Interviews

Andrew Brandt- Owner of Phone Medic and Author (#42)

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Andrew Brandt (@writerbrandt) is a talented entrepreneur and writer local to Amarillo. He's written a number of books, with the latest being Mixtape for the End of the World! It's a blast from the past featuring incredible music and nostalgia from the Y2K era. Learn about starting out as a writer, some free tools he used as an Indie Author, and learn about what he's done to advance his skill.  

Show Notes

Challenge:

Stop procrastinating that writing project you've had in the back of your head and schedule out some time to put pen to paper!


Mixtape for the End of the World by Andrew Brandt:

https://amzn.to/3lFkRJ1

Mixtape Cover

"At 11:59PM on December 31, 1999, the world is going to end. That's what Derrick Townsend believes as his family moves to Mount Vernon a week before his sophomore year. As he navigates a new school, he meets AJ Tooley and they immediately bond over music. Deciding to start a band to play in the school talent show — and to woo the beautiful girl who lives next door — Derrick discovers that friendship is the most important thing in the world. Especially in a world on the brink of ending. Falling in love with the girl next door, Derrick wonders about the future and about fate, about why some people move away from small towns and become rock stars and celebrities while others seem stuck in their place for their entire lives. As his band prepares for the school talent show, he wonders if there’s more to life than small town high school talent shows, or if he’s meant for bigger things. Much like the indie films Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist or Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, this story is grounded in music and exploring the nostalgia of the 90's."


Andrew Brandt:

https://www.writerbrandt.com/

Andrew Brandt
Andrew Brandt (Author)

Andrew J Brandt grew up in a library. His grandmother worked at the city library in his hometown of Vernon, TX when he was a young child and he has fond memories of spending hours in the rows of books. When he discovered Goosebumps books, he ran through them at nearly two per week. In the fifth grade, he put his voracious reading to use to win the elementary school's Accelerated Reading program.

Andrew began his college career at West Texas A&M University, eventually graduating with a degree in General Studies.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writerbrandt

Andrew Brandt Links: https://linktr.ee/writerbrandt

Phone Medic:

https://www.phonemedicofamarillotx.com/

Phone Medic of Amarillo offers the best phone and computer repair service in Amarillo, TX.

Idiom About Plans:

"No Plan Survives First Contact With the Enemy."

Blue Handle Publishing:

https://bluehandlepublishing.com/

Blue Handle Publishing aims to change the future of publishing by breaking down industry barriers, building strong relationships with writers, and providing the tools and resources needed for authors to succeed.


Lubbock Book Festival:

https://literacylubbock.org/lubbock-book-festival/

This free, two-day long Lubbock Book Festival connects authors and readers through an exciting event to celebrate literacy, creativity, and stories!   With over 40+ award-winning and best-selling authors in attendance, and so many genres represented, we’ll have a little bit for everyone.  From the tiniest of tots to the experienced reader, from YA fiction to crime thriller and everything in between, this festival will highlight the thriving author culture deeply rooted in LBK!

We’ll have author panels and book signings, book sales, family-fun crafts and activities, a massive used book sale courtesy of Friends of the Library, writing workshops, outdoor entertainment, food trucks, and more!  Can’t wait to see you there!

Episode Transcript

 [00:00:20] Andrew: Hello, everybody. Welcome back to theshow. We have another author on which I think our last guest was also anauthor. So today we have Andrew Brandt, which I will be referring to as branchbecause it gets confusing. When I say my own name, I don't know about you, butI really struggled to say Andrew, like I can't pronounce that name properly forsome reason.

[00:00:41] Brandt: And anytime, anytime anybody asks meyou know, about myself or if I have to differentiate I always have to use the,the surname, Andrew Monroe as well. you, in fact, I mean, you, you don't havejust one name and in my world, it's, it's both. It's Andrew Monroe.

[00:00:56] Andrew: too many of us running around. It's anunfortunate, a Relic of the nineties and eighties, I guess. Well, well, aHighlander at one of these days and, you know, finish this out the proper way.

So that exactly. So Mr. Brandt, Andrew Brandt is a author. As Imentioned, he has written numerous books, the latest being mixed tape for theend of the world.

They're all great. stories about just different stuff that itseems he doesn't necessarily have a drone or that you can pin him in, unlessyou want to call it a thriller. Like I would, the closest I can pin AndrewBrannan is to the thriller genre, but that does not apply to all of his books.He's a Renaissance man of writing.

