Gab Interview with T.S. Pettibone

Brittany and Nicole Pettibone, who write under the pen name, T.S. Pettibone, are the authors of The Hatred Day Series. Hatred Day, book one, is available online on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Expected publication for Verdict Day, book two, is 2017.

Brittany and Nicole Pettibone were born in California, grew up in Kansas, and these days, live and write in California. On the rare occasion that they break from writing, they enjoy being outdoors, taking their dog on night walks, reading the classics, drinking too much coffee, traveling the world, making friends out of strangers and learning new things—especially when these things are in any way related to architecture, politics, history, geography, foreign languages and cultures, cars, motorcycles, weapons and martial arts.

LINKS:

Website: http://tspettibone.com

Brittany’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrittPettibone

Brittany’s Gab: https://gab.ai/BrittPettibone

Brittany’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brittpettibone/

Nicole’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/NicolePettibone

Nicole’s Gab: https://gab.ai/NicolePettibone

Nicole’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nicole_pettibone/

INTERVIEW:

  1. Tell me about where you grew up. What was your childhood like? Tell me about your family. Were you always readers and writers?

Nicole: We grew up in Kansas on an eighty-acre farm with lots of animals: sheep, a horse and a German Shepherd. In total, there are eight children in our family, all of whom we’re very close with. We have wonderful and encouraging parents who supported us in our career almost from the beginning. Our mother always told us to follow our dreams, and that it was better to spend our lives doing something that we loved as opposed to being tied down to a corporate job, for example. Over the years, our parents sent us to numerous writing workshops, conventions and seminars where we learned the basic tools of writing, and also met literary agents and made other useful connections. Our parents essentially cherished our dream as much as we did.

We were readers from a young age. We fell in love with reading after our mother bought us the Andrew Lang Fairytale Books. Nicole began writing at age thirteen. Brittany began at age fifteen.

  1. YA seems notoriously SJW friendly. Have you been to any book conferences where you found that attendees were more interested in Social Justice and Diversity than in creating a good story?

Brittany: The young adult industry is currently saturated with politically correct narratives such as diversity and feminism. An author has little chance of being traditionally published if they fail to adhere to the “checklist” of politically correct narratives. Indeed, many readers, literary agents and publishers nowadays seem to value the checklist over the actual story. Nicole and I have attended numerous book conferences during which author and literary agent speakers pedaled the politically correct narrative in their speeches. Frankly, it was a bit disheartening. In a way, it broke our idealism. We’d always believed that, in order to get published, we just had to work hard. So we did—we worked ourselves sick for ten long years. But, as it turned out, it doesn’t matter how hard you work or how good your book is, it matters what is included in said book.

Lastly, a disclaimer: I take no issue with diversity in itself. Frankly, diversity is a wonderful thing. What I take issue with is the motive behind the sudden push for diversity. The globalists are pushing to dissolve borders, to flood our country with immigrants from all over the world. Firstly, mass and rapid immigration leaves no time and creates no demand for assimilation. Secondly, certain immigrants pose a threat in the sense that they might still retain allegiances to foreign regimes. We, as a country, cannot risk this. We cannot risk destruction of ourselves for the sake of others. Rather, if we truly want to help these people, we should help them by providing direct aid to their countries.

  1. Did you study writing formally in college or are you self-trained? Would you recommend that other young writers major in English/Creative Writing in college? Tell me what you think the best way to learn to write is.

Nicole: We did not study writing formally in college. The primary reason for this was that we wanted to avoid being influenced by the liberal ideals that are so deep-seated in most universities today. We’ve seen numerous writers graduate from prominent universities and go on to either deliberately or inadvertently fill their books with political correctness / propaganda. But the problem runs deeper. In our opinion, there are many reasons why modern literature has declined so drastically:

-The stories lack structure

-They lack a moral argument

-They lack proper execution

-They lack harmonious character web/arcs

-They lack research

-They lack a clear distinction between good and evil

-The author either doesn’t understand or poorly understands human nature

-The author has skewed morals

Furthermore, the books that the Young Adult industry publishes lack originality and creativity. But it’s only natural. There cannot be creativity in PC books, since the authors are writing within the limits of inflexible guidelines. It often seems that these authors are constantly trying to fill quotas: like including a certain number of characters of color, a certain number of feminist characters, a certain number of LGBTQ characters etc.

To avoid being misunderstood, we want to clarify that we have no problem with including diversity in books, except when it’s forced. If diversity—or anything for that matter—is forced, then writing ceases to be about story. It becomes a vehicle to push a narrative. Example: the clear agenda behind cultural diversity is to promote multiculturalism.

*Sidenote: Hatred Day contains much cultural diversity that is relevant to the plot. Our story concerns all of humanity, so we wanted characters from as many cultures as possible to be represented. Not to mention, we’ve always enjoyed studying other cultures.

We’re self-trained, and it took a lot of work. But the work is far from finished. We’ll be studying literature until the end of our lives. For nine years, we practiced writing almost daily, we read novels, studied writing handbooks and attended instructional writing seminars. We recommend that aspiring writers do all of these things, as well as purchase and thoroughly study the book The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. As for advising people to participate in writing programs at university, we do not recommend it, but the decision ultimately rests with the individual.

