1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Rosa Santana. Her conservationist ethic resonates with me. She is a free spirit, an untamed enigma like Mother Nature herself. When I tried shaping her into a more conventional character, she rebelled and told me to go eat a sandwich. I never knew what form she’d appear in from one scene to the next. I like how askew her perspective is on things. She’s philosophical and passionate about her convictions. She sees magic in things and possesses magic within herself. And she’s strong. She kicked my butt.
2. Tell me about your travels.
The Army took me to Europe. Boredom took me back and forth across America. My wife took me to Japan. Where I go next, and what takes me there this time, is anyone’s guess.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
I have an eclectic taste in music, from hard to soft, fast to slow, classical to modern. Recently I’ve started listening to Jazz (dark noir and classical). It helps me relax. Writing for me is a bittersweet experience. I like discovering new worlds and people inhabiting my subconscious, but at the same time, I mourn not interacting with the external, tangible, world and the people I truly care about. Classical jazz is the perfect soundtrack for the mood I assume whenever I write. Beautiful melancholy is the only way I can describe it.
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I rarely approach a project from the same angle. Sometimes I outline everything, sometimes I wing it all. When I do outline though, everything is fluid and I end up changing things so much that the original outline doesn’t remotely resemble the final product. My characters almost always shape the plot more than the other way around. Usually I answer only two questions before I begin writing: 1. What is the point of the story? 2. How does it end?
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
I’m a voracious reader of screenplays by talented screenwriters. I love the snappy dialogue, rich visuals, and strong verbs. Authors Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, Charles Bukowski, Ray Bradbury, and Haruki Murakami are also heavy influences.
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Yes. With three small children in the house, I don’t really have a choice! My favorite … er … their favorite is Word World on PBS.
Born and raised in the cornfields of Illinois, Bryan R. Dennis enlisted in the Army upon graduation from High School and served his term overseas. Afterwards he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and enrolled in UNLV’s college of business. It took a degree in Accounting, years of daydreaming in cubicles, and a collection of stories piling up on his hard drive to learn he is a writer and not an accountant. An Epitaph for Coyote is his debut novel. He chronicles his writer’s journey at bryanrdennis.com.
An Epitaph for Coyote
Isle of Stumps