We’re respected that Brian Castner, Iraq War maestro and author of The Long Walk, creates his central online home right here during WordPress.com. Brian’s story and work are fascinating, as are a essay and photographs he shares on his blog.
We asked Brian a few questions about his background, his book, his blogging philosophy, and his choice of WordPress.com for his site.
Could we greatfully tell us a bit about your singular background?
I served in a Air Force as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer, and deployed twice to Iraq in 2005 and 2006. EOD is a military’s explosve squad, so we defuse roadside bombs and all forms of rockets and missiles and such. we got out of a troops in 2007 and became a executive training Army and Marine Corps EOD units before their deployments, though when a highlight and post-traumatic issues finally held adult with me, we wrote a book about it. Now I’m a author — we do repository pieces, I’m operative on another book, and we blog as well.
Your book, The Long Walk, was published final year. What’s it about? (And is it loyal that it’s now being incited into an opera?!)
My thought in essay a book was usually to get a feeling right — what does it feel like to take detached Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq and afterwards come home and feel like you’re going crazy? So, a book is a brew of those dual story lines — in Iraq and behind home — and they are intertwined given it felt to me like all was function during once. When we was deployed we usually suspicion of entrance home, and once we was home for good we felt a need to go back. we indispensable to write a book to explain a fight to myself, and we never approaching it to take off like it has given it was published by Doubleday final year.
And yes, it is being incited into an opera, and we positively didn’t pattern that either! The American Lyric Theater in New York is producing it, and we have been operative closely with Stephanie Fleischmann and Jeremy Howard Beck, a librettist and composer, as they erect it. They have taken a plan unequivocally seriously, and have been impossibly deferential of my family and a book, and are doing a unequivocally true pursuit translating it to a stage. The first performance of a music, usually piano and voice, is a initial weekend in June. There was a open opening of a difference in February, and it was so emotionally heated we had difficulty listening.
Did essay a book assistance we heal?
It did, though if recovering was a usually goal, we wouldn’t have indispensable to go by a announcement process. There are a series of essay programs for veterans that concentration on healing, and they are great, enlivening group and women to usually get their story out. we wanted to find peace, certainly, though we also wanted to turn a writer, and we did my best to emanate a good story too, that other people (besides my family and friends) would wish to read.
What would we contend if one of your 4 sons wanted to enlist?
The troops was mostly good to me, and we wouldn’t trade any of my experiences, good or bad. we have a new family, a EOD brotherhood, and we would never give that adult for my ignorant pre-war self. So we wouldn’t stop my sons from enlisting, though we know a troops isn’t for everyone. It wouldn’t be a good fit for all of my boys. And given we know a bad things that might be coming, I’m not formulation on walking them down to a recruiting hire on their 18th birthday either.
Thank we for formulating your central website during WordPress.com! Why’d we select us?
An author in 2013 usually needs to have a peculiarity website that can offer as a heart and height for your books and events. If a reader likes your book and wants to know more, they need a place to go. So we knew we indispensable a attractive site, and we chose WordPress.com for a integrate of reasons. First, we was gentle with it. we wrote for an choice news website in Buffalo, New York, for a integrate of years before we wrote my book, and they used WordPress on a back-end. we found it easy to learn then, and given we was gentle with it, it done clarity to build my personal site with it.
Second, and this is no tiny thing, we could emanate a decent-looking site for a tiny volume of money. I’m no programmer, though I’m also not a famous best-selling author who can means to compensate thousands of dollars for someone to build them a site. we indispensable to be means to fast and low build a peculiarity site we could maintain, and WordPress.com is good for that.
You’ve picked a premium thesis Linen for your blog. What appealed to we about it?
I looked for a unequivocally clean, well-spoken pattern that fit a gloomy mood of a book. we was means to tweak a credentials tone on Linen, so now it’s got a resigned grey, vaguely newspaper-like feel, though it also has a good ensign complement to pull a eye to high-quality photography. we searched by a garland of options, and Linen seemed to fit best.
Your blog covers all kinds of topics: info on your book, musings on art, stories about outside adventures, book reviews, interviews with other vets, to name usually a few. How do we proceed all this content?
I have a unequivocally despotic essay schedule, with daily word count targets and deadlines. I’ve found it’s a usually approach to keep adult with so many opposite kinds of projects, from blog posts that take half a day to write to a book that requires a year or two. So we try to post on a blog once a week, on Wednesday. we write about dual categorical things: updates about book events and essay projects, and topics that are engaging to me though don’t fit into my normal book and repository “beat.” Sometimes we usually have a thesis or thought we wish to explore, and a difference need to come out, no matter how many people finish adult reading them. Not each impulse we have is accepted for a news of a day — a blog is a good place for such wandering thoughts.
What essay recommendation and tips would we give associate bloggers?
When essay during that alt-news site, we schooled a value of consistency. Readers pattern unchanging content. If we wish people to come behind to your blog and review some-more another day, they need to know when. So we announced that we would write columns each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and afterwards we stranded to it roughly no matter what. we couldn’t post everyday, though we could keep to that three-per-week schedule, and it worked.
Now, my blog supports my book efforts, so we write less, though still consistently. If I’m going to take a week off, we contend so. Malcolm Gladwell talks about a “10,000 hour rule” in his book Outliers. It fundamentally says that it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to master it. The usually approach to get improved during essay is to review and write. Blogging helped me get to 10,000 hours.
Thanks for your time, Brian!
Check out briancastner.com for some-more on Brian, his book, and his ongoing work.