My Exclusive Interview with Debut Novelist Brian Marggraf

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Brian Marggraf has just released his first novel – Dream Brother – and allowed me to ask him a few questions about his book and pick his brain about the challenges of writing, editing, and publishing. Here’s his Author Bio from Amazon ~~~

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Brian Marggraf has been writing fiction since the fourth grade. His first completed piece: a story about dragons, castles, and knights. Derivative, yes, but at age ten that’s ok. In 2002, he graduated from San Francisco State University’s creative writing program. His work has been published in Transfer Magazine and The Olive Tree Review. Dream Brother, his debut novel, was released in January 2014. He grew up in Ventura County, California, and now lives in New York City.

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Now, read on and learn more about this remarkable author~~~~

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INTERVIEW

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Hi Brian. Damn glad to know you, and thanks for having this talk with me. First Question — Describe your book and which character is your favorite?

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Thank you, John. Your virtual office looks fantastic. Okay, my book. Dream Brother follows Jacob Gavel, a fledgling sculptor. He leaves a failed marriage, flees New York City, returning home to San Francisco, welcomed by his mentally ill mother, subordinate father, and successful sister. As he settles in, he discovers a family secret. He had a twin brother who died in the womb right next to him. When the shock wears off, his reality becomes clear. He’s alone, broke, and unemployed. In an attempt to rebuild his life, he takes a low-paying job as a mental health case manager, but with all the tech money flooding the city, his childhood friend, Paul, has a better idea. His fresh start spoils. Events trigger his dreams, and his dreams resurrect childhood memories, propelling him forward on a sleep-deprived, speed-fueled mission to find recognition, love, and revenge.

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Who’s your favorite character in the book, and why?

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Jacob is the main character and the one I feel closest to. His situation and journey are slightly borrowed from my own life. I am inherently invested in what happens to him.

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What made you want to become an author???

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At a very young age, I started loving books. I started writing stories during elementary school, didn’t get serious about it until my first year of college. From there, I took several creative writing classes, read a lot of the classics, and joined some writing groups. Soon after, I decided to pursue writing professionally, and a few years later, I graduated from San Francisco State University’s creative writing program.

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You live in the Bronx. Do you, or can you use a Bronx accent in your repertoire??

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I am originally from California, but I have lived in New York City for the better part of the last decade, so I guess my accent is a hybrid of the two. As far as my writing, at this point, I haven’t used, but probably will someday, a native Bronx accent in any of my work. It’s a great choice though if done right, so distinct and dramatic, would be a good way to layer a character or two.

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Your book ‘Dream Brother’ sounds like a Coming-of-Age novel. Are any of the characters inside it a reflection of yourself?

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It’s a delayed coming of age story, not the typical boy to man journey. In his mid-twenties, Jacob escaped a bad marriage and struggles to find a career, a way of supporting himself. He returns home to San Francisco, that’s when he’s really challenged, and things go very wrong. As I mentioned before, some of my experiences and difficulties show up in Jacob, rendered with major exaggeration of course.

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Who’s been your biggest mentor in the writing process?

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I’ve had a few great professors during my writing coursework, but I’d have to say the biggest influence comes from all the major writers I’ve read along the way.

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Do you prefer to write a book by the seat of your pants, or do you outline it, or both?

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Yes, both. The outline is attached to arcs, the rising action, climax, etc.  I’m very visual, so that helps me stay focused and on track. Each scene has a few points, goals to accomplish. The rest comes as I write the chapter. It’s great to have a plan, but there needs to be room to capture the things that come up during the writing process. Some of my best writing has come from the unplanned.

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What’s your next novel about, and has it been easier/harder to write than your last book?

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In between promotion and marketing for my debut, I am working on my second novel. This one will draw from me a bit more, from almost ten years of special education teaching experience. The book explores bullying, high school, and follows young adults with and without disabilities. A typical teenager theme, presented in a new way. I hope to publish it sometime in 2015. So far, I’ve found the writing process much easier than with my first novel. During the many drafts of Dream Brother, I worked through all the problem points within my writing. This time around, I’m not repeating them, so the work, even as a first draft, is much stronger.

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Brian, thank you for a wonderful conversation. From what I’ve read of Dream Brother, you’re an author to watch for in the future.  Loyal followers, be sure to keep reading and check out his debut novel below.

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Dream Brother: A Novel       51wf9vqNQCL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

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SYNOPSIS

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San Francisco, California. Fifty hills surrounded by the cold waters of the ocean and the bay. City of rebellion and revolution. Smothered by fog daily.

This is the place where Jacob Gavel grew up, the place he ran away from at twenty, and the place he never thought he’d come back to.

The city’s in the middle of its second financial renaissance. A century and a half earlier, gold nuggets. In the year 2000, silicon microchips. The dot-com boom created hundreds of new companies, swollen with capital and potential, profitable only in theory, run by young professionals with a lot of disposable income.

After Jacob, a fledgling sculptor, leaves a failed marriage and flees New York City, he returns home, welcomed by his mentally ill mother, subordinate father, and successful sister. As he settles in, he discovers a family secret. He had a twin brother who died in the womb right next to him. When the shock wears off, his reality becomes clear. He’s alone, broke, and unemployed. In an attempt to rebuild his life, he takes a low-paying job as a mental health case manager, but with all the tech money flooding the city, his childhood friend, Paul, has a better idea.

His fresh start spoils. Events trigger his dreams, and his dreams resurrect childhood memories, propelling him forward on a sleep-deprived, speed-fueled mission to find recognition, love, and revenge.

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BUY LINK —  http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Brother-Novel-Brian-Marggraf-ebook/dp/B00HNW967G

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RANDOM REVIEW

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Five Stars — Extraordinary Work!, May 1, 2014

By
Mom2Boys (San Diego Co) -Verified Purchase
This review is from: Dream Brother: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
I downloaded this book for my Kindle yesterday. I caught wind of it through the author’s blog and thought I’d give it a try. Once I started reading, it was very difficult to put down. This is the story of Jacob, a young man who returns to his home town of San Francisco in an attempt make his life better after leaving his wife. As he moves his belonging into his parent’s home, he discovers a startling family secret that had been concealed for almost twenty-five years. From that point on, Jacob’s decisions send him spiraling… to where, exactly, is difficult to say. One moment he seems to be headed toward success, and then suddenly seems to be on the path of self-destruction. I found myself simultaneously disgusted with and sympathetic toward the main character. Just when I thought I had Jacob and his story all figured out, the rug was pulled out from under me, causing me to rethink all I had presumed. The story-line, on its own, would make this a great book, but combine that with the artistry of Marggraf’s written word, and a great book becomes an unforgettable one! I’m looking forward to more from this author, and wouldn’t be surprised to someday see his work on a bestseller’s list.

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LINKS

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http://www.brianmarggraf.com

http://indieheroblog.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/BrianMarggraf

https://www.facebook.com/BrianMarggrafAuthorPage

https://www.goodreads.com/BrianMarggraf

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