Peter Brett Writes 100,000-Word Novel on Cell Phone
It's no wonder Brooklyn author Peter Brett's first novel is a dark, demonic fantasy - he wrote it on the F train.Brett, 36, tapped out most of "The Warded Man," which hit U.S. bookshelves last month, on his smartphone on daily trips from the Fort Hamilton Parkway stop near his Kensington home to his job in Times Square.
"I started out just trying to take notes. I'd sit on the subway, I'd get a good idea and I'd jot something down," said Brett, who works in medical publishing.
"I got very fast at writing with my thumbs. I found myself writing more and more."
Soon, he was averaging 400 words each morning and evening.
"I trained myself that at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day when I got on the train, that was my writing time," he said.
"I had about 45 minutes each way, and everyone who takes the F knows that 45 minutes can turn into an hour and a half."
Brett went armed with an iPod to block out distractions, and he was prepared to fight for a seat.
"There's no way to write with your thumbs when you're standing up," he said.
"I was raised to give up my seat to just about everyone. [Now] unless you're really old or pregnant, I'm getting that seat."
When he got home each night, Brett would edit his subway prose.
"I wrote over 100,000 words on the train" over two years of commutes, he said.
The 400-page novel, which centers on three characters' struggles in a world where killer demons roam the Earth at night, is the first in a series of at least three books.
The book has sold 2,500 copies since Del Rey Books released it in the U.S. five weeks ago.
After selling the book, Brett left his job - and the daily commutes - in October 2007 to pursue writing full time.
He still heads for the F to overcome writer's block.
He insisted his word per minute count is higher on the subway than at his desk at home, where distractions include the Internet and a 9-month-old daughter.
"People have told me that I should just get on the train and ride it to the end and then back ... make it my personal office like the Fonz uses the bathroom," he said.
"It's like my muse lives on the F train."
Finkelstein for News
Peter Brett on the F train.
Read more: "Brooklyn novelist Peter Brett found his muse and wrote first novel commuting on the F line" - http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/brooklyn/2009/04/22/2009-04-22_train_of_thought_bklyn_writer_found_muse__wrote_first_novel_while_commuting_on_t.html#ixzz0EGxr6MB6&A