4/30/13: Chumming with Spencer Brokaw
Welcome to Season 2: Episode 3 of Chumming with Sharky™ where viewers from every corner of the deep blue sea are treated to a small taste of talented authors from a myriad of genres. Today, I’m bringing you some talent from the younger generation of authors. At the age of 14 years old this month’s guest has already published two books and has traveled to the shark tank from Ohio to chat it up talk show style. Now, on with the show . . .
Sharky: Okay, first things first. Since our guest isn’t even old enough to drive yet (well, legally that is), we need to replace the adult beverages behind the bar with Caprice Sun juice boxes, bottles of Yoo-hoo chocolate milk, and lots of soda.
Producer: Chumming with Sharky without the martinis and vodka today, eh? Ooookaaaay. Should I just tell Anchor he has the night off?
Sharky: Of course not! at bar tending hammerhead freak of nature needs to work overtime for drinking all of the Scotch after the last show. Oh and when are going to have sharks in the shark tank? And why do we have vampire fish in the tank again? I thought we gave all of those creepy things to Steven Montano? Oh, never mind! Roll the book trailer for The Impenetrable Spy so I can announce today’s guest.
Book trailer for The Impenetrable Spy by Spencer Brokaw.
He wrote his first book when he was only ten years old and published it when he was twelve. At fourteen he’s already published a second book and he’s got several more planned. Don’t let the age fool you, because this dude has a future in publishing. Please welcome author (and actor/director) Spencer Brokaw.
[Applause from studio audience]
Spencer, it is a pleasure to have you on Chumming with Sharky this month, and I apologize for the crowd of paparazzi that you had to push through to get into the studio. Someone in Marketing put out a press release that the star of GoldenEye 007 was going to be on Chumming with Sharky today. I have no clue what gave them that idea.
[Ariel the waitress sneaks the drinks (and glazed donut) to Spencer and Sharky while humming to the theme of James Bond and then throws down a smoke bomb in an attempt to disappear. We can hear her coughing as she stumbles back towards the bar.]
Um . . . thank you, Arial. You’ve got to admire that mermaid’s tenacity for sticking with themes. Anyway, before we get into talking about writerly stuff, I want to bring up the fact that you are a fan of 80s music. I grew up in the 80s and have to say you have some great taste in music, particularly with Van Halen. What is it about 80s music that you enjoy the most over modern music? And other than Van Halen, what other 80s bands do you like to listen to?
.Modern music is uninspired, and all about the money, while most classic rock was all about the music, and the quality of it. 80s music was unique, and you could easily identify a band because they just had their own sound. And then the list of bands that tried to be them, and sound like them. Nowadays, everything is so easily forgotten and music is only about getting one or two hits, becoming famous, and then fading away with a big wad of cash. I particularly love Van Halen and RUSH because they stand out and make awesome music. With RUSH, you have one of the best (if not the best) bassist and singer, one of the most versatile guitarists, and easily the world’s best drummer, Neil Peart. They’ve been around so long and have continued making amazing music, and quite frankly, haven’t put out a bad record. Van Halen to me, is the first six albums, and the newest release. I loved Van Halen with David Lee Roth because he to me is the best singer for the group, not to mention a witty songwriter, plus you can’t deny his showmanship. Alex Van Halen is one of my favorite drummers, and Eddie is one of the best guitarists. Michael Anthony (bassist and backup singer) added the melodies to perfect the songs. Those two bands will always be a part of my life because they make awesome music. Van Halen is my summer and RUSH my winter. I also enjoy Def Leppard, AC/DC, RATT, a-ha, Night Ranger, Howard Jones, and Duran Duran. My 90’s music is Dave Matthews Band and Cake.
You definitely know your music and have an obvious love for it. And I have to agree with you regarding your comparison between classic rock and the modern stuff. Now let’s get into this spy series you’ve been writing called The Impenetrable Spy. Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this series.
The inspiration is mainly rooted in video games, and my love of being a control freak. I used to be addicted to two very influential games: Splinter Cell and SOCOM. Both were about secret agent missions, and I just started getting my own ideas. I wanted to craft my own story, and make it the way I wanted it to be. A perfect story to entertain myself.
When I read The Impenetrable Spy one of the things that really stood out for me was how there was non-stop action and a high body count for the bad guys. It almost read like a story from a Tom Clancy-like video game. As a huge fan of video games (I’ve been playing them since Pong back in the Stone Age) I found that element of the first novel very fun to read.
I personally think it is refreshing to know that as a teen you have a passion for writing when there are so many distractions nowadays (like video games) with advances in technology. What was it that triggered your desire to become a published author? What drives you the most to continue writing stories for publication?
I guess I just wanted to share my writing because I had had so much fun writing it and wanted others to have the same joy. Nothing really drives me to continue writing for publication. To me, it’s something I just really ultimately do for myself. I just love a good story (especially movies) and like to write stories to entertain myself, with the kinds of things I like thrown in. My next book I’m even debating whether or not to self-publish, or send to an agent. I feel like with the right execution, I could have a really good story on my hands.
