Welcome to Writers4Higher
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Hi, Brinn. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
I have always been in love with books. When I was a kid growing up in Virginia and North Carolina, I read everything I could get my hands on--mysteries, histories, biographies, thrillers, Reader's Digest, Boy's Life, it didn't matter. During the summers, I would stay up all night reading. Completely intellectually undisciplined and stuffed full of useless trivia, I read my way into the Air Force Academy by acing multiple-choice standardized tests. I quickly learned that I was not nearly as smart as I thought I was...something that has been repeatedly re-emphasized as I continue to meet amazing people on my life's path-- there are lots of intelligent, talented, and wonderful people on this planet.
I had the good fortune to spend two years working in the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, as the Chief of the Air Force Section of the U.S. Military Group-Bolivia. I checked out in the embassy Beechcraft C-12 Super King aircraft and flew all over that gorgeous country, going places that most Bolivians had never visited. Tour completed, I won a Post Graduate Fellowship at the Hoover Institution of War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Again, I was surrounded by people with enormous intellects-- Nobel Prize winners, former cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, tenured professors, and the like. All seemed fascinated by my stories about Bolivia. Eventually, I got the message-- if these well traveled and educated people did not have a clue about Bolivia, then non-Nobel Prize winners, non-former cabinet secretaries, non-ambassadors, non-tenured professors, etc probably wouldn't either. So, I started writing the stories down. As I am a great fan of thrillers, I decided to write a thriller located in Bolivia, based on my experiences, suitably enhanced of course (I am a pilot, after all!).
Then life intervened and my wife and I welcomed three baby boys into our lives within the space of twenty months. Yikes! So, I put the writing on hold for more than a decade. Eventually, I started working with the manuscript at night. With the help of some really good (and extra patient) writing coaches, I finally beat it into shape, even won an award. The result was a political-military thriller, The Cochabamba Conspiracy.
Now I was hooked on the euphoria of writing. So I wrote book two of the series -- Chita Quest, published by Southern Yellow Pine Publishing. The story takes the reader from New Mexico to Vietnam, China, Mongolia, and ultimately, the city of Chita in Siberia as Colonel Tom Callahan tries to unravel the mystery of what happened to his father who was shot down at the end of the Vietnam War. As he starts his quest, friends and associates begin to die violent deaths. Coincidentally, in Chita Quest, Tom Callahan is aided by Asian governments who are concerned about the growing power and militancy of the Russian president who is attempting to gain concessions and power in Asia-- much as the real President Putin is attempting in Eastern Europe today.
Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
I plan on expanding this planned Callahan Saga “Trilogy” into a six or seven book series, extending backwards to the end of the Napoleonic Wars, then bringing it forward to the beginning of the Cochabamba Conspiracy.
Book #3, which will take place mostly in and around New Mexico, is about halfway done. I am also trying my hand at short stories.
I would love to use my writing as a way of traveling and giving talks. I love to meet people. If I can inspire people to read more, to write more, to think more, I will be satisfied.
How do you use your talents/time to help others?
I was a teacher in the Air Force, specifically a jet pilot flight instructor. I love to teach, especially working with young people. When we first arrived in Angel Fire, I became a ski instructor and an accredited snowboard/freestyle skiing judge. Eventually I became the Series Director for the New Mexico Series of the United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) where I was in charge of all the official snowboard and freestyle skiing competitions in New Mexico.
Currently, I am an elected Village councilor for the Village of Angel Fire.
I am a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America and serve on the board of directors of the David Westphall Foundation which helps maintain the New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, the first Vietnam memorial in the United States and a model for The Wall in Washington D.C.
Would you like to find Brinn?
Check out the links to this talented author:
Brinn Colenda's Blog
Brinn Colenda on Goodreads