Take a Bow: “The Road Show”

Debut author Braden Bell has put together a richly-woven story that highlights how people can change for the better.  Each character in his cast struggles with a personal Goliath – from chronic illness, to depression, to being socially backward, to a crippling addition to pornography.  All of these things overshadow these people’s lives, until a “road show” brings them together.  For the uninitiated, a “road show” is a 10-15 minute theatrical production put on members of an LDS congregation.  Through putting together show, each of the characters are given experiences that allow them to start changing their lives for the better and allow the wounds of the past to heal.
That author did a wonderful job of drawing together a number of stories into a cohesive story.  I was also impressed at the kind of issues he decided to tackle.  It is interesting that he selected problems that I am sure many people struggle with, but are too embarrassed to get help about, or don’t know how.  I’m sure I’ve known people with these types of problems, but I was oblivious to their pain.  The book awoke in me a great sense of empathy for my fellow men and women and uplifted me greatly.  Any book that can do that is worth a read. 

Please support this budding talent and pick up a copy of “The Road Show.”  You’ll be glad you did.  

Author Spotlight: Braden Bell

MY: Congratulations on your first book! How early in your life did you get started with writing?

BB: Thanks, Michael–and thanks for having me on your website. I remember writing (or starting to write) books as early as 3rd or 4th grade. I wanted to be an author and set up a special office during the summer so I could do it full-time. That didn’t last too long, but it was the first glimmer.
MY:  Do you have any others authors who influenced you?
BB:  I read voraciously, so I imagine that a lot of authors have influenced me without my being aware of it. But I am not consciously influenced by anyone that I can think of.

MY: What’s your favorite genre to  read? Why?

BB: I’ve always enjoyed YA fantasy. I like the genre because it has fantasy elements but tends to be clean and void of objectionable material. I love biographies, though, and historical fiction, military history and the classics. Dickens is a particular favorite.
MY: What has been the biggest surprise to you in the publishing process?

BB: I don’t think I had any idea how involved the promotional and sales process would be.

MY: What’s your writing style? Do you do lots of outlining, or do you just go with the flow?

BB:  I usually have a scene or two, or a character that is really clearly in my head. I write that and then write and go wherever the characters seems to take me. Once I have it all down, I go back and look at
 structure and organization.

MY: Do have a favorite time and place to write?

BB:  Given my family, work, and church responsibilities, about the only time I can write is late at night. I usually work on my laptop in bed. It’s become a treasured time for me.

MY: Have you ever been a road show  yourself? Are the experiences in the book based on any of your personal experiences?

BB:  I was in several when I was growing up. Then, about eight years ago, I was called to direct one. There is nothing in the book that is specifically based on that experience. However, while I was directing, a series of “what if” questions came into my mind: “What if the leading lady had depression, what if the director had a secret?”

MY:  What advice would you give to young people who want to be published?

BB: Keep trying! I have a lot of rejection letters–far more than I have acceptance letters. As I’ve come to know other authors, I have found that’s pretty universal.

MY: What are your plans for the future? Do you have any other projects in the works?

BB: The main thing I’m working on is a middle-grade suburban fantasy novel that takes place in a small private school, like the one where I  teach. I’m trying to get the manuscript into shape this summer.

MY: Is there anything else you’d like to tell your adoring fans?

BB:  I am sincerely grateful for all the support and kindness I’ve encountered. People have really been wonderful!

MY: Thanks, Braden for being on my blog.  I’m reading, “The Road Show” right now, and should have a review up soon.