Interview with Author Bryan Prosek
I recently sat down to chat with science fiction author, Bryan Prosek. We discussed his upcoming book, how to write genius characters, his writing process, and more!
Can you tell us what A Measure Of Serenity is about?
A Measure of Serenity is about an eighteen-year-old girl, Serenity, who tragically lost her mother at a young age. Her father and her have a good, yet sometimes difficult, relationship, but he’s probably her best friend. Serenity is very shy and socially awkward. She has a brilliant mind and heightened senses, but is OCD on steroids. She counts, calculates, and analyzes everything, all the time, which makes life difficult for her. When Serenity’s father suddenly disappears, she follows his trail to a parallel universe where there’s a double of everyone. People, places, and things are recognizably the same, yet look different. Serenity simply wants to find her father and figure out how to get home. But when Serenity’s alter-ego in the other universe is killed, Serenity is forced to decide between taking over the other Serenity’s role as leader of a resistance movement against a tyrannical super-government, a role which she is very ill-equipped to handle, or help that government open a portal so she can get home. Her decision becomes even more critical when she learns that the consequences of what she does could save her world, or cause its destruction.
What inspired you to write A Measure Of Serenity?
I love science fiction…reading it, writing it, watching it. And my first book, The Brighter the Stars, is very sci fy. I wanted to write another science fiction, but more down to Earth. There are no aliens or supernatural powers or superheroes in A Measure of Serenity. I also wanted the protagonist to “save the day,” based on intellect, not strength or supernatural abilities. Finally, parallel universe concepts have always fascinated me. Could they really exist? So I combined all of these elements and came up with a genius girl who doesn’t leave Earth, but who saves the day in a parallel universe.
Serenity Ashdown is an uber genius. How did you go about writing such a character?
Serenity is definitely not a reflection of me with her genius abilities. LOL! I am pretty OCD myself, so that part of Serenity was easy to write. Then I just took it to another level or two. For the genius part, I gave her every ability that someone with enhanced mental faculties might have due to conditions such as Savant syndrome (i.e., Rain man) and added some, but without the mental disabilities. That combination, while likely unrealistic in the real world, gave me an uber genius!
A Measure Of Serenity is your second novel, after The Brighter The Stars. Is A Measure Of Serenity connected to The Brighter The Stars?
No, A Measure of Serenity is not connected at all to The Brighter the Stars. It’s a completely different universe and completely different characters. About the only connect is that they are both young adult novels and classified as science fiction. Although, as mentioned earlier, The Brighter the Stars is more your traditional sci fy, whereas A Measure of Serenity is more of an action-adventure. But I think if a reader likes one book, he or she will enjoy the other one as well.
Did your writing process change between writing your debut and your second novel?
Good question. I don’t think my process changed much. I like to outline the highlights of the story before I start writing (beginning, critical middle chapters, and the end), but I later fill in the in between chapters and move things around a lot as I write. It’s always a work in progress. And my style hasn’t changed. I’ve been referred to as a cinematic writer. Whether that’s a compliment or criticism, I don’t know. LOL! However, I think I have become a better writer over time. You learn so much with each book, especially when you have such great editors and other people around you like we have at CamCat.
Can you tell us anything about what you are working on now?
Sure, I am writing a sequel to The Brighter the Stars, titled The Darker the Night. It is tentatively scheduled to be published and released by CamCat in November, 2022, assuming I get it finished on time! As the title suggests, it’s a little darker then the first book and doesn’t end so well for the protagonist. But I have plans for a third book in the series which will finish it out.
What is a piece of advice you’d give to aspiring authors?
Never give up! If it’s at the writing phase where you have an idea and a start but can’t seem to get it going, just keep at it. Or if it’s at the editing phase where you’re getting a lot of critiques that may not be so pleasant to hear, use those critiques positively and improve your manuscript. Don’t let them get you down and stop you. Or if it’s trying to get an agent or publisher to accept your manuscript, do not give up. You will get numerous rejections. Don’t take them personally. Keep at it until you find the right fit.
Where’s the best place to follow you?
I am all over social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon), but the easiest place would be my website (www.bryankprosek.com) which has links to all of those places as well as a place to sign up for my newsletter to stay informed.