Featured Friday! Brock Deskins
Brock Deskins is a story of Americana. A small-town America boy, who worked on farms, learned hard work and joined the US Army. A tank driver, dental assistant and computer analyst. When you combine these experiences, you get a destructive, analytical, medically skilled dreamer who loves horror, fiction and fantasy.
A Stephen King and John Saul disciple since high school, when hormones and puberty can cause permanent changes to one’s mind, combined with 15 years of military experience and the result is The Sorcerer’s Path series, which made Brock Deskins a top 50 fantasy author on Amazon.
From this very successful, 8-part series, came the Brooklyn Shadows series, the Transcended Chronicles series, The Portal and his current book, Highlords of Phaer: Empire of Masks – Book 1, a new series in the works.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
The pure, unadulterated freedom. After 15+ years in the military, being answerable to no one is the most liberating experience I’ve ever had.
What made you start writing?
I’ve always lived in my head. Very little of my waking hours were not filled with some sort of story I was concocting on the fly. I suffered severe personal and professional loss years back. I was emotionally adrift in a turbulent storm I was certain would drown me. At some point, I decided I could wallow in my misery or do something constructive. I decided to sit down and write. What started as a simple exercise became my life.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
Not particularly. I have many authors I like, but I’ve never been a fanboy of anything. I don’t get wrapped up by actors or musicians. I simply enjoy what they have to offer and move on to the next piece. I have songs I love and I couldn’t tell you who sings it. Same with books and authors. Not so much with authors, but if you ask me anything on the fly I’ll more often than not come up blank then have an, “oh yeah!” moment when given a hint.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Accept criticism and use it to help you grow, not discourage you. I used to dread opening my review page on Amazon. I still do to a point but not as much. Also, be realistic on your expectations. Like most things, writing requires some kind of intrinsic feel that lies beyond what a person can achieve through study. At least that’s the way it is for me. I guess it’s like playing piano by ear instead of sheet music.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I most often enjoy sci-fi and fantasy, which is what I write, but I also like a good biography. I began seriously reading as a teen and got started with horror, but I don’t read it these days.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
That’s a tough one. Assuming I’m still a talentless mortal in this scenario, maybe Garren from my Transcended series. He’s everything I’m not, my bizzaro alter-ego. Unabashed and unapologetic, he’s willing to do anything to get his way and damn the consequences. I’d probably feel much more comfortable with Leo Malone from my Brooklyn Shadows series. While courageous and has no qualms about solving most of his problems with violence, he’s a deep introvert but wants to be a hero.
Which book do you consider a must-read?
I don’t think there’s such a thing as a must-read book. For me, Dragonlance Chronicles and the Dark Elf series for fans of fantasy. Dresden Files for Urban Fantasy.
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
I’ve only made one big edit in a series and that was in my Sorcerer’s Ascension series. It was the first book/books I wrote, which I said started as a simple writing exercise. I wrote an entire secondary plot and characters that just didn’t go over well with most readers. It took too long for them to converge and the tone was completely different from the main story. I ended up cutting dozens of pages and numerous scenes from the series and shortening others. If a publisher picked it up I’m sure they would insist I cut it out entirely, but I can’t do that. One character in particular ended up having a backstory I just can’t part with.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
I’ve imagined myself in so many. I think insecurity breeds some serious hero complexes. Almost any one where I got to wield magic as long as it wasn’t too dark. I’ve been in the darkness and I don’t like it.
If you could pick an author to write your biography, who would it be?
Maybe Patrick Ruthfuss. His Name of the Wind spoke to me on a personal level.
Is there any conflict between what you want to write and what you think your readers will like?
Definitely. I love my Transcended series probably the most out of anything I’ve written, but it is hands down the least well received. People want a heroic hero or at least one who has an epiphany and undergoes some big moral transformation, and those who were expecting that were destined for disappointment. Those who didn’t loved it as much as I do.
What effect can a review have on you, if you read them at all? Both the good and the bad.
Reading a good review or having someone tell you they like your work is one of the most uplifting feelings you can have. It validates your effort and passion. Early on, bad reviews can be devastating if you’re a sensitive soul. I doubt I’ll never become comfortable with a negative review, but I’ve learned to accept them and move on.
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
I’ll do it in one: Kintsugi
What’s exciting you about your next project?
It’s a little new. I’ve recently discovered LitRPG and just finished my first book called Chaos Unchained. I’ve already thought up two more spinoff stories for the world. I’ve also begun producing my own audiobooks, which, after a year of frustration, is beginning to be fun.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
It’s not mine. I heard Tavis Smiley say it on The Daily Show. “Some of a person is not the sum of a person.”
Thanks to Brock for taking the time to talk to us.
If this has piqued your interest in Brock, you can check out more about him on the links below: