Brandon Scott Has A Compelling New Book Out!
Brandon Scott has been writing for a long time, and as part of The Buzzazz Editorial Team he wrote a lot of really great articles. He has recently published his first book, and has taken his writing to a whole other level. We wanted to catch up with him and find out more about how he approaches his art, and what inspired him to begin the journey in the first place.
How and when did you get into writing?
I feel like most professional writers have this as an answer, but I started writing when I was young. My stories back then were awful, of course, but I recall writing these short horror stories and being happy I got to kill off my characters. Probably because the teachers did not like me doing that for school assignments. However, I consider my real starting point was when I began writing for Sci-Fi Bloggers under the tutelage of my writing mentor Dylan Alexander. He kept praising and pushing me to write more, even when I was not yet good on a technical level. Eventually, maybe 2-3 years ago, I started to take it seriously and worked on writing whole books and articles for clients and companies. It became my full-time job and something I am defined by in my identity.
What do you like best about writing?
Getting a reaction out of someone. I love how I can use words, just words, to deeply affect people. As a dark speculative fiction writer—and a very desensitized one at that—I am constantly amused, surprised, and pleased, when I find I can cause someone to shiver or look unsettled simply with words I wrote.
What was the inspiration for your book?
Just Another Chosen One has an odd history. I did not mean to write it as a book at first. It started as a short story called “Cornhusk” (you can find it in the back of Just Another Chosen One) that I wanted to submit to a podcast that read aloud odd stories. It was just a quick comedic thing that was inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, when Dylan Alexander offered to edit “Cornhusk,” things took off. He and another friend of mine were editing it while also texting me about how they were bursting out laughing and then demanded that I make it into a full book. Every character in the short story, every concept, needed a massive amount of fleshing out, and, along the way, it started having a theme. I wanted to take a classic trope and warp it. Specifically, “The Chosen One” trope. I wanted to show how broken a life someone might have if they really did become a monster hunter.
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What have been your successful actions?
I could rant on and on about what I think are successful actions for people who want to be writers. That was basically all I wrote on my personal website for a while. But, breaking it down, I found a few things to be very beneficial. Exercising every day did wonders for my creativity, my health, and my mental clarity. Also, and this is a cliché, the thing I found to be incredibly helpful is writing a set amount every single day, no slacking, excuses, or missed days. Momentum is so important toward finishing writing a book. It might be the most important thing.
What is something that people would be surprised about what you do?
I find that non-writers have very little idea what it is like being a writer. Some of the most common things that I find people outside of the circle don’t understand is how little ideas matter compared to the nuts and bolts of putting fingers to keyboard, and how much work there is to write a book. The creation of the raw words is such a small part of the job, both as an author and a copywriter. Most of my job consists of taking huge blocks of stuff I wrote before and working with it until it resembles something palatable for readers. It’s not manic episodes of inspiration or something. It’s a lot more meat and potatoes than that and takes a lot of energy some days. It’s my job—and it feels like a job.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?
I have a lot of different hobbies, and I like all of them, but, since you asked for my favorite thing to do, it would probably be eating somewhere past midnight. I could gush about Magic: The Gathering, all the book series I like, various television shows or movies, but, at the literal end of the day, what I like is to meet with various friends and stay out way too late at diners, sipping coffee or caffeinated tea and talking.
What is your target market?
I am still trying to figure this out for myself. I’ve considered my work to be pulpy in nature—a lot of fantastical situations and a heavy focus on action and fighting and violence—but it’s also a little heavy for casual reading. It’s certainly not child-friendly. Most of my stories, and especially my books, contain graphic moments of violence, disturbing imagery, blunt and open talk about sexual situations, and my characters, like me in real life, swear a lot. A lot. I write for a version of me, probably around sixteen to twenty, who loved everything subversive and rebellious. If there is a set age where someone is likely to grow dissatisfied with the status quo and seek alternatives: that would be my target market. If I had to put a number on that, I would say 18-25.
Anything else you would like to tell people?
I want to encourage reading books. I know that might be a little disingenuous coming from me (I get paid when people read my stuff) but books change lives. A book is dreaming without closing our eyes. It grows empathy and understanding like no other art form, and I find that increasingly a needed trait in the world.