Author SR Brown writes fiction inspired by a caffeine-fueled muse and childhood of reading in the dark after lights out. Tales range from fun and sweet characters going on adventures in town to a stranger holding out their hand promising adventure but usually leading to something much darker. Battered and bruised by the end, most come out alive. Unlike Brown if placed in most written about situations.
But they may stand a chance having fought the darkness of a narrow flight of stairs and faced the shadow people that often visit at night. They are wonderful at suggesting ideas, but never subtle in entering the door.
After the last fight with the three gods ending in defeat, life is once more quiet in the temple for Val. For now, no sign of the three deities as the warrior starchild does what they can to prepare for the next attack. But things change when Inanna’s consort sends word from the underworld. A message that the goddess of the dead, Ereshkigal, wants to speak to her of the strange deaths of mortals.
There were a few things that I draw from the most when I bring my characters on an adventure. The biggest influences are my travels when I was a kid, a religious family, and childhood bullies.
When it comes to travels, the longest going example would be the yearly trips I would take to my grandma’s place up north. Every summer up until high school, my family would go upstate to my grandmother’s cabin in the woods and my siblings and I would explore the wilderness. There were a lot of hidden nooks and crannies if you looked enough, and we tried to find them all. And if we were convinced to not go get infested with ticks, the neighbors always had an interesting story or friend to meet.
When in high school, I spent three weeks overseas in Europe with other students through a government-run program. I went to England, Wales, Ireland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and visited a lot of historical sites many tourists don’t get to experience. Though we also looked at some common locations like the Eiffel Tower and the London Eye, just when not learning about famous WWII sites. While it is as amazing, it made me crave to explore more like when a kid upstate. Didn’t help that I once got separated from the group in a Netherland’s market square and took my own personal tour of the locals outside the busy city. It was weird to see the small, quiet community within walking distance from the hectic life of the shopping center, and how much it was like back home. It made me wish I did it sooner than the last country we visited, who knows what I might have seen in more rural areas.
This I noticed seems to be a reason that I love to force characters to not just leave home and go to unfamiliar locations, but actually dive into the culture. They are not mere tourists and visitors; I want them to immerse themselves in the society and learn about daily life willingly.
Another thing that inspires what I write is my very religious parents. While I no longer follow their branch of religion, I know it’s the reason I find other faiths and beliefs fascinating. I spent so long with one that I not a part of anymore that I now want to see what else is out there and what I missed growing up. And in turn, I often make the characters deal with what they believed for so many years and question what they found as normal. It is a usually unused or misused form of building character and I think we always have something to examine about the universe.
The last major thing that influenced me was being bullied as a kid. No, I do not use writing to get revenge; I find it boring and awful storytelling. What I like to do is write about how while things get bad and everything can go wrong, we need something to hold on to. The world can leave someone bloody and bruised, but I want people to know you have to keep going. While I didn’t hear that from anyone, reading others fight no matter what told the message just as well. And while I can be cruel to my main characters, but I don’t demand them to curl up and cry. I call for them to search for some good and identify that. And I wish to share such a lesson to readers.
I write for myself because I want to have fun and create works I can read later and enjoy. There’s something entertaining about going back to a story and remembering how much joy was felt in its creation. The happiness shows in the actual work and lets others get the same goodness when reading themselves.
But at the same time, I wish to share with the world, so put things in to the stories educate the reader. Since I do a lot of research for each manuscript, I want to show that I did. It’s easy to slip in an odd fact here and interesting information there. And while having fun reading is important, I think you can learn something too, even if you don’t know it.
I have two very different, but important reasons I write. For my mental health, and social life. I’m a hardcore introvert, so I love to stay in and read or write most days. But I also like to spend hours talking about art with other creatives. Writing gives me something to tell about and discover odd facts to share with others who might have the same interests. The act of saying I am a writer has led to me meeting not just other writers, but painters, graphic artists, and more. While we may not possess the same passions on the surface, we still uncover things to agree about and talk over.
But at the same time, I deal with depression and anxiety, especially in the last few years. Both got bad when in college and there was not much that I could find to help me cope. My therapist encouraged me to use the passion of telling stories I had before keep busy instead of lying around and doing nothing. The act of writing pulled me through, and still does, a lot. While the depression has gotten better, I nevertheless deal with extreme anxiety. I go through times where I barely sleep or constantly wake up during the night. Writing is one of the few ways I can calm down and focus instead of letting my mind race. The dread of what will never happen or mistakes are less loud when I escape this world.
I would be the first to admit that getting famous is a dream for me. I don’t deny fame and fortune from writing is something I can imagine. But at the same time, I know it is a daydream, and not what I expect. Just a future that could be a wonderful bonus.
At this point, I want two things: to make an impact with my writings, and have a way to help with bills if I can’t ever go full time. But most of all, I wish to write a works people will love or be inspired by. If I get a person to change their life for the better or create a new writer who does the same, great. But in the meantime, giving someone warm feelings and good memories from the stories is wonderful enough.