Author Interview with Brandon Knightley
Me: What inspired you to write your novel, June Rain?
On the one hand, I simply woke up one morning with a fragment of a story in my head and started writing. On the other, the book was the emerging expression of questions that I wished I had asked myself when I was Dante’s age.
Me: Using three words, how would you describe your writing style?
Thoughtful but spontaneous.
Me: You mentioned that you’re a teacher; what subject do you teach and does this subject get woven into your books?
I teach a humanities seminar that asks—but does not answer—many questions that are driven by the inevitable conflicts we face as self-motivated individuals who are necessarily melded into both a community and culture. Many of the questions Dante asks are ones I have asked of countless students.
Me: What other books have you written or will you be writing?
I have something in mind about a mostly mute and invisible woman who is transformed by her own writing into someone with an authentic voice and presence.
Me: What was it like creating both Dante and Helen?
Dante was simply the embodiment of some of my own doubts and perceptions. Helen came out of nowhere, and I fell for her quite as hard as Dante did. I missed them both dearly when the book was finished.
Me: What is one thing from philosophy that you would like to share with your readers?
Some conventionality—meeting the expectations of others—is important in life so that we can talk to and love each other. Authentic self-expression is important so that we have something worthwhile to say.
Me: When did you begin writing?
I have been writing nonfiction for decades. June Rain is my first attempt at fiction. Another is the short story Breakfast with Plato, which was included in the anthology Inkwater Ink, also published by Inkwater Press.
Me: What other hobbies do you enjoy besides writing that you can share with us readers?
Music, painting, and foreign languages.
Me: What tips would you share with other aspiring writers?
First, let the content define the form: Debussy would not have been Debussy had he confined himself to the forms used by Mozart. Second, do not submit to the frequent opposition of vividness and depth. This is why we still read Antigone after two millennia and King Lear after four centuries—but forget soap operas at the conclusion of the last episode.
Me: Where can readers find you and your book online?
Brandon Knightley practices invisibility, but the book at least can be found on Amazon or at Inkwater’s website.