1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I used to have a train commute that would take an hour in and out of the city each way. I’ve always been drawn to golden-era science fiction and horror and started writing short stories every day on the train. Eventually, I had enough to select from for my first collection Guns Gods & Robots. Reviews and feedback from my readers inspired me to keep at it.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
I always like to ground my science fiction stories with an ethical dilemma and have been interested in the tragic Typhoid Mary story for a while. She was a woman immune to typhoid fever, but still transmitting it to everyone she came into contact with. She worked as a cook but couldn’t continue doing that and it ruined her livelihood. Her crime was being a carrier. Sara Glen started as a version of that. What if she had the opposite challenge? What if she carried a cure? But what if the only way the world could benefit from it would destroy her?
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
Sara is indecisive, as I would think anyone would be in her situation. I want readers to see how they think they would act in the same situation. Are they empathetic? Frustrated? There’s no right answer, but I want people to consider what they would choose for themselves. That’s been my favorite feedback. People enjoying your stories is nice, but if they feel like they are actively involved, that’s even better.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
My favorite science fiction is rooted in possibility. Day after tomorrow type of technology. In the case of The Negotiated Death of Sara Glen, the tech is commercial DNA testing, genetic mapping, and ultimately personal health data privacy. If this kind of tech we have in our lives today turns against us, then it’s easy to make the case that this also bleeds into psychological horror.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
Sara has enough on her mind so I wouldn’t want to bother her. There is a side character, Dr. Reggie, that I would love to check in with to verify the medical information I’ve included in the book. I’m no Michael Crichton and needed to streamline the disease explainer, but wanted to guarantee it was grounded in actual science.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
I started writing and distributing short stories for free through platforms like OpenBook (RIP) and Noise Trade (RIP again). These were great because I would get the contact information for each person who would download the book. Now I use Drive-thru Fiction for the same purpose. It’s also been good to have these lists to get some advance readers willing to give me honest feedback.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Knock out that first draft warts and all. It feels great to get to the end. Then put it away for a while before revisiting it for your first edit. I’ve found that editing as I go makes something fun into an absolute chore.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Are any new books/projects on the horizon?
The Negotiated Death of Sara Glen is the first of four novels I’m releasing this year. They’re each distinct capsule stories that are all part of a larger narrative called All Our Forgotten Futures. That larger volume will be going to print in the fall. After that, I’ve completed a weird mystery/suspense novel that should be coming out in 2024 then a short story collection later that same year.
About the Author
Feel free to read over Brady’s shoulder if you see him working on a new novel or short story at the coffee shop or library. Despite his penchant for crime, horror, and the unusual in his writing, he’s actually a nice guy and welcomes your feedback. Brady Koch’s first collection of short works, Guns, Gods & Robots, is now available. His debut novel, All our Forgotten Futures, will be available in Winter 2023.