Interview with Brent Meske

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There are plenty.

*finding out the end. I'm not a writer who writes the end first and then writes the road to get there. I have a vague idea of what the end ought to be like, and usually in the process the characters take hold and we get somewhere within a fifty mile radius of the ending I'd originally thought up.

*letting events unfold. To hell with plotting. I let characters do the things they feel they need to do in order to solve problems, and a lot of times they surprise me with their ingenuity, their hideous malice, their bravery, and their cowardice.

*I get to be somewhere else. My life isn't the hardest, but it has its stresses, and the joy of creation takes me elsewhere, to a place where the clocks don't matter so much, and anything can happen.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've been away from home for so long that Lincolnshire, the town behind the Alphas and Omegas series has been my way to get back in touch with my little slice of the suburbs I knew growing up. Michael grew from a supposition: that even among titans, among super people who could melt your face off, or turn themselves into ice, there is a power greater than all of them: the power of our minds. See, when people go super, they all seem to give up on their brains and start solving every single problem with their powers rather than their wits. The other idea was that, without the normal life, super people would grow into false gods, people who would forget what it was like to be human and only remember the absolute power they came to by accident.

That's the Alphas and Omegas series.
What do your fans mean to you?
Actually I love to share. It's one of the reasons so much of my Smashwords work is free, and one of the reasons I put my royalty payments so low over at Amazon. I'd rather be read than make money. If there comes a day when I'm making money every day, and I can give up my day job, well...I'm sure that'll be awesome.

My first five star reviewer: I sent him an email with a free copy of my first pay title as a thank you. That's what readers and fans mean to me.
What are you working on next?
I have a mind map set up for book six of Alphas and Omegas. Books three through five are written, getting edited and altered to fit edits from books one and two, but I have a vague, unformed picture in my mind of Super Alpha, which should be the last book of the series.

I say should...it's possible there will be a Super Omega. I doubt readers will like it, but it may end up happening. I'm not completely in control of Alphas and Omegas anymore.

Until Super Alpha is finished I won't really know. Lincolnshire and the rest of the world might end up in ashes. For now I take the hazy fog of ideas for Super Alpha, try to sift through the murk and sharpen the pictures/scenes/snatches of dialogue that come out of the aether at me. And before long I'll be putting it down, 1,000 words a day.
What is your writing process?
I sit and write. It's actually not much more difficult than that. I put aside distractions, like Facebook, Youtube, and video games, and savor the idea that I'm free to do anything I want.

I write until I stop, and after a few years of this I began to develop a sort of thousand words timer. I could stop within 50 words of a thousand almost any day of the week. Some days I slog through the thousand other days the world has seduced me and sucked me in, I'm in the groove and want to keep going. I don't stop myself. Lately my writing time has been neatly sliced to bits, since my son is growing to be too much for his Grandma to handle, so I write for an hour in a coffee shop called Hatters in a little city called Gimpo, in Korea, then head home and play. I can usually manage 750 words or so in an hour.

Notes are kept on an iPad app called A Novel Idea, where I have character names (I hate misspelling character names), location names, and various different ideas.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
As a writer, I have long thought of it as my job (my passion, the string that tugs me through the day and puts me in front of a computer) to write. To write the stories that I see in my mind's eye, and the ones that appear out of a sort of disconnected fog, out of two or three or four different weird ideas.

Not pen suck-up letters to agents, not mail off dozens of short stories specifically geared toward this or that literary magazine, not specifically tailoring any of my stories to this or that literary magazine, and speculative fiction? I'd rather put out my eyes with a sliver of glass. Slowly.

