Published by Macmillan on August 4th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Literary
A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He's longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents. There's the handsome grad student, his girlfriend, and the other woman; the construction worker who feels trapped by a secret; the building's super who feels invisible and alone; the pregnant woman on bed rest who craves a forbidden ice cream sandwich; the shut-in for whom dirty talk, and quiche, are a way of life; and home-schooled Herman, a boy who thinks he can travel through time. Though they share time and space, they have something even more important in common: each faces a decision that will affect the course of their lives. Within the walls of the Seville are stories of love, new life, and death, of facing the ugly truth of who one has been and the beautiful truth of who one can become. Sometimes taking a risk is the only way to move forward with our lives. As Ian the goldfish knows,
Ali: What is your favorite book of 2015 so far?
Brad: I loved Eric McCormack’s “Cloud.” There’s something in his fiction… the descriptions take the day-to-day and turn them into beautiful fantasy. But I think that book technically came out at the end of last year. One I’m dying to read that comes out later this year is Rupert Thomson’s “Katherine Carlyle.” There’s always something different going on in Mr. Thomson’s work but it’s always fantastic.
Ali: Did you always want to be a writer?
Brad: I’ve always written. My first book was dedicated to Mrs. Buckingham who was a language arts teacher I had in high school. She was so enthusiastic about fiction and so keen on instilling its importance in her students that she cemented it for me. As for wanting to be a writer, I think whoever writes is already a writer, published or not and in whichever form they choose.
Ali: What inspires your writing?
Brad: There’s so much inspiration in people and what they do, how they relate to each other and interact with the things around them. I think the little interactions are often overlooked because we’re in such an age of easy interconnectivity. But how does a simple misdialed phone call, saying hello to a stranger in the elevator or cutting someone off in traffic affect their life? Also, there are stories in objects and in other living things; everything has a story of how it came to be and where it’ll wind up. Even though we are exploring the far reaches of the universe and can make toast at the push of a button, these fundamentals of connectivity haven’t changed.
Ali: What was the hardest part writing “Fishbowl”?
Brad: The hardest part was keeping all the details in order and having them be introduced at the right time and come into play when needed. Essentially there are eight interacting threads with all their details and actions influencing the other storylines. And that thing that was mentioned in chapter eight might completely influence how the events in chapter forty two turn out.
Ali: What is your favorite thing about writing “Fishbowl”?
Brad: My favorite thing is probably the same as the hardest thing. It was a blast piecing together all the details and threads in the story. It was like a giant puzzle that I got to put together for a couple years.
Ali: Do you have any habits while writing? For example: a specific snack food you have to have or maybe music playing in the background.
Brad: I’m a morning time binge writer. There’s usually a coffee at hand and some tunes playing on my headphones. It’s bliss to be able to float along for a few hours in another world until the sun is a little higher in the sky and the day in the real world has to begin.
Ali: What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing?
Brad: There’s always a stack of books waiting to be read… but that’s a pretty obvious answer. I’m fortunate to live close to the Rocky Mountains and, when there’s time, I do enjoy a good hike in the summer or snowshoe trek in the winter.