Tell us about the concept behind The Red Cross of Gold series:The legends of the Templar Knights aka Poor Knights of Solomon's Temple have fascinated me for at least thirty years. I have read a veritable library of books concerning their history (fact, legend and tradition, as well as, conspiracy theories). Because I have been writing since my early twenties, dabbling in fan fiction, sci-fi stories and fantasy, I thought why not put all my vast accumulation of Templar trivia to work and write a novel about them. I was originally thinking of writing an epic historical fiction about the adventures of a particularly unruly, irreverent Templar Knight from Scotland, one of my favorite countries since I fancy that my ancestors through my father's bloodline actually originated in Scotland.
I read a number of books about life during the middle ages, historical accounts of the Crusades and the Templar role in them and numerous works on the Holy Roman Catholic Empire of that time. All of this was very interesting, but writing a historical novel takes more patience than I had at the time.
In my early forties, I went through a particularly trying time in my personal life and discovered that I had a number of personal demons I needed to purge if I ever hoped to find some modicum of happiness in my 'old age'. I took a transfer to a different part of Texas (which for those who don't know can be like moving to another country). I left the deep woods of East Texas and moved to the more arid central area where there are more goats than people and civilization operated about twenty years behind times. The grocery stores still belonged to people with names and their floors were made of wood and they faced the town square. The jail was a small building sitting on the corner of the Courthouse square.
While sitting in my tiny dwelling alone, night after night, I took up my Brother typewriter and began to write my first novel in the Assassin Chronicles. I envisioned all of my best and worst demons in the characters as the story unfolded on the paper. By the time I finished the book, I felt much better about life in general and seemed to have recovered my perspective. I began to look for a publisher or an agent who might be interested in publishing the book, but as in all my earlier attempts at getting published, I got nowhere fast.
But just because I couldn't get published traditionally, I did not lose the desire to write. I kept going back to the story.
I transferred back to my hometown area within a year and took up the typewriter again. I wrote the second work partially on the typewriter and then purchased my first computer. The ease of using a word processor was nothing short of miraculous. I soon had a number of books written expanding on the tale, adding in mysterious conspiracy theory components, mythological creatures and beasts, gods and goddesses, angels and more demons. All of this became much easier as I learned to 'surf the web' in search of new and interesting topics to write about.
As I was writing and wondering how in the world I was going to get published, apparently a lot of other writers were wondering the same thing. Soon, self-publishing websites were popping up everywhere on the web. I paid over $800 to have my book published in paperback the first time and was thrilled beyond measure to hold it in my hands. Of course, it never went anywhere unless I bought it and gave it away. Soon, some very clever people realized that computers might actually be here to stay and realized that there was a need for electronic books. One thing led to another and the Amazon Kindle popped up on Oprah Winfrey's show one day. A friend of mine who used to be an avid Oprah watcher told me about the Kindle and the rest of the story is evident in the number of books now published absolutely free for Kindle, and for paperbacks via Createspace and other e-publishers since then. I can say that I owe my current state of somewhat modest success to my friend and Oprah Winfrey (I just realized that my word program actually recognizes her name, but does not recognize Createspace! Ha!) Now if I could only get Oprah to read and recommend my works on her website…
Well, I'm very happy with my publishing so far. Promoting is the problem.
Promoting can be fun or it can be drudgery, depending on the severity of the hair day going on. I love writing, I love promoting, tweeting, Face-booking, forum-ing, blogging, etc., but there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.
If you choose to read the series, I would love to hear from you. Send questions and comments to BrendanCarroll7@gmail.com anytime. A writer loves nothing more than conversing with readers.
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Tell us about yourself Brenden:
I was born and raised in the Piney Woods of East Texas. I played outside when "Leave It To Beaver" played on the TV. I rode stickhorses, wore cowboy hats and capguns and played "Cowboys and Indians", learned to shoot marbles in the dirt, played with little green army men, climbed trees, got stung by numerous bees and wasps, fell in holes, crashed my bike, rode the neighbors' pony and got chased by bulls across the fields. I graduated 13th in my class in highschool because I thought it would be uncool to actually study. I joined the Navy, served 5+ years on active and inactive duty and worked with Navy pilots learning to fly jet fighters. Had a lot of fun and then used my benefits to go to college.
I received a degree in geography/geology with a secondary teaching certificate after starting out in Environmental Science with the idea of becoming a Civil Engineer. Never materialized.
Family required that I go to work and earn a living. I went to work for the State of Texas in the Corrections field and spent 23 years working there after bombing out as a school teacher after one year. Egad, teaching is much too political for me. It was not the students who ran me away from teaching, but my co-workers and administrators. I've had a rather pleasant life with few real tragedies as yet. I believe that the United States is one of the best places in the world to be born and that Texas is certainly the best state to live in and I thank God everyday that I am free to pursue my own dreams.
Thank you for reading and may you always find joy in everything you do and beauty in everything you see.