Hottie Alert: Pierce Brown (a.k.a. The Most Attractive Author ever) is currently in Manila! The author of the bestselling Red Rising trilogy is visiting for this year’s The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival happening this weekend, August 25 to 27, 2017—a festival for all the bookworms whose ideal party consists of signings, panels, and discussions about books, literature, and culture (add free flowing tea and coffee then it’s just perf!)
Chalk sat down with one of the festival’s most-awaited guests, the swoon-worthy three-time bestselling author to talk about his journey, answering a few of our questions as well as questions from fans. Read on to know more!
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming a bestselling author?
Hey, I’m still a simple guy. I have a dog. I have my books. I have the same friends. I pretty much do all the same things, except now I get fan mail that helps inspire me in my moments of doubt. I’m a lucky man, indeed. Also, the thing about being an author is that these stories have been rattling around in my head for quite a while so I’d say the best thing about being a bestselling author is that, finally, there’s a chance to share the stories—to connect on a deeply human level with people I’ve never met. I wish everyone had that chance.
What was the inspiration behind the Red Rising trilogy and the Sons of Ares?
I was living above my parents’ garage in Seattle and working for a start up tech
company (drearier than it sounds), when I re-read Sophocles’ play, Antigone. In it, a young girl defies the authority of her city to bury her brother. That seed started spreading its little roots in me on a mountain climb I did with my friends that week. Roped together on the side of a mountain at 5:00 a.m., I remember how vivid the stars looked and I started wondering if I couldn’t take that story of Antigone, that seed of rebellion against authority, and plant it in the stars.
What is the overall theme of the Red Rising trilogy and its difference to your new series Sons of Ares?
The theme of Sons of Ares and Red Rising are entwined. There’s dozens by the end of all those pages, but the central theme is twofold. If you want justice, you have to make it. And let no one else define who you are and who you want to be.
Tell us about your writing process. Which one comes first, the characters or the story?
Characters, characters, characters. I first find out what their thematic or emotional journey is then I build the story to create the events I need for that to take place.
Can you share any Red Rising film updates to us—about the script, the cast, etc.?
Nope, still in development. Hollywood is an enigmatic creature with the pace of an iceberg.
What is a book that you find so beautiful and life-changing that you wish that you’re the one who wrote it?
Of Mice and Men. It was the first book to ever make me cry like I’d just had my lunch stolen.
If your life were to become a book, what would the title and the synopsis be?
Of Monsters and Wormholes, a tale of the tragic but altogether thematically appropriate disappearance of renowned and august novelist Pierce Brown.
Given the opportunity to ask more questions, Chalk compiled some interesting ones from Filipino fans that Brown answered himself! Warning: Mild spoilers ahead!
Who is your favorite character in the Red Rising trilogy and the inspiration behind the said character?
Victra! She’s a seven-foot tall Amazon of a woman who never lies and has impeccable fashion taste. Sign me up!
Did Rogue have feelings for Tactus just as he liked Lea and Quinn? Or how was it different?
I’m hesitant to change the reading experience beyond the pages, but Tactus was a man looking for love despite his horrible upbringing. A tragedy of contradictions, if you will. What would be more beautiful than that to a poet?
Any hints about the characters from the Red Rising Trilogy that will be very present in your next series Iron Gold?
Pretty much all of them.
To know more about Brown and his works, attend his talk and his signing at The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2017 happening on August 25 to 26. See you there!
ALSO READ: Hot Stuff: 5 Heartwarming And Mind-fueling Reads You Should Stash In Your Summer Bag
Banner photograph by Joan Allen via Red Rising Book. Special thanks to JB Roperos of National Book Store.