Brandon Zenner’s Writing Routine – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Brandon Zenner will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

One of my own writing routines

Back when I was writing my first novel, I had an experience that would go on to shape how I approach writing on a day-to-day basis. What happened was, out of the blue I got what is called an aura migraine. This condition was not unknown to me; I used to get them somewhat regularly as a child. But at the time, it had been years since one of those strange, blinding migraines struck me. The most frightening part was that there was no warning. One moment I was fine, going about my business, and then in the corner of my vision there was a spot, like I had looked quickly at a glowing light bulb and then looked away. It took mere moments for that spot to grow into a column of bright and zigzagging lights. There was no pain at that stage, but I had lost over half of my vision, and it was getting worse. A strange sense of confusion and lethargy followed, and I couldn’t do much more than stay in bed for the rest of the day.

I won’t go further into detail about the migraine itself, otherwise this post will go on and on. But what I will say is that the timing of the event was … well … perfect. My first novel relied heavily on a man who succumbed to this condition, so experiencing one myself helped me to explain the technicalities in accurate detail.

Now, the day after the migraine, my brain felt all out of sorts. There was a fear that the migraine was going to come rushing back at any moment, and my head was lost in a fog. So I decided to sit on the ground and try an old practice that I used to do regularly back in my late teens: meditate. I focused on my breathing, sitting as still as can be, for several minutes. I didn’t sit long that first day, but the next day I sat a little longer, and the day following even longer. When my head had cleared up, and sitting in front of a computer was again a possibility, I meditated first for twenty minutes; feeling my breath go in and out and letting my eyes stare unfocused on a plant across the room. After the meditation, when I was sitting at my computer, my thoughts were sharp, and I felt my writing was better than it had previously been. Not only that, but my whole life seemed to improve by spending only twenty minutes a day focusing on my breath. So, this became a part of my routine. Every day, I sat and meditated before delving into my work. I still do it to this day. Often, I don’t have a full twenty minutes, as writing with a two year old at home no longer affords me the luxury of unlimited time. But I never sit in front of my computer when working on a novel without spending at least a few minutes focusing my thoughts in meditation. I hope soon to be back at my twenty-minute minimum, as there is an old Zen proverb that I think sums up the situation perfectly, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”

Two years have passed since mankind faced extinction. Brain Rhodes and his cousin, Steven, are leaving the protection of their underground bunker for the first time, after a cataclysmic war and unrelenting disease ravaged the earth.

On the other side of the North American continent, young Simon Kalispell is leaving the safety and seclusion of his cabin deep in the woods, traveling with his aging canine companion, Winston.

For individual reasons, these men are traveling east, where the fragmented lives of a small number of survivors will soon be decided by the choices of a corrupt few.

Simon Kalispell and Brian Rhodes are not yet aware, but the strength that resides inside them will soon be tested, and destiny will call for their fates to be forever intertwined.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Brian looked down the entry chute to Steven at the bottom. He knew that five minutes ago, the only thought going through Steven’s mind had been the complete and utter fear of facing whatever unknown nature of humanity might remain outside that bunker door. Now his cousin looked panicked as the filtered light reflected the sheen of sweat on his forehead, his body tensed, as if the all-encompassing blackness in that room was squeezing him toward the exit. Steven’s eyes darted over his shoulder in the direction of the one piece of equipment they had not shut down entirely—the walk-in freezer. The red, glowing light from the switch illuminated the far wall. Steven seemed frozen, transfixed.

Not the time to be thinking about what’s in there, Brian thought.

About the Author:mediakit_authorphoto_theafterwarBrandon Zenner is an American fiction writer and an Amazon best selling author. His short fiction has been published in both print and online publications, the first being submitted when he was 19 years old. THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS, his debut eBook thriller, has reached Amazon’s best seller list many times. His second novel, WHISKEY DEVILS, was released in early 2016. THE AFTER WAR, a dystopian thriller, is available now as a pre-order, at 80% off the final sale price. You can follow the author on his Amazon page, or through his email list on his website. All email subscribers will receive his futuristic short story, HELIX ILLUMINATED, for free as a thank you. His genres of choice are thrillers, crime, dystopian, and science fiction.

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Buy the book for only $0.99 at Amazon.

RAFFLECOPTER CODE: a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. James Robert says:

    Thank you for both the excerpt and giveaway

  3. I meditate daily as well, although I haven’t worked up to 20 minute sessions yet.

    How long have you been meditating?

    • Hi Astilbe,
      I first began as a teenager, but I didn’t do it every day. I started more frequently about four-five years ago. If you’re interested, a great book teaching the basics is called ‘The Miracle of Mindfulness,’ by Thick Nhat Hanh. Twenty minutes seems to be the normal minimum for most novice sessions (although, I rarely get to twenty minutes these days). That time period seems to work to get the most from the meditation, while not so long as to cause discomfort from sitting.

  4. Hi there,
    Thank you for hosting. I will be in and out throughout the day, and look forward to chatting. My next check in will be around 1:00 eastern, and I’ll be around for a while.

  5. kim hansen says:

    ENjoyed the excerpt.

  6. 1:00 eastern? O_O

    I was going to check when 1:00 would be in our country but somehow it seems like something I would be spending days scratching my head over.

    I love horror. But not much of a fan of dystopian. The last dystopian had a cliffhanger, I liked it though I probably almost gave up on the book right in the middle of it.

    I have been trying to find a book like this for some time.

    • Hi Salisa,

      Well, I’m a little bit later than 1:00 eastern (US), sorry about that. If you think you might be interested, you can read the first few chapter’s of the book on Amazon. Just click the book cover. I think they have the first eight chapters available.

  7. Eva Millien says:

    I enjoyed the post, sounds like a great read, Good luck with the tour!

    • Hi Eva,

      Thanks for checking out the post. You can always read a sample on Amazon if you want to check out more. Just click the cover, I think they have eight chapters available.

  8. Linda Romer says:

    The after war sounds like an exciting story, I would enjoy reading this book. Thank you

  9. Rita Wray says:

    The story sounds very intriguing.

    • Hi Rita,

      I’m glad you’re interested, I appreciate it. You can check out the preview on Amazon to see if it’s something you would like; or feel free to ask me any questions.

  10. Great post, thanks for sharing the excerpt 🙂

  11. Tammy Dalley says:

    Great excerpt, Thanks for the giveaway

  12. I’m happy to be a part of this tour, thank you for sharing!

  13. James Robert says:

    Thanks so much for the great giveaway and opportunity to win.

  14. James Robert says:

    Have a great Saturday and thanks for the chance at winning this giveaway

  15. James Robert says:

    Wishing you a wonderful Sunday and thank you for the opportunity to win.

  16. James Robert says:

    Happy Halloween! Hope it’s a great one for you and thanks for the giveaway

  17. James Robert says:

    Hello! Stopping by again to thank you for the chance at winning.

  18. James Robert says:

    Happy Thursday! Hope it’s a great one for you and thanks for the giveaway.

  19. James Robert says:

    The day so many look forward to, Happy Friday! Have a good one and thank you for the chance at winning

  20. amy bowens says:

    This sounds really good. Thanks for sharing

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