This week’s author interview is with Brock Eastman, author of our Quest for Truth series:
- Taken (Book 1)
- Risk (Book 2)
- Unleash (Book 3)
- Tangle (Book 4 — to be released 2015)
- Hope (Book 5 — to be released 2016)
- Question #1 — Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you’re from, family, job, personal interests, unique hobbies, what do you do in your spare time, etc.
I live in the Rocky Mountains with my wife, three girls, and two cats. I have the awesome opportunity of working from home for Compassion International (a ministry striving to release kids from poverty.) It’s great to be able to work where my kids and wife are all day. Plus I can wear my pajamas if I really want to (though I don’t suggest that). Spare time, what is that term you speak of, oh please explain it to me. But when I do have an ounce of spare time, I write, write, edit, and think of new ideas.
- Question #2 — When did you first want to write a book?
After I started reading Harry Potter I was enthralled by the way a story like that could draw in a non-reader like me. I hated reading, despised it, I was a video game jockey; Sonic the Hedgehog all the way. Of course they just released Sonic on android, so let’s hope I don’t get addicted again — I’ve got books to write and edit. But I also wanted to write after reading Harry Potter for one really big reason. Harry’s not exactly the ethical hero I wanted my kids to read about and aspire to be like. I know your think, “Duh, he’s a wizard. Dark magic, evil.” But that’s not actually what I mean. Harry (if you’ve read the books) seemed to always be disobeying authority to accomplish his goals, and that right there is a foundational principal I don’t want to teach my children. It’s a commandment after all, “Children obey your parents.” Okay, so you got me, Harry didn’t have any parents, but you understand the overall point. Kids should not be taught to lie, cheat, or steal their way to success.
- Question #3 — Did you always enjoy writing?
No, no, and no. I was the kid who wrote the exact amount of required words or pages for a paper. Not a word more, and if I was a word less, I could always find a place to add a fluffy word like ‘very.’
- Question #4 — What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?
I explained part of this above, but The Quest for Truth was also written, because I wanted to provide a clean action adventure story for kids. Even a lot of kids and young adult books in the Christian marketplace have ram-bam killing in them. I think death has no meaning in our culture anymore. Turn on the television and you’ll see a dead guy on the pavement about every 45 seconds. We are inundated (and our kids because they are on the couch too) by the sight and idea of death. Usually without any thought to the dead person. See something happens when a person dies, they either go to heaven which we can be joyful about and celebrate, or they go to death, which is sad and heartbreaking. This eternal life or eternal death result never comes through on the television, or in most books for that matter. I wanted to write a story that didn’t show such wonton death. If someone in my books does die, it’s dealt with in perspective to the true gravity of the situation.
- Question #5 — Do you have a specific spot that you enjoy writing most?
Hmmm. Really I can write almost everywhere. But at my desk makes me happiest, I have all my little trinkets, big screens, and a comfy chair. I do, however, like to write from a cabin when at all possible.
- Question #6 — What book are you reading now?
Well actually I’m reading the first three books in The Quest for Truth because I need to make sure everything ties together. Characters can get a bit unwieldy in a five book series.
- Question #7 — Do you have a favorite movie? What is it and why?
Jurassic Park and the reason is because I grew up wanting to be a paleontologist. I was obsessed with dinosaurs; in fact I will find a way to write a book about them sometime. I sort of did I guess, I included them in Unleash and Tangle.
- Question #8 — Do you have a favorite quote? What is it and why?
Ah I don’t know who it’s attributed to, but, “I went outside to find a friend, but could not find one there. I went outside to be a friend and friends were everywhere.” Great quote because it’s a simple thing we can all do. I believe that everyone desires friendship, fellowship, it’s how God designed us. And the easiest thing we can do is be friendly and befriend those around us.
- Question #9 — What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t stop until you’ve written the whole story from beginning to end. You can always go back and edit later, but get the story on paper (or the computer). Finish! Finish! Finish! Once you have a full manuscript, you can edit until your heart’s desire. But once you have it from start to finish, it’s no longer an idea, it’s real!
- Question #10 — Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
Interesting? I like to drink apple cider and listen to movie soundtracks. Not sure that’s all that interesting.
- Question #11 — Do you have a favorite book that you have written?
Unleash was my favorite, but when Tangle releases I am fairly certain it will be my favorite. Which means by that trend, Hope will be my favorite.
- Question #12 — At what time of day do you write most?
I like to write in the evening, sometimes after midnight. Something about the burning the late night oil gets me going. It could also be because I have three kiddos and writing any other time is pretty much impossible.
- Question #13 — How do you deal with writer’s block?
Ugh, the dreaded writer’s block. I procrastinate usually until something changes in my head. No, usually a walk, a hike, a drive to the mountains will help. A conversation with my wife, or watching a good movie.
- Question #14 — What has been the toughest criticism or compliment given to you as an author?
What has been the best compliment? Before I was ever published, when I wrote Evad (Taken and Risk in one volume) while in college, a family member ripped into the book pretty hard. It was painful, I was pretty sure I had no chance of ever getting published after the email. After all I was a small town boy, going to college for a degree in marketing. But then God opened door after door after door and just 5 short years after that, my first book was published! WOW! Now that’s God.
- Question #15 — Do you have a favorite character or one that you relate to?
In The Quest for Truth my favorite character has changed over the course of the series. Oliver was my favorite in Taken, and in Risk it was Austin, but in Unleash I really began to develop Tiffany and she became one of my favorites, now in Tangle Mason has become my favorite. So through the course of the series each of the Wikk kids has taken their place as my favorite, and it shows as the book corresponding to that character above, is very focused on them or reveals major growth for them. Oliver though, was always the foundational character in the series for me, and overall he’s my go to guy. Though I must throw a bone to Obbin, because he always surprises me with his heroics. “How does he surprise you the author?” you ask. When you start writing you’ll understand, characters take on a life of their own.
Interested in learning more about Brock Eastman?