26 April 2012

VBT: Maple Express!

Welcome back! Today, I'm hosting Peter Brandt, author of The Maple Express. Enjoy!

Welcome to my little old blog! Tell us a little about yourself.

I am 24, bronzed with chiseled muscles, hair down to my butt…wait, you want the real me! Well, that isn't as glamorous.

I am an old man by professional standards but I live my life as if I was still a teenager. I am a Canadian married to a sweet woman and we are presently living overseas. I have written a few books, with Maple Express being my latest, as well as a couple of screenplays, and I've been professionally trained as an actor. I have been lucky enough to appear in a few movies and television shows. I am also learning to play guitar and struggling with learning the violin because I just have too many things to take care of with my book launch and my writing, but I haven't given it up yet.

Thanks! How about your most recent (or upcoming) release?

Maple Express is a kind of psychological thriller for the young adult population, although many adults would find it interesting as well.

Sara Maple is a headstrong girl who likes it when things go her way and when they don't she can be very difficult to be around. Unfortunately, her decision to skip school lands her on a train ride with some strangers and a journey to somewhere no one can identify.

Now for the fun. Llamas or camels?

I am living in the Middle East at present so let's go with camels. Here they roam around the side of the road, eating the grass that grows in the middle of the highway, (the rest of the area is all sand!) You would be far better off hitting a bridge than hitting a camel. Some of them sell in the millions of dollars.
Camels because the baby camels are so cute!

You’ve just been cornered on the street by Steven Spielberg, who wants to make your book into an epic three part movie. Who’s going to play the leads?

Dakota Fanning would be perfect as Sara Maple the lead. She always comes across to me as such a sweet girl but she has the ability to change from sweet to hateful in seconds.

The only male character in the book would be Arden. I would love to see Tom Felton, the young man who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series play Arden. Tom as an actor has that brooding anger simmering under his piercing gaze.

You’re the President of the world! What’s your first new rule?

Banks must change how they operate so they serve the people and not serve themselves. The leaders of the banks will be accountable for every dollar they gain or lose.

If you could be locked into one of your stories, which one would it be? Which character would you be and why?

Very good, so I would have to say I would pick my comedy novel "Crown Prince from Texas" and I would want to be the lead character, Harden Long. He is a writer, like myself, who sees his first novel explode on the scene and become a made for TV movie. (We all want success in our life!)

He is a man of the world (or thinks he is, - he isn't!) who finds his one true love and enjoys his riches that come from using his mind. Wow…that's a lot like my life right now right down to the true love of my life  - my wife Carly.

I know, sappy but what can I say, I'm happy!

Here’s a box of Crayons. What are you going to draw?

I suck at drawing so drawing a person is out! How about a beautiful sunset on a sandy beach and a jug of margaritas sitting on a table by a chair. The whole scene is on a balcony overlooking the water.
I live in a really warm climate now but I think when I retire I would like to have a house in a beautiful warm tropical island by the water.

Where can we find you around the vast interwebs?

I am all over the place, but I try to reside mostly at http://www.peterabrandt.com and my publisher www.simplesimonpublishing.com. I have a blog ay my publishers as well as links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

And where might we find your books for sale?

They are for sale at both http://www.smashwords.com and www.amazon.com. They are available on the Kindle and I have my two memoirs (mine and my dad's) as paperbacks.

Thanks for dropping by! Any other thoughts?

Thank you first off for having me. This is my first blog tour and although it's a lot of work, it has been very rewarding as well.

I would love to invite your readers to come and visit me at my blog at www.simplesimonpublishing.com. I have a video blog (I like to be in front of the camera) and I have a new book that I will be releasing in conjunction with my blog titled "From Author to Entrepreneur" which explains how storytellers can become successful authors and the logistics of setting up and selling their books as eBooks. I have been an independent author for quite a few years now and I have learned many solid things I would love to share with them about how to succeed.

I even have a video that shows readers my office, my desk, and where I spend a lot of my time hiding out writing.

Bye for now and happy reading.

The Maple Express:


Sara Maple has a comfortable life—the only child of a wealthy family—a best friend who does everything she asks—and the admiration of most of her schoolmates. Unfortunately, her temper and “indestructible” attitude quickly place her in a very precarious position.

“The Maple Express” is a powerful novel that captures the author’s take on the miracle of the human mind. “The Maple Express” delves into the actions and consequences of a young girl who has never had to take responsibility for her actions before. The story brings the reader into a world where Sara’s determination to find her way off the train sends her on an emotional trip that bonds her to her new friends and changes her life forever.

Both young and old readers will love the emotional journey Sara Maple takes them on as she deciphers the obstacles that confront her. Sara’s story ends with a surprise twist and leaves the reader with a sense of discovery about his or her own humanity.


