Laura: I would like to welcome and thank you for joining me on trips down imagination road! Please, tell us a little about yourself.
Brandt: I’m the author of the Inner Movement trilogy. Outview and Outin, books one and two came out earlier this year. Outmove, book three, will be released on 11.12.13.
Before writing fantasy thrillers, I was a photographer, newspaper columnist, magazine publisher, FM radio deejay, and teenage millionaire (that one didn’t end so well). I made mistakes and spent a year in federal prison for financial improprieties. As you might imagine, that changed my life. It’s been twenty years since my release, but the harsh memories of that year remain strong and continue to shape my writing.
L: What inspired you to write the Inner Movement Trilogy?
B: I’ve always believed there was more to the world than just what we see. While in the middle of writing another novel, Nathan Ryder and several mystics presented themselves and their story began to spin into what became Outview. Now that the Inner Movement trilogy is complete, I’m hoping Nate will let me complete that other novel.
L: Which was your favourite character to write? And why?
B: That’s kind of like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. But if you held a gun to my head, I’d say the Dark Mystic. However, that changes from book-to-book and even day-to-day. He’s a character that lingered in the background for most of two books. He is very challenging to write because he is much, much wiser than I am.
L: Do you have any writing rituals?
B: Music and word counts. If I don’t get in at least a thousand words a day, something is wrong. For me, if I don’t have a goal, it won’t get done, and word counts are perfect goals, especially when getting three books out in a year. Music is the other part of the equation. It sets my mood, it tunes out everything but the world in which I’m writing and it inspires me.
L: Have you got a reading guilty pleasure? (Whether that is something sweet you eat whilst reading or what you are actually reading!)
B: This is an answer to a different but related question. I much prefer to read a paperback book, but the kindle has some amazing advantages. Carrying a thousand books in my pocket, adjusting font sizes, that non-backlit screen and wonderful light, which allows me to read anywhere anytime without bothering anyone else. I’m glad we have physical books and just as glad we have kindles.
L: What is the most memorable book from your childhood or school years?
B: The Hobbit, which was lovingly read to my second grade class by one of my favorite all time teachers, Mrs. Anderson. I was captivated by Tolkien’s world and amazed that Mrs. Anderson could so easily take us to Middle Earth from a chair in a small classroom in Oakton Elementary School. Later, a fifth grade teacher read our class Time of the Great Freeze, an early dystopian novel, solidified my love of thrillers, fantasy and science fiction.
B: I think the most important thing is that the pages have to keep turning. As a reader I like to be sweptthrough a book. So as a writer, I try to skip anything that will slow the story down. I like to give readers room to use their imagination and let them fill in the minor details. What that means is I concentrate on the story and dialogue. The readers learn about the characters the same way we do in real life – through conversations. Most readers want to hear a good story, that’s what I try to write.
L: What fictional character(s) would you invite to a dinner party and why?
B: I guess this is going to reveal my true nerd identity but I would have to say Gandalf, Yoda and the Dark Mystic (from my novel Outmove). With that guest list there would be so much to discuss, and learn, there would be no time to eat, but fortunately, with their talents, it would be possible to make the dinner last for years . . . time’s a funny thing.
Book 1 of the Inner Movement trilogy, Outview is in my to read list, and I am excited to start reading it!