Today, in the Forum, I’m especially delighted to introduce Spencer Brokaw. This amazing twelve-year-old is the author of The Impenetrable Spy an adventure novel for people of all ages.
Tim Greaton: Can you tell us a little about yourself, how you like school, your interests and hobbies?
Spencer Brokaw: I am 12 years old. I love school and get almost all A’s. I am in advanced Math (Algebra) and in the advanced Reading and Writing classes at our school. Some of my hobbies are writing, drawing, reading, golfing, swimming, and riding my bike.
Tim Greaton: What books have you read more than once and why?
Spencer Brokaw: Usually, I only read books more than once when I really like them. I did read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde twice, but that was only because I couldn’t understand it the first time…and I still can’t understand it today. But my favorite books that I have read several times would be all the Harry Potter books, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Daniel X series, and The Lightning Thief series.
Tim Greaton: It’s amazing that you have published a book at your age. I can’t tell you how impressed I am, Spencer, and I’m sure our readers are just as blown away. When did you first start writing?
Spencer Brokaw: I first started writing at age 6, and I still have the stories that I wrote. The first was about a man who broke out of jail, an idea I got from the Alcatraz movie starring Clint Eastwood. I wrote many other types of stories but gradually decided that I liked the action genre, so that’s what I write in it today.
Tim Greaton: Why did you choose an adult spy novel as your first book?
Spencer Brokaw: I didn’t really choose it per se, and I certainly didn’t imagine I’d be publishing it. I had just written it for fun over the past couple of years, but when I came across Kindle Direct Publishing I decided to publish it. I know a lot of people refer to it as an adult novel but it’s really a YA/Adult book, appropriate for all ages.
Tim Greaton: How has this publishing experience changed you? Do you view your friends differently, or do they view you differently now?
Spencer Brokaw: I now view Reading and Writing classes at school as if they were “author classes.” I listen to every word the teacher says and apply it to what I write. My writing is definitely getting better over time. My friends now view me as some kind of genius even though they are just as smart as me. A lot of them are interested in writing a little bit more, and I’ve even been able to show some of them that creating a website can be as simple as a few clicks. My friends enjoy what I have to say and I value their comments, too. I don’t view my friends differently; they’re still a bunch of goofballsJ.
Tim Greaton: How were you able to make so many of your scenes realistic?
Spencer Brokaw: I just try to describe things the way I have seen or imagined them. Sometimes, I write based on what I’ve seen in movies.
Tim Greaton: Did you travel to any of the sites that you have described in your book?
Spencer Brokaw: Not in that book but my sequel is based in Chicago, which is a setting that I have visited.
Tim Greaton: Do you think you might try a different genre for one of your next books?
Spencer Brokaw: Good question. I actually have a few more series planned besides espionage YA adventures. I have ideas for:
-a Super Hero series,
-an apocalyptic book that focuses on Guardian Angels,
-and a teen detective book.
Tim Greaton: How do you balance writing and marketing into what must be a hectic schedule with school, sports and friends?
Spencer Brokaw: Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way yet. But I am getting more used to my schedule, so I hope I will be able to balance everything out soon.
Tim Greaton: What is the title of your latest book? And could you tell us a little about the story?
Zachary Brokaw: The title is The Impenetrable Spy which is about Zack Carter, who was an ordinary person until he met up with the CIA. Zack creates a time machine that can transport him back in time when his heart rate stops. Zack is nearly "Impenetrable" and cannot be beaten. Wang Bo, a rich leader of China discovers a small statue that can make people’s worst fears come alive. He is also the leader of a mass terrorist group dubbed ‘The Bad Hounds.’ Zack's main priority is to save the United States from World War 3, and to do that he undertakes several missions involving several huge mansions, a war torn D.C, an insane asylum and New York City.
Tim Greaton: Have you been surprised at the response that your novel has gotten?
Spencer Brokaw: I have. The Impenetrable Spy has gotten four- and five-star reviews and a lot of nice commentsJ.
Tim Greaton: Is there a particular scene in your book that you are especially proud of?
Spencer Brokaw: I particularly love the Washington D.C. scene, the ending showdown, and the chapter where Zack receives an amazing car.
Tim Greaton: Were any of your characters based on real people?
Spencer Brokaw: No, they were just based off of the pictures in my headJ.
Tim Greaton: Are you planning a sequel or are there other books available in this series?
Spencer Brokaw: The second novel in the series is finished but not yet published. I am working on a prequel which introduces the character Jack.
Tim Greaton: Just for fun, Spencer, what would be your author’s dream come true?
Spencer Brokaw: To see The Impenetrable Spy in actual bookstores like Books & Company or Barnes & Noble. That would make my day…no, my yearJ!
Tim Greaton: It would be great if you could share your website/blog site and links to where our audience could directly purchase your books.
Spencer Brokaw: My website is: http://www.spencerbrokaw.com/
Also available on iBooks and soon in paperback.
Tim Greaton: I have to say, Spencer, you have become one of my heroes. I’m completely awestruck by not just the fact that you’ve written and published a book, but that it’s a great book. I’m sure a lot of our readers will be enjoying it before long. Thank you for spending the time with me today.
Spencer Brokaw: It has been my pleasure to be with you.