Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the two hundred and ninety-fifth, is of post-apocalyptic novelist and children’s author Brian Parker. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Born and raised as an Army brat, Brian Parker moved all over the country as a child before his father retired from the service and they settled in a small Missouri town. After retirement, his family purchased a farm where he learned the rewards of a hard day’s work and enjoyed the escapism that books provided someone with bigger dreams.
Brian is currently an Active Duty Army soldier who enjoys spending time with his family in Texas, hiking, CrossFit, writing and Texas Longhorns football. His wife is also an Active Duty soldier and the pairing brings its own unique set of circumstances that keep both of them on their toes. He’s an unashamed Star Wars fan, but prefers to disregard the entire Episode I and II debacle.
Brian is currently working on two projects, the first is a post-apocalyptic fiction novel set in the United States and the second is a children’s book that blends education opportunities with mild horror themes.
And now from the author himself:
I wrote my novel GNASH over the course of two and a half years. While this seems a bit long, when I look back at it, I’m actually impressed that I was able to find any time to write at all. I started the project while I worked at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Less than twenty pages into the book, I got orders to deploy to Iraq, so the project naturally took a back seat for a while as I prepared myself and my family for the deployment.
After I arrived in Iraq I began to write again, although the process was always a high adventure. I never took my laptop with me on missions or when I moved between Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), so I was limited to writing less than four days a week. We worked 12-14 hour days, so after doing the mandatory physical training AFTER work, that only left about two hours a day for showering, relaxing and writing if I wanted to get a decent night’s sleep. I lived in Baghdad where the power system was intermittent at best, although it was better than the rest of the country, so if the battery wasn’t completely charged on the laptop, it could quickly discharge before I was done writing for the evening and if I hadn’t saved often I would lose the hard work I’d put in that evening. Finally, there was the enemy – they always get a vote. More times than I can remember, I’d be sitting on my little bed writing when mortars or rockets would come into the FOB and everyone would go diving for cover. As you can imagine, my laptop took quite a few bumps and often I lost what I’d been writing due to the enemy’s actions.
After a year in that lush and vibrant Middle Eastern vacation spot, I returned to the United States. I went back to work in the Pentagon and once again began working 12 hour days. Somehow, I found the time to write in the evenings after the kids went to bed or on weekend mornings before they woke up. I was committed to completing the book, regardless of the obstacles and how long it took.
I would have been a horrible writer before the internet. I don’t like to pretend I know what something is if I don’t, so if I reference it in my book, you can believe that it’s real. I used my own military knowledge about most of the gear mentioned, but sometimes I had to refer to the internet for exact details. The same thing goes for locations. I’ve driven through Indianapolis, but I’ve never been downtown, so the internet was a huge help to me. The grid coordinates for the corner of Kentucky Avenue and Mann Road in chapter 14? Those are the actual grid latitude / longitude coordinates for that location, thank you internet.
Also, in GNASH I tended to write a lot of technical information and I didn’t want to distract the reader, so I used footnotes. Stylistically, I liked that better than interrupting the sentence with definitions of what an acronym was or what a certain piece of gear did. Some people have mentioned to me that they prefer the other way, but that’s not how I chose to do it.
Finally, I’m often asked if I want to change the book in any way. I always answer “No” but when I think about it, I wish that I would have added two simple sentences during the Second Interlude that explained why the CIA Special Operations Group (SOG) was ordered to kill everyone in the Brotherhood’s basecamp. In my mind, it was a natural reaction by the President to order the elimination of everyone associated with the Brotherhood in order to wipe out the group’s existence after they orchestrated the release of a virus that ultimately ended up killing 20 million-plus U.S. citizens. Oh well, readers should be able to understand the emotion that would be involved in that kind of a decision.
You can find more about Brian and his writing via…
- Blog: www.BrianParker.blog.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrianParkerAuthor
- Book: http://www.amazon.com/GNASH-ebook/dp/B00CS7O54U
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Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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