So I write. And I realize now that I'm doing more marketing than writing, and it kind of amuses me in a way, but connecting with the people who've read my work is actually a huge pleasure.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My son Gabriel 지성, and my wife 서방글. They both mean the world to me. I wrote Seven and the Eggs of Cadbury for them.
Who are your favorite authors?
Actually I want to take this chance to talk about the Adult Filter on Smashwords, because when I was 13 I read Stephen King's The Stand (unedited or director's cut or whathaveyou) which was 1200 pages long, and then Stephen King's It, which was about 1000 pages long. Both were horrifying, absorbing and fascinating, and both featured some pretty disturbing visuals (the escaped prisoner [Billy?] raping Trashcan Man) from the Stand, and a group sex scene in It. Yet I was 13 years old, and I handled it. To my knowledge, unless I'm schizophrenic with multiple personalities, I haven't acted out any of those things, haven't been motivated to.

This is why my books have a warning in the extended description, and yet may contain some graphic violence, dirty language, and some sexuality. I don't write erotica, the books don't revolve around sexual situations (though Super Beta is going to skate reeeeeeeeaaallllly close to that cliff's edge), and I think young people can handle a lot more than adults give them credit for.

That being said, I've read Brandon Mull, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Jonathon Stroud, Michael Scott, HP Lovecraft, Jim Butcher (awesome writer here, would love to be in his class), and lately Damian Stevenson, EL Farris, Phil Williams, Rik Roots, Steven Gould, Francis Poretto, Lemony Snicket, Jeff Lindsay, and that damnable Game of Thrones series.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I teach, I read, I throw my son up in the air or jump with him on trampolines, eat Korean food and salad, I design book covers (go to http://meskebrent.wordpress.com if you don't believe me).

And I write. I write more than anyone I've ever met personally.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Lately I've been trolling through Facebook groups (2 friends, promote your books with us/A Smashwords book for everyone, Review Seekers, and others). I read and write reviews, and the books are free, so that's good.

Before that, I used to wander up and down the aisles at Borders books, picking up interesting covers, completely finished series's (hate an unfinished series, George RR Martin), or stuff that resembled work from authors I liked.
When did you first start writing?
I can remember writing as early as maybe eight...but left it behind for drawing and painting all throughout high school and university, until I picked up writing again in 2005. All throughout my life, however, I've been telling stories with my best friends...stories of swords and bows and magic and the future, of genetic engineered monsters, robots, artificial intelligence, superheroes flying through the heavens.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was about eight or nine I wrote a literary masterpiece I believe called 'World War III' where my best friends and I sneaked into military bases and stole tanks and planes, and started a war all by ourselves. If you'd like to read and review this epic three page text of brilliance, email me at meskebrent@gmail.com.

