Bryan Thomas Schmidt is a national bestselling author and Hugo-nominated editor whose works include the original novel series the John Simon thrillers and the space opera trilogy Saga of Davi Rhii as well as official entries in The X-Files, Predator, Joe Ledger, and Monster Hunter International. He’s edited thirteen anthologies and dozens of novels, including the international phenomenon The Martian by Andy Weir. He also authored the writing book How To Write A Novel: The Fundamentals of Fiction. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter as BryanThomasS or at his website: www.bryanthomasschmidt.net.
His and Peter J. Wack’s story, “It’s A MUD, MUD World”, appears in the Weird World War III anthology.
Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?
I am from Ottawa, KS at present but grew up about 3 hours west in Salina. I have a background in music and performance as well as consulting with various companies, Fortune 500 on down.
What kinds of stories do you write? Why?
I like to think I write good stories, but I guess what you’re looking for is adventure stories—stories with action and conflict driving them, with a decent pace to them. I also like to mix humor in to create characters with interesting quirks and personalities.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I was working as a temp once in Kansas City when I suddenly found myself trapped in my cube with two mountain lions staring at me from the doorway. I didn’t know anyone’s name I was working with so I had to call out for “help” generically. Finally, a woman I knew was a higher up showed up and said, “There you two naughty boys are. I wondered where you wandered off too.” She apologized, grabbed them by the leashes, and led them off. What the hell she was thinking bring them into an office is beyond me but there they were. Thank God my mom insisted I leave clean underwear in my glove compartment.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The Florida Keys.
What’s your favorite book? Why?
Either Robert Silverberg’s Lord Valentine’s Castle or James Clavell’s Shogun. Both have amazing world building and characters with an epic drama that unfolds over many months and years and asks profound questions about friendship, life, love, human nature, and so on. They are real lessons in how to write epic adventures with vivid dialogue and character building and world building and each one I have reread multiple times since discovering them with equal joy each time.
Each of the stories in this volume evoked certain themes and emotions that can sometimes be approximated with music. The below video is the editor’s best interpretation of the feelings and themes that this author’s story evoked. Please note that this is only the editor’s interpretation. The author did not know this portion of the blog post existed until the editor published it.
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