Welcome to a Tattered Remains Interview
Brian Parker has recently started a third series after completing “The Path To Ashes and Washington, Dead City” novels. The new series which is categorized as a Science Fiction/Fantasy/Dystopian/ Detective Noir/Cyberpunk series is titled Easytown novels.
The first book in the new series titled “The Immorality Clause (Easytown Novels Book 1)” is now available on Amazon for purchase.
Easytown’s robotic pleasure clubs are a serial killer’s playground.
Easytown, a slum in eastern New Orleans, is a violent place where any vice can be satisfied–for a price. As long as the taxes are paid and tourists continue to flock to the city, businesses are allowed to operate as they see fit. But a string of violent murders threatens to upset the delicate balance between pleasure and safety.
As homicide detective Zach Forrest tries to unravel the mystery and prevent the next murder, he embarks on a mind-bending investigation that will change his perception of reality forever.
“[The Immorality Clause] is Blade Runner meets Ex Machina.” ~ Beta reader
From the Author
Enjoy the interview.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
A: I’ve always written little stories, but I don’t think I wanted to actually do something with it until after my first book was finished. The sense of accomplishment from actually finishing a book is huge! I always told myself that I could write a book, or thought that it wouldn’t be that hard since all you’re doing is typing a story, but it’s much harder than I used to think. To be able to carry on a compelling story for 300 pages (that makes any sort of sense) is a lot of work.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
A: I’m not sure yet! I sign into my new Army job in about a week, so we’ll see what happens. In the past, I would write after my family went to bed during the work week and then in the morning before they woke up on the weekend—I’m blessed with only needing about five or six hours of sleep a night; that helps a ton and is a major contributing factor to how I’ve been able to be so prolific over the past three years.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
A: That I write in almost total silence. Almost everyone I talk to thinks that’s strange because writers are supposed to eccentric, and a lot of my friends blare music while they write. But since the kids are sleeping, I’m doing it quietly, in my head.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
A: The ideas come at me like a waterfall, fast and full force. As for the details, I almost always have Google open in the background and if I’m writing about a nearby place, I’ll go walk the ground. I try to use situations and experiences that I’ve had as a basis for what to start looking up, but it all depends on the book and genre. Of course, given my search history, I’m undoubtedly on a watch list somewhere…
When did you write your first book?
A: I finished my first book, GNASH, in 2013. It took me over 2.5 years to write. Some of that time can be attributed to a deployment to Iraq in 2011, but I believe the biggest part of why it took so long is due to the fact that I didn’t understand my own process—or I hadn’t developed it yet.
While I wrote my first book, I went back and fiddled with sections, agonized over turning the perfect sentence and edited as I wrote. It took entirely too much time, although I did earn a publishing contract from Permuted Press for the book and its sequels. Now, I just write. I spit as many words onto a page as I can each session and only do any modifications as I write if I’m changing something drastic. Otherwise, I make a note of what I want to fix and go in after the first draft is complete.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
A: I’m sitting at the lake right now! I like being on the water, driving the boat, or kayaking with the kids. I’m also a big runner, I’ve ran five full-length marathons (26.2 miles) and tons of other shorter races. One of my life goals is to through-hike the Appalachian Trail, so I may do that once I finally retire from the Army in a few years.
What does your family think of your writing?
A: My kids think it’s awesome—I even wrote the kids’ book Zombie in the Basement with their help a couple of years ago. My daughter is like my little PR rep, everywhere she goes, she tells people that her dad’s an author and they both think it’s very cool that I’ve been on TV a couple of times and in the local newspaper.
How did you come up with the titles for your books?
A: This was a learning experience. The kids’ book was my second book and I’d already paid the artist for everything and uploaded the files to Amazon before I thought about seeing if there was a similar title…and of course, there’s a kid’s book called Zombies in the Basement. So now, I usually put a working title on a book while I write, then see what the story develops into and come up with a small list of titles, then I go on Amazon and see if there are books with the same title or any that are similar. If there are, I check their genre and if they’re similar genres, I throw that title out and go to the next one.
What was the hardest part of writing your books?
Maintaining a story for 80-100,000 words! There is a lot of planning and mapping out the tiny details along the way to culminate the story where I want it to go. After that is the marketing and promoting.
What do you like to read in your free time?
A: Free time? I don’t understand the question… I do like to read, but my reading has slowed way down now that I spend most of my free time writing. I usually read for about 10 minutes after I’m in bed to help wind down. I read, mostly, in the genres I write in: post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, paranormal, military fiction, etc.
Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?
A: I like running, hiking and spending time with the kids. Love, love, love being on the water—lake, river or ocean, doesn’t matter which.
Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc.)
A: Other than squeezing it in where I can and after the family goes to bed, not really. I don’t watch TV, so I don’t have that time drain distracting me. Well, that’s not entirely true, I do watch two weekly shows, but I DVR them and fast forward through the commercials.
Are you working on anything presently?
A: Always! I’m about 80% complete with the first draft to an anthology submission and I just started writing the second book in my Easytown series. Then, I also have a side project going where I’m writing a collection of short stories that I’ll bundle together in one book and I just had a huge story line hit me while I was on the lake yesterday… Lots on the plate.
What is your writing space like?
A: I like the concept of having a dedicated writing space, but don’t have one in our current house (the Army moves us every two years or so). I write wherever I find myself. I use a combination of my laptop and my iPad mini and share the files to the cloud, so I can work on them wherever I happen to be when I find some time.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
A: How hard it is for people to give a crap about a new writer. Seriously, more than half of my time for writing is taken up by promoting and working hard to find new readers. It’s a constant battle. Guest blog posts, interviews, email marketing, social media pages, ads…all of it is time consuming.
What is the name of your favorite book?
A: People ask this all the time, but I don’t have an overall favorite book. I have books that are my favorite in each genre and books that are special to me for different reasons. However, the book that probably made me fall in love with reading and the art of telling a good story is The Elfstones of Shannara. I first read that book when I was eleven or twelve and probably five or six times since then, it just illustrates, to me, the perfect way to tell an epic fantasy story. It’s a typical quest-type storyline, but the author, Terry Brooks, puts so much into it. I love it.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
A: I interact with readers every day on Facebook. I’ve been extremely lucky so far and haven’t had any of the negative experiences that other writers lament. Everyone has been nice and seem to be genuinely interested in what I have to share.
The great part about self-publishing is I can take feedback and correct deficiencies in a book. I found my editor, Aurora Dewater, that way. She sent me a message about editing problems she found while reading GNASH when it was a self-published title and we’ve been working together ever since.
What do you think makes a good story?
A: Realism. Even though I write in apocalyptic and zombie genres, I try to make it as realistic as possible. I’ve written a few blog posts about it and post about it from time to time. I hate when writers just make stuff up or change physics to fit their story. Bullets follow a ballistic path, there’s no “bending” them around objects…
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a veterinarian early on, then a lawyer later. No idea why I wanted to be a lawyer though, my wife is a lawyer and it seems very boring.
Do you write every single day?
A: I try to write every day. With a two-month old, that doesn’t always happen, but I write more often than not and keep track of my word count. I give myself a weekly goal, but if I don’t hit it, I don’t get stressed about it. There’s always next week.
The Path to Ashes Series
Washington, Dead City Series
FOLLOW BRIAN ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
All the novels can be purchased from the Amazon page for Brian Parker.
Thank you for visiting The Tattered Remains