So he also owns the phone medic of Amarillo and now canyonbecause y'all just open. And that's pretty exciting too, because as a fellow,it technology kind of person, that lifestyle is very complicated sometimes. Sowelcome to the show. Andrew, we're thrilled to have you on.

[00:01:52] Brandt: Yeah. Thank you so much. I appreciatethe time. Get to a right now during the promotional circuit for uh, not onlymix tape for the end of the world that you mentioned my latest novel out fromblue handle publishing, but also promoting the Lubbock book festival later thismonth here in September.

I'll be participating ina couple of panels an actual hour long workshop talking about the writingprocess and, uh, and of course, you know, signing books with some of the booksthat was out there.

[00:02:17] Andrew: Well, let's jump into that. When isthis festival? What panels are you going to be talking about? And what more canyou tell us?

[00:02:24] Brandt: Sure. So the Lubbock book festival istaking place the weekend of September 24th and 25th at the. I don't want tobutcher the name. I think it's the McCaughan public library in Lubbock. If Imispronounced that, you know, don't, don't chill for me please.

[00:02:38] Andrew: Yeah.

[00:02:38] Brandt: But it's at the public library therein Lubbock.

The weekend of the 24th, I'll be presenting in the young adultpanel with New York times bestselling author AGL. And then I'll be teaching aone hour workshop on taking your manuscript from manuscript to published, usingonline tools available for free to any writer.

[00:02:58] Andrew: That is pretty cool. Do you thinkthere's going to be a big attendance there?

[00:03:02] Brandt: I think so. I think so. Yeah. Cause Imean, I think this is the first in-person event of this kind in about a yearand a half. Whenever I was touring mixed tape for the end of the world, back inmay and June, when it released, I had a couple of book signings at breweriesthere in Lubbock. But nothing of this size and magnitude, uh it's, it'sessentially almost every.

Known, I guess you could say writer in, in, in the region willbe there that weekend. I think it's something like 20 or 30 authors, including,like I said, the New York times bestsellers, you know, AIG, Howard's going tobe there. Jody Thomas will be there among others. And then they invited some ofthe little guys like me.

[00:03:42] Andrew: That's awesome. How long have you beenworking on this? Like how long has this conference been in the works? And isthis the first time they've had it because I went to school in Lubbock andobviously I've been an Amarillo for awhile and I don't think. I heard about ushaving a literary kind of conference in Lubbock.

So did I just miss the boat on this or is this brand new?

[00:04:02] Brandt: it's brand new. Again, don't quote meon a lot of this stuff. I do know that they were, I do know that they wereplanning on doing something in 2020 before the, before the pandemic happenedand then kind of shut everything down. But I got I got invited earlier thisyear, really back in the summer when we thought that the pandemic was kind ofslowing down as well, and really looking forward to this kind of event now whoknows what's going to happen in a few weeks.

But as of right now, it's still on.

[00:04:27] Andrew: Awesome. I've got one more. Uh, We cancall it intro technical questions on who you are and what you are. Tell me alittle bit about the latest book mixed tape for the end of the world. And I knowhow terrible it is for people to ask you to describe your own book. But I wantto put your feet to the fire a little bit and see what you got to say.

[00:04:44] Brandt: Sure. So mixtape for the end of theworld is a young adult high school love story set in the last three months of1999. It's about a kid named Derek who moves to a new town. Doesn't knowanybody, but gets new friends, plays in a garage band, falls in love with thegirl next door and wondered if the world is about to end because of Y2K.

[00:05:04] Andrew: That brings me back.

[00:05:08] Brandt: Yeah. I mean, it was, it was such afun histologic trip. why two K is.

[00:05:13] Daniel: I haven't heard in a long time. My, myfamily definitely bought into the I'll call it conspiracy had a full generatorand everything. So w what was your experience like how much of the book wasshaped from, you know, what it was like for you to go through Y2K? Cause that'sa blast from the past.

[00:05:30] Brandt: Yeah, and it was a lot of fun to writeabout. It was a lot of fun to kind of play in that world before we had cellphones. When your only source of news was literally what you saw on the news atnight and what you read in the newspapers and. No, you wouldn't expect, youknow, mainstream news media to overblow something in the word, in the name ofratings, what'd you?

