“Nothing fascinates me like writing, creating stories, or sub-creating as JRR Tolkien referred to it. And, of course, to write and write well, one must read widely. It started early in my life and continues to this day. But, long before I began writing stories, I was working long hours as a college professor, squeezing in time whenever I could find the time to work my hobby—which I began in earnest near the beginning of this century.”
Stanley P. Brown always had heroes as a child. Born in Plaquemine, Louisiana to Joseph Harry, a painter, and his wife Vivian, a homemaker, these heroes mostly took form in his big brother, Harry, and those populating the pages of Marvel Comics. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff to be a superhero himself, he concentrated on academics at Louisiana State University and The University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned his doctorate in Exercise Physiology. He went from there to his first academic post at The University of Mississippi. Others followed, as did many, many scientific publications and several textbooks. But the call of storytelling remained strong in him, and he answered that call with publication in 2017 of his debut novel, The Legacy. Veiled Memory and Fallen Wizard followed in 2018. The Ruby Ring, the sequel to Veiled Memory, is coming in 2019. A fourth fictional world is currently being created and he has sequels planned for all of his novels.
Would you please introduce yourself to my readers and share something about your life.
Hello to your readers. It’s an honor to be here for this interview. My name is Stanley Paul Brown, but I write fiction as S. P. Brown. I have three novels to offer and a fourth coming this year from Black Opal Books (November 16). I am a professor at Mississippi State University and live in Starkville with my wife, Dr. Yvonne Brown. We both hale originally from the Baton Rouge, Louisiana region. We have three grown daughters and love to travel and live healthy lives.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
Quirky, well, let’s see. I suppose being a Marvel Comics nerd from my youth might qualify. Still that way. See my ranking of the 22 movie Marvel Cinematic Universe at my website, spbrownbooks.com
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
Nothing interesting ever happens to me.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Please, when you leave a room, turn the lights out. Save the earth and electricity and all that…
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
I am an eclectic reader, with tastes ranging from fantasy to hard-boiled detective novels. To this end, by top ten would be, in no particular order: 1) Everything by JRR Tolkien, 2) The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, 3) Michael Connelly’s works, especially the police detective Harry Bosch books, 4) all of John Grisham’s legal thrillers, 4) Vince Flynn’s CIA black ops novels with the Mitch Rapp character, 5) J.K. Rowling’s famous Harry Potter novels, 6) Philip Pullman’s children’s fantasy series, His Dark Materials, 7) on the non-fiction side of things I really like the works of Steven Ambrose who is an American Historian, and 8) David McCullough who wrote a biography of John Adams, 9) the works of Bernard Cornwell, especially his historical epic, Stonehenge (a particular interest of mine as you see in my Stonehenge Chronicles trilogy), 10) and the books of my favorite theologian, Dr. James R. White.
What inspired you to write this book? (If you have more than one book, please choose one.)
My second published novel is my first written work, Veiled Memory. Here I set out to create an alternate mythology for Stonehenge, the ancient monument. But generally, I started writing fiction out of boredom. I had written professionally, of course, due to my work in academics. I’d published dozens of scientific papers and some textbooks. All very boring stuff and was just burnt out, so I needed a new challenge and found it in the extremely difficult to break into world of fiction publishing.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I have plans to continue exploring the fictional worlds I’ve created. So far, I have 4 mythologies I’m working on and that is quite enough. My last is my current WIP, The Captain of Tally Ho. This is an animal adventure story.
Where were you born/grew up at?
Plaquemine, LA, one of the oldest French settlements in Louisiana.
If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
In prayer, preparing.
Who is your hero and why?
My big brother, Harry, because he was larger than life and all his siblings adored him. But that was as a child. Now I have adult heroes: writers – Vince Flynn, because he’s so good at what he does, God fearing men – James White, because he inspire me to live honestly before God and in obedience to Him. Also there is my wife, Yvonne, because she is loving and faithful, and encourages me to be the same.
What book do you think everyone should read?
