Premier Press Publishing was thrilled to interview Grady P. Brown this week. He is the author of The Young Guardian Series.
Bio (a short bio written in 3rd person POV):
Grady P. Brown is a science fiction author who is diagnosed with high functioning autism. He is a connoisseur of the science fiction, fantasy, and superhero genres. In addition, he is an autism ambassador, hoping to demonstrate the potential benefits one can gain from being autistic.
As a writer, Grady P. Brown utilizes his autism to visualize the story taking place inside of his head like a movie. Also, he has a very strong memory, allowing him to store information about his characters and stories in his brain as though it were a computer hard-drive. His superhero series, The Young Guardians, is based on a childhood fantasy he shared with his best friends of becoming superheroes.
He is also a passionate pit bull lover and owns two sweet and loving pit bulls named Wally and Fitch.
If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it?
I chose Grady P. Brown because “P” is my middle initial and I wanted to fashion my name in the same way that writers such as J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkein.
What is the current book you are promoting?
The first volume of The Young Guardians Series, The Young Guardians and the Genesis Spell.
The first volume of my ongoing superhero series is called The Young Guardians and the Genesis Spell. It is about a group of teenagers who gain superhuman powers after encountering an otherworldly being. While being hunted by a vengeful cyborg, they take up the mantle of the superhero.
You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser?
I am currently working on a new fantasy series revolving around a young man who begins a conquest of an entire empire. Throughout the first volume of the trilogy, the protagonist undergoes insane character development as he changes from a naïve idealist to a hardened conqueror. He faces off against tyrant kings, monsters, slavers, barbarians, and dragons. That is a lot for a person to face in a short span of time!
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite character in The Young Guardians and the Genesis Spell would be Patrick Donovan, the unofficial leader of the Young Guardians. The reason for this is because I modeled him after myself and he has a lot of demons to overcome, which gives him complex character development.
Who is your least favorite character and why?
My least favorite character would be the supervillain of the story, Cyber Shadow AKA Brick Baxter because he is based on all of the bullies and scumbags who traumatized me throughout middle and high school.
Why do you write?
To share my imagination with the rest of the world rather than selfishly keep it all to myself. I also write as a form of meditation after a stressful day.
Tell us something unique about you.
I have high functioning autism that gives me a strong memory. I can store vast quantities of information as though my brain is a flash drive. As a result, I am also a part time autism ambassador promoting the potential benefits one could gain from being autistic.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I was a writer for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, my parents would supply me with whole truck loads of paper tablets that I would draw stories on. However, when I was in sixth grade I developed the ambition to become a published author and started telling stories with words rather than pictures.
How long does it usually take you to complete a book?
It usually takes me about three years to write, edit, and publish a book. However, at the rate I am writing my current fantasy book I think I might finish it by the end of the year. That would set a new record. We shall see!
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
My favorite author is Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle. When I first learned the extent of his success when I was in sixth grade, I decided to try matching my writing achievements with his own.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I am a night owl and as a result I am a nocturnal writer. While everyone else is asleep, I am wide awake writing until I cannot write anymore.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Over the last decade, I think I have learned how to improve character development such as making my characters more relatable to my audience.
Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?
Oh yes! Both of these things help me concentrate. It does not matter what show or film I am watching as long as my senses are occupied. When it comes to music, I like to listen to film music, anime music, Star Wars music, and classical music like Beethoven or Wagner.
What have you written?
I have written and published five works that can be found on Amazon.com. Three of the books are part of the main Young Guardians Series. One consists of origin stories for several characters in The Young Guardians Series and the other is a collection of plays, poems, and short stories I have written last year.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?
I usually have major events in the story planned out in advance while the scenes that happen in between these major events I write as I go along.
Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website?
I am usually assigned to an illustrator my publisher provides during the publishing process. His name is Victor Guiza.
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
Use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to increase your online presence. The more platforms you use, the larger your books’ presence becomes.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
After a day’s writing, make copies of your updated work on a flash drive. That way if anything happens to the main copy you would have a backup.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
Patrick Donovan chooses to become a superhero out of a desire for redemption. Shortly after acquiring his powers, Patrick accidentally injured a civilian. Therefore, he hopes to make amends for his actions.
Where do your ideas come from?
I usually gain inspiration from experience. For instance, several of the characters in The Young Guardians Series are based on people I know. For my current fantasy book, I am drawing inspiration from medieval documentaries, tasting authentic food from the period, and participating in medieval reenactments.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Writer’s block would be the hardest thing about writing because it would stall my writing process for months on end.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
For my fantasy book, the hardest thing is making the scene transition smooth and seamless. There will be so much happening in the first volume of the trilogy, it will be a challenge to proper organize everything that is happening.
