A chat with author Brett Battles

On July 30, 2011, in Author, Interview, by Milo
The Silenced by Brett Battles

The Silenced by Brett Battles

Joining me today is Brett Battles, born and raised in southern California. His parents, avid readers, instilled the love of books in him early on.

Brett, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Did you get one of those pivotal moments in school or did it come later?

I have wanted to be a novelist since I was in fifth grade here in the states, which means I was probably 10 at the time. I loved reading so much I wanted to write the stories myself. I was very clear from the beginning that I would write books, and I maintained that love and desire right through the present day. Sure, there were years when I wasn’t writing much of anything, but in my mind I was still a novelist, and one day my books would be out there.

What books/authors have most influenced you most and why?

This is always a tough question because I think I’ve been influenced by many writers, and continue to be influenced. Some that come to mind from when I was younger were Alistair MacLean, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and Issac Asimov. I was big into sci-fi back then thanks to my dad’s love for the genre. Later, though, some of my influences were Robert Ludlum, Jack Higgins, and John le Carre. But probably the most influential writer during my adult years has been Stephen King. Just love the way he can tell a story.

Check out The Silenced Review

What do you find the hardest part of writing a novel – research, ideas, characters?

Well, if you told me I had to sit down and write you a detailed outline before I started on a book, that would be the hardest…which is why I don’t do detailed outlines. Sometimes I’ll actually start writing with only an opening scene in mind and an idea of where I want to end up. I kind of look at my first drafts as my outlines. Other than that, it’s all hard in its own way, but I love to write so it seldom bothers me at all.

Do you relish the writing procedure or are you prone to distractions?

Yes, and yes. Enjoy getting lost in a good story, but can also waste endless hours on twitter or facebook. I used to have to work at coffee shops because of the distraction at home, but I finally trained myself to get over them.. (Well, mostly.)

Given The Silenced takes the reader on a journey around the world, do you get to travel yourself as part of the research process?

Absolutely. I love to travel. Let me say that again since I can’t overstate it enough. I love to travel! So it’s my favorite type of research. Everywhere I go, I’m always thinking about potential scenes and ideas that could be played out there.

Who would you want to play Jonathan Quinn in a movie and why?

I’ve been asked this question a lot. Don’t have a clear cut person in mind. Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly) might do a good job. He’d have the serious/ironic down that Quinn often displays. Though you didn’t ask, for Orlando, I kind of picture someone like Grace Park (Hawaii 5-0, Battlestar Galactica). She’s cool and kickass. For Nate, I have no idea.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing The Silenced?

The stuff about his family. I’d never really thought too much about it before, but knew I wanted to explore that side of him. His relationship with his sister was completely surprising to me.

How much of you is there in Jonathan Quinn?

I often say all of Quinn’s doubts and weak points are mine, and all of his strengths are made up. That, of course, isn’t 100% true. What I will say is that, at time, he and I have similar thoughts about life in general. How’s that for vague?

What fictional character would you most like to have been?

Tom Swift would have been pretty cool.

Social Media – yes or no?!

In this day and age, it has to be yes.

And finally – if you could invite three people/characters from the past or present to a dinner party who would you invite and why and what would be for dessert?!!

Yikes! Alfred Hitchcock because I love all his movies and the way he told stories. Stephen King for the same reason. And my dad because I think he’d get a kick out of meeting them, too. For desert, moist chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

Check out Brett’s Website for more information or Check out Brett on Twitter

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