As part of the blog tour for his latest book The Sons of Jude, Brandt Dodson is here today with a guest post titled “The Narrow Path”.
I was only six years old, but I can still remember the scene. I was in art class, sitting behind my desk, painting feverishly and enjoying every minute of it. That is, until my teacher walked past.
She snatched my paper and told the other kids to set their brushes down. Holding my work high overhead she asked “Is this any good?”
A unified “no” emanated from my colleagues, and she set the painting on my desk before walking away. I can remember tossing my brush onto the paper, resigned that my artistic career was finished.
Fast forward to the fifth grade: We were given a story to write, based on a black and white photograph of two teenagers playing handball in an inner city alley. Inspired, I wrote a tale about a ball that contained a bomb that would detonate and level the city if the players ceased playing. I’m not sure how I got those kids out of their predicament, but I do remember the teacher reading my story to the class as an example of the type of writing she was seeking. My desire to write was set.
A few years later, while in high school, I had a creative writing teacher who despised her students even more than they despised her – if that were possible. Her desire to be somewhere else – anywhere else – was apparent from the start. Yet I enjoyed the class. Writing allowed me the freedom to create,and this teacher, tired as she was, noticed my efforts. She asked me to stay after class one day.
“If you don’t write, if you don’t do this, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”
Brandt Dodson was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, which he would later choose as the setting for his Colton Parker Mystery series. Although he discovered in grade school that he wanted to be a writer, it would be another twenty-one years before he would put pen to paper.“I knew in fifth grade that I wanted to be a writer. Our teacher had given each of us a photograph which we were to use as inspiration for a short story. The particular photo I was given was of several young men playing handball in New York City. I don’t remember all of the particulars of the story now, but I do remember the thrill that writing it gave me.”
Later, while in college, one of Brandt’s professors would echo that teacher’s comment.
“But life intervened and I found myself working at a variety of jobs. I worked in the toy department of a local department store and fried chicken for a local fast food outlet. Over the course of the next several years I finished my college degree and worked for the Indianapolis office of the FBI, and served for eight years as a Naval Officer in the United States Naval Reserve. I also obtained my doctorate in Podiatric Medicine, and after completion of my surgical residency, opened my own practice. But I never forgot my first love. I wanted to write.”
During his early years in practice, Brandt began reading the work of Dean Koontz.
“I discovered Dean’s book, The Bad Place, and was completely blown away by his craftsmanship. I read something like 13 or 14 of his back list over the following two weeks. It wasn’t long after that I began to write and submit in earnest.”
Still, it would be another twelve years before Brandt was able to secure the publishing contract he so desperately desired.
“I began by writing the type of fiction that I enjoyed; I wrote edgy crime thrillers that were laced with liberal amounts of suspense. Over the years, I’ve begun to write increasingly more complex work by using broader canvases and themes.
Since securing his first contract, Brandt has continued to pen the type of stories that inspired him to write when he was a boy, and that have entertained his legions of readers.
“I love to write, and as long as others love to read, I plan on being around for a long time to come.”
The body of a young woman is found in a dumpster in Chicago and detectives Andy Polanski and Frank Campello are charged with finding the killer. The two are polar opposites. Polanski is the son of a disgraced Chicago police officer and is fastidious about his reputation. He has also recently been transferred from another district having blown the whistle on some corrupt cops. Campello, however, takes a live-and-let-live approach to his life and job.
It soon becomes clear, as another young woman–a potential witness–is murdered, that a sex-trafficking operation in Chicago is preying on illegal aliens. As the ill-matched pair dig deeper, an influential alderman and his son are implicated. Then Polanski is framed for a narcotics offense, devastating the cases against the corrupt officers and the alderman. Only when Campello is challenged by a local minister, whom he meets when visiting Polanski, does he find the motivation to seek justice.
Pump Up Your Book and Brandt Dodson are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!
Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This Kindle Fire HD promotion will run from November 5 – February 15. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on February 16, 2013.
a Rafflecopter giveaway