What is your favorite movie or TV show?
My favorite films are the Star Wars franchise while my favorite television show would be Game of Thrones.
Which writers inspire you?
Christopher Paolini was the author who made me decide to become an author. My mentor Dr. Sherry Meinberg also inspired me because she helped me refine my initial writing style. Finally, my entire writer’s group who I meet with every month is most helpful because they have given me a treasure trove of advice that has explosively advanced me as an author and they never led me astray.
Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school?
At first, my writing style was largely self-taught. However, over the past year, I have been working on my Creative Writing Minor in college. This has greatly improved my writing style.
Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend?
I do not.
If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast?
If my books do become a manga and get their own anime series, here is a list of voice actors that I would choose for the English dub:
Johnny Yong Bosch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Patrick Donovan
Wendee Lee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tinisha Dolaira
Joshua Seth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joshua Rauje
Wally Wingert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gregory Kennedy
Derek Stephen Prince . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Derek Marvin
David Vincent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brick Baxter/Cyber Shadow
Steven Jay Blum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fanoxean
Kyle Herbert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vogan
What is your next project?
For now, my next project is my current fantasy trilogy. I will be taking a break from The Young Guardians Series and focus my efforts to writing this new sword and sorcery story.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
My favorite fictional character would be Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones because she is one of the most powerful characters in the Game of Thrones franchise. She spent most of her life as a fugitive and refugee, but became a Mother of Dragons, leader of armies, and liberator of slaves all in a short span of time. The fact that she commands dragons makes me like her more because dragons are my favorite mythical beasts.
What one person from history would you like to meet and why?
William the Conqueror because I would like to meet the man who started the English royal dynasty that we know today.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
Exterminate every terrorist (ISIS, Taliban, or whatever) on the planet and give the world a few generations of genuine peace. That way we can finally live in a world where terrorism does not influence our way of life.
Who inspires your writing?
Essentially every person I meet because every interaction could potentially inspire me to write a new character.
Where do you come up with your stories?
I usually come up with them on a whim. Whenever I think of something that really catches my interest, I toy with it to see if it would make a good story. If the idea works, then I expand it into a full story that I would eventually turn into a published work.
Do you have any fur babies to brag about? You can include a picture if you like.
I have two pit bulls named Wally and Fitch. They are very sweet and very loyal animals and I affectionately call them the Boo-Bears. Their presence also helps me write because they would sometimes cuddle with me while I am typing on my laptop.
Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite?
As I mentioned before, Christopher Paolini is my favorite author and my favorite of his books would be Eragon because it gives a reader insight on the origins of a fantasy hero.
Do you or have you sat down and read your book fresh off the presses as if it wasn’t yours? And if you did, what was it like?
When I felt the first fresh copy of my book, I felt like a proud father who was holding a newborn child in his arms.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I would be the author of Game of Thrones because I would have written it so that the Starks and Targaryens would win the war instead of the Lannisters and their minions. That means no Red Wedding!
What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?
Every experience, no matter how small, can potentially be used to write a possible story.
Do have a favorite car or truck model?
I am always faithful to my Subaru Outback because it saved my life and the life of my father when we were driving cross country through tornado country. If it was not for that car, we would not be alive right now.
Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes?
In The Young Guardians Series, I portrayed love scenes between Patrick Donovan and the female lead Tinisha Dolaira. In my current fantasy trilogy, I will be attempting to write a balance between the implied sex scenes of some stories and the hardcore sex scenes of other stories. It will be challenging because even though it will be meant for a mature audience, I do not want to overdo it in one direction or the other.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
As a devout Star Wars fanboy, I love every Star Wars book Disney and Lucasfilm are cranking out every year. These books allow me to look at the Star Wars franchise in a new light.
What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?
Traditional publishing gives you more profit, but there are no guarantees that you will be published. With self-publishing, you get published yet there are no guarantees that you will get any profits.
Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published?
Yes, because you have to do all of the publishing and marketing youself.
What book are you currently reading or just finished?
I am reading the Star Wars book called Thrawn.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are my guests into my imagination.
Is there a book you love that you’d like to recommend to others?
The Star Wars Aftermath Trilogy because it shows what happens right after Return of the Jedi. Also, it sets the stage for The Force Awakens.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Grady-P-Brown/e/B002YBCBBO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0