Presumably, defined by the story; Clay Steward had in fact had been having strange dreams/nightmares that involved Alan Wake in them. He soon proceeded to contact Alan Wake and told him about it. After this, Clay Steward had immediately proceeded to write an autobiographical-type book specifically about his strange dreams and had included parts related to it and parts that happened in the dream/nightmare. He also wrote some parts in the book about Alan Wake himself, the main man behind his weird, crazy, fantastical dream.
Despite it being a real world product, in the context of the universe shared between Alan Wake, Control and Quantum Break, the contents are considered canon. The book itself is also referenced in-universe.
The preface is a short autobiographical written piece by Clay Steward, talking about the dreams he had and what inspired him to write the book. In it, he talks about a dream he had about being alone in a cabin at night, and somebody knocks on the door but nobody is there. He then talks about how in the dreams, he is also chased by dark shadowy figures.
In these dreams he meets a man who shares a striking resemblance to Wake and the two try to help each other during the nightmares. Steward states that these attempts are futile, as both end up dead by the end of the dream. If one looks closely at the image of Clay on the book's inside back cover it can be seen that he is the same man who appears in the nightmare in Episode 1. These reports by Clay prove true, as the man Alan meets in the nightmare at one point says "Mr Wake, it's me, Clay Steward, remember?" This indicates that Clay also appears in Alan's dreams and that the two share some kind of mental connection with each other.
He also talks about Alan Wake himself, about how he barely even knew who he was until he came to Bright Falls where there were tonnes of information about him there. There is also more about Clay Steward himself.
Nightingale's Field Notes
During FBI Agent Nightingale's stay in Bright Falls, he hand wrote notes about his internal struggle as he tried to pursue Alan Wake. According to Steward, Nightingale was at the verge of breaking point, both physically and mentally.
There are ten sets of notes, taken throughout the course of four days. If calculations are correct, Nightingale arrived in Bright Falls on 9 September and five days later (the fifth day being when he finds Alan and Barry at the farm), would eventually be snatched by the Taken, which is why the notes stopped.
The last note Nightingale wrote was about the Anderson Farm and how he seems to be hearing some weird noises from a farm, which in the game, eventually led Nightingale to check it out, only to find Alan and Barry there. About 16 hours after that, he was soon taken.
In the five days Nightingale stayed at Bright Falls, he interviewed a number of people. Many of those took an instant dislike to him. The interviews began as soon as Rose Marigold was found in her trailer in a terrible state and Barry Wheeler knocked out on the table. There are six interviews in total, with Nightingale interviewing:
- Ben Mott (although he is known as Unknown Subject) - His interview is very brief, and Nightingale doesn't get much out of him. Mott takes a dislike to Nightingale and does not wish to talk about Alan, hence working for Emil Hartman.
- Paul Randolph - The interview is recorded after the events at the trailer park. Paul also takes a dislike to Nightingale after he nearly shot Paul whilst shooting at Alan. They talked about the events at the trailer park, and it shows that Paul really cares for Rose, and was very concerned for her when Alan and Barry walked in. Despite that, Paul didn't hear anything from the trailer park, which also got him more worried.
- Rose Marigold - Rose is also interviewed by Nightingale. Rose seems to be dazing a lot in the interview, which could indicate she is still traumatized from the events at the trailer park. She talks about Rusty and how she gives him free coffee and how she is a big fan of Alan Wake. Midway through the interview, she seems to snap out of the traumatized state and starts to talk about "the lady" (Barbara Jagger) and soon ends up crying her eyes out due to being scared. She talks about how the light hurts her eyes which could indicate she may have been at the early stage of being a Taken, much like Jake Fischer was in Off the Record, or if being touched by the dark presence did something to her permanently.
- Barry Wheeler - Since Barry was left at the trailer park by Alan, he was taken to the police station, but not under arrest and interviewed by Nightingale. In the interview, he seems to protect Alan, even though he doesn't know where he is. He also seems to think that Rose is evil when she drugged him, despite not being. He also goes into detail about Alice and talks about that she is missing and that he and Alice don't really see eye-to-eye. Near the end of the interview, Nightingale doesn't seem to care about any of that, which gets Barry really mad, eventually walking out despite not even being under arrest.
