We’re stoked to interview Noah Stainbrook, who just released Brimstone on the Bay. Mega thanks to Noah for interviewing with us!
With the release of your debut novel, Brimstone on the Bay, how have things been going?
Things with the release of Brimstone on the Bay went very smoothly, but I'm having a tougher time with marketing then I expected to be honest.
I'm always curious about what inspired the idea behind a novel. What's the story behind Brimstone on the Bay?
Well, it seems like at least once a year, articles titled with headlines like "Yellowstone hit by THREE THOUSAND earthquakes," or "THIS supervolcano could cause an extinction." They're frankly worried about something that is almost guaranteed not to happen in their lifetimes. Brimstone on the Bay is the story of a much more plausible scenario, and one that could kill hundreds of thousands of people.
What kind of research do you do for a project? How far down the rabbit hole do you go with it?
To be honest, I didn't end up doing much research, at least not as a result of deciding to write. Geology in general, and volcanology in specific has been something I've been reading about since I was a little boy. The phenomenon of volcanic eruptions is fascinating to me, and I want to share the science and imagery behind it with people.
How do you balance giving historical/scientific context with moving the story forward?
As far as scientific context goes, while volcanology is not a definite science, there's a consistent enough chain of events leading up to and through a volcanic eruption, so naturally I structured the story behind that, but at the same time, I also understand that the average person wouldn't understand some of the events I've described, so I felt the need to briefly educate on the science at the start of relevant chapters.
In a recent review of your book, one reader said, “I enjoyed the different aspects of the different characters used. Their prospects makes the book feel like you are living the situation with them.” How do you go about crafting realistic and relatable characters? What are your must-haves?
To be honest, I didn't spend too much time on character development. The concept of this book was more centered around the science behind volcanic activity. It was meant as a realistic scientific simulation. The main purpose of the characters was simply to have a viewing glass from different points of view. That having been said, I just tried to imagine myself in different situations with different outlooks on life, then apply it to the characters I did use in the book.
What's your schedule when you're writing? Do you have any advice for fellow writers in keeping a schedule?
Schedule? I would just write here and there whenever time made itself available! I actually wrote most of the book on my cellphone!
It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. What are your thoughts on that?
Well, anybody an write. I wrote tons of stuff in school that I didn't much care about. BUT, to really write something good, at least as far as fiction is concerned, the readers can tell when the writer is passionate about their chosen topic.
How do you think e-books have changed the present or future of reading? Writing?
Ebooks have opened up a lot of doors for authors that might not have otherwise attempted to publish! I was certainly in that situations. Something negative though that I do feel the need to mention, the market is quickly becoming oversaturated with people that are only writing to try and make money, and I feel that has a negative impact on people who are legitimately into writing
Where are you headed next?
As I mentioned previously, I didn't spend very much time on character development. My next project follows two main characters. One is a scam artists in West Africa, and another is a family member of a victim that goes looking for him. I think we've all gotten those hilarious emails in our spam folders. There's just as much explosive science and action in this, but I put a substantially larger amount of time into the development of the characters.
Is there anything else you'd like readers to know?
In closing, I'd just like readers to give me and my work a chance! I put really alot of effort into this, and I only improve as a keep working on my hobbies.
Pick up your copy of Brimstone on the Bay here.
Find Noah Stainbrook on Facebook!
Photo Credit: Noah Stainbrook