Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Author Spotlight: Henry Brown

Henry Brown Amazon Author Page

     Today's Author Spotlight guest is Henry Brown. Henry (or Hank if he likes you) has recently completed the third installment of his 'Retreads' series. This latest book constitutes a new direction for the characters and the franchise in general, but I'll let Hank tell you more about that.

According to his Amazon bio: "Henry Brown was born to a fierce Mongol chieftain and a mighty Viking warrior-queen who were promptly kidnapped by alien wargamers from another dimension, leaving him to be raised by wolves on the frozen steppes.

Trapped in an avalanche caused by a tremendous meteor strike and frozen alive, he stood in suspended animation as the centuries passed until a team of nubile swimsuit model archaeologists rescued him in 2010, nursed him back to peak health, fell in love with him, bought him a state-of-the-art underground lair complete with mad scientist laboratory hidden on an uncharted subtropical island, and now cater to his every whim while he devises diabolical schemes of world domination.

True story.

Oh yeah: in his spare time, he writes fiction."

Wow! With a bio like that, I have to hear what Henry has to saw about his writing.

Take it Hank!

   Thanks, Rob.

    I don't think of myself as a morbid guy. I would prefer to be apolitical, and believe that peace and freedom will endure in America for the rest of my days. But try as I might, I just can't keep my head buried in the sand.

     Big trouble is headed our way and you don't have to be a “tinfoil hat” type to see it. More and more people are waking up to this, but life as we know it is coming to an end soon regardless of how many believe or not.

     It's a real chore to both stay informed and avoid being consumed by utter helplessness in times like these.


     The natural human instinct when everything looks bleak and there is no realistic hope to be found, is to escape. For some, temporary escape is found in beer, “reality” TV or the things money can buy.

     Anything to distract you from the worry and fear. I have the same escape instinct, and sometimes I let it win.

     I hope it's not a symptom of insanity that I sometimes escape by reading fictionalized predictions about that same bleak future. I suppose it's got something to do with being an “observer.” It's other people who have to face catastrophe and make the incredibly tough decisions, when you're reading about doomsday scenarios. Not only that, but the good guys usually win.

     Now, writing about the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI)... that's easily explained.

     First of all, I'm a writer. Writing is what I do. Secondly, it's therapeutic.

     I've wanted to write apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories for many years. I've never been completely satisfied with how it's been depicted in either film or fiction. But like any writer of the incorrect political convictions, striving to interest a publisher prior to the POD/E-Book revolution, I got in the habit of self-censorship.

     My debut novel, Hell & Gone, was written during those days when traditional publishing was the only “legitimate” path for a writer to become an author. And though it was written in the span between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq (when patriotism made a brief comeback), I still had to dial down the God-mom-and-apple-pie sentiments. Not all the way, mind you—just enough, I hoped, to get it past the leftist gatekeepers in publishing and into the hands of readers.

    Yeah, I was pretty naïve.

Tier Zero Cover

    Eventually, Hell & Gone made it into print (and E-Book) anyway. By the time I wrote its sequel, Tier Zero, I was slowly liberating myself from self-censorship. Where Hell & Gone was a fusion of modern military thriller and old-school pulpy action novel, Tier Zero leaned harder to the pulp side. I wrote it in the style of an old post-Vietnam paramilitary adventure, and the book even has a cover to match. I allowed more truth, as I see it, to slip through—sometimes at the expense of a character's likability. But my quixotic goal was mostly to “bring back men's fiction,” not to hammer home a cautionary message. It turns out that reviving men's fiction (which necessitates that men actually read, rather than only watch sports/play video games) is possibly just as outlandish, or more so, than waking up the ovine masses via a cautionary work of fiction.

    Nevertheless, in the months following Tier Zero's release, I did some soul-searching and prioritizing.

    The result was that I completely unleashed myself. I decided to take these characters I dubbed “the Retreads” and usher them from pulpy men's adventure into a dark tale about the death of America. It wasn't exactly the TEOTWAWKI story I wanted to tell. I would have had more fun spinning a yarn similar to The Road Warrior or Craig Sargent's old Last Ranger series. But doomsday has been hanging over the heads of the Retreads ever since I first introduced them. In a way I can't quite explain, it is somehow fitting that these guys face threats now so real as to be petrifying.

     I knew I would offend and alienate some of my readers. Furthermore, there were some aspects of

     America's demise I just didn't want to deal with.

     Racial conflict, for instance—what Jesus warned about when He said ethnos will rise against ethnos.

     I didn't want to include it; but to not portray the deepening racial divisions and their likely consequences would have been willfully ignorant—an attitude that drives me up the wall in other people on other subjects.

False Flag Cover

     There are aspects of the perfect storm heading America's way that I did not deal with at all in False Flag; and some that barely get mentioned in passing. Maybe I'll have opportunity to incorporate them into future tales, but there just wasn't room for them in this already epic-length book.


     Obviously, most people are completely ignorant of what's going on and dismiss all warnings as “conspiracy theory.” Of those who are aware, many Christians assume the rapture will save them from any sort of inconvenience whatsoever. The rest are busy prepping as best they can.

That's the wise course to take. The survival of you and your loved ones is far, far more important than entertainment of any variety. However, when you're preparing for, and stressing over, impending catastrophe 24/7, sometimes you need to pause and take a few breaths. TEOTWAWKI fiction affords some degree of “escape,” while still keeping you focused enough to not let normalcy bias and the distractions of this world derail your awareness and purpose in the long term.

    That's why I read apocalyptic fiction and will continue doing so while possible. Whenever I have what is now the recurring argument with myself (why should I write TEOTWAWKI fiction when I believe I am staring down the muzzle of TEOTWAWKI right now?), I always wind up descending into a more basic question: why write fiction at all?

   The answer, for me, is: because I can't help it.

Thanks again for visiting the assembly area, Hank. It was a real treat.

You can find Henry at:


  1. My pleasure Rob. Now hurry up and finish Executive Orders! I'm really looking forward to it.

  2. I'm hard at it, Hank. I hammered out another 1,000 words last night.

  3. Hard at it, Hank. Hammered out another 1,000 words last night.

    1. Outstanding. So when is your expected publish date, ballpark?

  4. It's about 1/3 finished. I hope to be finished in about 2 months.