  1. Similarly, have you experienced any discrimination because you are Trump supporters? Do people just avoid you? I believe you once said you book sales for Hatred Day did suffer some when you came out as supporters. How is it doing now?

            Brittany: Yes, we have experienced discrimination for being Trump supporters. The majority of our writing industry contacts and friends have unfollowed us on Twitter and none of them speak to us anymore. Several of our friends, even family members, have unfriended us on Facebook as well. Funnily enough, I actually engaged in a full-on debate with one of the most radically liberal young adult authors on Twitter a few days ago. Fortunately for me, the author didn’t have any evidence to substantiate her arguments—just insults and belittlement. Ultimately though, being discriminated against by liberals is of no consequence. We’ve made far more and far more valuable friends and contacts since coming out publicly for Donald Trump. As for Hatred Day’s sales, they haven’t suffered significantly. We are not currently promoting Hatred Day. Perhaps we will reignite promotion in a few months. Defending the best interests of our country is more important at the moment.

  1. What is your process like? Do you divide the book into sections with each of you taking a different section? Does one of you create characters and the other the plot? What is your working dynamic like?

            Nicole: We divide the writing as equally as possible. Obviously, we both have individual strengths so we allow one another the freedom to work where they’re most capable. We’re very different, but our love of storytelling unifies us in spite of our differences. There are times when we disagree, of course, but fortunately one of us typically admits when she is wrong. In short, our minds complement one another. Brittany sees the larger picture and Nicole sees the details.

  1. Now that the election is over do you plan to get to work on another book? Maybe a sequel to Hatred Day?

Brittany: Nicole is currently working on book two in the Hatred Day Series. It’s titled Verdict Day and the release is slated for 2017. While I am contributing what I can to Verdict Day, I am more focused on the #PizzaGate/#PedoFiles investigation at the moment. Furthermore, I am working on a standalone science-fiction book, completely unrelated to the Hatred Day Series, which Nicole and I hope to publish sometime at the end of 2017 or early 2018.

  1. Are your families and friends supportive of you two becoming novelists, or did they nudge you into getting a “real job” and tell you to write as a hobby?

Nicole: Our family was supportive of us almost from the beginning. As soon as we proved that we were serious about writing, roughly around age seventeen, our parents supported us. Without them, we probably wouldn’t be living our dream today.

  1. Let’s talk about what influences you. What books did you read growing up (or even as a grown up) that had a significant impact on your writing? What non-fiction do you draw upon when working on a book?

Brittany: As children, Nicole and I read a lot of fairy tales. As we grew older, our taste evolved into a strong appreciation of the classics. Some of my favorite authors include Fyodor Dostoevsky, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Viktor Suvorov, Rainer Maria Rilke, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Leo Tolstoy, Nikolai Gogol and Mikhail Bulgakov. Nicole’s favorite author is Henryk Sienkiewicz. We draw upon all manner of non-fiction for inspiration. Research is imperative to our method. Generally, we’ll dedicate the majority of our free time on the weekends to research and during the week, we’ll write. Our research spans hundreds of topics, including but not limited to architecture, politics, history, geography, philosophy, foreign languages and cultures, cars, motorcycles, weapons and martial arts.

  1. Tell me how you came up with the idea for Hatred Day. And how long did it take you to build the world in which it takes place? Did you build the world first, or did you plan characters and plot then allow the world to fall where it may?

Nicole: We’re always drawn to writing about deep conflict. The idea of mankind coming face-to-face with an extra-terrestrial race and then having to coexist with that race provided ultimate conflict. It was Brittany who thought of the initial premise for Hatred Day, but the story grew and changed as we did over time—9 years to be exact. Before publication in January 2016, it progressed through several titles and dozens of rewrites. Only two or three original story beats exist in the published novel. We tried to approach the world-building as authentically as possible, while still affording ourselves the freedom of the science-fiction and fantasy genres. We asked ourselves questions, like: If aliens came to earth, how would world governments genuinely react? How would societies evolve and change? We’re not discovery writers, we’re meticulous plotters. We view structure as essential.

In conclusion, with any story we produce we aim to arouse a powerful emotional response in a reader. With Hatred Day, we’re attempting to write a series that can teach a reader something about life, about the world or about himself/herself. A story that can entertain and also uplift a reader.

  1. What inspires you?

            Brittany: Much inspires me. But what inspires me most at the current time is courage. There are few qualities more admirable than courage. In particular, I admire the courage of all of the men and women who are taking part in the culture war, who are taking a stand against the liberal politically correct narrative which has been allowed to infect our country for so long. Personally, I believe that we will gain the most ground by fighting through the arts—movies, television, books, music, etc. As the saying goes, “art is the reflection of culture”. The art currently being upheld in our society is largely devoid of substance. We need to stop being consumers and start being producers. We need to rain our ideas onto America at full force, nourishing it, and fostering it into an epicenter of innovativeness and substance. Fortunately, I have already witnessed the spark of such a movement in the achievements of several Trump supporters. Hopefully, the movement will catch fire and go mainstream. I would very much like to be a part of it, as I believe that it will be where we will see the greatest success, in the “War of the Arts”.

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