“Writers are the exorcists of their own demons.” ― Mario Vargas Llosa
This is going to freak out some of my fans.
I write in all kinds of genres. What? You didn’t believe me when I said “I write what like what I like to read?” I read LOTS of things. I love them all. I want to try them all. So if you think all I do is spooks and supernatural stuff, you’re going to be brought to earth a little when Galen Reed, the protagonist of THE BRAND DEMAND uses wit and guile instead of spells and demons.
Then there’s the politics. This is a political mystery but not in the vein of high stakes maneuvering to save the world from terrorists or nuclear disaster. No. THE BRAND DEMAND is decidedly personal in its politics. It’s critical. It takes sides. Galen is a lefty struggling to make a difference in conservative Utah.
My model was Edward Abbey’s THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG, a wonderful environmental adventure from the 70’s that helped birth the Environmental Movement. Sadly, few people know this pivotal book today. I recommend you read it. It’s very cool.
What Abbey did was show resistance to greed. That’s what Galen and his crew are doing in THE BRAND DEMAND: resisting the greed and corruption that threatens the happiness and welfare of everyone. Instead of caltrops and sabotage, they use embarrassing facts to surgically take out hypocrites and liars.
Being a liberal in Utah makes Galen and his friends a distinct minority. Their view from across the cultural divide might be surprising or disturbing to those readers on the other side. I’m sure I’m going to get letters.
However, this is still my book. I say that insofar that if you know my work, you’ll recognize a literary method to my madness. I hope. Though I won’t deny that this book was inspired by some of my own political frustration, the polemics in BRAND define a lonely man who’s dedicated his present to making a better future while really having neither. The justice Galen seeks is noble, but empty. Ultimately the story is about Galen’s transformation.
It’s also a real neat “who-dunnit,” a “what the hell is going on thriller” with romance and local color and an ever tenacious underdog fighting forces that don’t have his ideological limitations. It’s got a bit of sex in it too. Good stuff.
In THE BRAND DEMAND I envisioned calamity and invented hope when I felt hopeless. I exorcized a few of my demons in it, so... oh. Wait. Uhm. Well, okay, yeah,... I guess I haven’t changed genres too much then. It seems I’m still writing about demons.