Just know that I may laugh and laugh for days.
Published 2013-08-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Super Gamma (Alphas and Omegas Book 4)
By
Series: Alphas and Omegas, 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,820. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2014. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Michael has finally awakened, and just in time to be of no use to anybody. Life's all kinds of fair, right? Meanwhile Omega keeps on with its plan to annihilate cities for its own dark purpose, and Grandpa has left the town in the lurch.
Super Everybody (GG variant cover)
By
Series: Alphas and Omegas, 3a. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 88,520. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Life must move on. For residents of Lincolnshire, it moves on painfully, without thousands of the people that helped protect and keep it safe. For the Omega Syndicate, it moves forward by destroying entire cities in a new and terrifying way. For Michael Washignton Sr. it moves forward without his wife and son. Is the town super enough handle saving itself - and now the world - without Michael?
Super Everybody (K variant cover)
By
Series: Alphas and Omegas, 3b. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 88,520. Language: English. Published: December 23, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Life must move on. For residents of Lincolnshire, it moves on painfully, without thousands of the people that helped protect and keep it safe. For the Omega Syndicate, it moves forward by destroying entire cities in a new and terrifying way. For Michael Washignton Sr. it moves forward without his wife and son. Is the town super enough handle saving itself - and now the world - without Michael?
The Wizard's Tower (Rory II)
By
Series: Evenings with Rory. Price: Free! Words: 2,510. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
The wizard's tower is falling down, falling down, falling down! The Wizard's tower is falling down, my fair lady.
Super Everybody (Alphas and Omegas Book 3)
By
Series: Alphas and Omegas, 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 88,520. Language: English. Published: December 23, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Life must move on. For residents of Lincolnshire, it moves on painfully, without thousands of the people that helped protect and keep it safe. For the Omega Syndicate, it moves forward by destroying entire cities in a new and terrifying way. For Michael Washignton Sr. it moves forward without his wife and son. Is the town super enough handle saving itself - and now the world - without Michael?
Kim Hyejin (Something Super)
By
Series: Something Super. Price: Free! Words: 5,420. Language: English. Published: September 13, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Kim Hyejin is the daughter of the last dictator of the utterly demolished nation of North Korea, a princess and a prisoner, sent to live in a land she despises. And all because of two American superheroes.
Super Anybody (Alphas and Omegas Book 2)
By
Series: Alphas and Omegas, 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 83,110. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Aside from being the only kid at Super camp with no super, Michael's discovered a plot to destroy him, and his mother has finally had enough. She's divorcing his father. As if this wasn't just freakin super enough, his not-exactly girlfriend Charlotte has started seeing some Asian kid named Brian. Seriously, you survive one attempt to destroy the town...isn't one enough?
Overcomplicated (a Tale of Breaking Benjamin)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 7,210. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans the world over into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and small unit tactics are all part of the curriculum for students. 'Scope' has it all at Clements: a girl named Monica and an excellent sniping record. Yet he's still trapped within the Clements walls.
Sick Summer Camp (Something Horrific)
By
Price: Free! Words: 2,030. Language: English. Published: July 26, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
Jane is sick at summer camp, her second day of a gorgeous hot summer...and is that a 12 year old girl with an axe? Chasing a boy across the parade field, screaming her head off?
Super Nobody (Alphas and Omegas Book 1)
By
Series: Alphas and Omegas, 1. Price: Free! Words: 85,820. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Michael is just an ordinary, average, normal, every day middle schooler in the perfect town of Lincolnshire, a town that happens to have more superheroes per square mile than anywhere else on the planet. What could possibly go wrong, surrounded by so many people who could destroy the town with a snap of their fingers?
Buildup and Breakup (a Tale of Breaking Benjamin)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 6,820. Language: English. Published: May 8, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans the world over into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and small unit tactics are all part of the curriculum for Clements students. It's final assignment time for Jess, Jiri, Raspazzi and Crandall, when a pileup on the highway threatens to expose the bodies.
Broken (a Tale of Breaking Benjamin)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 8,840. Language: English. Published: May 3, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, training the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and small unit tactics are each on the curriculum for Clements students. Jon Talbaine has always been the black sheep of Clements, and now he's backed into a corner. How far will he go to get out?
Harriet's Mystery (Evenings with Rory I)
By
Series: Evenings with Rory. Price: Free! Words: 2,500. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2013. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Short Stories
Harriet is your average, everyday, garden-variety honeybee. Until one day, when her life is changed forever, she comes upon a Mystery. It's a Mystery of tiny, yet epic proportions. Harriet's mystery is the first in a series of stories inspired by Rory's Story Cubes.
Bagged in Korea
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 79,130. Language: American English. Published: March 21, 2013. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Travel