It took Sara a few seconds to comprehend where she was. As best as she could tell, she was staring at an upside down Thomas Cole painting that appeared to be zipping along at a tremendous rate of speed.

The wind in her hair and face made her eyes water and saliva run from the corner of her mouth. Sara closed her mouth and swallowed.

The last thing she remembered was stepping up on the ladder that led to the train engine. When she woke, she was staring at the scenery, dangling upside down, and being held by something that had wrapped itself around her ankle. Her face was mere inches from the ground. She couldn’t distinguish any one individual rock — they were all shooting past her too fast to see anything more than a blur.

Sara turned her head to find out where the noise was coming from. She knew the sound of the wind that rattled past her but the throaty metallic rattle that overpowered it was far more excruciating on her ears.
The wind spun her a quarter turn and what she saw caused a scream to erupt from deep inside. Two large train wheels were spinning along steel tracks. The sound she heard was steel hitting steel. The pistons created the swooshing sound as they pounded the wheels around, propelling the train forward.
Sara looked for something to grab onto but there was nothing within her reach. She felt like a side of beef dangling in a butcher’s freezer.

About The Author:

It only takes a few minutes of thought before Peter Brandt can devise a scenario that would make a fantastic story, and minutes after that before it begins to fill itself in.

“I have been able to think up stories all my life but it’s only been in the last seven years that I realized I was abusing my creative side by not writing them down.”

Peter retired from the Air Force and began a new career as a Technical Writer. His writing abilities have allowed him to work in Canada, the United States and even in the Middle East.

But its Peter’s love for stories that has brought him into a new realm of writing. His humorous memoir about his life as a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces and the tragic memoir about his father’s life in a Prisoner-of-War camp at the age of 14 allowed him to refine his writing before he began to venture in writing Young Adult fiction.

“I have a very unique way of creating my stories. It begins with a craving, like a recent smoker who just quit cigarettes but still feels the addiction. I can’t shake it until I sit down and begin to let my mind wander. Many times I start my quest for a new story by wondering - What If. Soon after I begin to write and can usually get the first draft completed within a few weeks.

Maple Express began as a “what if” question and I’d share it with you but it would give away the storyline.”
I always write my stories as I would see them on the movie screen, which is why writing screenplays are also something I do. I am shooting a short film I wrote with a friend of mine within the next couple of weeks with another film shortly after.”

Peter has taken formal lessons in acting and has enjoyed some success as an actor in TV and film before his day job as a Lead Technical Writer required him to move out of the country.

“I can honestly say I have landed in the perfect job for me. I love to write...doesn’t really matter what I write, creatively or technically, writing is a pleasurable experience.  It has allowed me to travel and for that I am grateful.”

Peter grew up with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew hardcover books.

“I loved them. I remember sitting under my blanket after lights out, sweating from the heat and the fear that gripped me as Joe and Frank carried on with another of their adventures.”

It is with these wonderful stories in mind that Peter wrote “Holly Alexander and the Mystery of the Courthouse Square.” This young adult novel will be released summer / fall 2012.

“I never really grew up. I have tried to write for adults but I find it difficult. I was a small, shy, and bullied kid growing up. I was nothing special. I had terrible grades, no idea what I wanted to do with my life and girls...wow, totally foreign to me. After I joined the Army those years faded quickly and I guess it has caused me to want to get those years back.

That is why I crave writing about young people who feel they are nothing special until I put them in a position where they have no choice but to become someone they never dreamed they could be. It is very uplifting for me to make heroes out of young people who believe they have nothing to contribute. It’s an eye opener for me as well as for them when it happens.”

Pete continues to write and publish through Simple Simon Publishing, a different type of publisher.
“Simple Simon Publishing is all about turning authors into entrepreneurs. For too long authors have felt dependent on the closed loop publishing industry to discover them and make them successful. Simple Simon’s philosophy is you are not just an author but the best person in the world to sell your product...you and your writing.”

Peter and his wife Carly have five kids who are all grown and on their own. 


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Peter today.

pbrandt said...

Thank you Lindsay for inviting me here today. Your little blog is very nice. You are the second to last place for me to visit on my blog tour. Tomorrow I wrap up on my birthday and will be spending my time on a plane flying home.
I loved your questions...something a little different. As for my crayon drawing...I would draw the hills of Chiang Mail Thailand, overlooking a lovely valley. What a beautiful country and people.

MomJane said...

You are a very busy person. I think you story sounds great. I hope it is as succesful as all your other activities seem to be.

Catherine Lee said...

Pete...Have any of your colleagues where you're living now read your book?

catherinelee100 at gmail dot com