That doesn't happen. But that's actually what exactly whathappened back in 98 and 99 is my stepdad was a systems admin in the air force.You know, we saw people, you know, hoarding, hoarding gasoline, and hoardingwater and buying generators. And he was like, guys, we've had this fixed for ayear and a half.

Like, this is not a big deal. We don't, but. You know, peoplesaw what they saw on television on the nightly news every night and read whatthey read the newspapers, going back and doing some of the research on thattime period and, and the kind of things that people saw. It was really funny. Imean, there, there were news reports that at the stroke of midnight, you know,the electrical grid was going to fail.

It it'd be packs of wild dogs, roaming the streets. And thosetwo things don't make sense to me, but they make for a scary post-apocalypticscene.

[00:06:36] Daniel: that honestly kind of sounds fun, likegoing back and reading about all of Y2K and what, what is the research processlook like for your books? Do you go into that level of in depth research forevery single one of your books? Or was that more just for this latest.

[00:06:52] Brandt: It was really more for this latestone, because I was writing, you know, at this point, it's. You could almostcategorize it as historical fiction. And so for me, I've because the book isalso based around music. I really needed to make sure that, you know, some ofthe songs that I've referenced or some of the artists that are referenced wereeither one we're still around in 99 or, or, or, or their first album hadn'tcome out quite yet.

You know, I wanted to make sure that I was historically soundthere. But really it was so much fun. The Y2K. Yeah. The scare is kind of thebedrock of the story. It's really about this kid who moves to a new town andhe's playing in a rock band and he wants to be a rock star. And if you askevery, you know, 15 year old right now, every single one of them will tell youI'm going to be a rockstar.

When I grew up, I want to be a YouTube star. I want to be atick talker. I'm going to be an NBA star. I'm going to be a professionalbaseball player, but of all the kids that do this. You know, how many, what isthe actual percentage of, of these kids that actually make it? You know, I, Iknow for me, you know, I didn't, I didn't go to the NBA.

I'm not a professional baseball player. I didn't become arockstar, but I wanted to really think about growing up with that fear in theback of your head of am I going to be able to pursue my dreams? Am I going tobe able to do what I want to do? Or is the world going to end?

[00:08:08] Daniel: You think there's any parallels tomaybe how kids feel today? Cause I mean, I feel like today is just as crazywith COVID. All of those kinds of things happening. So did it feel like therewere parallels between Y2K and how maybe a 15 year old would feel today?

[00:08:26] Brandt: Oh, absolutely. I mean, that's, that'sactually why I wrote the story and why I published it when I did. There wereabsolute parallels between, the media of what we see pushed on a daily basisregarding you know, the pandemic now or the Y2K scare thin I mean, it's, it's aconstant cycle.

And even now, new cycles and social media feeds are really, Imean, they're, they're narrowed down and targeted to the persona and theindividual person. And, and so you can really delve into that, those kinds offears.

[00:08:55] Andrew: It is so interesting playing withstuff like that. Like I'm jealous that it's a book I would have wanted towrite, so that's pretty cool.

[00:09:09] Andrew: let me change topic, not changetopics, but let me pivot you a little bit. So we've talked a little bit abouthow you did your research and I want to keep kind of going down that vein, butsomething we talked about years ago was whether you're a pantser or a planner,I remember what you said, but I want to see if your answer has changed. And ifso, you know, if, if so, or if not, what's, what's the reasoning behind.

[00:09:32] Brandt: Oh, my, I will tell you right now.

I know exactly whatyou're referencing. I used to be solely a pantser and I'm going to. Just asmyself, just say that's because I didn't know what I was doing at the time. Iknew I wanted to be a writer, but I didn't understand a lot of the processesbehind that.

So for me, Now, when Isit down to write, I don't even put pen to paper or, you know, keyboard to, toword file until I at least have some kind of roadmap in place. I don'tnecessarily plot out or create an outline for the entire book, but I at leastneed to know where I'm going. And I also know that there are specific beatsthat readers expect you as a writer that they expect you to hit.

And so I need to make sure that I'm doing. In that process. So,yeah, it's a totally different process from, from the way I used to write myfirst few books, I think, I think suffered because of that. I think the treehouse though, the tree house is a great seller for me and the abduction ofSarah Phillips are great stories.

