Brian McBride, a 23-year-old Clatskanie native now residing in Santa Rosa, California, has recently published his third novel, “Sons of Slaughter.”
The book, released Nov. 2 and independently published, is available in both Kindle and paperback versions on https://www.amazon.com/Sons-Slaughter-Brian-McBride/dp/1076488129.
“Sons of Slaughter” takes place in Clatskanie and follows two friends who are facing their separate struggles; Beck who is from an abusive home, and Dean who struggles with mental health issues and is also dealing with an unplanned pregnancy along with his girlfriend, Emilia.
According to the book summary, Beck, while escaping his dangerous home situation, stumbles across his late grandfather’s cabin, long since abandoned in the woods. With his friend, Dean, the two begin to repair it, and discover a lot about themselves in the process.
McBride, who lived in Clatskanie until he was 16, said inspiration for the story came from his days of growing up in his hometown.
“It was really inspired with the struggles of a small town, struggles I watched people face, but not just the struggles, also the beauties,” McBride said. “Lots of people have skewed perceptions of small towns, the idea is that small towns aren’t the problem, small lives are, that’s what carried this book from beginning to end.”
Themes in the novel center around mental health, family, home, friendship and the struggles individuals face to fight their personal battles, according to McBride.
“What I hope resonates is this idea that our scars are nothing to be ashamed of, and how people around us and our situations try to keep us small, and to really step into living grand, no matter what others may think or feel,” McBride said.
Setting the novel in Clatskanie was in keeping with the theme of “home,” McBride said, because the place is personally significant to him.
“I chose Clatskanie because it seems fitting with some of the themes the book deals with. For me Clatskanie is that place of home, for myself,” McBride said.
In the 16 years he lived in Clatskanie, McBride said the town made an impact on him. Readers of “Sons of Slaughter” will come across familiar Clatskanie terms and landmarks, such as “Highway 30” in the book. Those who read McBride’s other books, not set in Clatskanie, might also come across “Fultano’s Pizza,” McBride’s favorite pizza place.
McBride’s two other books, also independently published, are titled “Love and the Sea and Everything in Between,” published in October of 2018, and “Every Bright and Broken Thing,” published in June of 2019. McBride has additional projects in the works, such as a four-book young adult fantasy series, the first of which, titled “The Wardens and the Wall between Worlds” will be published sometime during the first half of 2020, according to McBride.
“That one is about a couple of best friends who are in kind of a small town in Washington that has been plagued by mysterious animal attacks. They find out that they’re part of a long line of monster hunters. So lots of monsters, magic and mayhem,” McBride said.
Publishing a plethora of novels is part of McBride’s ongoing momentum, which he said took off after he published his first novel last year. “Sons of Slaughter,” his third book, was the fastest writing process he had ever experienced, McBride said.
“My debut novel took about four years to publish. This one I started in April and finished in May,” McBride said, at which point the publishing process began, making it so the book was released in November.
“I think just because it was my third novel and I had really developed my own disciplines and skills as a writer. It’s a lot more nerve-racking the first time,” McBride said. “By ‘Sons of Slaughter’ I had really discovered a routine that worked for me to stay disciplined and push through until the end.”
McBride has experienced success with his books so far, selling approximately 300 copies of his first two books, and nearly 50 of his current book.
When it comes to publishing, McBride said he prefers independent publishing and will stick with it.
“I’ve watched authors be dropped by publishing houses for weird reasons, so I thought I’d dip my toes in self-publishing. I like to be really on the ground floor of what we try to do, I like to be really hands-on with my stories,” McBride said. “In the foreseeable future, I will continue to pursue independent publishing.”