JRR Tolkien’s mythologies, all of them.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
Let me go into the world of hard-boiled detective stories and pick Harry Bosch. Over many books now, Michael Connelly has drawn this character very well. Craggy and hard-edged as they come, but a brilliant crime solver and a deeply flawed man. And my other favorite comes from the spy thriller genre, CIA black ops specialist, Mitch Rapp (created by Vince Flynn). Mitch is of near superhero quality.
Describe your writing style.
Wow, this is a hard question and I really can’t answer it. I am not flowery, in fact I find description really hard to pull off well. Perhaps my readers can come to a consensus about the style of S. P. Brown.
What makes a good story?
I like expansive works, not simply character driven stories. The best are plot driven as well, things that twists and complicates.
What are you passionate about these days?
Getting my stories out there and living a life worthy of emulation, not to follow me, but who I’m following.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Exercise and too much TV (horrible time stealer I need to gain control over).
How to find time to write as a parent?
Not applicable any more since my daughters are grown.
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
I like writing and creating. I wanted the challenge of writing novels and yes, I’m glad I did it because I like creating stories and hope to keep doing it.
Describe a day in your life as an author?
I do a lot of promoting lately, mostly through Twitter, but I also write blog posts for my website and try to have a FB presence. Writing sometimes takes a hit, but my current WIP is a short story in the world of my debut novel, The Legacy. The story is a continuation of the main antagonist’s agenda. The story will be published in the second anthology being planned by The WolfPack Authors for publication later this year. The story is called Blood Moon.
Advice you would give new authors?
Provided you want to publish your work, do two things – write often and read widely, especially in the genre you’d like to publish in. Also study the craft of writing. I had a long writing career before working on novels and I still had to study the craft. It hardly ever comes naturally, but most often is the product of hard work.
What are you currently reading?
An anthology of short stories by a group called The WolfPack Authors, a group I belong to.
How long have you been writing?
Over 30 years.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I write by the seat of my pants. The story flows out and often takes directions I had not plan. And, importantly, I edit as I write. I am always editing my previously stuff as the story is built. Write and edit. I generally know where the story is going and I write to it. I never outline. But I always jot down ideas as they come to me, keeping extensive notes.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Come as I write. I can sense what the story needs and I have a pretty good sense of pace as well.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
None, but I do research what I need to so that the story flows past a sticking point.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Loves people and God.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book? (Pick one of your books if you have books.) I come up with an idea or concept and then develop story (character and plot) from where I see the concept or idea going. In Veiled Memory, the first of the Stonehenge Chronicles trilogy, I set out to discover the origin of Stonehenge, but I wanted it set in modern times and I wanted to include a clandestine group the world knows nothing of. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
It was my first novel written (not first published). So, I worked very hard on this story and actually wrote another novel in this story world that will never be published. Since this creation was my initial attempt at fiction, I learned craft as I went along, and this was a long, fund process. It ultimately led to a literary agent and now publication (though not through the agent, who I dismissed).
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
In Veiled Memory, my main character (and the first one I ever created) is Dr. Madeline Alleyn, a Celtic Historian who works at Cornell University. She’s a single mother of triplet daughters with a dark secret and a very protective instinct. She ultimately fails to keep her secrets hidden, though, and her past catches up with her and threatens her and her family. She finds in the end that she needs help to survive and turns to the people she’s been running from and who, she discovers, would have been a help all along.
Do you have any advice to give aspiring writers?
Read, read and write, write, read books on craft.
When Celtic historian, Dr. Madeline Alleyn, abandoned her husband, it was to protect him and her unborn triplet daughters. Now, nearly eighteen years later, her 17 year-old girls are smart, normal, but something has never been right with Madeline. There are compulsions she doesn’t understand and secrets she’s intent on keeping from her daughters, secrets her dead father never fully divulged, secrets her mysterious mother took to the grave giving her birth.
Now, the people Madeline is hiding from have discovered a way to unite the clans. They seek her mother’s archeological find, ten stone tablets with a story to tell of the existence of the Community, the secret origin of Stonehenge, and of quantum sorcery. But the secret community is divided, and the most dangerous among them think the time is ripe for showing themselves to an unsuspecting humanity. They must conquer. The prophecy of Tarkus demands it.
