Interview with Steven A. Brownrigg

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Austin, Texas and grew up in Arlington, Texas, at that time a very small suburb between Dallas and Fort Worth. We used to go camping on Baird's Farm where they later built Six Flags. Growing up in Texas, we studied Texas History in school, and I was lucky to have a teacher who brought it to life and made it fun and fascinating. After John Wayne's movie, "The Alamo," was released, and we saw it, my family took a trip to San Antonio and the Alamo. I remember my tour of the shrine as being full of wonder and imagination. Every pock-mark in the wall was a bullet hole. The ghosts of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie still haunted the chapel. The entire trip to San Antonio was magical, and ever since then I was fascinated with Texas history. I feel the same about Austin. It has grown into such a vibrant city with its music, art, and industry, you have to love Austin. As I began my research for this book long ago, I spent many days and weeks there, poring through original documents at the State Archives for days on end. Each page I touched deepened my love of Texas and its history, and now I hope to share my love in this unique, never-before-told story of one of the most important figures in its epic history.
When did you first start writing, and how did that go?
I actually began writing in my head, many, many years ago, before the year 2000. The opening line came to me first, as I had a vision of how to tell this story, and then it became a refrain that rang through my thoughts over the years as I continued my research, during which I continued to develop the story line in my head. In the meantime, I promised myself and my wife that I would begin actually writing "one of these days." Then, a year ago, I was diagnosed with a non-alcoholic liver disease that would soon require a complete liver transplant. So, "one of these days" had come and it became my mission to get this story recorded before then. Working a full-time job, I wrote in the evenings, on weekends, and, as the year progressed, getting up at 5:00 am to write for three hours every day before I went to work. The day the hospital called and said, "We have a liver for you. How quick can you get here?" I was just about to hit the "send" key to start uploading my book. All the way to the hospital and rushing into surgery, I was telling my wife how to finish sending the book, just in case. Of course, she didn't hear a word I said. Fortunately, I survived the complex surgery, and, miraculously, a little over a week later, I hit the send key.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The more and more I researched Col. Cooke's history, the more I realized it was a story that had to be told. Long ago, in the 1980's, I began by writing his biography for the "The Handbook of Texas," an encyclopedia of Texas history published by Texas State Historical Association. Even after that was published, however, I kept coming across more and more information, and, more and more, I realized that his story had never been truly been fully told, and that it was one of the most important stories in the history of the Republic of Texas. As I got close to finishing, and began took at agents and publishers, I quickly realized that was a very difficult way to get published. But, even more so, now that electronic media makes it so easy to publish and widely distribute a book, it simply made sense to self-publish as an independent author. I may be premature in saying so, but I feel that electronic media will soon make paper media as out-of-date as Dewey decimal cards.
Published 2016-12-02.
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Books by This Author

Heart of a Warrior
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 165,140. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Adventurers & explorers, Nonfiction » History » American
The first complete biography of Col. William Gordon Cooke, leader of the New Orleans Greys, and a Founding Father of the Republic of Texas and the State of Texas. Never before told, this epic work brings new discoveries and fresh insights into Texas history through the life of the one of the most important figures in the War of Independence and the creation of the Republic of Texas.