Friday, July 06, 2012

Author Jeremy Brown brings action to life with thrillers

1.) Jeremy, for those who don't know you, can you tell us some about your writing and yourself?

I am 37, got married last October and recently completed the Ohio/Michigan Tough Mudder with a great group of friends. We decided to start doing adventure races and challenges like the Mudder a few years ago because we were tired of telling the same stories over and over. During the races we question our sanity, but afterward the feeling of accomplishment and shared experience is powerful and lasting.

My first books were published by Scholastic Inc. in 2006. It was a very lucky break and the books got bumped from midlist to lead series -- pretty good for a first timer -- and I thought, “Well, I’ve made it now. Smooth sailing from here on.”


Scholastic was great, but I encountered a few things that I’ve since learned are pretty common with big publishers. My editor left, then her replacement left, the department went through an overhaul, they canceled the rest of the contract, yada yada.

My agent at the time was very encouraging and wanted me to continue in the middle reader/YA vein, but I had different stories to tell. It may have worked out -- the young readers who read Crime Files in 2006 are now old enough to read my adult fiction. Just like I planned!

I self-published for the first time in April and love it. I also have a traditional deal with Medallion Press for HOOK AND SHOOT, the sequel to my crime thriller SUCKERPUNCH, which they also published.

2.) If you could meet any of your characters in real life, who would it be?

I’d like to share a table with former Tier One operators Patrick Darwin and Cal Wafer from FIND > FIX > FINISH, though I doubt they’d give me the time of day. Maybe I could just sit nearby and eavesdrop. Otherwise, it might go like this:

Cal: So that’s how we got out of Chechnya without detonating the nuclear warhead.
Darwin: Reminds me of a close call my team had north of a certain DMZ. Only we used a hot air balloon, not a submarine.
Me: I got poison ivy over the weekend. It’s wicked itchy.

3.) What are some of your favorite books?

Stick by Elmore Leonard
Without Remorse by Tom Clancy
Savages by Don Winslow
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

4.) You used to work building haunted houses (the amusement kind, not REAL haunted houses), so how did you land gigs like that? And are you still doing any work in that field?

My friends and I grew up scaring each other (and the occasional stranger), and when we got older decided it would be nice to get paid for it. So we designed and built a haunted attraction, put on makeup and wigs, and scared the hell out of people during October of 2000. We couldn’t believe how fun it was -- making grown men dive behind the furniture to get away from a clown; discovering no one can stand still when a chainsaw fires up; listening to countless declarations of wet pants.

We did that for a few years. I eventually sought full-time employment in the industry and relocated to a haunted attraction construction company in Florida, and quickly found out that once it became my job, scaring people lost a lot of luster. I quit that job and returned to haunting with friends for a few years, but we haven’t operated an attraction since 2005. Maybe someday -- the pants around here are way too dry.

5.) What is your favorite holiday? Why?

At the risk of being obvious: Halloween. I live in Michigan, and that time of year is fantastic. The colors and smells of falling leaves, apple cider, chilly nights. The first sighting of Halloween candy and cheap costumes is way too exciting.

I recently watched "E.T." for the first time since I was a kid, and I think the Halloween scenes had a huge impact on me. The utter chaos that is rampaging through the neighborhood -- monsters toting flames down the street, masked hooligans peering in windows, everyone in costume and having a blast -- that’s what Halloween should be.

6.) Aliens abduct you and take you away in a flying saucer. After what feels like days the saucer comes to rest between two planets. The chief alien points to one planet and says to you, "That planet contains giant libraries which hold all the secrets of life." Then the alien points to the other planet and says, "That planet is home to all those who have perished in your world, from famous people to those you have loved and more." Finally, the alien boss turns to you and says, "We will take you to one of these planets. Decide which." Which do you pick? Or do you have something else up your sleeve?

I would best the chief alien in Connect Four, commandeer the ship, and start shuttling people from the inhabited planet to the library planet. Then I’d fly back to Earth with a select group of famous dead people brimming with the secrets of life and we’d start a very popular blog and Twitter account.

For more on author Jeremy Brown, please see:
His website: Jeremy Brown
His Amazon page
The Medallion Press page for Jeremy Brown

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Your Scholastic story is not an uncommon tale. I'm glad you've landed on your feet!