Interview with Kenan Brack for AuthorMePro



Eiko, by Kenan BrackAPKY/AMP: Hello. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer. What inspired you to write your first book?

My name is Kenan Brack.  Creator and writer of the book Eiko.

 I am a father of three wonderful children, a long time fan of anime, manga, sci-fi, fantasy and other geekly pursuits. 

The inspiration for my first book was a character that I had created when I was in high school.  This character Eiko originally started as a video game character when the fighting game industry was still relatively new.  Then after getting some concept art for the character, I decided to make Eiko into a comic book.  Unfortunately, I could not get an artist, so I converted the character into a screenplay.  The screenplay placed three-times as a semi-finalist in the Amazon Studios contest.  It had done well enough for another contestant who also ran their own publishing company to give me a shot.

APKY/AMP: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?

I prefer fantasy and sci-fi, as those are what I am most comfortable with, but I also believe incorporating other elements such as a strong romance or a mystery into my stories whenever possible.

APKY/AMP: What have you had published to-date?

Currently my first book; Eiko, is my only book published to date, but I don’t intend on staying that way.

APKY/AMP: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep at it.  Writing is not a field for those who give up when things get tough.  If it is what you really want to do then keep at it.  Never let anyone tell you it isn’t good enough.  Remember people rejected J.K. Rowling.

APKY/AMP: Why should we buy your book?

Eiko provides the fast paced action storytelling commonly seen in anime/manga with the fantasy world aspects of traditional dungeons and dragons/Tolkien lore.  It has a well thought out story, characters who are more than just one dimensional, and a great payoff for the main character.  Plus, I worked really hard on it.

APKY/AMP: Have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions and do you think they help with a writer’s success?

I’m a three time semi-finalist for a screenwriting contest.  That opportunity is what made Eiko possible in novelized form.  So yes I think they can help with a writer’s success.

APKY/AMP: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?

I write where ever I am.  I always keep some sort of writing tool with me. Whether it’s my Iphone, or a little spiral notebook in my camera bag.  To me, any place is a special place to write.

APKY/AMP: Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?

No, and I really wish I did.  I think the necessity of an agent, ultimately depends on the writer.  If a writer is able to properly brand themselves and do all the networking responsible for their success, then no; an agent probably isn’t necessary.  If you are like me and you concentrate more on the writing side, and less on the business side..Or as they say..a noob.  Yes!  An agent would be vital to my success.

APKY/AMP: What are you working on at the moment / next?

Quite a few projects.  A sci-fi retelling of Eiko, a steampunk indie game with Triumverity Games, a YA-lit novel, a LBGT fantasy adventure and a few other  projects that have been on the back burner for a while.

APKY/AMP: Do you manage to write every day?

Yes.  I get up, take my daughter to school, and once I am back, another day of writing begins.  Whether it is for my blog, or for one of my many projects, I try to write just about every day, and I have a collection of papers, folders, binders and notebooks to prove it.

APKY/AMP: What is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?

I despise the void that is writer’s block.  I hate that it happens, but it’s unavoidable and unfortunately I suffer from it on a frequent basis.  My cure;  well I take a break from writing, maybe for a few hours, maybe a day or two.  Usually after a while I will get an idea and I’m back in fighting/writing  form.

APKY/AMP: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and off you are with it?

It depends.  If I already know what I am going to write, I just go in with little planning.  If the story is something new, different or experimental, then I will usually start plotting.  Sometimes writing the end first and working my way back.  I’ve even wrote the beginning and ending, and then met towards a comfortable middle.

APKY/AMP: Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?

No methods.  I create what I feel are interesting people who would exist in the world I created.  They are never perfect, and never inspired by me.  I think that making characters who cannot be  everything all the time, who cannot be the strongest or the best, is what makes my characters believable.  I try to make sure that each one has flaws, whether physical, emotional or otherwise, that counter balances their strengths.

APKY/AMP: Who is your first reader – who do you first show your work to?

My fiancée Denise.

APKY/AMP: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?

I edit as necessary while I write and then I edit again after I have completed it, and then I give it to Denise who breaks out her red pen and “makes it bleed.” 

APKY/AMP: Do you write on paper or do you prefer a computer?

Both.   While I do most of my work on the PC, I also write on paper just because I like the feel and the physical sensation I get from it.

APKY/AMP: What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?

I prefer third, though I have worked in first person.  Can’t say I have tried second person, but I’m always up for a challenge.

AMP: What do you like to read?

Fantasy, Sci-Fi,   Screenplays.  I am a big fan of Twilight and Harry Potter.

APKY/AMP: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks?

I love photography, videogames, comic and anime conventions, air soft guns, going to the movies, playing with my kids.  You know fairly normal things.

AMP: Where can we find out about you and your work?

This is my personal blog.

I have a website that is under development at the moment.

Eiko can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Indiebound as well as the publishers website:

APKY/AMP: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

I’ll keep writing even if no one takes notice.  I really appreciate this opportunity.  Thank you.

APKY/AMP:T hank you. I invite you to include an extract of your writing:

The tree was older than I was but had grown with the most beautiful green leaves. I didn't notice any of that.  Beneath the haze of tears I could see my dad standing in the doorway of the house.  Our house.  The one that we shared when she was still here.

His head was low, and I could hear his heart beating, but all I could focus on was my own tears that fell from my face.  I wanted to yell, to scream.  My mother had warned me about doing it, but she wasn't here anymore.  She had left us, abandoned us and didn't even say goodbye.  The sorrow built up in my chest and I screamed.  I think my dad saw it before I did, and dove to the ground.

From my little throat came the most horrific sound of grief that expanded outward into a blast of energy. I couldn't see it, because my eyes were closed tight, but I could imagine it like watching heat waves rising in the air, except they were focused in a cone.  From my mouth, I could project sound as a force, but i couldn't control it.  The sound grew stronger as the windows of the house started rattling.  I wanted to stop, I had to stop, but I couldn't.  My sorrow and this power were tied together, and if I did one, I did the other.  My eyes opened, blurred by the outpouring of tears in my eyes.  I was peeling the ground away like an orange skin, and my dad was laying on the ground clutching his head.  I could sort of see his lips moving, but the sounds of my own screams were too loud.  He would have had a better chance talking in a hurricane.  Somehow I had to control it, but i couldn't.  I missed her so much.  She'd never tell me stories again, or take me to the park, or cook, or do anything that mothers did.   She was gone and I knew it.  I could feel it.  She promised that she would never leave us, and yet I couldn't feel her anymore.  She just ceased to be, as if she had never existed.  I had run out of breath, but my tears didn't stop.  My dad got up and ran towards me, with no fear for his own safety.  He only wanted to be there to console me.

"Yuna, please..." was all I could make out before I took a deep gulp of air, and lost my focus.  I tried to keep it in.  My daddy was too close, but I couldn't control it.  He dived away faster that I would have thought he could, and made it to his feet.  I felt a brief sigh of relief, as the pressure welled up deep within me.  Another tormented scream ripped from my body, threatening our house.  I was so sorry.  Then he appeared in front of me.  It happened so fast that I couldn't register what happened.  It was as if I summoned him with my grief. 

Even with my screaming, I heard his voice as clear as if I hadn't been screaming at all.

"It's okay Yuna.  I'm here."

APKY/AMP: Thank you.