Welcome back, Brandon. You were last here on Southern Creatives 4 years ago!
Thanks for being our first return guest!
1) How has your writing changed since you were last featured on Southern Creatives?
I’m hopeful that it’s improved! I feel like that’s the most important thing: always keep improving. Recently, I released the audiobook version of my last novel, Frostwalker – the same book I mentioned when I was originally featured on Southern Creatives. While the narrator, Jack Wallen (Jack’s Website: http://www.monkeypantz.net), was in the process of recording, I was constantly reviewing the audio files. In the process, I got a more in-depth experience of Frostwalker than I’d had since I first wrote the book. It was very strange. There wasn’t anything that made me outright cringe, but there were definitely things I would have written differently today!
2) What are your current projects?
Right now, I’m focused on getting my second novel, A Man With A Gun, ready for release. The primary editing is done and it’s mostly ready to go – but I still need cover art! My original artist was unavailable, but I have another who is well along the way to finishing the artwork. I’m hopeful to have the book ready for release in the next few months. A Man With A Gun is a near-future sci-fi story with western and dystopian elements. Worth noting: This new book is set in the desert southwest rather than in North Carolina. A bit of a departure for me, but I think my research into the region was sufficient.
3) What advice would you offer to someone just starting out?
The road ahead is long and winding, but keep going. Budget time for the work every day. Even if it’s not time spent actually writing (although writing every day is a really good idea), devote at least a little time every day to doing something that moves your career forward. Find others – there are lots of us out there – and join forces. That doesn’t mean that you have to cross-promote with them or anything else. Just being in a shared circle of friends with the same goals helps you stay attached to the writing process and keep it in the forefront. But choose these friends with care! Avoid those who always have a cloud of drama swirling around them. If they delve into politics, social media dramatics, etc., then it’s best to keep your distance from them. Always remember that you are the brand and the product is your writing.
4) What advice would you offer to someone who is struggling to continue in their creative pursuits?
You have to troubleshoot. Find whatever it is that is the source of your struggles and address the problem. Sometimes it’s easy to find the problem and address it and sometimes it’s hard to pin down the source. Talking with other writers is often a good way to figure it out. Others have struggled before you – find out what they did to resolve the issues they faced. Whatever the problem, never give up. Change tactics. Work on a different project for a bit. Do something completely different from your usual work. Do something in a genre you don’t normally read or write in. Shake things up a little to break out of your rut. Find your ritual and stick to it. Keep trying.
No matter what, do not look at sales, reviews, website hits, or anything else as a measure of success. They’re nice things in their way, and maybe someday they will be relevant. But, until you’re one of the big fish, they don’t mean much. Keep swimming until you are a big fish. You do that by continuing to do the work. You write. Then you write more, and better. Keep doing that.
5) What are you reading, watching, listening to?
My most recent read was Ready Player One. I’d had that in my TBR list for quite a while and had forgotten about it. Seeing the trailers for the upcoming movie reminded me to give it a read, and it was a lot of fun! I always prefer to read the book first, but the movie looks like a must-see. My next read will likely be Vanguard by Jack Campbell. I’ve not watched a lot of visual media lately. However, I’ve really been enjoying playing The Long Dark, a wilderness survival game from Hinterland Studios.
Where to find Brandon:
- CreateSpace – https://www.createspace.com/4215180
- Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Frostwalker-Brandon-R-Luffman/dp/1483919439/
- Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/313932
- Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00COM7RU8
Click here to read Brandon’s original visit with us on Southern Creatives.