They don't really go any deeper than, than that surface levelstory that they are, whereas mix tape for the end of the world and the book I'mworking on now. There's an underlying sense. Daniel, I know you kind of broughtit up too. You know, there's an underlying sense, like with mixed tape of, ofthe kind of fears we're seeing perpetrated through the media now with theCorona virus that we saw during Y2K, you know, this, this kind of 20 year newscycle that we saw there.

So I could have written specifically just a surface level storyabout a guy going to a new school, learning how to play instruments, learningto be in a band. But really for me, the story was much bigger than that. And Icould not have written that kind of story without having those kinds of plotbeats in place.

And Andrew I'm so sorry. That was a really long answer to a, toa, to a short question.

[00:11:14] Andrew: I love long answers to shortquestions. I've I am doing my job, right. If I can ask them. You talked for 30minutes straight and we're done one question, one answer podcast over.

[00:11:26] Daniel: And I know that you're going to bedoing some writing workshops soon. I'm going to give you a chance to maybe do alittle bit, one little bit of one right now. You'll use these terms, pants orPrancer. Please explain to me what exactly what you're always talking, explainto the audience what these different styles are.

I think that might help kind of relay how you've grown as awriter.

[00:11:48] Brandt: Sure. So I believe it's George R RMartin and Andrew Monroe. You can correct me on this. If I'm wrong, he callsthem either architects or gardeners. Okay.

[00:11:57] Andrew: I'll go with it. I don't know if itwas George R. Martin or not.

[00:12:00] Brandt: And, and, and they also go by pantsersare planners and pants are basically means that you write from the seat of yourpants or the planner generally outlined.

Now these aren't mutually exclusive. There is some Venn diagramoverlap here. For me, I don't necessarily outline an entire story whether youuse, you know, a three-act structure or using a romancing, the beat structurebut there are specific beats let's say in, say in a contemporary romance novelthere are a handful of beats throughout the story that a, a reader of thatgenre would expect you to hit, or, you know, the, the meet cute, the you know,learning of each other. As you go through the story that the quote unquote, allis lost moment and in the grand gesture where, you know, when the woman backand live happily ever after these are specific beats that you need to hit in astory. Now, some writers like Stephen King are really good at being able towrite by the seat of their pants and just have a story idea and just startwriting and see where it goes from there.

Others need to have, Iknow Jerry Jenkins who wrote the left behind. Requires himself to have anentire outline of the story before he even actually starts his first draft. Hewants to know exactly each beat each scene. What happens, what the characterswant, what what's keeping them from, getting what they want, how they overcomethat for me, I call my system more of a roadmap. I don't necessarily outlineevery single scene. I do know some of the things that I want my characters toto do or to succeed in or not succeed in. But at a certain point I do kind oflet the writing dictate some of that as well.

[00:13:35] Andrew: There you go. I like it. And that,that's a great example. It's almost everybody falls that rights. As far as I'veheard about, you know,

under those two, they either just right by the flow or theywork on it in a planning manner, you know, outlines, that kind of thing. I dothink for any aspiring writers out there planning, what you want to do is agreat idea.

It's really tempting to just write and go with it. But if youmake that outline and be like, Hey, I want this chapter to have this, and Iwant this chapter to have this. It lets you introduce more elements of it. Kindof like that wow moment. Cause you just, it's hard to make that happennaturally.

Just freestyle and it, so, you know, once you get to StephenKing's level, you know, go for it whenever you want, but it's definitely worthtrying.

[00:14:19] Brandt: Andrew, let me ask you a, I'm going toflip the tables on you. Now. I'm going to be asking the questions.

[00:14:23] Andrew: Oh no.

[00:14:25] Brandt: I mean, w what is your process lookinglike now? I mean, are you, how many drafts are you going through? What are you,what are you doing?

[00:14:31] Andrew: So whenever I'm playing around. So tosay, let me, let me roll back to the very first thing I wrote. So I thought Iwas writing, and this is actually goes back to also our emotions versus actionkind of mindset, which if you are a planner and you can, you can get stuck ina. Bad cycle of just planning and not actually taking any action.

So always be careful that you're making action and not justmotions to make action. So I made a lot of emotion by planning the first book,and I probably spent a year making an outline for a book.

[00:15:01] Brandt: Gosh. I remember you telling me thatyeah. That you're outlined for leaf and pebble was

[00:15:05] Andrew: Okay.

