Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Author Brian Moreland

Brian Moreland lives in Dallas, Texas. He is an author, editor, and writing and publishing consultant, helping other writers achieve success.  In addition to novel writing, Brian writes two blogs: “Coaching for Writers” and “Adventures in Writing.”  He also works as a video editor and producer. He wrote, produced, and edited a WWII documentary called Return to Normandy about his grandfather, an honorary war hero. Brian originally self-published Shadows in the Mist and then sold it to Berkley-Penguin/Putnam for a mass paperback deal. In January, 2008, German publisher, Otherworld Verlag, bought the rights to translate Shadows in the Mist in German. It is due to release in Germany and Austria in February, 2010 under the title Schattenkrieger. Brian is a world traveler and frequently visits Europe, Hawaii, and Costa Rica.
Tell us about your work.
Shadows in the Mist is a supernatural horror novel set during World War II. It is part suspense thriller, part war story. It starts off in present day, when war hero Jack Chambers asks his grandson to deliver a war diary to a general at a U.S. Army base in Germany. The diary reveals a secret burial ground of U.S. soldiers who went missing in action back in Germany sixty years ago. Also buried in the graveyard is a Nazi relic that Chambers doesn’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Most of the novel takes place in October, 1944, where we relive the nightmares Lt. Chambers and his platoon faced when they crossed into Germany on a top-secret mission with a rag-tag squad of O.S.S. soldiers. Lt. Chambers and his men soon discover that something evil in the foggy woods is slaughtering both German and Allied soldiers. As the platoon is being stalked, they take refuge in an abandoned church and discover a Nazi bunker where the horror was unleashed. The thriller is based on the Nazis’ true fascination with the Occult. In 2007, Shadows in the Mist won a gold medal for Best Horror Novel in an international contest.

What made you decide to become an author?
I started dreaming about being a writer when I was in high school. I loved books. I remember going to the paperback racks at the grocery store and just staring at all the book covers. The artwork inspired me to imagine the stories inside each book. I saw books as parallel worlds you can travel into, escape from every day reality. In high school I wanted to be the next Stephen King. I attempted my first novel, writing by hand on a yellow tablet. My wrist got tired, so I quit after about five pages. My freshman year in college I learned to type on Microsoft Word and that made writing much easier for me. At age 19, I wrote my first full-length horror novel and the feeling of accomplishment was such a rush. It was like this story just poured out of my soul. I had so fun just letting my imagination run wild and making up this imaginary world. I created a group of characters who were like real people to me, living in an alternate universe. After writing all semester and completing my first novel, I was hooked. A novelist was born. I changed majors from business finance to creative writing and screenwriting. From that day on I was determined to make a living writing and publishing novels.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Brian Keene, James Rollins, Richard Laymon, and David Wellington. I recently picked up a couple of zombie novels that I’m looking forward to reading: Kim Paffenroth’s Dying to Live and Joe McKinney’s City of the Dead. Also, I loved the twisted and poetic writing of Charlee Jacob’s novel Haunter. 

How are you giving back to the literary community?
I write articles and post them at my free blog “Coaching for Writers.”
( http://www.CoachingforWriters.blogspot.com ) I share my experiences in topics ranging from the craft of writing, overcoming writer’s block, finding an agent, publishing, and promoting books.

Give one tip you would give new authors?
Here’s some advice I give to aspiring writers. Define whether writing is a hobby or a profession, because they are two very different mindsets. If writing is a hobby, just have fun with it. Write when you feel like it and if nothing flows, go out and do something else you enjoy. Let it be that quiet place you express yourself. Your secret escape. Writing as a hobby can be a wonderful outlet for creativity, expressing pent-up emotions, solving problems, and self-discovery. It’s very cathartic. If you are writing to be a published author, then fully commit to it. It’s not a hobby, it’s your profession. It’s what you do. Write daily, even if your muse didn’t show up for work. Make writing a daily habit. If nothing flows, organize your chapters or promote yourself as an author on the web. Make the business of being a writer a high priority in your schedule, because it’s easy to let life get in the way. Every successful author I know has two common traits: persistence and tenacity. They believe in their writing and they don’t give up until they see their writing is in print. No matter what roadblocks you face on your journey as a writer, you can move past them. Ever day is a new day to write and accomplish your goals. Just commit fully to being a writer and stay persistent.

Who, What, When and Where is your next event?
Right now, I’m taking a couple months off to research my third novel. My next planned event is Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas, around the first week of May. http://www.TexasFrightmareWeekend.com

What is the biggest lesson you've learned since becoming an author?
That if you are persistent in going after to your dreams, you can achieve anything. I took me eighteen years to publish my first novel, but I never gave up. I kept seeing my fiction as a book selling book stores and I kept believing in my vision. Whenever I got rejected by an agent or criticized by others, I kept pursuing my dream. The day I held my first printed novel in my hand, it confirmed my belief that when you focus enough time and energy into achieving a goal, you will be successful.

Suggest a preferred literary service.
If you’re looking for an awesome editor, I highly recommend Karl Monger ( http://www.karlmonger.com ). I hired him to edit an earlier version of Shadows in the Mist, and Karl did a fantastic job and was wonderful to work with.

What genre do you consider yourself?
Even though I write mostly supernatural horror and suspense, I love writing cross-genre novels that include mystery, romance, and history, as well. I also included espionage and conspiracy theory to drive the plot, so it’s very complex. I’m a big fan of Dean Koontz who is a master at mixing genres and giving his readers a multidimensional book. That’s my aim, as well. While my publisher categorizes Shadows in the Mist as horror, the story encompasses much more than just your typical horror novel. I’ve been surprised by how many readers who don’t read horror have told me how much they enjoyed the book. I think of Shadows in the Mist as more of an adventure novel with a supernatural mystery and lots of suspense, and hopefully a wider audience that includes men and women can enjoy the book.

Where can your work be found?
Through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and all major book sellers. Also available for Amazon’s Kindle.

Contact info:
Facebook Profile: Author Brian Moreland
Adventures in Writing blog: http://www.BrianMoreland.blogspot.com
Read my short stories and book excerpts at Dark Lucidity: http://www.BrianMoreland.wordpress.com

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