Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Behind the Scenes with Brad Cotton

What motivates you to write?
I motivate me. And it’s not easy. I can be pretty persuasive and there’s often a lot of junk to watch on TV. There’s never enough time to do all the nothing I want.

What are you most proud of in your personal life?
My wife.

What book genre do you adore?
Right now, non-fiction. It’s not helping my writing much, but I’ve been reading a lot on physics and cosmology. Of course, I have a growing TBR pile, too. Most of those books fall under general fiction. I usually stay away from anything too fantastic. I’m not so much into vampires or zombies or erotica between the two.

What book should everybody read at least once?
This is just a tricky way of asking what my favorite book is, isn’t it? I don’t know that there’s one book I would recommend to everyone. Just like I couldn’t recommend one band or one movie. Every recommendation would surely be followed with “buts” and “howevers”. Having said that — Catcher in the Rye.

Are there any books you really don’t enjoy?
Poorly written books. I can’t get past poor grammar, sloppy story, or cardboard characters in print.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
Today Brad died, which is good only because this is his obituary.

How did you develop your writing?
Funny enough, I practiced writing in the corporate world. I was once a copywriter for advertising agencies. I had the knack to tell a story, but it took me a long time to read enough, (and write enough bad advertising), that I could properly convey the technical quality I was after. Writing a good line or paragraph takes practice. I can’t say I’ve hit the perfect sweet spot yet, but I’m getting closer.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everything. I think writers are just observers, or critics, of life. I take mental notes of conversations I have, of people I see, of moments in a day that derive something “new”. I think originality is the best thing a writer can offer. If something feels new and interesting to me, I get the inspiration to write it down. If after a while the novelty wanes, I throw it away. After a while, I have a collection of cool ideas, lines, words, names… anything!

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Yes, those are the hardest.

Do you find it hard to share your work?
No. Some people will love what I do and some people will hate it. I’m both of those people and I don’t mind at all. You can’t let it bother you. Like in regular life, you can’t be all things to all people.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
Of course my family is ‘”supportive”, in that they don’t tell me I’m wasting my life and always wish me the best. My wife is my biggest fan, but beyond that, there’s very little pomp. When I signed my first book deal, it was news. Now, a new book release gets less attention from most people around me. Many of my friends really couldn’t care less, to be honest. Great, now I’m depressed. Never mind, YES, everyone is super supportive!

Do you plan to publish more books?
Yes. Yes I do.

What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I work for two charities. One helps underprivileged students with nutrition, medical care, and after-school programs; the other is directly involved with support and therapy for children on the autistm spectrum.

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Genre – Contemporary Fiction/Literary Fiction
Rating – R
More details about the author and the book
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