Madeline is desperate to keep her children hidden. She knows the prophecy from the night her husband revealed his true nature to her. But time is running out. Will she be able to find her mother’s hidden artifacts before her enemies discover that her children are the key to world conquest?
“The description of Veiled Memory appealed to me for numerous reasons. I enjoy the topics of Celtic History and folklore. Though I’ve wanted to visit, I’ve never been to the book’s setting, New York – the closest I’ve gotten is North Carolina, and let’s face it, that’s not very close. Having a history of twins on both sides of the family, a tale with triplets fascinated me. And, with murder attempts, psychic abilities, and mysterious ancient rune stones, there was no doubt in my mind that I was in for an exciting, fun read.
I wasn’t disappointed. Best comparison I can come up with is a paranormal National Treasure with a more serious vibe. The action and tension are relentless and the story makes reference to multiple yummy scholarly subjects, including another fav of mine, astronomy.
The author has a deft hand when it comes to pacing and balancing the story’s multiple plot lines. It’s complex, but I never failed to understand what was going on nor did I lose track of who a character was, despite there being quite a few to keep up with.
I heartily recommend this book and eagerly await the next installation.”
Harry Black has a curse he doesn’t understand, or could it be a gift he can’t escape? He’s the last heir of a dying clan, but there’s a problem. To inherit, he must fulfill the only stipulation in the will—accept the Black family Legacy. After seven weeks of the same nightmare, Harry is desperate to see a psychologist to be “cured.” But instead of help at the hands of Dr. Virginia Rankin, Harry falls headlong into the legacy’s grip when he experiences an ecstatic utterance and inexplicably reveals information to her that he couldn’t possibly know.
Shocked that this stranger has knowledge of her family’s dark secret, Ginny makes a frantic call to her brother. The call makes the Minority Whip of the US Senate late for a meeting at a world economic summit in DC, delaying him long enough to avoid a terrorist bombing that kills two other senators and dozens more innocent people. By saving the life of Dr. Rankin’s famous brother, Harry has also sealed his own fate. Wanted or not, the Legacy has finally come to him…
This book illustrates S. P. Brown’s breadth for mystery/thriller/fantasy/paranormal/horror storytelling. I previously reviewed his Veiled Memory. While there are some similarities, this tale starts out more strangely and becomes weirder at a galloping rate.
The protagonist’s grandmother, the matriarch of a rich southern family, is dying, and she has some secrets she wants to share. At first, her grandson is only interested in his inheritance. He soon learns that his legacy goes far beyond material wealth as a centuries-old feud rears its ugly head and changes his life.
This book is the perfect example of how fiction, no matter how fantastic, must follow Clancy’s dictum: fiction must seem real. In sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, and horror, world-building narrative must also establish a set of rules everyone has to play by. Here the rules are exposed during the tale, giving it the necessary air of mystery, but they’re logically consistent albeit fantastic.
I had a great time reading this book. Not for the squemish, but certainly a great read. Kudos to this author for bringing me back to genres and subgenres I’ve neglected in my reading. The plot is a wild ride, and the characters are complex and entertaining. Adult fiction at its best!
Summer baseball comes easy for twelve year old Peter Michaels. If only he didn’t have to get through those remedial math lessons, life would be just about perfect. But then an old man falls out of the sky onto his front lawn and things get a little more complicated. The first mistake Peter makes is to help the him inside his house. That mistake soon leads to a second, the one that puts an end to Peter’s dream of making the pony league all-star team. It seems that comforting a dying wizard puts your mark on an unbreakable pact.
Contract signed and sealed, Peter becomes the new air wizard whether he likes it or not. Now, he must deal with the threat from the Air Court that got his predecessor bumped off. Suddenly, balancing school, baseball, friends and family take a backseat to problems of a decidedly cosmic nature. Peter must band together with his closest friends to solve the mystery of the old wizard’s death, because the fire witch has her sights on him next. And if he doesn’t get a grip and accept who he now is, life on planet earth could take a nasty turn. His only distraction is that his mom still demands an A in that remedial math course.