by Thomas Brittendahl
Publisher: SolaFide Publishing
Publishing Date: April 11, 2016
Winner of SolaFide Publishing’s ‘So You Want to be Published 2015’ contest
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Everything he owned . . .
Everyone he loved . . .
Something is after him…
Short Q&A with the Author
What has your writing journey been like so far?
When I was going to college I felt deeply that I had something to say, something that could make a difference in the world. By the time I graduated I realized the ideas floating around inside my head were little to no different from those of many people. Moreover, what I wanted to say had already been said by other academics and philosophers, and better than I could ever say. It was a bit of a bummer, but one of my professors taught her courses with fiction books rather than the traditional monograph. I scoffed at the idea at first, but found that they did a great job of showcasing the culture of a given period, as well as expressing the emotion needed to fully grasp and empathize with the ordeals people went through at various times in history. By the end of her course, I saw a way to show people my ideas, instead of telling them. Over the summer leading into my last semester at San Jose State, I wrote my first story, a horrible hundred page didactic piece of garbage, but I was so proud that I actually got something written down. After graduating, I kept writing stories, each time getting better. It just took off from there. I’ve since shelved my first story . . . forever, but have revised and revised the others to the point where I believe they are pretty good.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
An Evil was the third story I wrote, right after Deification and right before Repository for the Unwanted. Growing up in a Christian family, the most terrifying things to me centered around religion, so naturally my horror writing has theological undertones. Anyway, I was watching a debate about morality on youtube and somehow the Book of Job came up. I was roughly familiar with the story, but after the debate ended I reread the Book of Job. When I did I was surprised at how . . . how horrible it was. So, since I thought the subject was extremely horrible, I thought it would make for a good horror story. Being a secular person, I tried to imagine the story as truth, and then I just scratched at it until I found a way to explain questions that popped into my head.
What is the best writing advice you ever received?
I can’t really remember a single piece of writing advice that sticks, or that I can attribute to anyone. I’ve read plenty about writing, and surely my old professors said things that influenced me, but I just can’t remember anything off the top of my head. In terms of my process, I’m a reviser. If I were to give advise, it would be to not worry about what kind of writer you are. Whether you plan every single plot point and character beforehand, or you wing the entire thing, just write, share your writing, be open to criticism, and use as many fresh eyes as possible to make your story better. No story will be polished after a single draft . . . probably not after several. Everything else will figure itself out.
About the Author
Thomas Brittendahl is currently teaching high school in the bay area and, in addition to An Evil, is preparing two new works for release. Repository for the Unwanted blends paranormal and historical fiction to tell the story of a seventeenth-century nun who struggles against paranormal forces with the comfort of only a secret lover. Deification is the first book in the trilogy, A Bridge Between Gods & Man, which blends science and political fiction to tell the story of people trying to reach beyond the limits of their own humanity, and the inevitable tragedies entailed in the pursuit. Follow on twitter @T_Brittendahl for updates.