Please welcome Author Brian Parker to THE KATY today!
A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Brian Parker was born and raised as an Army brat. He’s currently an Active Duty Army soldier who enjoys spending hiking, obstacle course racing, writing and watching Texas Longhorns football. He’s an unashamed Star Wars fan, but prefers to disregard the entire Episode I and II debacle.
Brian is both a traditionally and self-published author with an ever-growing collection of works across multiple genres, including sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, horror, paranormal thriller, military fiction, self-publishing how-to and even a children’s picture book—Zombie in the Basement, which he wrote to help children overcome the perceived stigma of being different than others.
He is also the founder of Muddy Boots Press, an independent publishing company that focuses on quality genre fiction over mass-produced books.
Brian Parker became an author because of his desire to tell a good story. “I was riding the Metro in DC for about 2.5 hours a day and doing A LOT of reading. As I devoured books, I started to find books that just weren’t up to my expectations, be it editing or for lack of a better term: they simply sucked. So, I wanted to try my hand at it and discovered that I had a knack for weaving a good story that people seem to enjoy.”
He’s a hybrid author, which means he has some books that are traditionally published and others that are self-published. “There are pros and cons to both. First, self-published authors control their destiny and have 100% control over everything—and I really like that aspect of it. From the storyline, direction, editing, designing, cover selection, marketing…everything.
On the flip side, self-published authors have a hard time finding new readers, which is why I also went the traditional route. I have four books available through Permuted Press and they come with an established, loyal group of readers who will discover my books simply by virtue of the publisher’s name.”
Military experience play a large part in Brian’s stories. “Since I’ve experienced a little of what I put my characters through, I think it helps to determine how they’ll react. Nobody knows what they’re going to do when they come under fire until the situation actually happens, so I think it helps. It adds to the realism that I try to write. I’ve been fortunate and have had lots of fun—and sometimes not so fun—training experiences and deployed multiple times, so a lot of what I write comes from my own experiences instead of totally conjuring it from my imagination.”
Are you a plotter or a panster? Or a planster?
Haha! I like the plantser idea. I DO NOT outline my stories because it feels too much like work, but I usually have a general idea where I want things to go and will fill in the gaps to get there. I’m often surprised where my mind takes things, so it keeps it interesting.
Do you prefer writing short stories or full length novels?
Definitely full-length novels. I’ve got several short stories out there, but the concept of establishing an interesting storyline, world-building, etc. in a set limit of 3K words (or whatever the word count cutoff is) is very hard to accomplish well.
Why do you think people feel drawn to the Science Fiction genre? (Feel free to talk about any of your series’ as an example)
Because it’s the possibility of the unknown. Humanity has always been drawn to the unknown, whether from curiosity or out of fear, and have sought information about it. The speculation of what could happen or what could be out there is an exciting concept that we love to think about.
What scientific advancement do you feel is right around the corner?
Advanced artificial intelligence. We see new stories all the time of advances in AI. Engineers and scientists have programs that can learn from their experiences and are even programed to simulate human emotions and tell jokes. Today’s youth isn’t as scared of technology as the older generations (for good or bad) and as these kids grow up, I feel that true AI will be developed, and accepted, as a part of our society. Whether they’re the Terminator or the C3PO type of AI remains to be seen…
Do any of your characters represent you as a whole or someone you know? Or are they qualities you admire in others?
Yes to both. I think Grayson Donnelly, the main character in my book GNASH, and Chuck Broussard, the main character from Enduring Armageddon, are the most like me, but for different reasons. Grayson is a former Army officer who is confident in his decisions, based on previous experiences and knows what he wants, while Chuck knows what he doesn’t know and works within his own personal limitations to try and better his situation and help those around him.
Are there any genres of literature or movies that you won’t read or watch?
Romance. I’m just not interested in it.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Just write! Don’t worry about turning the perfect phrase or writing a complete scene that is 100% accurate—that’s what editing is for. The biggest challenge is just getting those words on the page at first. Once they’re there, you can edit and wordsmith to make the story as good as possible.
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
I’m constantly juggling projects. I just finished an anthology submission and started writing the second book in my Easytown series. 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 storyline for a historical fiction book hit me last week … Lots on the plate.
Anything else you’d like to add?
My latest release, The Immorality Clause, is currently on sale from 15-21 August for only $.99! It’s a sci-fi noir detective novel that follows a homicide detective through the seedy underworld of New Orleans in the not-so-distant future.
Thank you for joining me on THE KATY today, Brian!
Thank you for having me and following my ramblings!