About Jay Brenham:
I have lived up and down both coasts of the United States and some places in between. I spent half a year living in a former Soviet satellite and I’ve traveled to more countries than I can count on two hands. Some of those travels were for work and others were for pleasure, but I enjoyed them all. I now reside in an undisclosed location in the Pacific Northwest. I wasn’t born here but I got here as fast as I could!
When I’m not writing I like to forage for clams, mussels, oysters and all kinds of bivalves. When I can’t do that, I love crabbing, camping, hiking, and reading about building my own log cabin.
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by a lifelong love of action, adventure, and horror. I want to tell stories about ordinary people who become extraordinary when the need presents itself. I like to read about men like Henry Knox, a Boston bookstore owner who liked to read about military history. Once the American Revolution broke out and Boston was occupied by British forces, Knox went by horseback to retrieve 60 tons of cannons from New York, and hauled them over snowy mountains and ice-covered rivers so that George Washington would have firepower he needed to boot the British out of Boston. Because I like to read about men who step up, I like to write about them too.
Tell us about your writing process.
When I first started writing I flew by the seat of my pants. I had no outline and as a result Exodus from the Seven Cities (which I actually wrote first) took me a long time to write. I had a difficult time figuring out where I wanted to go and what I wanted the story to become. Once I knew where I wanted to go I had massive rewrites.
When I wrote Fall of the Seven Cities I outlined it first, so from the first sentence I had a much clearer idea of where I wanted the story to go. From now on I will be an author who develops an outline before I begin. This doesn’t mean the story can’t change but as I write, but it helps give me direction.
I also use a writing program called Scrivener which is enormously helpful in organizing my writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t listen to my characters or talk to them. I develop an outline of what they look like and their personality type. I do a series of questions and answers with my characters but it is not from their perspective. Their voices develop as I write.
What advice would you give other writers?
I am just starting out as an author so there are probably loads of interviews with other authors that would be more relevant but the one thing I would advise is this:
Everyone says that if you want to be an author you have to keep writing, but what they don’t tell you is that you have to be willing to edit too. I literally removed a 10,000 word segment out of Exodus from the Seven Cities and rewrote it. I probably rewrote every sentence at least one time. I read Exodus a dozen times (I’m not exaggerating), my wife read it around six, and I had a handful of other friends and family members read it as well. I wouldn’t say editing is Hell because, let’s face it, you’re sitting in a chair and not roasting in eternal fire, but it is extremely frustrating and time consuming. Be willing to edit for hour after monotonous hour.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I made the decision to self-publish for two reasons. The first is because of the genre I write in. As of right now, I write survival horror/zombie fiction and self-publishing seems like a great choice for that genre.
The second reason I chose self-publishing has to do with my motivation for writing. I have a day job that I like a lot. I look forward to going to work every day and, based on what I hear from my peers, I’m pretty lucky in that respect. I don’t write so that I can quit my day job. My goal was, and probably always will be, to write a good story at a reasonable price and deliver that to as many readers as possible. I want to provide entertainment and I hope that people are willing to give my work a try for 99 cents. I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think publishing will continue to be divided into two worlds for a long time. There will always be a profit to be had in books like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but I believe there is also room for indie writers like me. I provide content for a niche market that is not profitable for most major publishers. People complain that there are too many indie books flooding the market but I believe that for the most part the cream will rise to the top.
What genres do you write?: Horror, Thriller, Survival Horror, Post Apocalyptic
What formats are your books in?: eBook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.