Brandon Chane’s life is spinning out of control. After an altercation outside a performance venue nearly proves fatal, he’s feeling at the mercy of dark forces threatening to tear his life apart. Even as a gifted poet and musician, his efforts to channel pain, frustration, and thwarted love into his music may not be enough to save him.
Then he meets Saul Mason, a crisis counselor with the soul of a medicine man, who insists that Brandon’s life and destiny are of his own making. With Saul’s wisdom and guidance, Brandon begins a turbulent path of healing and spiritual awakening.
But as his band, Edge of the Known, looks forward to a high profile Battle of the Bands in NYC, heartbreak and a crisis of faith threaten to derail their first big break. Brandon finds that the dream he’s worked so hard to achieve is not a cure-all for his wounds. Is there another more resounding answer to be found?
The truth reverberates within Brandon and in the lives of the hungry, searching souls touched by his music.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
My childhood was basically divided between Connecticut and Vermont. At the age of twenty I took a Greyhound out to New Mexico, with a guitar, backpack and $90 in my pocket, and threw my fate to the wind. I wrote songs and performed, either solo or in bands, for the next few years, and music has been a vital part of every story I’ve written since then.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
I struggled for quite a few years, and a big part of my inner awakening involved realizing that I was the one creating those struggles to begin with. Beliefs about reality seem to be self-evident. The power of belief creates the “evidence” that then seems to prove that our convictions are true. So I drew upon my own experience in confronting my beliefs – replacing, enlarging or discarding them – to create the arc of Brandon Chane’s spiritual journey, of which “The Authors of This Dream” is the first part.
How do you create your characters?
One thing I enjoy most about the writing process is the magical moment when characters suddenly leap onto the page and start doing and saying unexpected things. I’m just running to keep up with them. Oftentimes, an idea for one character will suggest several others. For instance, Brandon is a wild, undisciplined genius. This created a need for at least one other character who was more pragmatic, thoughtful and grounded. So Tommy was born, initially, to bring balance by playing Apollo to Brandon’s Dionysus.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
As pretentious as it may sound, I do believe that I was born to write stories. There were two major catalysts, though, that fixed me on that path. One was “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever,” which I discovered at age eleven. That trilogy completely radicalized my conception of what story was, the themes it could explore and the scope it could encompass. The second was discovering Jack Kerouac in my late teens and early twenties. His writings transformed my whole notion of what language could do.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I don’t have anything resembling a fixed approach. Writing for me occurs in fiery imaginative flights that usually last no longer than twenty minutes or so. On a good day, though, I may have a dozen creative bursts like that. They could happen while I’m at the kitchen table, outside on a park bench, sitting in a café or laying back on my bed.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
The act of writing, in itself, provokes my thought process.
My most powerful ideas tend to bubble up spontaneously, so I usually write a first draft without planning too much beforehand. I’ve never used an outline. I do like to have at least one clear image at the onset – maybe just a peak emotional point that I’m reaching for – that serves as my North Star; something I can navigate by.
What do you like to read?
Aside from the authors I’ve already mentioned, I’m really influenced by all the books that comprise the body of The Seth Material by Jane Roberts. I’ve also devoured countless biographies about various musicians, poets, writers and painters. I’ve always has this hunger for anything that illuminates the creative process and the ways in which other artists have lived with the Muse.
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
The most difficult and rewarding challenge involves uncovering your own voice. It’s not too difficult for someone with some innate ability to learn to write well, with practice and study. The ones who really shine and make their mark, though, are those who write in a voice that’s uniquely their own. And that’s a much rarer feat.