- Pat Maine – The interview takes place a couple of days after the events at the radio station, where Nightingale nearly shot Pat Maine whilst shooting at Alan. He also takes a disliking for Nightingale for that. In the interview, Pat seems to protect Alan despite barely knowing him, and believes he has not done anything wrong. In the end, he asks Nightingale to leave as he does not wish to talk about Alan any longer, believing that Alan is the good guy in all this.
- Emil Hartman - This isn't exactly an interview this time. This is when Nightingale tries to enter the Cauldron Lake Lodge and talks to Emil through the intercom. Nightingale believes that Emil has a fugitive in the lodge, which Emil finds ridiculous. They get into a huge argument, with Nightingale being more forceful than Emil. Nightingale gets annoyed that he wont let him in, and in the end, gets in his car and drives off.
NOTE: In Episode 4: The Truth, in the room opposite to Hartman's office, the exact same voice recording can be heard on the fourth recording.
During his stay in Bright Falls, Clay Steward also found some pages during his investigation, and mentioned that he hit a dead end when he came across these pages. He can tell that they are definitely Alan's pages, by their style. Clay is confused by the pages, as Alan only arrived two weeks before the Deerfest, and wonders how it is possible he could write depicting events about residents in Bright Falls accurately.
Six pages were found, each with their own mini story. All of the pages seem to be found in the exact place where the events in the page happened.
Page 1 - This page talks about a woman named Maggie, and how she ended her life by climbing to the top of Lover's Peak and jumping off the cliff. It talks about what she saw in her last moments, in which she saw a great cloud of ink which seemed to hold her like her lover once did, who was named Samuel.
- This page was found near Lover's Peak.
Page 2 - This page talks about a 7th grader named Ellen conducting a science experiment (It is unclear whether this is Ellen Adams as a teenager or not). She was to try and find the results of the experiment of "If a tree falls in the middle of the forest and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?" by using a tape recorder to record the sound of a tree falling. She did this at night, which made her quite scared.
- This page was found half-buried in the forest, supposedly the same forest Ellen was in.
Page 3 - It is unclear who is in the page, but it talks about a woman who seems to become embraced by the dark presence, and talks about being cold while she is being embraced, whilst her husband believes she is just cold. He puts his jacket around her to try and warm her up. It is unclear on who the couple is, but it might be possible the couple is Barbara Jagger and Thomas Zane, but it is unclear.
- This page was found in Elderwood National Park, near a tree named "The Great Old One".
Page 4 - This page talks about a man named Blaine who is on vacation in Bright Falls in a RV with his wife and in-laws. It talks about how he finds Bright Falls a very boring place, and calling his vacation the "Worst Vacation Ever".
- This page was found beside an abandoned RV.
Page 5 - The page talks about Bill who lives in a cabin near Cauldron Lake. The page explains how twenty-six years ago, his brother, Timmy, went missing. He barely even cared for his brother, and the page goes on to explain that Bill believes he fell down a well or gotten lost. In the present day, an hour ago, his wife, Clara, also went missing. The page indicates that Bill didn't miss Timmy, and doesn't seem to be missing Clara either.
- This page was found near an abandoned cabin north of Cauldron Lake.
Page 6 - The page talks about a couple named Donny Ray and Darlene who seem to have had an argument. Darlene ran from the 4x4 and Donny Ray tried to chase after her. She hides in the weeds, and at the same time, Donny Ray tries to find her whilst angry. The crickets in the weeds and grass around her got quiet. She noticed that the dark seemed to be acting strangely around her and tried to make her way on foot back into town. The rest of the page is smudged out by water.
- This page was found in a ditch alongside Route 21B.
Alan Wake's Fiction
Return To Sender: Chapter 1 Or I
The first short story is entitled "Errand Boy", which was written when Alan was just 18 years old. It was released in a magazine named "Dark Visions" and was published in Volume 4, Issue 23 released November 1995.
