Genres: Apocalyptic, Dark Fantasy, Dark Fiction, Extreme Horror, Fiction, Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Psychological Horror, Supernatural
Horror After Dark recently had the chance to talk to the author known as “The Behrg”–author of the kindle scout nominated HOUSEBROKEN, THE CREATION series (Axis Mundi, and Let There Be Death), and many short stories–including THE GIRL WHO COULDN’T COME UP WITH AN ORIGINAL TITLE. Thank you for your time!
1.) HAD: One of the questions that our members wanted to know was: “Who is THE BEHRG? Why do you call yourself that?”
Starting with the easy ones, eh?
This is, undoubtedly, the question I hear the most. Some have called it pretentious, annoying, or just plain idiotic, (thank you btw, for that), but without going into a story that would take up this entire interview, I’ll answer as simply as I can. “The Behrg” or just “Behrg” is my creative persona. It’s the nickname – for whatever reason – my close friends and family call me. So rather than use my own name or choose some ridiculous penname to hide behind, I decided to reveal a part of myself only those closest to me ever see. And yes, you can call me Behrg, Brandon, or that a-hole; I’ll probably respond to all three.
If you want to hear the long story, I wrote a blog article about it sometime last year which you can find on my website under my bio, though let’s be honest … who wants the long story when the short one’s already been revealed?
2.) HAD: In the case of many authors, we’re always driven to ask what it is that brings them to write in certain genres. In your case, this question really doesn’t apply, as you have published in several genres: horror, supernatural/thriller/sci-fi, even some fantasy. My question is then, do you prefer to write in any one of these genres over the others, or do you just write whatever takes shape in your mind without worrying about categorizing it?
To me genres only apply to those trying to sell books. It’s a system meant to help people that like so & so author to know about another book that may or may not be similar. Thankfully, (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I’m not a bookseller. I read a wide range of genres, and while my first love will always be horror to some extent, my thoughts of what horror encompasses are much wider than most. When an idea strikes I try not to classify it or put a box around it but rather let it breathe on its own, see where it wants to go.
3.) HAD: You’ve recently released part 2 in your Creation series: Let There Be Death. How many novels are you planning on having in this series? Do you ever worry that people will “forget” parts of the previous book when waiting for the next installment in a series to come out?
That’s always a fear, especially when releasing one book without having the entire series completed. I’m working on the third book now and am hoping to wrap it up within this next installment. No promises, however. Books are like streams and go where they want to.
4.) HAD: Of all of your published works, who is your favorite character, and why?
I’ve really enjoyed writing Faye Moanna, who is one of the main characters in The Creation Series. She’s a strong, driven female that has somehow risen above the ghosts of her past. She constantly surprises me, taking things in directions I never meant them to go.
However, my favorite character was Adam Crotchett, the son in Housebroken. I never had a beat on him until I flipped into his point of view, and he completely took me by surprise. I had never envisioned him as more than a troubled teenager, and yet he quickly revealed that he was more psychotic than the kidnappers holding his family hostage. He taught me that the characters know more than I do about who they are, and to trust them rather than force them. I felt his character really added a layer of depth to the novel, and it was a love-hate relationship diving into his head.
5.) HAD: Least favorite character, and why?
My least favorite character is actually the mythical Shaman in The Creation Series, Takushkansh’kan. It’s not because his name is a pain to pronounce, (although that might add to it), but because of how much work it was to rewrite his scenes and dialogue until it felt real and not cliché. He’s also a vehicle for some key information and making sure his scenes weren’t just exposition dumps but driving the narrative forward took an inordinate amount of time and rewrites.
6.) HAD: How do you balance your writing career with work and family time?
This is the mystery question I wish I knew the answer to myself! I do work a full-time job and have a growing family, so the balance is tricky. Plus, I’m a naturally slow writer, rethinking each word I put down and not trying to dash through a quick draft. I try to write every day on my lunch break, then steal moments when I can – an hour here, an hour there. Slowly, it all adds up.
7.) HAD: What inspired you to write your first book?
I grew up in the entertainment industry, to a degree, as a child actor, but always knew I wanted to be a writer. So for the past fifteen years or so I focused my efforts on screenwriting. I had never even considered writing a novel until one of my brothers asked why I didn’t try it. He really was the inspiration for me going down this path.
8.) HAD: What books (from other authors) would you say have influenced your life the most?
I could choose from hundreds here. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Stephen King’s The Stand (amongst a myriad of other King novels). I grew up reading Terry Brooks’ Shannara Chronicles and later fell in love with Robert Jordan. In grade school while my friends were checking out school library books about baseball or cars, I gravitated to the stories about the Bermuda Triangle, Lochness Monster, or Bigfoot, and still do, to this day.
9.) HAD: Are your characters based on real people
Never. Most of my characters are discovered as I write. I’m absolutely worthless when it comes to outlining or creating a character spreadsheet in advance. I get sparks of ideas – about a character, a plot, etc, and then when I’m lucky those sparks will ignite while facing the blinking cursor.
10.) HAD: What are you working on now? What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
In addition to Book 3 in The Creation, I’m currently wrapping up a project I’ve been working on for the past year that I’m really excited about. It’s quite different than anything I’ve yet written, (or anything I’ve read), so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. The central idea revolves around a trope I’ve always loved, the “unreliable narrator.” I’m not sure where I’ll be putting it out just yet, but it will definitely be seeing the light of day at some point.
11.) HAD: What book are you currently reading?
I have ADHD when it comes to reading and rotate between 5-6 books at the same time. Currently my list includes The Fireman by Joe Hill; Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley (which is phenomenal, btw … seriously, I’m floored by almost every sentence in this book. Briliant writing); That Darkness by Lisa Black; Forever by Linda Cassidy Lewis; and I’m about to start Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter, which is a book I’ve been looking forward to all year.
12.) HAD: Is there any aspect of writing that you find particularly challenging?
I think the toughest part about writing, especially in today’s day and age, is to create something truly original. We’re all so influenced by the thousands of hours of TV or movies or mindless entertainment we stream into our heads on a daily basis that it’s easy to concoct a story that is just a derivative of what everyone else has done. My greatest challenge is to be aware of what’s out there but to try to find a new take on a story, a new angle that hasn’t been explored, a new subject or character that stands on their own. To weed through the clichés and eliminate them from your text; it’s a constant battle.
13.) HAD: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
All my life I always wanted to be a writer and believed I would one day be a writer, but it wasn’t until I established a pattern of writing each day that a wish became a reality. Stop waiting, and start today. Set small goals for yourself – half a page a day, or 500 words a day; whatever it is. But hold yourself accountable and don’t give up.
One of the greatest things about writing is discovering who you are through the process. It’s one of the most healing experiences you can achieve; so if you have the itch, and if it’s stayed with you longer than you can remember, get started. Discover the story that’s buried inside you, that only you can tell.
14.) HAD: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
Just a heartfelt thank you. Being a writer can be a lonely experience, and it’s amazing to hear from readers who have been touched by a character or story or who have enjoyed something you’ve slaved countless hours over.
Thank you for taking the time to join us today! We wish you the best of luck with all of your writing endeavors!