Welcome to Sunday morning Coffee Chat time!
Today’s guest is Brian K. Carr!
Welcome Brian!? So glad you could make it today. I saw from your video you sent me that you have your coffee ready to go, so let’s get started. Ladies, let me warn you, this guy’s a charmer, so prepare yourself. Click on the link below for a personal video message from Brian.
Told you he was a charmer, lol… Okay, Brian… I’m assuming that the video was sideways because that’s how you feel in the morning before you’ve had your seventeen cups of coffee! I found that rather funny! Anyway – we kind of already know the answer to this questions, but I have to ask anyway, Coffee or Tea?
awwww….. YUCK!? lol….. You probably could have kept that part to yourself! Let’s move on so I can focus on something else before my stomach revolts. Obviously, you’re an author, but do you work another job when you are not writing?
Wow?loaded question there. My ?real? job during the day is with the US Postal Service (yes, I?ve gotten the Bukowski references many times). I have a bunch of responsibilities, but I really enjoy getting out to carry a walking route when I can. I love getting a day of exercise then going to exercise and train some more after work. The best part about that is getting to eat whatever I want. I?ll go and takedown local food challenges after work. After that job, I go on to the next: teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It?s the most fun in the whole world. BJJ is a grappling art with joint locks and chokes. We combine aspects of wrestling and judo in our camp, so it is a really well rounded good time. Anyone who has any sort of child left in them can?t deny the fun of just rolling around wrestling. I love seeing my guys develop and train hard. Last, but certainly not least, some friends and I own a website called Jeep Asylum. We have a forum for fans and members to chat and share their work, but we also write articles and film video episodes on building and maintaining everything from stock Jeeps to extreme fabrication work and off-road adventures.
You sound like me with your hand in so many cookie jars. I know the feeling of the love for martial arts, I took it many years ago and my daughter is about to achieve her black belt in Tae Kwon Do. As for the Jeeps – another love for me – I’ve had I think four or five of them, I forget. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren?t writing or working?
Well, seeing as how my favorite things are also what I do for work, they really go hand-in-hand. I love that I get to do these things as ?work? on a daily basis. I also love kayaking, mountain biking, reading (duh), and cooking. I love to cook. My current obsession is sauces; mainly wing and bbq sauces. I?m currently in the dilemma of creating a bbq sauce that is sweet to the taste but brings the heat. I?ve been struggling with it and talking to friends from the Carolinas and Georgia who tell me that is the most difficult thing to do as a sauce boss. If I can get that down, it will be a huge accomplishment.? I also train really hard to keep my body in shape?mainly so I can eat whatever I want to and take on food challenges at local restaurants.? I?ll hit the range with some cop buddies and learn as much about the weapons I feature in my books as possible.
See, now if you were closer, you could hit the range with me, and my father-in-law could help you out with that BBQ sauce, he’s a major player in that out here in PA – does a lot of judging and competing. Very cool things you have there Brian! What is your favorite color? Why?
I?ve always liked the colors red and yellow. I have no idea why. I like bright, strong colors like that (the current cage in my Jeep is red, but I?m cutting the entire thing out and designing a full custom one that will be yellow). Though my niece likes me in blue or green because she says it brings out my eyes (which are green on the inside and blue on the outside).
Glad you gave a good explination on the colors, I was thinking that was an odd combination for a man, but it makes sense. One of my Jeeps was yellow. So, what’s your favorite season?
I love winter. I love rain and snow and I am always warm. I have a higher than normal body temperature so I never really get cold. That being said, nobody really wants to cuddle with me in the summer. I can walk around in summer clothes during the winter, so I don?t have to sacrifice much to be in the cold weather.
Okay – opposite here – always cold… always. If you could live anyplace on earth, where would it be?
I?ve been asked this question before and I always struggle with it. I love tropical areas, but most of the islands are so small, you get island fever after a short while. I usually end up narrowing it down to somewhere in Western Europe. I love Ireland and its culture, but then I start looking for a central location to travel to all the other great areas for food and vacation. I always end up with France. Good, central location, good food, and beautiful culture. But hey, I live on the beach in Southern California, across from a wetlands area, so it really doesn?t get much better than this.
I wish I lived at the beach. You have a huge passion ? or is it an obsession, with Jeeps? Why?
My Jeep allows me to be as creative as I am with my writing. It also allows me to go places that a large portion of people will never see. My favorite trip was when we traversed the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The trip took just over a week and we spent time at Twin Point and Toroweap. The views were absolutely breath-taking. The Toroweap overlook is 9,000 feet above the Colorado River. Most of the places we went are only accessible by either capable 4WD vehicles or horseback. They say Jeep stands for Just Empty Every Pocket because there is so much you can do with one, mainly involving purchasing parts and having someone install them for you. We have our own shop at the Jeep Asylum and my partner, Scott, is a master with welding and smart as a whip with anything mechanical. We?ve designed and built a lot of our own stuff on our Jeeps and I love sitting down to create something new.
You’re passion for them is shining through. I?m a lover of martial arts, tell me about yours.
