I wrote THE BRAND DEMAND the last time I was enraged and frightened about the state of my country. I envisioned a group of radicals resisting the cultural tides of hypocrisy and playing Robin Hood with dirty secrets. I modeled it after Edward Abbey’s wonderful MONKEY WRENCH GAME, a staple of the counter-culture when I was growing up. Shame it’s not read more today.
THE BRAND DEMAND is a political piece insofar as the protagonist, Galen Reed’s gang is united in a vision of liberal resistance in an oppressive conservative culture. Each comes from a different angle of oppression, one is a socialist, one fights against the constraints of religion, one for his sexual identity, one for social justice, one for the underdog. And all are horrified by the hypocrisies and bullying of their adversaries and seek to make them pay where it hurts them most by taking their money.
The story was written backwards. One morning after a dream, I envisioned the climactic moment, the forces arrayed and the decision come to. Can one side go as far as the other? I knew what had to happen and wrote a book to get there. Loving a good romance and always a good mystery I wrote an adventure with a conscience.
These days I think a lot about this book. It gave me hope at a time I thought I was alone. I’m definitely not alone now, but the days appear bleaker than before. A little hope is always helpful.
If you’re looking for a good adventure, a mystery romance with local color and meaning, a work of resistance in these dark times, I would recommend to you THE BRAND DEMAND.
Don’t just take my word for it, THE BRAND DEMAND won the Silver Quill Award, from the League of Utah Writers as an outstanding published novel.