Thursday, October 09, 2014

Interview With Brock Eastman - Part I

Years ago, authors were like characters in their books -- people who seemed real, but untouchable.

Enter the world of 2014, my friend. I can tweet, email, stalk an author and actually get a human response.

This is what happened with writer Brock Eastman.

He just looks like he's got a story to tell you, doesn't he?

You may know his work from Focus on the Family books such as The Quest of Truth series.

These books are great adventures for the middle grade years.

A few of my students read another book by Eastman called Howlsage:

They loved it! And when my students get excited about a book, I do my best to connect with the author and let them know. I made sure to write a quick review on Amazon and connect on Twitter.

Here are a couple excerpts from my Amazon review:

My students couldn't wait to read the next book in this trilogy, but when I realized that the books weren't available yet, I discovered we could play a part in helping Brock publish and finish the set.
The publisher of the Howlsage book made a decision to no longer publish fiction. So as a writer, Brock had to find a way to publish them himself. His Kickstarter Campaign is almost 70% funded.
There are only a few days left in his Kickstarter Campaign  - would you consider helping?
Brock was kind enough to answer a few questions for me and my students. Here is the beginning of this interview:

1.       What kind of books did you read when you were in school?

This is a big regret for me from my school days. I really didn’t read much at all. I read required books and my Bible, but that was primarily it. I missed out on so much and it wasn’t until college and the Harry Potter series that I fell in love with reading. Now I have bookshelves filled with books I have read and books I can’t wait to read. Seriously--to any kid reading this, read books. If you aren’t, you’re missing out on a lot of amazing adventures through the wild world of your imagination.

2.       When and how did becoming an author happen for you?
 Well, I was officially published in 2011 with the release of Taken, but it was in 2005 when I wrote the manuscript for Taken and Risk (The Quest for Truth) as one book called Evad that I became an author. I say this because being an author is more than getting a contract and having your book printed and sold. It’s about committing to writing a story from beginning to end. How I became an author is simply put an act of God. When I look back at my path to publishing, there’s no way I could have done without it being part of God’s plan. From choosing my career in marketing, to writing a 100k word manuscript in 2005 with no plans to publish, to marrying my wife and moving to Colorado where I worked for Focus on the Family, and then got involved with Adventures in Odyssey and marketing kids’ products, which taught me about publishing and opened up lots of doors and relationships for my book to become a reality.

3.       What does a “normal” day for you look like as a writer?

Well, I, like many, have a full time job. I currently work for a wonderful ministry called Compassion International. This job keeps the lights on and my family fed. My family comes before writing so when I’m not working, I’m spending time with them. Then in that small percentage of time I have left over, I write, and I write like a madman. I like to just let my imagination flow down from my brain and through my fingertips to the keyboard. After I’ve let myself explore and capture the story, then I go back and revise and edit. So when I write it’s intense and involved, it’s a lot of coffee and soundtracks. Sometimes I’ll write until 2 in the morning.

4.       What do you do when the story just isn’t coming together?

I just sighed when I read this question, because it’s a tough reality when it happens. When the story doesn’t come together, it can really slow me down or discourage me. Because I write by the seat of my pants and write rapidly, a disruption can cause me to take long breaks from the story as I try to ponder what to do next, or how to fix the problem. Though I have developed a few methods to help with this, some are short, some are long. The short ones are going and watching a movie or television show completely unrelated to the topic of my story. Playing with my kids also helps; their imaginations are inspirational to me. Some longer commitments are digging into a good book that I’ve been waiting to read (again unrelated to my story topic) or sometimes I’ll switch gears and start planning or writing an entirely new book. If you could see the amounts of starter stories or ideas I have, you’d know I’ll be writing until I’m 120.


What books is Brock currently reading and what advice does he have for young authors?

 Brock's Kickstarter Campaign  - Let's go!

No comments: