I wanted to write fiction. Over the years I read all of Conrad’s books, including the famous Heart of Darkness, inspiration for the film Apocalypse Now, and every biography I could get my hands on. For I’d come to think of Conrad as my literary father. Maybe because I lost my own father when I was only 5 years old, I was looking for another one.
When the thought came that my books might one day sit next to those of Joseph Conrad on the shelves of libraries, that clinched it. That’s when I became Alan Conrad.