Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Author Interview: B D Bruns: A Born Traveler @lovebruns



Adventurer B. D. Bruns has traveled to over 50 countries to gather material for his bestselling books. Hes won 20 national and international book awards, including three national Book of the Year awards. He also contributes to Yahoo Travel, BBC, CNN, The Daily Beast, and The Travel Channel. 

Bruns travel adventures span from entering the Pyramids of Giza and swimming in the Panama Canal to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and touring Torture Museums in Estonia. He has attended ceremonies from the descendants of cannibals in the South Pacific and has been consulted by a ghost tour in Malta. After residing in Draculas hometown for several years, Bruns moved to Las Vegas with his Romanian wife, where they live with two cats, Julius, and Caesar.




Your real name and pen name?

My one writing regret is not using a pen name. I spend more time correcting spelling and pronunciation of my name than talking about my books. Bruns rhymes with spoons. Glorious, I know.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

I had a perfectly secure, perfectly happy, perfectly boring middle class, white suburban childhood. I always knew there was much more to see in the worlddespite my mothers claims to the contraryleading to the only bad thing I ever did in my life. When I discovered my elementary schools National Geographic Magazine collection I stole every map to pore over them the way my friends read comic books.

Info about your education?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What languages can you speak and write?
What is your biggest source of inspiration in your life?
What hurts you most in this world?

Ethnocentrism. Its just disguised cowardice. Children dont like trying something new either until they do it and discover they love it. Adults should know better.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

I was the only American to survive an entire contract in the restaurants of Carnival Cruise Liness history without quitting. There are no labor laws in international waters and, on top of simply being a sweat shop, there was a great incentive to keep me from setting a precedent. On Carnival Legend, I worked 100 hours a week for 15 weeks in a row, after which I stopped counting. On Carnival, Conquest management denied me food for a month, hoping Id quit. I subsisted off a stolen tomato once a day and a half a pizza every few days. And lots of coffee. Taught me just how unfair racism is, and Im very grateful for it.



If you had to live a day of your life as someone else (living or dead), who would it be and why?
What is your favorite genre and why?

I love good old-fashioned horror the mostbut its very hard to find nowadays. I want a good, meaty, and atmospheric story that treads new ground. Im also particularly fond of high fantasy. In both cases, most modern attempts are cheesy. Thankfully high fantasy has finally gotten the good treatment with Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Now, can we cast aside six pack abs and glittering vampires? Let us not forget that Bram Stokers Dracula was a thing, a monster.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

Im a hybrid author with both traditionally and self-published works. My first book was Cruise Confidential, about my time on Carnival Cruise Lines. I spent a total of four years at sea and living in Romaniathe whole ordeal was for a woman, of course. We lived in Sighisoara a kilometer from Draculas house! The international love affair was wild and unpredictable enough to warrant four books in the Cruise Confidential series. I have recently switched to writing paranormal thrillers, which has always been my dream. The Gothic Shift was my first, which won the International Book Awards for Best Short Story Collection, and Im just now releasing In the House of Leviathan.



What are your forthcoming writings?
What genres do you write in and why?

My greatest success so far has been in narrative nonfiction about my adventures overseas and doing crazy things like desert marathons or 500-mile bike rides. These books are fun and educational and, I hope, inspire people to get off the couch. My passion is for prose, however, and I love atmospheric, intelligent paranormal thrillers. Thats what Im devoting my time to now.

What keeps you motivated to write?
How do you plan, schedule and monitor your writing commitments?

Im a full-time writer, which means I have to make my own schedule and stick to it. I believe strongly in having goalsbig, overarching goals and mid-term goalsin all aspects of life. Thats how things get done. Writing is no different, be it a deadline or a daily word count.



What are your future plans?
What is generally your preference when reading a paperback or ebook? And why?

Im old school and love paperbacks. Nothing is cooler than being surrounded by books.

 
How much real life goes into your fiction writing?

A lot of real life is represented in my fiction writing, despite it being paranormal. In this regard, its because I want my characters to react in a believable manner and I think of parallels in real life. Just because I havent met a ghost doesnt mean I cant find a real-world surprise that doesnt evoke a similar, grounded response. 

Is a high level of imagination important to have for an author?

Imagination is incredibly important for an author though not the only thing. If you cant imagine yourself in someone elses shoes, youre not going to create unique and varied characters. Imagination is also the tool that bridges historical events and settings with a modern readerfinding connections between disparate things is my great joy.

Your dream destination?

Ive been to over 50 nations around the world, but that doesnt mean I dont have a list of where to go next! Antarctica is my dream destination, I think because theres no reason to go there other than sheer adventure or curiosity.



Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited. What are some of the best things you liked in these countries?

I grew up in Americas Midwest, which I credit for my strong work ethic and courtesy, but also my lack of awareness. The more I travel the more I realize that people are people and that everything you think you know about a place is totally wrong. Especially in America, where we know nothing about anywhere but seem to think we do. I love Americaits why I live here nowbut that doesnt mean I havent learned something valuable from each and every country Ive visited.

Your favorite time of the day?

Morning! I can barely stay awake after 8PM. I cant imagine how bad thats gonna get when Im old!

Your zodiac/sun sign?

Im totally a Gemini.

Your favorite color and why?

Yellow. Im a bright and happy guy. I think thats why I write horror and love sad songs: they are new and alien places for me.

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?

Im a voracious reader of history, particularly the Victorian age of exploration and expansion. Im drawn to the greatness of human achievement and embrace 1000 page volumes on the Panama Canal or Transcontinental Railroad. Im trying to read more classic literatureworks of the masters always inspire me.



Your favorite book and why?

My favorite author is David McCullough, who makes history more exciting than anything else in the world, despite giving oodles of details, dates, and facts. His John Adams is phenomenal.

Your favorite movie and why?
Your favorite celebrity and why?
Your favorite food?
Your favorite sport?

Im not a very good spectator, though after enduring nothing but soccer in Romania (which I played for five years), I grew to love American football. Its far and away the most complex sport in the world, though the learning curve is high.

What is the force that drives you?

Equal parts curiosity and hope.

What comes to your mind when you think of India?

After a graduate course in Mughal art at the University of Iowa, I was so inspired I studied Sanskrit. The class size was only about eight and after two semesters the professor kindly asked me to drop out because I was holding everybody else backthey all already spoke five or six languages! I dream of riding the great Indian railways through the mountains.

Some quickies (choose one of each pairing): Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare, Fame or Money, Boy or Girl, Day or Night, Tree or Plant, Love or Passion
What three words come to your mind for each Technology, Life, God, Humanity, Terrorism, Racism, Childhood Abuse, Love, Parenting, Old age
First thing you do in the morning after waking up?
Last thing to do before sleep?
State your signature line/tagline/best quote

Happiness cannot be given, though it must be accepted. - B.D. Bruns

The last line of your autobiography would be
The title of your autobiography would be
 
Links & other relevant details:

            Shelfari          www.shelfari.com/briandavidbruns
            LibraryThing           B.D.Bruns


ISBN-10:
ISBN-13: 9780985663575
ASIN: B00TVLFN1U
Publisher: Travelers Tales
Twitter handle: @lovebruns
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bdbruns
Goodreads author page: www.goodreads.com/lovebruns
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Brian-David-Bruns/e/B001K7NBG2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Any other links: www.bdbruns.com
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