Brock Deskins was born in a small town located in rural Oregon. At age twenty he joined the army and served as an M1A1 tank crewman, dental specialist, and computer analyst. While in the military he became an accomplished traveler, husband, and father of three wonderful children. Now out of the military he attends college to brush up on his skills as a computer analyst and gain new skills as a writer.
Update 2012: Received his degree in computer networking and is devoting his full time and limited attention span to writing. Thanks to everyone who is making this dream a reality.
What inspires you to write?
Aside from being able to pay bills and not be homeless, I truly enjoy providing a medium for entertainment. There are few things more satisfying than knowing you created something that brings some entertainment and joy to complete strangers. There is probably a root in my need to please everyone around me stemming from some unpleasant experiences in my life, but I’ll leave all that to my therapist to unravel. I will take it at face value.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process is probably terrible and completely amateurish in the eyes of any professional writer, particularly those properly educated and practiced in the art. Until I began writing this next installment of my fantasy series, The Sorcerer’s Path, I simply started at page one and kept typing as words and ideas entered my head. Imagine a huge dot to dot, but there are at most five or six dots actually plotted on the page. I know where I am going to start and I have an idea of where I am going to finish as well as a vague conception of two or three point sin between, but all the detail and the things that make it a true image someone else can see is a big a mystery to me as to someone reading my book for the first time. I barely know what is going to happen more than a page or two ahead of what I am writing. It may be a horrible method, but it is darn sure a lot of fun.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Once I separate them from the other voices in my head (who should never be listened to) I listen mostly. Sometimes I need to encourage them to follow a certain path, but I have to listen to how they want to follow it. Is that character going to take the trail or are they cutting through the woods? Will the go around the mountain, over it, or just blow it up? A totally dictated character is going to lack depth and personality and creating that, creating a real, three dimensional character on a two dimensional piece of paper creates the biggest challenge with the greatest reward. A good character can create a lot of redemption in a lackluster chapter or even book.
What advice would you give other writers?
There is so much to learn. I am almost entirely self taught in everything. I had to look up so much stuff online when dealing with syntax and the rules regarding dialog, punctuation, capitalization. Learn the rules and, more importantly, learn how to break them. It is okay to make a few mistakes. My readers did not hesitate to point out mine, but make sure you learn from them and do not keep making the same ones over and over. Readers will forgive us indies a few technical flaws, but only if you reward them with a good story.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I knew I was not going to go anywhere with a proper publisher. I was a rank amateur with a community college degree in health and another one in computer networking and it showed in anything I submitted to an agent or publishing house. As I was hogging the left lane of our information highway, kids behind me honking, shouting for me to move over, and flipping me the bird as they zoomed past, I spied a road sign called Smashwords.com. They told me about self publishing. From there, I spotted Amazon’s KDP program and I said, “Sure, why not.” I had four books done in my Sorcerer’s Path series already so I cleaned up the first one (poorly) and stuck it out there. While it puttered along i started cleaning up the next one. In a month or two I had the four books in, then pulled to correct horrible typos, back in, pulled out, back in, it was almost a sexual experience. I got tired and said, “That’s the best I can do. Hope it was good for you.” Then I rolled over and fell asleep. There I got a wild idea for a snarky vampire and began writing Shrouds of Darkness. It was easily the most fun I have ever had and look forward to writing the sequel. It really is the sleeping beauty of my books. It’s just fun and I giggled and cheered the entire time I was writing it, which got me my own seat on the bus.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think publishers are going to have to start rewarding their writers better. The system they have now is just terrible. Hundreds, thousands of manuscripts dropped onto a desk and a few interns have to pick winners and losers after reading two or three pages. I think what they are going to have to do is start farming the indies like me. I could never get the attention of a publisher by sending in an excerpt. Brock who? But if they go to Amazon and find out I have sold thirty thousand plus books in one year with NO advertisement, marketing, or even a slightly professional editing system, I think I make them give me a look. Let readers vet the books, then the publishers can take a closer look at what they have and offer a respectable contract.
What genres do you write?
Fantasy, Urban fantasy (vampire/werewolf)
What formats are your books in?