Today, I’m happy to welcome Brayden Hirsch to the blog. Brayden is what I call a teenage "phenom". He's written one collection of stories and is busy on two novels. You can catch the latest from Brayden at http://www.braydenhirsch.com/
I had the pleasure of meeting Brayden in 2009 at a local writer's conference. I knew from the time we met he was a go-getter and an avid learner of the writing craft. Since then his writing career has taken off. SHADOW CATALYST, his first book, has been described as a “stunning combination of mystery, suspense, and the paranormal, painting the West Coast with a darker reality where things are always as bad as they seem.”
Hi, Brayden. You’re an inspiration for young writers everywhere. When did you first realize your love for writing?
It’s not so much a love for writing as much as a passion for storytelling, of all types, whether that be drama or literature or film, which are all things I’ve delighted in and experimented with for all my life. Right now it happens that I’m in the business of writing; I hope to explore other areas of story as well, eventually.
I met you at a writer’s conference when you were 13. How did conferences play a role in you getting published?
A very big one. Conferences offer writers connections which are invaluable, and allow us to receive face to face, immediate responses on our ideas and so forth. Without attending a few key conferences in the Pacific Northwest, I would most likely still be unpublished today, at least in book format.
Has social media played an important role in your writing career?
I met the editor/publisher of my first novel, SHADOW CATALYST, via Facebook, but other than that, I can’t say it has. Face to face connections at signings are much more valuable when it comes to promotion. Unless you’re willing to spend the big bucks on advertising or have a blog or website that already has a decent number of followers, I wouldn’t recommend a huge focus on social media, as a marketer. The aspiring writer should hope for a publisher which, someday, will promote him or her enough that the Facebook fanpage will gather more “likes” than Harry Potter, but until then writers need to focus on
1. Telling great stories and 2. Face to face connections; even a single true fan is better than any number of Facebook/Twitter followers.
Can you tell anything about your next project?
FLIGHT SCHOOL is a full-length thriller novel of suspense. I wrote it because I wanted to deliver a thriller with more of a message than your typical Die Hard; it is as much of a character story as a plot one, and I hope that it will both touch readers emotionally as well as entertain. This project is represented by Ken Sherman and Associates and anyone interested in it may contact him.
What two things would you tell writers pursuing publishing, no matter their age?
Narrowing it down to two is a little difficult; in general, know the industry, but don’t obsess over it. You can let down your brand a little if it means breaking into the industry, but never sacrifice who you are and what you believe for the sake of anyone. But don’t write for yourself. Writing is a very emotionally taxing task and requires much perseverance. Once you write a book to contract, you’ll realize that it’s not all fun and mostly just hard work, but it’s worth it to hear from readers and see the looks on their faces when they tell you you’ve entertained them, or touched their lives somehow. So write not for you, but for the audience.