1934 – 2013
Who was Alan Sharp?
Sharp was raised in Greenock, Scotland, the son of a single mother, and he was adopted at the age of six weeks by Margaret and Joseph Sharp, a shipyard worker. His adoptive parents belonged to a Salvation Army church. Alan left school at 14 to apprentice in the yards, the first of a long series of odd jobs he held prior to his national military service and marriage. Eventually he married four times. He ultimately relocated to London with the intention of becoming a writer. One of his screenplays was broadcast on British television in 1963, and his play A Knight in Tarnished Armour was broadcast in 1965. His first novel, A Green Tree in Gedde, was published in 1965 to acclaim and won the 1967 Scottish Arts Council Award. It was the first part of a proposed trilogy, and Sharp published the second novel, The Wind Shifts, in 1967. The third novel, which had the working title The Apple Pickers, was left incomplete when Sharp emigrated to Hollywood and focused on screenwriting.