So welcome, readers. Today we’re speaking with author Brent J. Ludwig, whose debut novel, Those Who Would Be King: The People’s Prince, was published July 11, 2023. Brent is a former practicing lawyer who runs his own boutique executive search firm in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Brent has a very busy life, with three teenage kids keeping him hopping. He is also the volunteer president of a medium-sized soccer club, and is an avid amateur chef, lover of food and wine, and is an outdoor enthusiast. He very much enjoys leveraging his efforts to help others, and thinks that writing novels, even historical fiction novels, can help him to do just that. Take it away, Brent…
You are an author, but is it your day job? I’m an author? Hmmm as of July 11, 2023, I guess I am. My normal day job is executive search, aka. headhunting.
Did you always want to be an author? Not really. I think that as a younger kid I thought being an author was somewhat mysterious and perhaps even unattainable. It wasn’t until my history undergrad degree that I realized I could become an actual, published author. But make no mistake about it, I’ve ALWAYS been a storyteller with a vivid imagination.
What is your most recent book and what inspired you to write it? My novel is called Those Who Would Be King: The People’s Prince. I was inspired to write a book that tackled political, economic and social issues in sub-Saharan Africa by another author, Dambisa Moyo, who wrote a book on Africa that explained how foreign aid was killing her home continent.
How do you hope your book uplifts those who read it? I hope that my novel uses an engaging, fast-paced novel to shatter some of the Western world’s belief system on how to help Africa. And on my research trip to a country in south central Africa, Malawi, on which the fictional novel is loosely based, many of the people I met and friends that I made there see this book as a very important work to educate the western world and help their country. My book! Very lofty ambitions they have for it, indeed!
What are you most excited about with this book? I hope to entertain, educate and enlighten people. And I have committed a portion of the proceeds of this book toward investing–not donating in the form of “aid”–in the country of Malawi. It’s a beautiful country filled with warm, friendly and happy people, despite their rank as the third poorest country on earth.
How did writing a book help your career take off? It didn’t at all. I’m a former practicing attorney qua entrepreneur. Writing is my passion, but it is not (yet) my full-time profession.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in your professional industry? Be a people person with high EI and a genuine love of helping people.
How do you handle setbacks and criticism? Red wine. I am doggedly persistent.
Being an author today is like running a business. How do you manage all your publicity, social media and keep your engagement up with readers? It’s really tough when you don’t work with a major publishing house. I write my own content for blogs, interviews, etc., but have engaged a PR firm and a social media professional to help me build my profile and raise awareness.
How do you hold yourself accountable and achieve the goals that you set forth? Self-discipline.
How do you structure your day and make time for writing? I literally block off three-hour chunks of time to write. You need those blocks to get “into” the story and the scene. If you allow interruptions, you basically have to restart from scratch and are far less productive.
What do you find most fulfilling in the career that you’ve chosen? Interacting with and helping people.
What book uplifts you? Wow. I can’t really name any single book. Fiction novels, especially historical fiction, where the characters and storylines actually could have happened, transport me away into their fictional world. Any book that does that uplifts me and my spirit.
Anything else you’d like to share with your readers? Don’t get angry with me for the cliff-hanger ending! Book number 2 in the series is 1/3 written, so if you enjoyed my first novel, fear not, you won’t have to wait too long.
Connect with Brent and get a copy of his book via his website.
Images Courtesy of PR By the Book