Kelly Moran: A Hell of a Life is Brian’s eighth book. A friend of Kelly’s, he says that it’s taken four years to complete. With the help of people like Shawn Moran, Kelly’s ex-wife Lorna Brindley-Moran, Pete Rovazzini and Ron Preston, he describes this book as his biggest and most ambitious yet. The sub-title, A Hell of a Life was one of the last things Kelly said to the author before he died, “I’ve had a hell of a life.”
Brian has been a speedway fan since the late 70s when he was taken to Swindon’s Abbey Stadium by his father and was hooked. Kelly Moran was his favourite rider and he still counts him as his top rider, “I went everywhere I could to watch him,” he says. Along with double 500cc World Champion, Barry Sheene – who he describes as a “great character,” those are his two sporting heroes.
He began writing seriously in the early ‘90s and has contributed to many periodicals in the UK, USA and Australia covering subjects from speedway to history and movies to music. He began working for Speedway Star in 2004 in which he writes a winter series, which he calls “Wintercount.” Of all the articles he’s written he says that one about what was and wasn’t fair on a race track courted most debate and publicity. Brian also counts Scott Autrey and Rune Holta as two of his most enjoyable interviews he’s carried out. He’s also ghosted columns for Sam Ermolenko, Billy Hamill, Chris Harris, Antonio Lindback and most recently, Ashley Birks.
In 1999 he wrote his first book, The Pinewood Story about Britain’s premier film studio with his good friend, Gareth Owen. He followed that with The Moran Brothers in 2002 and then in 2003 he collaborated with Sam Ermolenko on his biography – a rider he had long admired. The book was a big a success and was also entered into the William Hill Sports Book of the Year competition.
However, he says that it was Billy Hamill’s book, No Bull, in which he had the most enjoyable time, describing Hamill as “great fun and a genuine guy. What you see is what you get. A great racer and a much better rider than some give him credit for. At his best Billy was an out and out racer.” No Bull will be available for download for the first time this autumn.
In between, with the support of the Craven family he penned, Peter Craven: The Wizard of Balance and further tomes followed with Chris Morton and Leigh Adams. However, as well being his biggest book yet, Kelly Moran: A Hell of a Life is also his most personal project to date.
“It was a big challenge in more ways than one. I am happy with it though,” he says. “Writing is like any other craft, you never stop learning and improving – or trying to improve. I’ve brought 20-years of experience and a lifetime’s influences to this.”
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