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Tuesday, May 2

Q&A with JC Braswell, author of The Ghosts of My Lai




Now available from Magothy Publishing is the supernatural thriller The Ghosts of My Lai by JC Braswell.


The author has taken a few minutes out of his busy schedule for a Q&A about his new novel.


When did you become interested in storytelling?

I’ve always been interested in storytelling. Even at a young age I was pretty active in storytelling, especially making up fables for my parents when I tried to get out of trouble.

As far as trying to be professional, I would say about a decade ago. I started with a book titled Autumn of Man. Absolutely loved it. It snowballed from there.

What was your first book/story published?

It was a short story called The Lighthouse on Mermaid Row. The story eventually ended up being the foundation for five more short stories that formed my first novel, The Lighthouse Keeper. Mermaid Row was actually submitted to be part of an anthology for Scarlet Galleon’s Fearful Fathoms, but it wasn’t quite horrific enough. I decided to go ahead and release it.

What inspired you to write The Ghosts of My Lai?

It was after a conversation with a late friend of mine. He was a Vietnam veteran. One day we started talking in the gym. I’m not sure exactly how we got on the subject, but he broached the subject of his time in the service. Something really changed in his demeanor. There was a void there, a loss that only a soldier who has experienced war can understand. I wanted to explore that in writing.

I want to make clear that My Lai is not a book about war. Far from it. It’s about fear, survival, the line between man/animal, and redemption.

What character in The Ghosts of My Lai is the most/least like you, and in what ways?

That’s a hard question to answer. I purposefully try to make a character different from me when I write. Sure, there are elements of me in various characters, but not a full personality. I don’t think the book grows as much if I do that.

I guess I’d say Harris is the least like me. He’s just too much of a follower and weak-willed. I’d say I identify with Donovan the most. He goes through a couple of transformations in the book. I know I’ve experienced several in my lifetime.

What is your favorite part in The Ghosts of My Lai?

The interactions between Jackson, Garcia, and Williams. I love those characters, each one with their own ghosts they are carrying. But they are good men and what they went through brought the best out of them in the book.

What was the hardest part to write?

The whole book. I wanted to capture the emotions—the bond—the soldiers experienced as they confronted their sins while facing the fear of being hunted. I also had to balance the strength of supernatural elements in the story. Those elements are meant to be a platform and not the main purpose of the story.

What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?

I don’t quite consider myself an author yet. I’m not sure I have a big enough fan base or accolades. I also don’t believe in bestowing upon myself a title. So my ideal career would be an author. Maybe I’ll get here one day.

If it wasn’t an author, I would say as a CEO of a company. I love business.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

Yes, I read reviews of my books. I appreciate every single one of my reviews, even the bad ones. It means someone thought enough of the book (good or bad) to post their thoughts.

I don’t let them influence writing. You need thick skin to be a writer. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself questioning the large amount of time you spent smashing your fingers against a keyboard. Simple as that.

What well-known writers do you admire most?

Hemingway and C.S. Lewis are my two favorites. They are on a platform all their own.

Do you have any other books/stories in the works?

I’m working on the second novel in a series I released last year. The first book is titled Reignfall. It takes place shortly after America recovers from a second Black Bubonic Plague. The Plague wiped 75% of the world’s population, leaving most countries decimated. The only cure happens to stop the aging process but also renders females sterile. I have a whole section of my website dedicated to the saga at www.jcbraswell.com.

I have a second short story being released by Scarlet Galleon Publishing this fall. It’s about Scottish folklore. I’m really excited about it because it’s so unique and because of the other authors who are involved with these anthologies. It’s really an honor.

I also have other books I’ve drafted over the past several years. One involves a haunted school that sits on land with a sordid past. We might be seeing that one soon as well.


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About the Author: A fan of Lewis, Hemingway and Tolkien, author JC Braswell writes in a few different genres including Thriller, Horror, Sci-Fi, and Young Adult.

In addition to writing JC is a practicing attorney specializing in estate planning and corporate law, he is the recipient of the American Health Lawyers Association award for his legal writing.

JC makes his home along the Chesapeake Bay with his wife and two children.

You can visit his website at www.jcbraswell.com and check out his podcasts at www.freestateradio.com.

You can follow JC on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.




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