By Nicole Brodzik
As co-owner of a $300 million business and a former amatuer fighter, Quentin Brent has been challenging himself his entire career. Most recently, that challenge involved writing a novel around his full-time work schedule, and doing it so well that he recieved national recognition.
“The Reason”, Brent’s first novel, was published in October 2015. Jump to May 2016, and he’s already recieved major recognition for his efforts. Last month, Brent and his wife traveled to Chicago, Illinois to accept an award for being a finalst for the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards’ Best Novel.
“It was very gratifying,” Brent said. “I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this book. It was a really special night.”
It’s experiences like that that keep Brent writing, he said. In fact, the sequel to “The Reason” is already in the final editing process. Brent said he expects his second novel, “The Truth”, to hit stores sometime in late 2016 or early 2017.
But finding time isn’t easy when you’re working as the co-owner of a multimillion dollar staffing agency.
“I always wanted to, always wondered if I could write a book.” Brent said. “I was at a book signing for local Twin Cities author Brian Freeman and he challenged me to do it. He said, ‘100 percent of novels not written don’t get published.’ It was difficult to find time, but I did it.”
The former banking executive spent about an hour a day for three years writing “The Reason” and used the discipline he gained from business and fighting to finish the writing.
“The Reason” is a financial thriller brings issues facing the U.S. economic system to light, all while keeping readers interested through fight scenes played out by the main character, Zane Donovan.
Quentin uses his experience as a former banker, as well as his fighting career, to inform the novel. Many of the fight scenes come directly from fights Brent fought himself, which he hopes keeps the reader engaged throughout his novel.
“When I fought, it was all amateur,” Brent said. “There’s a quote in the book that says, ‘Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is, it’s the only answer.’ I’ve seen that play out in my personal life and it’s a strong theme in this book.”
Since the release of “The Reason”, he’s gotten lots of critism from those in the Minnetrista area that he’s close with, but not all of it has been praise.
“I got a lot of constructive feedback, which is good for a writer,” Brent said. “I’ve got a lot of people supporting me, and hearing that constructive criticsm really helps as I continue writing.”
He’s taken that advice to heart as he wraps up “The Truth” and looks to begin new projects. Brent is hoping to create a trilogy out of the “The Reason” and continue with the financial themes he lays out in this first installment.
“I think the finances of this country are in dire peril,” Brent said. “I really do believe that. I think people in the U.S. are sick of the gridlock our political system allows.”
He says he’ll continue to explore these political themes throughout the series he hopes to write.