My childhood wasn’t the greatest, not that I am complaining, but it did have a lot of influence on my writing today. Whenever I write my young adult novels, I fall back into my teen years and I place myself in their shoes as I write. I remember how little I thought I had to offer the world back then. I was short and immature for my age. I was a constant target for bullies and spent my waking hours trying to keep my self-esteem from dropping even lower than it already was. It was a scary time for me. So when I write about young people I do it with the knowledge of how many of them feel.
I used to think there was a secret to growing up and being successful in school and I somehow missed it. It wasn’t until I became an adult I realized there are no secret formulas. Life it’s all about what YOU make of it.
I grew up with the Hardy Boys and to a lesser extent with the Nancy Drew mystery series of books. I didn’t know that they were actually written by quite a few different authors. Their impact on me was so great that I try to emulate them when I write. I loved how they were fast paced and the suspense was so intense at times I would have to put the book down and take a break. They were page turners and made me want to read to keep reading until the book was done. Maple Express is a book that was written along the same lines.
My next novel, due out in the summer / fall 2012, is titled Holly Alexander and the Mystery of the Courthouse Square. I decided to use a title that reflected my love for the Hardy Boy mysteries. I want people to love reading my books as well as people loved reading them.
It’s weird for me in some ways, because I am not generally comfortable around children. My wife has an instant rapport with children – I go out of my way to avoid them, yet for some strange reason I seem to attract them to me. Maybe as I age I am beginning to look like Santa Claus. Now, teenagers are different. I love their spirit, their ability to not let over-thinking stop them from accomplishing something that appears to everyone else to be an impossible task. Young adults just go out and do it. They aren’t tainted with the negatives of life and people who go out of their way to tell them it can’t be done.
My lead characters are the same way. In Maple Express, Sara Maple is a strong willed girl who is finally confronted with how she has been treating others. Sara ends up on a train ride that requires all of her abilities to find her way off.
Writing for me is a compulsion. I can go a few months and not write, but before long, I am getting a craving, like a smoker who needs a cigarette. Because I still act like a kid most of the time I relate more to writing for a young audience. I think it also comes down to something even more basic than that. Young audiences love stories. Harry Potter is a perfect example. It was an excellent story, crafted through seven books to an ending no one could have predicted. I think young people are more open to a good story, regardless where it takes them. Adults appear to be more sophisticated and want to be entertained or enlightened.
I am a story teller.
Thank you for having me here today. I truly love to write and I hope your readers love reading a good story as much as I love to write them.
About the Author:
It only takes a few minutes of thought before Peter Brandt can devise a scenario that would make a fantastic story, and minutes after that before it begins to fill itself in.
“I have been able to think up stories all my life but it’s only been in the last seven years that I realized I was abusing my creative side by not writing them down.”
Peter retired from the Air Force and began a new career as a Technical Writer. His writing abilities have allowed him to work in Canada, the United States and even in the Middle East.
But its Peter’s love for stories that has brought him into a new realm of writing. His humorous memoir about his life as a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces and the tragic memoir about his father’s life in a Prisoner-of-War camp at the age of 14 allowed him to refine his writing before he began to venture in writing Young Adult fiction.
Find the author online at:
Sara Maple has a comfortable life—the only child of a wealthy family—a best friend who does everything she asks—and the admiration of most of her schoolmates. Unfortunately, her temper and “indestructible” attitude quickly place her in a very precarious position.
“The Maple Express” is a powerful novel that captures the author’s take on the miracle of the human mind. “The Maple Express” delves into the actions and consequences of a young girl who has never had to take responsibility for her actions before. The story brings the reader into a world where Sara’s determination to find her way off the train sends her on an emotional trip that bonds her to her new friends and changes her life forever.
Both young and old readers will love the emotional journey Sara Maple takes them on as she deciphers the obstacles that confront her. Sara’s story ends with a surprise twist and leaves the reader with a sense of discovery about his or her own humanity.