[00:15:06] Brandt: a hundred pages, something like that.I mean, you

[00:15:07] Andrew: Yeah, it was like 40,000 words orsomething.

[00:15:09] Brandt: Yeah.

[00:15:10] Andrew: It was a small book in itself then Ididn't, you know, and by the time that's, the problem is I got stuck in thatcycle and I'm still a planner because I just have this type a kind ofpersonality.

But after a year of making this giant outline that idiom plan.And what does it plans survive until first contact with the enemy or somethinglike that? I'm, I'm butchering that. We'll throw it in the show notes. Sosomeone can be like, oh, that is an actual idiom that Andrew does. Make wordsslapped together.

So that's what happened with the outline. I spent all this timeand effort on an outline and I didn't know what the writing process looked likeor anything like that. So that outline basically got me character names andgeographic locations, to an extent you know, it was, it didn't survive firstcontact with the enemy.

So I spent a lot of time doing that in hindsight, Making a muchlooser outline is a good idea. So I'm still an outliner. But I'm a lot more bychapter and kind of a generic, Hey, this is what I want to happen versusoverarching minute detail because it throws off your whole outline. If it'schronological.

[00:16:08] Brandt: I like that a lot. In fact withmixtape I went kind of through chapter by chapter. I would just type chapterone and then underneath that, heading just, this is what happened in thischapter. And then chapter two, the same thing it went on and on and on, this iswhat happens. This is, you know, th these are the struggles that thesecharacters are going to have, and this is how they're going to get out of it.

And, and I think, honestly, writing that way. Has made has mademe a better writer. There, there are certain things that you don't even thinkof whenever you're making a first draft, but that you, that you understandwhenever you're doing that outline like. I worked really with the rule ofthrees with mix tape for the end of the world.

So when you read the novel, you'll see that there's, there'sthree interactions with the bully in the story. There's three interactions withthe girl that Derek falls in love with three rooftop scenes. There are threeinteractions with the mentor character and all of these, these, this rule ofthree, these, these three. Engage and, and sway in and out of each other toform this cohesive story. It's something that I could have never done wheneverI first started is something I could have never done without having those kindsof plans in place of writing a novel. I don't believe that I was mature enoughas a writer to publish my first story the way I did the tree house.

I, I I'm, I'm proud of the story because it was the first novelI ever wrote. But it's not on par with the rest of my stuff. And it's becauseof the way that my writing process has changed over these last few years.

[00:17:33] Andrew: So now I don't want to have too manyspoilers out there, but as this maybe going to make it into the the talk at thefestival.

[00:17:39] Brandt: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. One of thethings I want to do is. In my, in my workshop is help these help aspiringwriters who attend. One learn the processes of taking their manuscript from aword file to a self-published novel. And the tools are available online to dothat for free. If you don't want to go through the querying process, if youdon't want to find an agent and you just want to get your book out.

It's absolutely free to do so. And that's one of the things I'mgoing to teach in my workshop at the Lubbock loving book festival.

[00:18:10] Andrew: That's awesome. Is there a favoritetool you have that you want to throw out there?

[00:18:13] Brandt: Oh, you know, I honestly, I use for,for getting the word file from a word file to a book file, essentially. I likethe vellum program

[00:18:22] Andrew: Oh, felons. Beautiful. Oh my goodness.

[00:18:24] Brandt: But it, it isn't free. there are freeapplications. Amazon makes one called Kindle create. If you just want your bookon Kindle, you can use the Kindle create program and it creates your word.

It takes your word file and import it into a file. That'sreadable on a Kindle. You can then upload to the Kindle distribution program.

[00:18:43] Andrew: No, that's those are good. And it's a,that was something that I'm sure you ran into as well, but very surprising ifyou're, if you're doing the self published route, obviously you have apublisher, you probably don't have to mess with these kinds of things, butgetting a word document too. Be okay on Kindle and look good is miserable.

It's awful. I would highly recommend grabbing vellum because itmakes it

a,

maybe an hour process. Versus in my case, a two-week process,yanking my hair out, wondering what I did in a past life to deserve this kindof torture and pain. I don't know about you. You're probably smarter than meand you're better with computers, but it was awful.

[00:19:20] Brandt: well, sides of that coin now fromdoing everything Indy and self published to having a small publishing companywho kind of does all that for me now. At this point, you know, my, myresponsibility with the, with the manuscript is basically handing it to mypublisher and saying, thanks for the check.

