John McAllister is married with two grownup children. John comes from a long line of shanachees (traditional Irish storytellers). However, he is the first of them to put words on the page.
For forty-five years, John was an accountant specialising in small to medium-sized businesses. He spent two of those years negotiating bomb damage compensation on behalf of clients. John has lost count of the number of times his own business premises was bombed.
In 1998/99 he continued to run his business while reading for an M.Phil. in Creative Writing from the Oscar Wilde Centre, Trinity College, Dublin. He has given talks on creative writing and read from his books in places as far apart as Florence, Italy and Boston, Mass.
Hedge School Presentation: Contemporary Irish Mystery: Barlow Took Another Road
The real John Barlow of the Royal Ulster Constabulary strode author John McAllister’s hometown of Ballymena, Co Antrim, like a colossus for almost fifty years. Barlow was smart, he was stupid, he was callous. He was kindness itself.
Just the ideal character for McAllister’s fictional Station Sergeant Trilogy. A man who conceals a kind heart behind an uncaring façade. McAllister relates some of the, not necessarily legal, things that the real Barlow got up to and demonstrates how he spun these often told stories into fiction for his Station Sergeant tales. The talk is accompanied by PowerPoint images of places in old Ballymena which are featured in the stories.