Interview with Henry Brown, Author of Provoking Fate (Paradox Book 4)

19 Jun 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Provoking Fate (Paradox Book 4)?

Provoking Fate was originally just one segment of a mammoth supernovel with 120+ chapters and 1500+ pages. A sober examination of the fiction market today convinced me to break it up into a series. As for the story behind that initial Tolstoy-sized epic: I’ve always had a soft spot for time travel, and like many others I would guess, I often find myself wishing I could wind the clock back to my youth, knowing what I know now. Being a fan of history, there’s some parts of it I wanted to bring to life for readers who have perhaps never studied them. And I thought it would be fun to have the hero confront a vast conspiracy which operates across space and time. All these ideas brewed in my mind and evolved over many years before I was finally ready to start putting the words down.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Provoking Fate (Paradox Book 4), what would they be?

Uncle Si: “Born Under a Bad Sign” by Albert King & Cream. Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation.” “Tush” by ZZ Top.

Pete/Ike: Sparks’ “(Eaten by the) Monster of Love.” “Tub Thumper” by Chumbawumba. “Travelin’ Man” by Ricky Nelson. John Cougar Mellencamp’s “I Need a Lover (Who Won’t Drive Me Crazy)”.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I go through phases with both, wherein I focus on one genre or another. As far as a favorite, I can’t narrow it down to one. I’m the same way with music. My first published books are considered military thrillers. Right now I’m writing time travel adventure. In the future, I hope to write some sword & sorcery, and space opera. I’ve just finished reading a sword & planet novel, and am currently reading historical fiction. There’s no doubt I’ll delve into some fantasy, sci-fi. adventure, and mystery in the near future.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Egads, that’s an enormous pile. I’ll highlight just a few: The rest of the Hidden Truth series by Hans G. Schantz. She by H. Rider Haggard. The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter. The Robert E. Howard Omnibus. The End by G. Michael Hope.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The scenes with Uncle Si are always up toward the top. He’s obviously got some issues, but he’s also magnetic. However, in this book, my favorite scene might be when Ike and Vivian finally come face-to-face and play a little cat-and-mouse with each other. Vivian is one of those characters who takes on a life of her own. My fingers were typing the words, yes, but she entertained me as if I were just a reader being passively entertained. She’s also got an aura of mystery that electrifies the scenes she’s in. Is she a femme fatale, or just a sexy ally who is too seductive for anyone to believe she’s really one of the good guys?

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Quirky? I don’t think so. Insane? Possibly. I tend to constantly self-edit, even before finishing the rough draft. In fact, I don’t follow much of the ubiquitous “how to write” advice bandied about in creative circles.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Make real-world decisions based on reality—not what you believe reality should be.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Provoking Fate is one leg of the epic journey that is the Paradox Series.


Henry Brown is the author of the new book Provoking Fate (Paradox Book 4)

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