One busted nose, two black eyes, one torn up bed, bruised pectorals, blood pooled on the floor, a crumpled in front door. I’m only five months into my contract here. If I leave now, my boss is not just going to charge me for the plane ticket that got me here and refuse to pay my flight home. Yet I love this country. What is it about Korea that does it for me?
Exo
By
Price: Free! Words: 4,110. Language: English. Published: February 8, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Exo Corps are the garbage pickers of the fleet. We’re also the advanced scouts. The high speed pursuit and the high-risk terrain. You don’t get assigned to Exo unless there’s nowhere else to go. You’re always on some whacked mission where you’re about to be shot in the back of the sensor array. To the places the enemy’s sensor jamming, because they can’t just blanket nuke every planet we come to.
From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 174,830. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2013. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and small unit tactics are just a taste of the curriculum for Clements students. Colonel Garrett Ross scouted each and every student in these 13 tales.
Superhero Stories Written in Ink (Something Super)
By
Series: Something Super. Price: Free! Words: 3,960. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
What would it take to turn someone into a superhero? Marcus Patterson is about to find out.
Patriots (something Super)
By
Series: Something Super. Price: Free! Words: 1,160. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Just what might happen if the US military employed superheroes? You never know.
Under the Knife (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 6,600. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and small unit tactics are just a taste of the curriculum for Clements students. Vern is just a cybernetics doctor now, after graduating...a blackmailed doctor, with serious money troubles.
Forever Ends (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 7,340. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Maria Lacosta is a longtime graduate, but now faces the stresses of being an assassin. Her psychiatrist, Isabelle, tells her she doesn't have to go it alone. Yet Isabelle has her own agenda. And she has waited forever for this moment.
No Games (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 8,120. Language: English. Published: January 13, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and small unit tactics are just a taste of the curriculum for Clements students. Teddy Drysdale couldn't care less about Clements. To him it's all a game. But Colonel Ross is about to raise the stakes.
The Long Road Home (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 60,770. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Military
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Weapons and martial arts are just a taste of the curriculum for students. Alexis is the one orphan Garrett Ross has serious doubts about. After all, Clements admits ten year olds, and her parents are viciously murdered when she's nine.
Three Simple Rules (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 15,490. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and small unit tactics are just a taste of the curriculum for Clements students. Mark Eblin is one graduate who's never been amazing...and now he's been had.
The Elf and the Ogre (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 5,990. Language: English. Published: January 7, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and small unit tactics are just a few of the classes for Clements students. Melanie 'marshmallow' Marsh has been plagued by two bullies. What can she do to break free?
Medicate (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 12,910. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and small unit tactics are just a taste of the curriculum for Clements students. Ellis Haverdel is bullied heavily by an older squad. And the cure for what ails him? Rebar.
Water Torture (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 7,130. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Unfortunately none are perfect, especially hotheaded Amy Dunwald, and even genius Evan Aaronson. Can these 18 year olds complete their mission to destroy cruise ship, or be crushed by their doubts and the ocean below them?
Just A Phase (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 8,430. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Only one other child has been admitted with living parents: Gideon Ross. Can Jeremiah Whitfield, heir to a multi-billion dollar corporation, escape his repulsive household, can he survive Clements once he's in? Are they right? Is it a phase?
Inheritance (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 13,660. Language: English. Published: December 29, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. But something went wrong, and one of the school's regents enrolled his son shortly before he died. Was it really a heart attack, or is Gideon Ross right and there was foul play involved?
Amour Amour Amour Amour (From the desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 5,540. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. It's a world where technology is implanted into your body, and where corporations are more powerful than the nations they reside in. Where does love figure into a world like this?
Two For One (From the Desk of Col. Garrett Ross)
By
Series: Clements Academy. Price: Free! Words: 11,670. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Clements Academy was established, somewhere around the year 2045, to train the best and brightest orphans from around the world into the perfect agents. Weapons training, martial arts training, and small unit tactics are just a taste of the curriculum for Clements students. Jaxun Reynolds is one of these students, though he wants out. And lucky for him, he's just found the perfect patsy.
Seven and the Eggs of Cadbury
By
Price: Free! Words: 60,410. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Seven is on a mission: to save his sister Periwinkle from certain peril. On the way he'll face the Whatchamacallit, the legendary Twix, fight alongside some Skittles, and foil plans of the Smarties. Will he prove strong enough to be back to the farm before chocolate harvest, or will he end up just another candy crunched under the weight of the evil Emperor?