The second story found in the Alan Wake Files was the first chapter in the third Alex Casey book, known as "Return to Sender". According to Clay's summary, the chapter states that Casey is in danger when his survival is in question and Casey must challenge the evil that threatens him.
The Creater's Dilemma: The Preface
Bright Falls: A History
In this section, Clay reveals that the Bright Falls Library helped in creating The Alan Wake Files. During his visit, he stumbled upon a few books which gave out useful information.
The first set of pieces was from Emil Hartman's book The Creator's Dilemma. Clay Steward described the book as an unusual publication in that while it targeted a mass-audience with its promises of creative growth and renewal, it was underpinned by vaguely cosmic theories relating to the powers of artists. This could be the real reason why Emil runs a lodge for such things, because he wishes to find out things based on what Alan experienced.
The second set of non-fiction pieces is from a book known as "Bright Falls: A History". It, of course, talks about the history and flaws of Bright Falls and the traumatic events it has been through. The book talks about the aeroplane crash that had happened many years ago, and strangely, goes on to talk about the Taken, and the shadowy birds that would attack at night. It also talks about Bigfoot, and the symbols of the torch which can be seen at night, which were left by Cynthia Weaver, although the book does not indicate that.
Clay Steward found some articles and places relating to Alan Wake. Such things would be the famous "Buck-Tooth Charlie", who can be found at Elderwood Visitor Center. In the fine print, it was believed that the mammoth had actually rampaged through the center on the night of the destruction, but that wasn't the truth (the truth being the Taken destroyed it).
The next thing is the article made by Cynthia Weaver about the destruction of Diver's Isle, which explains that it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption. The article also goes on to say that the eruption damaged the power plant, which is a place Cynthia would go to hide from the Darkness.
Next is a short newspaper clipping of Barbara Jagger, who was born in 1945 and died in 1970. The article explains when and how she died. The writer of the article spoke to a few people and one person said "She was such a pretty girl, but she never used it to her advantage. She was humble and kind to everyone".
The next newspaper article is a clipping from the New York Tattler and it is an article on Alan Wake. The article talks about Alan Wake's assault on a photographer that happened a few days after the article was written. If the calculations are correct, according to the article, Alan assaulted the photographer Friday, January 6 2006.
Next is a Deputy's report, which was a report written out by Deputy Mulligan. It was of a distress call received via 9-1-1 at 1:33 a.m. where a woman named Janet Schoor could hear shouting and smashing sounds from her neighbor. When Mulligan investigated, the house was unoccupied, but there was serious damage done to the home. It was also the only home in the area with a power outage.
Clay Steward sent a letter to the [[Wikipedia:United States Department of Justice Department of Justice|U.S. Department of Justice]] requesting information on Agent Nightingale. They declined to give him any information, but did state that he wasn't on official business, meaning Nightingale was investigating on his own terms.
The final two pieces are photos and descriptions of Diver's Isle. The first is taken from a distance, taken from the back side of the island. In the top-left corner, there is a dark image. It is believed it is a flock of birds, but it is too big to be a flock of birds. It seems to streak off in many directions, just like the dark presence did at Cauldron Lake Lodge. The second photo is taken a little earlier than the first photo. The bridge was a lot more neater then and more stylish, rather than just a planked rope bridge.
This is a book summary and it is Clay Steward telling people how much of his life it cost to make the book. He said that he had left his wife Anna and his newborn son Milo just so he could find the man that has been haunting his dreams.
The book seems to have received positive reviews by reviewers who have supposedly read the book. The known short reviews can be found at the back of the book and also below.
- While containing no direct accounts for alien abduction, The Alan Wake Files presents a chilling study that experienced ufologists will recognize from the case literature as a pre-Close Encounter. Can the Mother Ship be far off? One can only anticipate with awe and trembling the next news we hear from Bright Falls.
- ― Close Encounters Quarterly
- Barry Wheeler took the photo you see on the front cover of the book.
- There is also a softcover edition found in The PC collectors edition and a PDF version found in the steam collectors edition.
- Under the dust cover for the hardcover edition the book has the torch symbol embossed in silver on the front cover and otherwise is completely black.