Saturday, January 16, 2021

Gerald Brandt

Gerald Brandt is an international bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy, and the author of the cyberpunk San Angeles sci-fi trilogy: The Courier, The Operative, and The Rebel. The first of the trilogy was a finalist for the Aurora Award for Best Novel. His short story “Storm” appeared in the 2013 Prix Aurora Award-winning anthology Blood & Water. By day, he’s an IT professional and coding guru. In his limited spare time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, rock climbing, camping, and spending time with his family. He lives in Winnipeg with his wife Marnie, and their two sons Jared and Ryan.

Brandt's new novel is Threader Origins - Book One of The Quantum Empirica.

My Q&A with the author:

How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

Threader Origins wasn't the working title for the book. During our first revision pass, my editor (two time Hugo Award winning Editor) Sheila Gilbert and I hashed out the titles for all three books in the series. At the time, I had no idea what to call books two and three, but once we had Threader Origins they fell into place. The working title was Qabal. The problem with that is that it focused on the wrong things in the book. This really is an origin story on a couple of levels, the first being Darwin's (the main character's) introduction to Threads and how to use them, and the second is on the Threads themselves and the power they give and take. This is Darwin's first step into a new world, and he finds out more about himself than he could have in his own.

What's in a name?

Character names was a big issue for me in this novel. As I mentioned above, the main character's name is Darwin Lloyd. Both names have meaning, but the first name is the one that will click with readers. I think most readers will almost immediately think about Charles Darwin and his book On the Origin of Species. For me, it brings to mind the ideas of evolution and growth, both concepts in Threader Origins. In this case, it's the evolution and growth of the human species itself. You'll see a few physicists names dropped throughout the book, but Darwin's was very specifically chosen.

Do you find it harder to write beginnings or endings? Which do you change more?

I always know how a book is going to end before I even write the first word. That doesn't make it any easier to write! Even with that, I'd have to say beginnings are more difficult, and especially with Threader Origins. The entire series of three books is written from a single point of view... Darwin's. Because of that, I wanted readers to have an immediate connection and look into who he really was and what was happening to him. I must have gone through over a dozen iterations of the opening before I reached the version that is in the book. I woke up one morning with the almost final version in my head. It's basically the same as what I wrote down that day with a few minor tweaks, and I think it works extremely well.

Do you see much of yourself in your characters? Do they have any connection to your personality, or are they a world apart?

If I wrote characters that were like me, I don't think I'd have any readers. Bored is not something a writer wants readers to be! I guess since all my characters came from my imagination, they are more a part of me than I am of them, if that makes any sense.
Visit Gerald Brandt's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Operative.

Writers Read: Gerald Brandt (January 2017).

The Page 69 Test: Threader Origins.

--Marshal Zeringue