Monday 31 August 2015

A Q&A with author Brent A. Harris

California-based author Brent A. Harris is one of several writers featured in the new fantasy anthology Tales From The Tavern, published by Inklings Press. The book is newly available on Amazon, also featuring Alei Kotdaishura and Ricardo Victoria, both from Mexico, Leo McBride, based in The Bahamas, and Matthew Harvey, from the UK. Inklings Press caught up with Brent for a Q&A about the project. 

Inklings Press started out as a group of fellow writers encouraging one another – how did that project help you?

No man, or woman, is an island, as the saying goes.

I was inspired by a visit to a pub, strangely enough. The Eagle and Child. It’s where Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and others would grab a pint and some godawful British fare, (meat and pie should be mutually exclusive foods). But more importantly, it was where they workshopped, read each other’s work, offered advice, or just kicked each other in the rear to get them going again if they ran into writer’s block.

It’s a fairly common idea. The more support you have going into a project, the more likely you’ll finish it — and be successful. Our group, Inklings Press, has pushed me to be a better writer, and with the publication of Tales from the Tavern, it has encouraged me to be a better promoter, better at building a platform, and better at critiquing and helping other writers which is, of course, the end goal. No one can do it all alone.

Your group is scattered quite widely around the world – was that a problem? How did you manage to keep one another on track?

We are doing something that would have been impossible ten years ago. We can communicate, share, critique, and publish instantly through these newfangled contraptions with just a few clicks of a screen. The world is certainly smaller, but the inverse of that, the irony, it is now harder than ever to reach an audience. The easier it is for us to connect, the harder it becomes to be truly seen. For that, we need our audience to become active supporters.

Does your location play into the kind of fiction you write? Are you inspired by your surroundings? If not, what has proven to be your inspiration?

It should, even if only subconsciously. My wife is Navy, as such, we’ve traveled and moved quite a bit. I’d like to think that a piece of each place I’ve been resides within me. In fact, I know it has. Just as the people I’ve met and experiences I’ve shared with them are proven inspiration, time and time again.

How long have you been writing fiction, and what gave you the impetus to become a published writer?

I just recently dug up a story I wrote shortly after the first Jurassic Park film came out. It was a fan-fic and it stared Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler in a plot involving militarized raptors. Of course, that plot is ridiculous, right...? Right…? Argh…I’m still hoping I get a shout-out from Colin Trevorrow for burrowing into my 12-year-old mind. So, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.

Another impetus to writing and publishing also came from dinosaurs. In 1992, Harry Turtledove published a story called, The Green Buffalo. I enjoyed it. I looked up the author and I’ve been a fan of his and the genre of Alternate History ever since. But reading and studying history wasn’t enough. I wanted to write, and share my writing with maybe some other kid who stumbled into my story. I need to give back.

What do you most enjoy about your own work?

Writing is cathartic, and, I forget who said it but it’s true, it’s a voyage of self-discovery. On the not-so-narcissistic-side, writing for me, is a way to connect with people, either other authors (Yes! I’ve always wanted to string those three words together!) who are writing, or readers who’ve read my work. We are all connected, but I like tugging on the strings sometimes.

What are you most trying to convey in your story?

Well, I think the theme that I’m trying to convey is the connectivity we all share, even in the most misanthropic of all of us. My main character really doesn’t like other people, and he has great cause to, but in the end, he learns the value of friendship, even if it’s an unexpected connection. But, I expect different readers to come up with different meanings. I hope that there are other themes there that can be explored or interpreted. That’s the fun of reading.

From the other stories in the publication, which one most attracted you, and why?

I’m going to cheat here and say I love them all. I’m going to do that because I can say what a labor of love they all have been for their creators. I’m fortunate enough to have seen many of these stories in various stages. What you see in the publication, or on TV and film, is only a sliver of ice on the tallest iceberg of what actually is written, researched, edited, and agonized over. I think all the stories have shown that dedication, and all the authors should be commended for going from a blank page to publication.

This is the first publication for Inklings Press. What future plans are there?

From the very beginning, I’ve envisioned a publication that keeps writing and supporting others to write. We are going to see new stories, new authors, and more excitingly, we are going to see the craft of these writers grow. I’m thrilled at that prospect. I’m plugged into this program. I’m connected. We have our next Anthology out in October and countless others after that. Will you connect with us too? Contact us on Facebook or our Website at to join us!

Brent A. Harris has his story, The Bear-Trap Grave, published in Tales from the Tavern. Please Like his Author Page or share this article, and of course, download your copy of the anthology!

Tales From The Tavern, featuring stories by Leo McBride, Brent A. Harris, Alei Kotdaishura, Matthew Harvey and Ricardo Victoria, is available on Amazon here.

To find out more about Inklings Press, visit

You can follow Brent A. Harris on Twitter at @BrentAHarris1 or through his author page on Facebook here.

Reader review of Brent's story in Tales From The Tavern: "Finished The Bear-Trap Grave last night. It was good! I can totally see more stories from that world." Share your review comments below!

1 comment:

  1. Great interview. I very good book also. I couldn't put it down. Looking forward to the next Anthology and Brent's alternate history book.