I think that’s very important that your main focus about writing is because you enjoy the process. When you are writing for leisure and then decide to publish it becomes a lot less stressful. Speaking of leisure . . .
My team of special agents (a bunch of low-wage guppies) gathered up some intel and informed me that you wrote both Impenetrable Spy books during summer vacations and that you are currently working on a third novel. Can you confirm this and tell us a little bit about your current project or will you have to kill me afterwards?
I’ve given the top Chumming with Sharky Seal Team member the signal to be on standby . . . just in case..
I’ll tell you, but only because my license to kill’s been revoked. I’m currently writing my third novel, Agent J. I had the idea for the story 5 or 6 years ago (I can’t believe it was that long ago!), and wrote it. But obviously that story, when looking back on it, was written very poorly, but the concept is still pretty cool.
Bank robber Jack Robinson’s parents are murdered, and on a quest for answers and revenge, he steals from banks and private homes to fund a mission to kill his parents’ murderer, a terrorist by the name of Smith. When caught during a robbery, he is given the option to work off his debts as a CIA agent because he has a special set of skills like no other.
What I’m most excited about the book is that the main character is kind of a bad guy, and really sarcastic and fun to write. I’m also looking forward to the villain, a major terrorist determined to destroy America. He’s basically a more organized version of the Joker.
Agent J sounds really cool, and I’m glad you spared my life for the sake of our Chumming with Sharky audience. Tell us a little bit about what it was like publishing your first book The Impenetrable Spy. What is your ultimate goal as an author?
I published the book within a couple hours, with really no clue what I was getting into. I just published it without thought. My ultimate goal is to write something good enough to become a good movie.
Now that sounds like a goal that would be awesome to achieve! If I ever had a book turned into a movie maybe I would actually be able to spend some time doing some traveling, maybe do some writing at some exotic place. If you could get away and pick any place in the world to write where would it be and why?
On location for the book, so I could better depict everything. Either that or somewhere tropical because I like the warmth, the beach, and the palm trees.
Writing on location sounds like a good idea. Maybe I’ll try that with my next horror novel. Hmm. A haunted house, maybe? Anyway, it has been fun having you as a guest today, and I have to mention again that I think it’s great that someone your age has such a passion for writing. You really are an inspiration, my friend..
Thanks, Rob! I really enjoyed your questions!
Okay, before everybody starts holding hands and singing “We Are the World” we have one more item of business to take care of. I like to end each interview with a little hypothetical situation for my guests to ponder just for fun. Here is yours:
Van Halen’s tour bus has been hijacked and David Lee Roth is kidnapped. He’s taken to an underground facility in the middle of the Amazon jungle where a bunch of yuppie rock-star wannabes threaten to shave his head and turn him into a mute if Van Halen doesn’t let them join the band and go on tour with them. The President has sent in the Marines, Delta Force, Navy Seal Team Six, Chumming with Sharky Seal Team 2 ¼, Zack Carter, John McClane, Rambo, The A-Team, Jack Bauer, and even Dennis Rodman and Psy, only to be thwarted by the yuppie rock star wannabe booby traps and monkey brigade. The President finally picks up the red phone. The phone rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings (deep breath) and rings and . . . Are you still there? Well, you get the point. The phone rings several times and finally someone answers the President’s call. It is you James Blind, Oldenguy 007 (Wait, what? James Blind? No wonder the phone rang so many times!) You are David Lee Roth’s only hope. The President gives you authorization to use any and all means necessary to rescue David Lee Roth. It’s a matter of national security! He’s supposed to perform at the White House on Sunday for a charity event to save General Motors . . . again! How will you save David Lee Roth, Oldenguy?
Creep in, equip the silencer, and take people out one by one, making sure I hide the bodies of course. I’ll save David Lee Roth only if he promises to do at least 2 more awesome Van Halen albums, and at least one Skyscraper band reunion.
Sneaky, quick and silent, with a bit of an ultimatum for Mr. Roth. I knew those booby traps and that pesky monkey brigade wouldn’t be too much of a challenge. This is only a brief glimpse of what Spencer has in store for you in his spy and action novellas, which are both available on Amazon. Be sure to check out his site and support this young author by purchasing his books. They’re only 99¢ on Kindle!
Thank you all for joining us for this month’s episode of Chumming with Sharky™. I hope you enjoyed my interview with Spencer Brokaw. Below you’ll find more information about Spencer and how you can connect with him online and buy his books!
Spencer Brokaw published his first book The Impenetrable Spy in 2011 at age 12. He enjoys writing and plans on creating a series. He resides in Ohio and enjoys swimming, golfing, playing the drums, and reading.
Click on the book cover images below to purchase Spencer’s books:
Chumming with Sharky™ is a monthly spotlight series brought to you by Robert “Sharky” Pruneda, author of Victory Lane: The Chronicles and Devil’s Nightmare. If you would like to be a guest on Chumming with Sharky™ or you know someone who you think would like to be featured, please send an email to: ChummingwithSharky (at) gmail (dot) com or contact me via Twitter @SharkbaitWrites.
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