I am Bronson O'Quinn
I write cross-genre fiction with a humorous, often satirical, slant. I'm currently querying a bureaucratic fantasy novel inspired by an adulthood working in the retail and service industries combined with a lifetime playing video games.
I grew up watching TV and playing computer games while secretly wanting to publish a book or two.
I went to college for psychology because, ultimately, I wanted to write interesting, relatable characters. After taking a class in "Consumer Psychology", I got jaded and dropped out.
During this time, I worked as a grocery stocker, an all-night baker, and a retail clerk at the nation's largest pawn shop/video game store.
I got a Bachelors in English and Linguistics while going to writing groups. Before long, I sat in the audience of open mic poetry and slam sessions. After a year publishing online articles, a prestigious poetry press asked me to run their blog.
I learned to code, worked at a library, a college tutoring center, and a literary arts nonprofit. Now I'm writing fiction while making cool websites, like this one.
When people ask about my novel, I tell them, "It's like Clerks meets Catch-22, set in The World of Warcraft". (Unless you're a literary agent, then it's like Seanan McGuire meets Grady Hendrix, mixed with Perdido Street Station, and not just because I've been told that's a more marketable pitch.)
My Writing Philosophy & Beliefs
I delight in pulling intense drama out of the mundane and exploring monotony in fantastical worlds. During the apocalypse, nobody has a more interesting story than a short order cook. I often wonder how Superman plans his grocery trips. (Do you think he stopped using Instacart during the shoppers' strike?)
I shamelessly prosthelytize my progressive values while thoughtfully critiquing any and all establishments. I am often wrong, which is why I listen when other people (especially those who aren't like me) have something to say.
I firmly oppose the separation of art and science. What I mean is the natural world is a beautiful laboratory and emotions are rational responses to predictable behavior. When it comes to psychology, sociology, and linguistics, there are always more variables than you can realistically control. So don't assume human behavior is an unsolvable puzzle; assume you're missing pieces.
I self-published a novella in 2012 because everyone was doing it. It's about an ex-Soviet garbage man who comes to America to learn about trash. I'm most proud of the cover I designed, which is rough but lots of fun. Because I love experimenting with layout design, I've also produced a few neat little publications.
The Backlog is a video game zine in which I craft a focused essay around a single (often overlooked) video game. As an example, I examined how privilege helps the rich get richer in Wall Street Kid (NES, 1989). I explored the viral nature of influence in the Source mod The Hidden (PC, 2007). I even used my years of teaching narrative craft to explain why the indie browser game Don't Look Back (web, 2009) is one of the best-told video game stories of all time.
The Mausoleum of Gratuitous Fear is an homage to EC comics, such as Vault of Terror or Tales from the Crypt. It combines three narratives from the "crypt-dwellers", who are an astrologist, a philosopher, and a reviewer. The story follows a bad night at Applebee's.
I've written articles for local and online publications. I've been an active member in Lexington, Kentucky's writing community since 2011.
I wrote for my personal writing blog from 2011-2013. From 2013-2015, I blogged for Accents Publishing, an awesome, award-winning poetry press founded by Katerina Stoykova.
While at Accents, I learned to code websites and helped create the Lexington Poetry Writing Challenge, a generative writing challenge held every year in June (and also my proudest accomplishment, outside of my family).
If that all sounds cool and you'd like to chat, hit me up.