Brendan Foley, an IN THE AIR Author Interview


On the verge of a new anthology, we are celebrating IN THE AIR with a behind the scenes view of authors and their stories. Here’s a look at Brendan Foley and his story “And Then You May Hear My Whisper.”



Tell me a little about your story and the world you’ve created.

Our protagonist is a gentleman named Cornelius Stack who, at some unknown point long before the events of the story get to commencing, accidentally unstuck his soul from his body and has been blessed/damned to float on the wind forever. Sometimes he’s able to interact with the world around him and affect change, but often he’s just a passenger to the whims of the wind. It can do funny things to you, intangible immortality.

If you had to describe your protagonist in three words, what would they be?

Deeply, worryingly fickle.

What is something about your protagonist that only you know?

Whether or not he is a liar.

Which scene was the most difficult to write and why?

It turns out having a main character who is an intangible spirit who cannot physically interact with things makes it complicated when you want said character to become involved in the life-and-death struggles that are enfolding around him! It took a lot of thought (and more than a little pounding of the ol’ head against the ol’ wall) to crack how to involve the narrator into the narrative in a way that satisfied the rules and mythology set out by the story but that didn’t feel like a cheat.

What were you trying to achieve with this story?

In satisfying the main theme of ‘air’, I wanted to create a character who was as pliable and unknowable as that same substance (or lack thereof). It was my hope to create a main character who is truly unknowable, to both themselves and the audience.



What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m at my happiest either on the couch with a book in my lap, or outside roaming around. There’s some nice forests near me that are great fun to be lost in for a little while.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your stories?

Sometimes characters will just straight-up refuse to behave how you want/need them to. The jerks.

Do you have any suggestions to help others become better writers? If so, what are they?

‘Write what you know’ can be severely limiting advice. A better idea might be ‘Write what you are hungry to know more about’.

What do you think makes a good story?

A beating heart.

If you need help finding one, I know a guy.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

When I was a kid, every book I read, I would want to do what the main character does. Detective, paleontologist, astronaut, explorer. Eventually I realized that if I was a writer, I could be all those jobs at once. And it would involve less math.

What is your favorite writing tool or technique?

I generally start out writing longhand in a notebook, and once I have enough material to play with I’ll start typing things up and really digging in.

How would you describe your general writing voice and tone?

Probably wildly less clever than I think it is.

Share something fun or interesting:



48416177_2008938705839504_8094266344947580928_nAn aspiring aspirer out of Massachusetts, Brendan Foley is the creator of the BLACK SUN DISPATCHES podcast. He offers nightmares at a very reduced price.”


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