Brian Farrey’s debut novel, WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, was named a Stonewall honor book by the American Library Association and the 2012 Minnesota Book Award winner for Young People’s literature. The first book in his critically acclaimed middle grade fantasy series (THE VENGEKEEP PROPHECIES, THE SHADOWHAND COVENANT, and THE GRIMJINX REBELLION) was named a Junior Library Guild selection, appeared on the Winter 2012-2013 Kids’ Indie Next List, and was listed as one of Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Children’s Books of 2012.” His next novel, THE SECRET OF DREADWILLOW CARSE, will be published in 2016.
Long/rambling version: I was born and raised in Wisconsin and spent most of my life there. I honed my writing skills ripping off various other writers in various phases. I went through my DOCTOR WHO fan fiction phase (of course, back then there was no internet and no one had dreamed up the term ‘fan fic’) where I wrote novels featuring Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor. I went through my Stephen King phase where I wrote scary stories about everyday objects (such as a killer vending machine sent by aliens to eliminate humanity). I went through my Twilight Zone phase, writing stories with twist endings. (Actually, I still enjoy a good story with a twist.) None of this writing was really any good but, hey, that’s how we learn.
Growing up, I was heavily involved in theatre. I acted, I directed, I stage managed. I was even a theatre major for a very brief stint before I realized that show biz was not my thang. While I remain an ardent attendee, my participatory days are behind me.
I ultimately got a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point and spent several years working behind the scenes in local television, writing and producing news and weather promos. Sometimes I miss my days in TV.
In 2001, I moved to Minnesota where I did stints as a bookseller and a book publicist. Until recently, I was the acquiring editor for Flux, the young adult imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide, where I spent seven years having the good fortune to work with a number of extremely talented authors.
In May 2008, I completed my MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University in St. Paul. CHASERS, the novel I wrote to “satisfy the requirements of my master’s program,” was named Outstanding Fiction Thesis. It became the basis for WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, my debut YA.
I live in St. Paul with my husband and Meowzebub, the Neediest Cat in the World. (Think cats are standoffish and eschew human contact? You haven’t met Meowzebub.)
Things That May Interest You (or possibly not):
- When I want to relax, I put Kate Rusby on my iPod. I own all her albums.
- I’m a lifelong DOCTOR WHO fan, including “classic” WHO and the recent reboot of the show. I can hold my own in a WHO trivia contest.
- I was once a TV addict and watched more daily TV than is probably healthy. Now, I’m down to only a couple hours a week, if that much.
- As a result of #3, there was a time when I could tell you the synopsis of any episode of GILLIGAN’S ISLAND based on the opening ten seconds of video (even if it’s just an opening shot of the lagoon). I haven’t tested this skill lately to make sure it holds true but I suspect it does. The jury’s still out on whether or not I should be proud of this fact.
- I love to cook. I bake a lot but I also like to experiment with main courses and whenever possible, I use homemade pasta over store bought.
- I love to bike. I once took a solo bike trip around Scotland, starting in Edinburgh, going to Glasgow, then Gourock, ferry to Dunoon, then Portavadie, ferry to Tarbert, up to Oban, over to Fort William, then on to Fort Augustus along the Great Glen Way, then on to Inverness and a train back to Edinburgh. Amazing experience.
- I also sorta love Scotland. Actually, all things British. But Scotland has a special place in my heart.
- I was born in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm, complete with tornadoes and power outages. To this day, every year on my birthday, no matter where I am, it rains. It’s not always a storm. It doesn’t even necessarily rain all day. But I can rely on the fact that at some point during my birthday, it will rain.
- I’m just gonna come clean. I’m slightly more than a “lifelong DOCTOR WHO fan.” It’s a borderline obsession. Please don’t get me started.