For some people, becoming a NY Times bestselling author is just another day at the office. Brendan Reichs is one of these people, staying cool, calm, and collected whilst thousands of people fanatically buy his books.
Brendan recently released Terminal, the fifth and final full installment of the popular Virals series, which he co-wrote with his mom and fellow Charlottean, Kathy Reichs (Bones producer and esteemed forensic anthropologist, amongst a host of other accomplishments.)
When not writing, Brendan stays immersed by organizing major young adult book festivals like YALLFest and YALLWest and making appearances at local venues like Park Road Books and most recently, ImaginOn.
Brendan’s been a Charlottean for the majority of his life, one of the few natives you’ll meet these days. He answers 20 questions for us and gives us an overview of his next book, Nemesis (2016). Aspiring writers take note, practice makes perfect and even bestselling authors wallow in self-doubt.
Name: Brendan Reichs
Years in Charlotte: 27 out of 37
Neighborhood: Carmel Country Club
Occupation: Young Adult Novelist
(1) Let’s get some business out of the way. Give us a little background on yourself. (Where you grew up, high school, college, first career)
I was born and raised in Montibello, off Carmel Road, and went to Myer Park Traditional School, Carmel Junior High, and South Mecklenburg High School. Go Eagles, Cougars, and Sabres (cats, not swords, I think). I went all the way up to Winston-Salem, NC for college at Wake Forest University, and then even farther away to Washington, DC for law school, at The George Washington School of Law. Then I retreated to familiar ground, back to the Queen City.
(2) Describe your legal career in 3 words.
Awful. Stressful. Soul-killing.
(3) Describe your current career in 3 words.
Wonderful. Stressful. Self-actualizing.
Photo via David Strauss Photography
(4) What did you have for breakfast today?
(5) Where is your office?
Above my garage, in what is commonly referred to as a child’s playroom.
(6) What does your writing process look like?
Outline-centric OCD management, mixed with creative flair (I hope) and procrastination.
(7) Favorite Charlotte hangout spots and stores?
(8) You’re plugged into a large national writing community of talented and successful authors. What does the writing community here in Charlotte look like? Do you have a network of Charlotte writers you connect/collaborate with?
My Charlotte writers’ network is small, but vibrant. I say that because my talented YA author friends Carrie Ryan and Renee Ahdieh are both small in stature and vibrant in personality. Plus I know this Kathy Reichs lady who writes pretty good.
(9) Typical bedtime?
(10) When you become a NY Times bestselling author, do you feel increased pressure to continue writing bestsellers? Does it alter the way you write?
If you think like that you’ll go crazy. You can only control what you write, not what people purchase. With my next project, Nemesis, I’m just trying to write a thrilling story that I can be proud of. Hopefully, people will buy it.
— Brendan Reichs (@BrendanReichs) May 12, 2015
(11) Favorite lunch spots?
(12) Describe your typical day at the office in one sentence.
I try to write strings of words that make sense and are funny, hoping they will eventually accumulate to the point they form a novel.
(13) If you have one dinner left in Charlotte, where would you go?
(14) Tell us about your next book project.
NEMESIS is about a girl with a serious problem: someone keeps killing her, over and over and over. Every-other year, on her birthday, Min Wilder is murdered in cold blood by the same black-suited man. But Min is different from the rest of the world’s victims, because she doesn’t die. She Resets. Every time Min is killed, she reappears a few hours later in a small glade just outside her tiny hometown of Fire Lake, a swanky vacation hamlet tucked inside the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho’s northern panhandle. On her sixteenth birthday, having been brutally murdered once again, Min has had enough. She’s determined to find out what is happening to her, once and for all. Her investigation uncovers a massive conspiracy, involving her entire town—one that might determine the future of the human race itself.
(15) Genre that gets the most play on your iPod.
(16) In 1-2 sentences, what advice do you have for emerging writers?
Write. Write. Write. Doesn’t matter what. Writing is more skill than art, and practice gets you closer to perfect.
(17) Favorite way to unwind.
Watching soccer. Drinking scotch. Preferably both. Plus my kids are kind of fun, too.
(18) As a writer, rate your level of self-doubt on a scale of 1-5. (5 being off the charts, second-guessing every word).
(19) Last book you read.
Two Graves, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
(20) Career you’d like to have if you weren’t a writer.
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