The Writing of Martin Brennan


Fiction Writing

I WANTED to take this opportunity to explain what I like to read and write about, so you may be able to understand my frame of mind when you read my fiction. I guess I have kind of a predictable taste in writing for a late-twenties white dude. My favourite authors are Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, George RR Martin, Hunter S Thompson, George Orwell, and Bret Easton Ellis, and I’m starting to get into Papa Hemingway. If I had to pick any of these authors as my biggest influence I would say King for his fairly simple writing style but engaging character building, and for whom I aspire to be like it would be Cormac McCarthy who writes words so bleak and so beautiful I suspect he’s some sort of southwestern vampire who’s been alive to see the world from its primeval beginnings.

cormac mccarthy

Anyway, those are the kind of influences I aspire to emulate, and hopefully through emulation and painful missteps I will develop my own style and ways to paint a picture for you dear readers. I also find that other great influences for me come from film and television. Quentin Tarantino is one of the greatest film writers, and the script for Pulp Fiction is perfect in my mind. Joel and Ethan Coen write things that can be comedic and tragic at the same time, and the way they brought No Country for Old Men to life was breathtaking. If I ever write something as funny and real as Seinfeld or a masterpiece like The Sopranos (my favourite show of all time) I will die a happy man. Scorsese is a massive influence on me too, his work with De Niro and Di Caprio are legendary and speak for themselves, but Goodfellas will always be close to my heart. There is too much to talk about when I get excited about the art that I love, I hope I’ve created a good mental image of the style I like, one that hopefully does not deter.

So anyway, with my own fiction work. The novel I have written is called Bottom Feeders at the moment. It is about a motorcycle club called the Crabs MC that is far past its golden years. They have eight remaining members, two of them in jail, no prospects, no money, and no respect. My main character is a laughingstock who had his most treasured possession, his bike, stolen from him, and he has to ride a normal bicycle that he has modified with a puttering engine. The story is not one of redemption, it is one of catharsis, of letting things die once they have run their course, of one last hurrah before riding full tilt into the dying sunset. It is about ruthless young men, hungry for power and money, casting old men and values aside. It is not meant to be a serious novel, I have tried to be funny, but there are serious moments as well. I’d also like to note that I’ve never once ridden a motorcycle! I got the idea for it when I saw a guy riding a pitiful pushbike with a tiny engine attached on the road one day. I’m so excited to try and get this published, but I need to edit the first draft first to start getting some beta readers going. If you are interested, drop me a line and I’d be glad to give you a read of it!

I’m in the process of writing a couple of short stories too. One I’ve finished, and that is ready to edit. It is a comical story of an Australian tourist called Daz who takes a wrong turn in South Central L.A. and becomes the ward of the leader of the Burnham Beefers. With his new friends, they dodge danger and the LAPD in a journey through the night to get Daz to the Australian Embassy, meeting a host of eccentric characters that help them along the way. I was inspired to write this after watching Action Bronson and his buddies chill out in L.A. in this video. The Warriors was a big inspiration too, and I feel like the influence of Crocodile Dundee somehow manifested itself as well.

The other short story is a kind of coming-of-age story about a group of boys, three brothers and their two cousins, who go on one last camping trip together on their great uncle’s property. But sometimes we don’t always end up getting along with the people we grow up with, and the five boys need to work through their issues and ultimately work together to survive the dark night, a thunderstorm, and a stampede of cattle. I got this idea from my dad who shared a story of something similar happening on my great uncle’s property when he was younger.

Finally, in attempt to write a character-driven third-person limited story with a single POV, and to work on character motivations and goals, I am writing a story which came to me in a dream. The dream was of a few characters sitting around a table in a cramped room that looked like it was out of Star Wars or Firefly and eating ramen, and a dog was wearing a bib that said Orren for President. I’m not sure what I ate to bring this on, but I am trying to turn it into a Mars colonist short story with science, action, and treason!

There are a couple of other ideas percolating up in my brain as well, bursting to get out, and I would love to share those ideas with you all as well, but I have gone on far too long for one post. Let me know if you’d like to hear more!

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Martin Brennan, the Author

I’m Martin Brennan. I'm a software developer by day, and I like to think I know how to write. Like how a hobo thinks he knows the recipe to Coca-Cola.

You can read about my major projects on my works page.

The authors that inspire me are Cormac McCarthy (my God), Stephen King (my Prophet), J. R. R. Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, Hunter S. Thompson, George Orwell, John Steinbeck, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Find me on twitter @mjrbrennan or email me.