I?ve been studying the art of fighting for a very long time, including boxing, wrestling, judo, aikido, muay thai?.I?m sure I?m forgetting some. I?ve settled into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because I just love it. No matter what kind of day I?ve had, I can go teach and spar with my guys and it?s like being a kid playing in a sand box. It involves a lot of thinking, movement, flexibility, and coordination. Many people liken it to human chess because it requires you to think 3, 5, 7 moves ahead and constantly work for your position. Our classes will go up to four hours sometimes, with sparring, teaching techniques, live drilling, more sparring, then just sitting around talking about what we learned and how we did that day. There is a camaraderie bred there like no other. My students range from athletes to middle-aged men with no background in anything physical. I love helping them adapt aspect of their everyday lives into their Jiu Jitsu game and watching their eyes brighten when they figure it out and take that next step of improvement. To quote T.E. Lawrence: ?Mankind has had ten-thousand years of experience at fighting and if we must fight, we have no excuse for not fighting well.?
I started writing screenplays with a buddy back in the early 2000s, but that never really went anywhere. In 2009, I started writing my first book, Hired To Kill. It was a hobby at the time. I let a few people read what I was working on and they always said they couldn?t wait for the next chapter. I finally got serious and completed the book. I published it in 2012 and haven?t stopped. Writing is really all three of these things. It?s a hobby and a dream, and my goal is to now make what I do for the rest of my life.
Not a bad idea! How many hours a day do you devote to writing?
It depends on the day. Some days I?m swamped with everything else in my life and I don?t even touch my laptop. Some days I?ll get an hour to myself and get some work done. Then there are the days where I write for six hours straight. Writing is just a flow of creativity for me, as I?m not terribly disciplined about it. The editing and cover design is usually more of a process for me.
Do you have a set routine or do you write when the mood strikes?
I usually sit down with a glass of wine (with the bottle right next to it) and just go for it. At the beginning of a book, I will outline the story on a dry erase board (that way I can not only reuse the board, but also change the storyline as my next whim hits me). I write and write and write?then go back and delete everything I hate. My writing really is a love/hate relationship.
I think it is that way for every author. Is there some place special you like to be when you write?
Couch, bed, patio. Sometimes I?ll sit in my kayak out in the yard with my laptop.
hahahaha – I can just see that. Do you listen to music or do you need a quiet place to write?
I prefer quiet. I can be a bit scattered and easily distracted. I?ve had a friend call and say to come over there and write while drinking wine, but I just can?t do it. I need to be alone with my thoughts. TV is distracting and if music is on, I know I will be skipping songs and paying more attention to the playlist.
My current book out is Retribution. It is the second novel in the Colin O?Brien series (the follow-up to Hired To Kill). There are two more books planned for the series so far, but we?ll see how far we can take it.
Where did the idea come from?
I like to take ordinary people and put them in extraordinary situations. A somewhat normal guy being mistaken for an infamous assassin sounded like a good start when it got going. Now we just have to follow the literary path of the hero, break him down to rock bottom, and see if he can drag himself out of the depths.
What is it about?
Retribution is about Colin O?Brien, who spent the last book battling an arms dealer, Russian gangsters, and various government agencies after being mistaken for a known assassin who was rumored to have retired or been killed. He has an obsession with procedural cop shows, so he thinks he can take this case of mistaken identity and use his cop buddies to bust this arms dealer. In Retribution, he is months removed from that debacle and on vacation with his wife in Las Vegas. His face gets him in trouble again and he is hunted by a terrorist the real assassin left hanging on a job when he was killed. It?s got more action than the first book as we destroy part of the city and make some new friends and enemies. The worst part about it is that he now has to make sure his wife is safe instead of just looking out for himself. It brings another aspect to his thought process, which we begin to see as extremely self-centered. We really see this generally good guy struggle with his ego, his love, and his sense of responsibility. Well?and we blow up part of Las Vegas, which is always fun.
Lol… I can see it on the silver screen now. Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or other books that have been published ? Tell us about them?
I?m working on getting the next Colin O?Brien novel out soon. I?m struggling with the title for it. I had a great one for it, but then realized it was the title of the theme song for a James Bond movie. I didn?t want to have anything remotely close to ripping off something like that, so I abandoned the title. Colin will be off to Ireland to face down a new enemy in the hometown of the assassin he?s been impersonating. I?m going to drop him deep down into the rabbit hole in this one, both physically and emotionally. And of course, we?re going to blow some stuff up. I killed off one of the main characters in Retribution and got some emotional responses, so this one should bring a few more out.
I?m also working on a new series about a treasure hunter who is, how should I say this, morally ambiguous. He has all kinds of quirky friends, from a Mexican local to a CIA agent, that help him get through his adventures. We?ll take him from South America to Egypt and run him through the gauntlet along the way. It will have some great aspects of action and adventure, while testing his moral ambiguity and see how he plays it in the end.
Wow… aren’t you the world traveler of writing!? Sounds great Brian! Thanks for coming over and chatting!? I really enjoyed having you!
If you would like to get to know more about Brian, you can do so at the following links:
If you would like to purchase Brian’s books, you can do so here:
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