Today you are in for a treat. I have had the pleasure of interviewing Brett Salter (author of The Search for Synergy). This is my first author interview and he dealt with me (and my questions) with grace. So thank you Brett!!
J: Do you base your characters on people you know in real life and if so, do they know it?
B: Yeah, so in the beginning, I based my characters off me. Just me. I’ve known myself for a long time, and it was a small cast, so it was easy. That was therapeutic, for sure. But as the books continued and my characters grew in number, I found inspiration in outside sources such as close family and friends. I
have told those involved about their “loose” inspirations. I would not say they are spot-on replicas, but I WOULD call it amusing to paint these extremely caricatured heroes with touches of the people I love. Most of my characters are just too dang goofy to be based on real people though.
J: Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
B: Oh, you mean like the MCU or the Monsterverse? Yeah, my books are ALL connected. In fact, they are more like one long story broken up into extended, palatable chapters that I call “books”. Once I’m finished, books 1-6 will be one, long literary feast. How’s that for 6th -grade metaphors???
J: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
B: I would tell my younger self this: “Hey Younger Self, you need to hire an editor!!!! And get a haircut. You look ridiculous!”
J: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
B: (Rubs hands together) Oh goodie! We’ve wandered into Spoiler Territory! I have “finished” 11
of the proposed 12 books in my Talisman Series. That means that I have 7 more books that are skeleton versions of what I will eventually release. I want to release one every year or so (depending on my editing skills and artwork) starting with book 5 coming out this winter. I also have the MOST humble beginnings of a second series written down that will be focused around portal fiction and with
more adult themes in mind. No idea when that will be ready!
J: What kind of research do you do and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
B: I just kinda wing it, honestly. If I need to know the design intricacies of a setting or the inner workings of something, then I definitely use the internet for research. I find myself mostly using it to verify things like parts of weapons/armor or names of mythical monsters or what year something came out.
J: How do you select the names of your characters?
Naming things is my FAVORITE part about being an author (giggles). So, a common theme in my books is the 6 elements that dominate the world where my characters reside: Fire, Water, Ice, Forest, Earth, and Wind. Character types and character names are ultimately attributed one of the six. For instance, the Darkbrand generals, the Minotaurs, get their names from whichever element they hail from. Not to give too much away, but a water-based Minotaur is called a Hydrotaur, and so on. Almost every character gets their name from either the element they are associated with or a mythological inspiration. For instance, Julian’s little sister’s name is Camela Lynette Rider. She is named after both the utopian citadel of Camelot AND the Arthurian noble lady Linette. SPOILER ALERT: Her last name is pretty important too!
How do you come up with the titles for your books?
B: That’s a great question! I try to look at the whole book and find one encompassing theme that runs
throughout. “What is this book about? What are the main points that move the plot forward? What are the memorable scenes?” Then, I do my best to make some sort of word pun or association that represents the answers to those kinds of questions. For instance, the first book’s title, “The Search For Synergy”, references the three main characters all looking for an answer to the questions in their lives. (Rome’s yearning to break free, Julian’s fulfilling of a destiny, and Mr. Jones’s desire to protect the world). It just so happens that all three characters find themselves united by the very same thing that satisfies all of their searching. And that is The Great Synergy.
J: Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
B: I would love for readers to send me questions or theories regarding the books. One of my favorite things to do is speculate over tv shows or books, so I want the same from my audience. I’d love it for people to start discussions on my Fandom Wiki page about where the series is going or make polls. You know? Like an interactive community. You can also check out my Authorsden page for more on the books and some of my poetry. I’ll include my Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, Authorsden, and the Fandom below for all your readers.
Instagram – @talismanbrett
Pink Salter Peters & The Dad Jokes (Brett’s Dad Band)
J: How long does it take you to write a book?
B: On average, I can write an installment in The Talisman Series in about 4-5 months. I’ve almost written 11 in four years. That’s just because I have a full-time job and my “dad band” project holding me back! I think I could write like 6 books a year if all I did was write. LOL. I am ALWAYS trying to create something EVERY day to scratch that creativity itch.
J: How do you handle writer’s block?
B: I usually focus my attention somewhere else. Music, poetry, promoting the other books. I figure out a way to harness that need to create and aim it at another project. Then, after I’ve cleared my head (or
banged it up against a wall repeatedly), I’ll return to writing with a fresh outlook. Currently, I am in a vicious slugfest of writer’s block with book 11. And I am NOT winning!
J: Anything else you would like to add?
B: I just want to add that I am genuinely appreciative of Jolie at Read With Me for giving me this platform to promote my series. I am also unwaveringly thankful for anyone who reads/has read my books. You guys inspire me to keep at it. You are what makes me feel cool for being kind of a big dork. I hope that if you like my book or ANY book you read, you share it with someone else. Opening doors for others will never get old, and it will ALWAYS be chivalrous. And finally, make sure to support people in your life that love what they do. You will NEVER be disappointed with their results. So, before I go, I will remind you to remember to hold your Talisman tight and keep a wary eye out for portals. Peace out!
Look for my review of The Search for Synergy. It will be coming 7-9-21!!