Thank you for the money, have fun. But going from that world ofself publishing, it also took a lot for me to give up a lot of that control. Iloved doing the Paperback cover file myself. I liked formatting the novelmyself. I thought it was a lot of fun. But I can see where if you just want tobe a writer and you don't want to be a marketer, you don't want to be a graphicdesign artist.

You don't want to be a book format, or you don't want to be aneditor. And you're self publishing. I mean, all those hats fall on your head.And I can see where, you know, for a new author it's, I mean, it was, for me,it was incredibly hectic.

[00:20:13] Daniel: So, what was the turning point whereyou decided that you wanted to go with a publisher? How many of your books didyou self publish before that?

[00:20:21] Brandt: self published my first three novelsthe Treehouse, the abduction of Sarah Phillips in the fog. And then with myfourth novel, that's kind of where things changed a little bit for me is may of2020. We were in the very beginning stages of the Corona virus Panda. And I hadthis entire book tour planned that all of a sudden couldn't happen anymore.

And I considered as the self-publisher I considered, well, do Ipush this book back? You know, we were told it was only going to be two weeksand here we are in may. You know, what, what do I do here? Luckily the bookfound an audience. It debuted at number one in the young adult in the youngadult section on Amazon and the book completely changed my life.

And that is when blue handle publishing came around and offereda book contract for my next few books.

[00:21:07] Daniel: Gotcha. So w why did you decide to gowith that contract instead of maybe continuing to self-publish? Cause it soundslike you did like some of the aspects of the self-publishing you had found alittle bit of success. So why make the jump to a publisher?

[00:21:24] Brandt: When blue handle approached me to beon their roster, they were just beginning uh, the president of the companywanted to start a publishing company and he approached me because he liked mywriting. He liked that That I was marketable to a, to an already existingaudience that I had built, of course.

And so it just, itworked out really well where I kind of wanted to get away from handling allthose processes myself. I had an infant daughter on the way she was born inJuly of last year. And, and, and frankly, I simply just wanted to write at thatpoint, I wanted to be able to write my story and kind of give those hats tosomeone else to wear for a time.

[00:22:01] Andrew: that's exactly what I think most indiepublishers or indie authors will come to realize is it's really fun the firstcouple of times. And then you go, wait, I could've written a second or third orfourth book for the amount of time it took for all the other things that werenot writing that I did.

Unless you just really enjoy it. It really is just massively.Time-consuming.

[00:22:21] Brandt: oh yeah. I mean, at one point, notonly was I writing the novel, but then doing all of my marketing myself, all ofmy web design, myself, all of my I mean I hired an editor. His name is BrandonBiggers and Brandon's fantastic.

[00:22:33] Daniel: No,

[00:22:34] Brandt: But that's, I mean, aside fromediting, I kind of did everything myself at that point and don't get me wrong.

It was, it was a lot of fun. It was enjoyable at some points.Made me want to pull my hair out at other points. But then, like I said, when,when blue handle came around and they offered the contract, it was, I knew thatit was time for me to just be a writer at that point and let somebody elsehandle all the marketing aspect.

[00:22:56] Andrew: That's how it goes, man.

[00:23:05] Andrew: Okay. Before we, before we fully wrapup and jump into the, the end of the upset story time and whatnot andchallenge, I've got one last little bit of something I want you to at leasttell me about it. I don't know if it'll apply to anybody else. Daniel might notcare. But we have a mutual friend that I haven't talked to you about yet.

Travis. I ran into himat palace because he had a Roosevelt shirt on and I had a Roosevelt shirt onand he came busting out through the door, pointing at me like he wanted tofight and I saw his shirt and I knew what he wanted. And I was like, oh yeah,we w I got you. So Travis is a really cool guy

and I heard this a little bit from him.

And then I saw it on Amazon as well. Y'all are finishing up abook together and.

[00:23:47] Brandt: We are in the process of,unfortunately it's nowhere near finished. So long story short, I'm under thegun with blue handle. And my next book I turned in my first draft and it gottorn apart. So I've been So I've been working furiously on this. But no Travis.And I around Halloween time, last year put out a novella called fright land. Itwas based on a story idea that he had, he and I kind of talked about, and I, I lovedthe story idea. I thought he'd make a great I thought it'd make a great shortstory, great novella at the time. And then we started fleshing out kind of thisworld of this fright land world.

