Saturday, February 16, 2013

Interview with Author Jaden Braniff

Tell us a bit about yourself. I was born in New West Minster BC in 1972 and moved to Kamloops BC with my family before I could walk.
The decision to become a rock star or an actor bounced around until I finished high school and realized that I needed to get a job to pay bills.
Moving around the West coast of Canada for the last twenty years, I always had a journal with me. Through those years, many stage plays and stories made it to paper but few were selected to hit an independent theatrical stage.
I found that my passion for writing has hit a new level as the barrier that once held me from stepping into the world of "Author" no longer exists.
What inspired you to write your first book? It's just always something that I've wanted to do. I've written many plays and poems but never had the courage to tackle a full novel before. It was after I finished writing a stage play for an artist in Edmonton that I thought I'd take a shot and I'm glad that I did.

Do you have a specific writing style? Not as such. I supposed that I prefer a narrative in the past tense depending on what I'm writing. I suppose since this is my first book we all find out together.
How did you come up with the title? Pardon the laughing out loud while I type this…The characters were having a conversation in my head and they referred to antagonist as "The Producer," It just sort of stuck.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I think the message would be more of a challenge to readers to discover what the meaning behind the book is. There are multiple messages laid throughout the story, that's why I have always found it so difficult to explain what the story is about.
How much of the book is realistic? I come from a technical background and as I see it, the story is not that farfetched, which is to me a very scary thought indeed. It takes place in Victoria, BC. A place I called home for the better part of ten years, so I know the city quite well; both the underbelly and upper crust as it were.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Not any one particular person or situation, just the place. As I was writing the story I was able to put the characters in a situation in the city and could vision it quite well. I believe that it made the story more vibrant. But no, any similarities to any person alive or dead are strictly coincidental.
What books have most influenced your life most? " The Chrysalides" would be a major influence. Its views of control through religion and lack of acceptance from even an advanced race speaks volumes to society, even today.
" The Fionavar Tapestry" showed me how every story in life can be tied to an individual concept.
" Red Dwarf and Hitchhiker's" series, mainly because nonsensical British humor just makes me laugh.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Rob Grant would be on the top of that list. I read his book "Backwards" and couldn't put it down. Being a "Red Dwarf" fan was one thing but reading his mix of comedy and drama mixed in with time paradoxes twisted me in a way I can quite understand. In short, it made me want to write.
What book are you reading now? My next book in the series, it's called "The Stage".
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? New to me - Guy Gavriel Kay
What are your current projects? The next in the series of three, this one is called, "The Stage".
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. That would be my friend Jenna Autet. There was a point when I was about to stop all together and give up. She convinced me that it would be a complete waste and that what I was writing was worth my time and effort. That and if I didn't finish it, she'd kick my ass.
Do you see writing as a career? I can more than just see it; I can taste it between my teeth.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Not a damn thing, in fact I don't even think I'd add anything. This first book is the backbone to the rest of the story. It's quick, full of twists and possibilities and it'll leave the reader with a need for more.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I was living in Edmonton, working full time, playing with the band on weekends and when I had spare time at home I was bored out of my mind. I didn't have a TV and money was not abundant, so I grabbed a pen and paper and started to write. It started off as more song lyrics and started to turn into conversations on a page. At first I thought that I was starting to go a little mad, just from being alone in the apartment, but the more I wrote the better I felt. In about three days I had written a two act play. It never went anywhere, but it kindled something that has never gone away.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? I'd love to, but I can't. The end of the first story has such a twist to it, that any preview of the second book would spoil the surprise. It may sound like a sales pitch, but it's the truth. Everyone that has read it so far has sworn up and down that they know who "The Producer" is but is more than shocked in the end. I'm going to have to up the ante for the next book.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? The nagging guilt that I'm ignoring my family is my biggest challenge. Even though they know what I am trying to accomplish and have shown their support, it still sits at the back of my mind, occasionally stopping me from getting to my keyboard.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Again I would have to say Rob Grant. He tells a story and doesn't feel the need to fill the pages with descriptions about walls and furniture unless it's absolutely necessary. He also seems to have this ability to feed information into the oddest places, so that when you get to the inevitable conclusion, the triggers he laid go off.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not as of yet, I'm still a puppy in the author world. Eventually I may have to venture out and show my face, but for now I'm hoping that the book will speak for me.
Who designed the covers? I bounced the idea off of my wife and took the necessary photo's myself. Once I had the cover designed, she had final say on color, font and placement; after all, this book was a gift for her birthday.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? The hardest part was knowing where to end the first story. It's a short novel to begin with as it moves along pretty quickly but carrying it on for too long would have made it drag uselessly.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I am currently in the RCAF and for the past three and a half years I have had to push myself to prove that I can be an older man in a young man's game. Writing a book is not an easy thing to do and probably just as much a mental challenge as some of the physical ones the military can throw at you.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Listen to the voices in your head. You're not crazy; it's just the many personalities that you've created over the years trying to get out…Wait, that does make a writer sound nuts. Well then I say enjoy the madness and write, write, write!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? This story is not outside the realm of possibilities and if we are not careful as a society, we may see these things occur in our lifetime. Be them good or bad, each choice we make for our future has consequences.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life? There were plenty of challenges. Hell, getting onto the keyboard and trying to regain the flow you had from the night before was a challenge. I guess the biggest challenge for a new writer trying to figure this authors world, was format sizes, word counts, what's acceptable and what's not. Do I self-publish or look for an agent? I guess in the end, I'm just going to keep moving forward until the universe decides what the hell it wants to do with me.

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