Some students pursue their passions after graduating. One of these students is Brennan Stidham, a 2016 graduate with a mass media focused communications degree. After graduating, Brennan got a full-time job at the call center at Memorial. However, what makes her unique is what she does outside of her job. She is a published author of several novels, with many more planned in the future.
Brennan and Nick Torres, a high school friend of hers, write books together under the pen name Eden R. Souther. This name was chosen because neither Brennan or Nick were willing to put their name first, as they both felt it would steal credit away from the other. The novels they write are fantasy with LGBT characters.
It is important to note that these books are not erotic in nature. The plots simply revolve around characters who are not heterosexual. These novels are about as sexual as Harry Potter.
When asked why she chose to write about characters that are not heterosexual, Brennan said it was because she wanted to write about what she wanted to read about. Many stories with straight characters make no sense to her, as often the female characters in these books end up with men that they despise at the beginning of the novel and sometimes still despise at the end.
As of now, Brennan has five books published and several more are close to publication. The most recent of these novels is October Shadows, the first in what will eventually be a twelve-book series covering the perspectives of seven different characters over the course of a year, with one book covering each month. October Shadows is a fantasy novel set in the modern world.
These modern fantasies are what Brennan and Nick excel at, as three of their four ongoing series are modern fantasies, while the fourth is a fantasy set in a future post-apocalyptic world.
Brennan and Nick adhere to a writing process that is fairly consistent. First, one of them has an idea that they would like to write about. Then they meet to discuss the idea and flesh it out more (one time they did this at a Chuck E. Cheese). After they have written out the characters, premise, setting, and any other major details, they put it into a computer and flesh out a general outline for the book. Once all that is done, they each write their own characters’ parts into the books and come away at the end with a completed novel. The original plans for the books are very flexible, and often Brennan and Nick stray from the original idea when a new, better idea pops up.
After the first draft of a book is completed, it is sent to an outside reader who provides incredibly harsh, yet constructive, criticism. Only after that criticism is addressed will a book be published.
Brennan is trying to publish three books each year for the foreseeable future, with one coming out soon. Information about all her books can be found at www.edensouther.com.
Brennan is breaking the normal path of graduating and focusing on one career. She has turned something she loves into something she can continue to pursue and sustain for as long as she desires. Everyone can learn from her and decide to pursue their passions, even if these passions do not match the person’s career path.