And it's a fun still doing kind of self-publishing. Yeah. Unfortunately,I have not been able to pay as much attention as I would like to the frightland story at this point. However do know that Travis and I are still workingon it. He's got it. Outlined. I'm working on the first draft now. It's going tobe really cool whenever it's finally released.

it's really a throwback to the old seventies and eightiesslasher movies. it's a lot of fun to play in that kind of world where camp isokay. Where camp is is fun. And man, it's a blast.

[00:24:48] Andrew: That's awesome. I can't wait for y'allto have it out. Cause that sounds like a fun time.

[00:24:52] Brandt: Yeah, me neither. And I'm, like Isaid, I'm just I'm under the gun on a couple of different projects and butfright land is definitely up there. It will be released hopefully within thenext, I wouldn't say six months or so. We were hoping to have it ready forHalloween of this year. Just didn't happen.

But with a yellow city comic con coming back in April, I thinkthey're kind of doing a Halloween in a theater. You know, or a horror filmtheme for yellow city this year, I think it would make a great, a great time todebut that novel too.

[00:25:19] Andrew: Cool. Well, I'm looking forward to it,man.

[00:25:21] Brandt: Thank you.

[00:25:29] Andrew: Well, let's jump in to the last twotraditional things we get out there. First is story time. So if there's anystories you want to share about your life, your writing you know, the actualjob. Had in your life that owning the company phone medic. That is if there'sanything about Daniel or I, or whatever, make it up, do whatever.

If you've got a story, we'd love to hear it. And then while youare multitasking there, we'll uh, have you present a challenge to the audience?If you got one,

[00:25:56] Brandt: Okay. I would like to tell you a storyabout the leather jacket kid. When I was, when I was in middle school, Idecided I was going to wear a leather jacket every single day. Black t-shirtleather jacket, unzipped looking super cool. I wouldn't say anything either. Iwould kind of stand off to the side just to observe people look cool.

And people would know that I was the coolest guy on the block.Definitely the coolest guy in sixth grade, I would also keep an extra largepack of cinnamon gum in the pocket of my jacket. And every single day at you,one stick of gum. I wouldn't give anybody anybody until one day that I wouldfind the most bodacious, courteous, hottest brainiest eighth grade girl in allof middle school.

I go up to her and I'd say, Hey, you want a stick of gum? Andeverybody from that point would know that we were boyfriend and girlfriend andthey would call me the leather jacket. Now, obviously that never happened. Butas a sixth grader with an overactive imagination, these are the kinds of thingsthat I thought about.

[00:26:55] Andrew: Okay. I don't even know what to tellyou about that. I can see it though. I a hundred percent believe the story. Isit the same leather jacket you still wear?

[00:27:02] Brandt: Of course.

[00:27:03] Andrew: Okay. Just making sure. I mean, Ihaven't grown since eighth grade, so.

[00:27:06] Brandt: No, no. I lost that leather jacket along time ago.

[00:27:09] Andrew: That's awesome. Oh, middle school isrough, man.

All right. what kind of challenges do you have for theaudience?

[00:27:15] Brandt: So not everybody is a writer. Noteverybody is a reader, but I think everybody has ideas. And I think justbecause of the world that I live in whenever I'm at a book signing or I'm at alibrary talking with people or at a middle school, talking with kids, I get, Iget this one sentence all the time and it's, I would love to do that.

I just don't have time. And so right now, if you're listeningto this and you're one of those people, and you're saying I've got story ideas,I've got tons of ideas. I just don't have time. What I want you to do is ifyou're an iPhone person every single week, if you have it set up your phonewill tell you how much time you average per day on your phone.

That's time you could be spent writing. And so I challenge youthis week, whether it's 10 minutes a day or an hour a day, I would love for youto sit down at your laptop or with a notebook and start writing some of thoseideas, get them out of your head onto paper, and you surprise yourself evenjust a week, how much you can get done.

[00:28:10] Andrew: That is a great challenge and I fullysupport it. Well, Andrew. Thank you so much for coming on. It has been apleasure getting to hear from you and pick your brain a little bit on thewriting process for everybody listening. Please check out that festival inLubbock. I think you'd have a really good time if you're in the area, if not,we'll try and keep you updated on how it goes. So everybody else that'slistening. Thank you. And we look forward to connecting with you soon.