Meet Spencer Brokaw. He's not your normal thirteen year-old. I discovered Spencer one day while searching for author blogs on Google. I dropped the sandwich that I was eating and moved closer to my computer screen. Is he really just thirteen years old? I thought. I continued to read, and to my amazement I discovered that he was only twelve years-old in 2011 when he wrote and published his first book titled The Impenetrable Spy. And as if that wasn't neat enough, I discovered that he had just finished publishing his second book early 2012 titled Future Dreamer (The Impenetrable Spy, Book Two). Did I mention that he is only thirteen years old? How neat is that?! What were YOU doing when YOU were thirteen years old???
I just want to say that I think Spencer is an awesome dude. He had a dream, and he went for it. Maybe we can all learn something from Spencer's story.
Well I was so inspired by this young author that I contacted him and was fortunate enough to conduct this interview. When you finish reading this, visit Spencer's website and show your support. Enjoy!
1. Q: Tell me about your new book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
A: My new book, The Impenetrable Spy: Future Dreamer (the second book in the series) focuses on the main character Zack Carter, a time-traveling CIA agent on a mission to clear his name for a murder he did not commit. I’ve always liked fugitive movies—The Fugitive, Bourne Identity, etc. It sounded like a fun book for me to write, and I really liked the way the premise ties into the first book.
2. Q: How did you get interested in writing books?
A: One summer when I was 8 my dad suggested writing as a cure for boredom. Ever since, I’ve been interested in writing and have enjoyed it. I wrote my first book on the computer at age 10, and followed up shortly by writing my second book, The Impenetrable Spy which would later be published in 2011 at age 12.
3. Q: What kind of research did you do for this book?
A: For Future Dreamer, I ended up doing a lot more research than I thought I would. I researched Lagos, Nigeria, some places in France, and future weaponry such as military exoskeletons. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and I liked showing the knowledge I had learned in my writing.
4. Q: What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
A: I don’t really have working days to be honest. For me, it’s every once and a while I get to sit down to write and edit. I only have so many hours after school, and many days are spent with friends, doing homework, being lazy and watching my favorite TV shows and playing video games.
If I write on the weekend, it’s normally during the morning to mid-afternoon, on a school night, I write later in the day—7 o’clock-ish and on. I don’t set a daily writing goal, but try to do “practice” writings every once and a while so I’m not as rusty.
5. Q: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
A: It’s not the writing, it’s the editing! I can’t stand editing. As the writer, you want nothing more than to just get the book out there. When you’re editing 2 weeks’ worth of writing for a year, it gets frustrating.
6. Q: What’s the best thing about being an author?
A: Getting to meet new people. I joined Twitter a few days after publishing my first book, and have met countless people. A lot of people have supported my writing, bought my book, left reviews, and recommended it to friends. This is the best feeling in the world—to be supported.
7. Q: What are you working on now?
A: Right now I’m working on a Christmas-Elf-Spy book with David Kenyon, although I’ve been slacking and am going to be writing a little bit of it directly after I send these answers to you!
I’m also working on my 3rd book, a spin-off series from The Impenetrable Spy books.
8. Q: What advice would you give aspiring young writers?
A: Never give up and keep writing.
9. Q: Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
A: Harry Potter, Bloodwood, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Young Bond, Ranger’s Apprentice, and a few others come to mind. Harry Potter is such a great book and really immerses you in the world.
10. Q: What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
A: To be honest, I’ve been asked so many questions I don’t think anything hasn’t been covered. But an interesting tidbit about me is that I LOVE 80’s music. I can’t stand any music past 2000. Van Halen, RUSH, Def Leppard, Duran Duran and RATT are among my favorite bands.
11. Q: If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
A: Title: The Journey of a Young Author. I know, very boring and cliché!
To learn more about Spencer and his books, visit his website at: http://www.spencerbrokaw.com/
Casey Sean Harmon