Author Q&A

Q&A with Bryan Koepke

822a9-bry1Why did you become a writer?

When I was in grade school I remember the day when our teacher told us to take out a pencil and two sheets of paper. This led to the sound of thirty children rifling through their desks in an effort to be the first to locate the paper and a writing utensil. When the room had quieted the teacher told the class to use our imagination and write her a story. For a few minutes the entire classroom of kids including myself stared at that blank white sheet of paper wondering what to write. Then a few here and a few there started to write. It wasn’t long and I was writing feverishly in my newly learned cursive jotting down words, sentences, and paragraphs. From that point on I’ve always had a fondness for creative writing. It was on that day that I started to discover my passion for writing and for the most part I’ve been writing ever since.

What/who/where inspires you?
I get many ideas when I’m watching television programs. Often times my wife and I will be watching a thriller movie and something totally unrelated to the film will pop into my head. I used to run off to write it down, but I’ve learned over the past couple of years that if it is a worthy idea I’ll remember it the next time I sit down to write.

I like to travel and I find that pursuit to be very inspirational for my writing. One of my hobbies is hiking in the mountains a couple hours west of my home. I find that the combination of fresh air, nature’s beauty, and excercise all provide with great inspiration.

Who’s your favourite author and book?
I enjoy reading all of the bestselling thriller authors – Lee Child, John Grisham, Ken Follett, and others. I try to read outside of my chosen genre as well. I’m always looking for new authors to read and learn from. When I was in junior high school I liked John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” and Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”. When I first began seriously writing novels back in 2010 I read many books by CJ Box, James Patterson, and the Stuart Woods Stone Barrington thrillers.

Do you have a set writing routine?
I used to try to write every day, but these days I stick to getting an hour of writing in first thing in the morning every other day during the work week, and then on both Saturday and Sunday mornings I put in 3-4 hours of uninterrupted work. If I’m writing the first draft I may write for 8-10 hours during each of the weekend days.

When I sit down to write I start by reading the last couple of paragraphs I wrote during my last writing session. I find this gets the characters in my head and leads seamlessly into my continuing the scene or chapter. Sometimes when I’m lacking motivation I’ll start by looking over and updating the outline I’ve built for the novel. I use this to keep track of point of view, the timeline of the chapters, and to make notes about possible changes I might want to make.

Do you have a special writing desk or corner?
I do the bulk of my writing either in a chair in the corner by our fireplace with my laptop or down in our basement at my desk.

If you weren’t a writer, what do you think you would be?
If I had all of the knowledge I do now and was just starting out I’d either become an airline pilot, or a medical doctor.

Tell us about your latest book.
SABOTAGE – Book 2 in the Reece Culver Thriller series will come out later this year.
In this book while vacationing in the Scottish Highlands Reece Culver and his buddy Haisley Averton are pulled into the ever – changing world of Draecon International – a bubbling caldron of infidelity, corporate espionage, assassination, and a plot to destroy London’s Financial District.
This book will provide Reece Culver with lots of challenges and a chance for a little romance when he’s not dodging bad guys.

Any advice for aspiring writers?
I would tell them to visit the local library on a regular basis and read every book on writing fiction that they can find. Join a writing group – preferable one that has members that write the same genre as you. Write a minimum of 1 hour a day five days a week. If there are any available take a writing class. When you finish your first novel print it out and read it cover to cover. Then revise your novel multiple times until you think you’ve thoroughly polished it. Next find a good freelance editor and ask them about both developmental editing and a complete edit of your manuscript. As you write more and more books you will find that you can learn a ton from your editor. My last piece of advice is to write for the love of writing and creating stories that will entertain your readers.  

If you would like to purchase any of Bryan’s novels, please click on the images!

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