Back in the distant mists of time, Alex spent three years at art college in Maidstone; a college that David Hockney once taught at, and later described in a piece for The Sunday Times as the 'most miserable' episode of his life. Here, Alex was responsible for producing - among other things - the college's first theatrical production in which the lead character accidentally caught fire. Following college, he found employment in the advertising industry as a copywriter. He has turned to writing fiction in the twilight years of his writing career.
His novella, 'Sleeping with the Blackbirds' - a black, comic urban fantasy, was initially written for his children in 2011 and published by PenPress. It has since become a Kindle bestseller in the US.
In 2014 his short story, 'Scared to Death' - the fictionalised account of the first British serviceman to be executed for cowardice during the First World War, was published in an anthology ('The Clock Struck War') by Mardibooks along with 22 other short stories to mark the centenary of the Great War.
Alex's psychological thriller, 'The Chair Man' set in London following the terrorist attack in 2005 was published as an e-book by Fizgig Press in 2019 and as a paperback in 2020. It is his first full-length novel.
Alex's claim to fame is that he is quite possibly the only person on this planet to have been inadvertently locked in a record shop on Christmas Eve.
The Chair Man
Michael Hollinghurst is a successful corporate lawyer living a comfortable, suburban life in leafy North West London. But on 7 July 2005, his life is transformed when he steps on a London underground train targeted by Islamist suicide bombers. While most passengers in his carriage are killed, Michael survives the explosion but is confined to a wheelchair as a result.
Coming to terms with his predicament and controlling his own feelings of guilt as a survivor conspire to push him in a direction that is out of character and a tad reckless. In a quest to seek retribution, he resorts to embracing the internet and posing as a radical Islamist in order to snare potential perpetrators.
Much to his surprise, his shambolic scheme yields results and is brought to the attention of both GCHQ and a terrorist cell. But before long, dark forces begin to gather and close in on him. There is seemingly no way out for Michael Hollinghurst. He has become, quite literally, a sitting target.
Sleeping with the Blackbirds
Children's Urban Fantasy
Eleven-year-old schoolboy, Roy Nuttersley has been dealt a pretty raw deal. While hideous parents show him little in the way of love and affection, school bullies make his life a misery. So Roy takes comfort in looking after the birds in his suburban garden, and in return the birds hatch a series of ambitious schemes to protect their new friend.
As with the best-laid plans, however, these get blown completely off course - and as a result the lives of both Roy and his arch tormentor, Harry Hodges are turned upside down. While Harry has a close encounter with God, Roy embarks on a voyage of discovery that draws in and impacts on everyone around him, including the local police, his headmaster and the national media. Where will it all end, and will life ever be quite the same for Roy Nuttersley?
Random Ramblings of a Short-sighted Blogger
This eclectic selection of blog posts from Alex Pearl's popular blog (rhubarbrabbit.blogspot.co.uk) won't fail to move and amuse. Whether conveying the eccentricities of village cricket, the quirkiness of British advertising, or the surprising hospitality of hotels in North Korea, Pearl's prose will draw you in and leave you wanting to come back for more.
The Clock Struck War
Short Story Anthology
A collection of winning entries to a national short story competition to mark the Centenary of World War I. The contest was organised and judged by Mardibooks and IdeasTap.
"The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time," was a remark attributed to British statesman Sir Edward Grey on the eve of the First World War. It is not certain whether Grey, who was the Foreign Secretary, in fact made such a statement. Nevertheless it has earned considerably historical and popular attention as an expression of popular perception of the war.
This was the opening gambit for the recent writing competition run by mardibooks and IdeasTap as a memorial to all those who served in the First World War and gave their lives in this and other conflicts. Emanating from this brief, there were many fine short stories, fictional and non-fictional which addressed in a creative and interesting manner, the notion of war and peace, personal and private, from many perspectives, locations and periods, real and imagined.
In selecting the final compilation, the judges were seeking original stories, well plotted which were engaging and enigmatic and presented by new voices with captivating narratives. Our panel of judges highly commended a further 23 runners up and we hope you enjoy the collection presented here as much as we all did.
Light Verse and Humour
“Lockdown Scribblings” is a collection of light verses (together with a few prose parodies) composed during lockdown periods in the UK on various topical events and news items, designed to lighten the reader’s spirits without making light of the pandemic. There are copious original illustrations. Blank pages are added to encourage readers to make their own contributions so that “Lockdown Scribblings” may become a personal/family memento of a major historical event.