Author Spotlight with Brandon Charles West – Real Life Hero and Author Extraordinaire

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Posted By: MandeMatthews Posted In: Author's Lounge Date Posted: March 26th, 2012 Comments: 2
Brandon Charles West

Brandon Charles West

I usually think of authors as bookish types (stereotyping, I know), but the kind of guys or gals who are quiet and reserved, lurking in libraries, rarely out and about as they are usually home, quietly reading or writing–a solitary exercise. Perhaps there are those Hollywood types such as HBO’s Hank Moody, though I have yet to meet one. Not once did it occur to me that an author of heroic fiction would actually be a real life hero.

Imagine my shock when I stumbled across Brandon Charles West–firefighter and author. After the initial confusion wore off, it made perfect sense. A firefighter is selfless, risking life and limb for the good of others. That type of sacrifice takes a sensitive heart and a thoughtful personality. Who better to write of heroic deeds than a man who performs them on a daily basis? Even his choices for writing answer to the call of hero (as you’ll see below), so help me in welcoming Mr. West to my blog.

 

Hi Brandon. Tell me, why did you choose to write this particular story?

Scarlet and the Keepers of the Light came about, primary, because of my daughters.  I had been writing adult fiction for a number of years, getting the typical form letters from agents and publishers, and generally feeling discouraged about publication in general.  My eldest daughter was six and I was reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and for a moment I found myself detached from the story and completely riveted by the expression on my daughter’s face.  After all this time trying to find a publisher so that ultimately I could get an audience for my books, I realized I already had the best audience any writer could hope for snuggled up beside me every night before bedtime.  The next day I set to writing a book for my children and before I knew what was happening, the Scarlet Hopewell series was born.  And no offense to those of you who have read my books, my daughters are still the best audience a writer could have.

 

Tell us a little about your process. Do you work with an outline, or just write?

For the most part I just write.  There is a certain excitement that comes from letting the story unfold naturally.  There are exceptions.  Sometimes there is a particular scene I’ve already imagined that I work toward and often I have a general idea how the story ends, but the little nuances that make the characters individual and unique is a process of letting them come out through the writing.

 

Anything new in the hopper? What project are you working on now?

Currently, in addition to promoting the books I currently have out, I’m writing the third book in the Scarlet Hopewell Series.  I haven’t settled on a title yet, which is unusual for me, but the story is coming together well and should be available this Christmas.  The scale keeps expanding with each successive book and I’m really excited to be exploring more and more of world I’ve created for Scarlet and her family and friends.  By the last book I want the showdown between Scarlet and the main antagonist to be epic and for that to happen the detail and pace has to be just right.  There is a possibility that I might have to try an outline or two in the future, but for now it’s going really well.

 

What types of things inspire you?

I find inspiration in a wide range of things.  My daughters are certainly high on the list.  Like most fathers, I find them to be the light of my life and they were instrumental in the creation of Scarlet and Melody.  I’ve of course been influenced by books and movies I’ve loved over the years.  The Conte of Monte Cristo, the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and A Moveable Feast to name a few.   I draw heavily from my life experiences and often incorporate them into the books I write, with a twist of course.  My grandfather, whom I lost when I was five, also serves as a big inspiration to me.  He was an avid reader and I like to imagine what he would have elated at my being an author.

 

Oh, Brandon, I’m sorry to hear about your loss, but I’m sure he would be absolutely elated! As far as writing goes, is there anything you find particularly challenging?

Yes, certainly.  I am not a born editor.  As much as I enjoy the creative process, I am not particularly fond of editing for grammar.  Content I don’t mind so much, but when it comes to my work I’m a bit of a disaster when it comes to finding grammatical mistakes.  For me an editor is a must.  Part of the problem is I know what my sentences are supposed to say and that’s often what I see even if that’s not quite what is on the page.

 

Oh, I hear you on that one. You and me both. Thanks so much for stopping by and giving us the scoop on your books, Brandon. I encourage everyone to check them out and see how a real hero writes. ;-)

 

THE SCARLET SERIES

Brandon Charles West - Scarlet and the Keepers of the Light

Brandon Charles West – Scarlet and the Keepers of the Light

Scarlet and the Keepers of the Light (Book One of the Scarlet Series)
Perhaps it’s the fact that her puppy has grown to be twice the size of a normal German Shepherd and has started talking. Perhaps it’s that mysterious evil figures are searching everywhere for her and her family, intent on ending her life. Or perhaps it’s the fact that Scarlet Hopewell has just learned that she is one half of a prophecy that will decide the fate of two worlds, one that she didn’t even know existed. Whatever the reason, Scarlet Hopewell is having a very interesting year. The barrier that separates the magical and non-magical worlds is about to be broken and Scarlet is caught right in the middle. With an ancient wolf who she thought was her family dog, a wizened old Tounder (the elder of the Keepers of the Light), and her family, Scarlet will embark on a great adventure to learn how to wield magical power beyond her wildest imagination. But time is running out. An evil is rising in the south and he too will amass powers equal or greater to her own…and he has a head start. Before the end, her world will be destroyed, and the only hope for those that remain is Scarlet.

 

Scarlet and the Dragon’s Burden (Book Two of the Scarlet Series)
Perhaps it’s the fact that her puppy has grown to be twice the size of a normal German Shepherd and has started talking. Perhaps it’s that mysterious evil figures are searching everywhere for her and her family, intent on ending her life. Or perhaps it’s the fact that Scarlet Hopewell has just learned that she is one half of a prophecy that will decide the fate of two worlds, one that she didn’t even know existed. Whatever the reason, Scarlet Hopewell is having a very interesting year. The barrier that separates the magical and non-magical worlds is about to be broken and Scarlet is caught right in the middle. With an ancient wolf who she thought was her family dog, a wizened old Tounder (the elder of the Keepers of the Light), and her family, Scarlet will embark on a great adventure to learn how to wield magical power beyond her wildest imagination. But time is running out. An evil is rising in the south and he too will amass powers equal or greater to her own…and he has a head start. Before the end, her world will be destroyed, and the only hope for those that remain is Scarlet.

 

Buy Links for Brandon Charles West’s Scarlet Series:

 

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | IBOOKS


2
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Let the discussion begin!


  • Brandon Charles West - March 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    Mande, Thank you for such a great experience. I am deeply humbled.

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