Questions from readers

questions, answer, writing, authorI’m getting more and more questions from readers so I thought I would create a blog post that answered some of the most common. If you have a question, please feel free to contact me via my website or one of my social media sites. I may answer you personally, or make a blog post about it, or both.

You stated in an interview that some of the characters in The Value of Rain were based on real people, can you tell me which ones? 

Many of the characters were based on real people, the character Snow was one of them and the real person he was based on had a literal pelt of scars from his shoulders down to his wrist. Snow was a stark, beautiful young man whose voice haunted me until I gave him a voice in Rain.

When are you going to give us more about Manuel?

[Manuel is a character in Rain]  All my characters speak in their own time. I have a substantial amount of research to do before he’ll be ready for print. The tentative title is Manuel’s Diary and will explore some of his loves and much of his family life with Nana and Julia.

 

Your books are so emotional, how do you do that?

I’ve spent a very long time as a Zen practitioner studying how emotion influences my own life and whether that emotion is based on an instant reaction to some outside event, or some a deeper understanding that moves beyond the trigger. I would like to claim a deeper understanding, but I am an instant reaction kind of person (still). When I write I construct a psychological profile of my characters. This isn’t something that’s formalized or written down, I’m looking at events and gauging reactions with an element of truth in how people feel and react. One of the reasons I don’t often read HEA books is because they tend to overlook the elements of true human response and emotion to circumstances in order to fuse the story’s happy ending into something ‘believable’.  To me, that feels fraudulent.

On the flips side, give me space frontiers and ten foot aliens and I’m a pretty happy camper.  So, take that with a grain of salt because I like to escape reality just as much as the next person.

 

Both books seem to have an addled savant doling out wisdom, why is that?

That wasn’t something that was planned. However, in each of our lives there is always someone around us that is giving us the words we need to hear, whether we choose to listen or not is up to us. Both characters were simply a reflection of that fact.

 

I don’t know what to take from this, or how I feel. [A comment from a reader after reading Rain, and from another reader of Dust]

I can’t tell people what to take from any of my writing, people will insert their own perceptions into the spaces between the words; this is the specific reason why my writing is sparse. If anything, I would like to see people walk away with a new understanding, and compassion for themselves and for others. We often run our mouths and base our reactions on what we see and hear, but rarely do we forage deeper beyond a person’s facade for the root causes. In the writing of both of these books this has been, for me, an exercise in opening my heart, and that is never easy and never free of pain.

 

Your language is sometimes very harsh.

Life is harsh, welcome to reality. I won’t apologize for that. If your entire view of the world is created from some preconceived notion of how you think it should be, well, frankly, my writing is not for you.

 

What are you working on now? What’s coming up? Do you write in other genres? [combined questions]

I’ve been writing for about 15 years. I do it purely for pleasure (it’s not my profession). I have written in several genres including horror and sci-fi. I haven’t decided if I will make any of that available.

Currently I’m working on a story about a gay blind man, a segment of the LGBTQ rainbow that is almost wholly unrepresented in LGBTQ writing. This book will be more of a HEA type of novel, but let’s not pull out the party favors just yet. It is still in a very raw state and from my perspective, there is always a touch of tragedy inherent in every form of beauty. So we’ll have to see where that takes us.

Again, if you have questions, please feel free to contact me on my websites or any of my social media sites. And, I want to say thanks to all for the positive comments and feedback.

Brandon