Brendan Halpin

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Brendan Halpin

Goodreads Author


Born
in The United States
Website

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Member Since
April 2008


I grew up in Cincinnati, went to college in Philadelphia, and also lived in Taipei and Edinburgh along the way. I've lived in Boston since 1991.

I became a professional writer in 2000, writing about my late wife Kirsten's breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Kirsten died in 2003, leaving me and our daughter Rowen. I married Suzanne in 2005 and got her kids Casey and Kylie in the deal too. Bargain! Suzanne and I live with our three kids and dog in the shadow of Franklin Park in Jamaica Plain, best neighborhood on earth.

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Popular Answered Questions

Brendan Halpin Thanks so much! I really appreciate your compliment and your questions!

I really just write the stories I'm interested in telling. There's a pretty…more
Thanks so much! I really appreciate your compliment and your questions!

I really just write the stories I'm interested in telling. There's a pretty common idea out there that YA fiction has a responsibility to be didactic, but I think this seriously underestimates the critical thinking ability of teenagers. Teenagers are sophisticated consumers of all kinds of media, and they know (and typically reject) when they're being preached at. They can also distinguish problematic or inaccurate portrayals. So I'm pretty strongly against the idea of writing in order to send a message.

Having said that, one of the things I always try to write into my fiction is the importance of empathy, but I think this is more me atoning for being kind of a dick in high school than trying to teach anything to my readers.

As far as writing marginalized groups that I'm not a part of, I mean, you can never really be completely sure that you're portraying someone else's experience accurately. I get a lot from knowing a wide variety of people- I think it's easier for me to write about different kinds of people because I know different kinds of people. The rest is pretty much just empathy--imagining, okay, if this were my situation, how would it affect me? (less)
Brendan Halpin I would, and I have! Emily and I wrote Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom after Fauxmance, and I've also written three books with Trish Cook, most…moreI would, and I have! Emily and I wrote Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom after Fauxmance, and I've also written three books with Trish Cook, most recently A Really Awesome Mess.

With both Emily and Trish, the process was pretty similar: we'd get together at the beginning to talk about what the book was going to look like,and then we'd trade chapters, with me writing the boy chapters and them writing the girl chapters. There's usually some back and forth in the middle where we figure out whether we're headed in the right direction or not.

Fauxmance actually came from an idea that an editor pitched to us. My other books with Emily all came from ideas that she originally had that we worked out the details of together; with Trish, I had the skeleton of an idea for Notes From the Blender, and she had the idea for A Really Awesome Mess, and, again, we fleshed them out together.

I don't really know where inspiration comes from. In my case, mostly from being nosy and curious--I'm just interested in people and their lives and how they deal with situations. But I also often find something from my own life that connects to the characters.

(less)
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More books by Brendan Halpin…

Four Ways For White People To Fight White Supremacy

I'm sickened by the white supremacist march and terror attack in Charlottesville. 


Some young people went out to protest against the white supremacists, and if you feel like that's a thing you can do, you are a hero and this post is probably not necessary for you.


But I know there are a ton of well meaning white people with kids and/or jobs who don't feel like they can go out and put their bodies...

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Published on August 12, 2017 17:26

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Brendan made a comment on his review of Les Misérables
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
" Yeah, I think it's just a very different idea of what fiction is supposed to be. "
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Educated by Tara Westover
Educated
by Tara Westover (Goodreads Author)
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Definitely a compelling story and definitely worth reading. Life is never as neat as fiction, so memoirs don't read like fiction (unless the author is making shit up, in which case they are fiction), so I really liked the fact that people keep making ...more
Brendan and 1 other person liked Kathy's review of Educated:
Educated by Tara Westover
"I found this memoir somewhat disappointing. Maybe it was because everyone seemed to be talking about it, and my expectations were inflated. But more likely it was the marketing. The most interesting question raised by Tara Westover's experience--f..." Read more of this review »
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The Mammoth Book Of Best Horror Comics by Peter Normanton
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I dunno--started this years ago and never picked it back up. Probably there's a reason for that. Thought it wa.s time to get it out of my "currently reading" list
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The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox by Barry Hughart
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Have finished Bridge of Birds, the first novel in this 3-novel omnibus, and was completely blown away. This book seriously has one of the best, most satisfying endings of anything I've ever read. It's a really rare pleasure when an author can pull to ...more
Brendan rated a book it was amazing
Loaded by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
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Quick, readable explanation of what the Second Amendment is really about. (Hint: it's white supremacy!) Efficiently dismantles a lot of mythology about both guns and the United States. If we want to find a way out of our gun mess, we have to understa ...more
Brendan entered a giveaway
The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson
The Bird King
by G. Willow Wilson (Goodreads Author)
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The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris
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Quick, fascinating read. As one of many who owes his life to Lister's advances, I really enjoyed reading the story of how he brought surgery from a horror show to a scientific discipline. Knowing how the story comes out doesn't make it any less engag ...more
Witchmark by C.L. Polk
"This is going to be one of those reviews where I generally liked the book but am going to spend most of my time complaining. TL;DR: it was fun and kept me reading, but I found the characters somewhat frustrating and a bit stupid. :)

I don't entirel..." Read more of this review »
Witchmark by C.L. Polk
"Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from my place of employment.

2.5? Maybe?

My main problem with this is that it reads like fan fiction (I'm saying this as someone who has read more 100k+ fics than I could possibly count). When you start rea..." Read more of this review »
More of Brendan's books…
“Yeah, well. You're my best friend, you know, and I love you.”
Brendan Halpin, Forever Changes

“if you wait for everyone else to do the right thing before you do the right thing, then you'll never do what's right. You have to do what's right even if other people aren't. Maybe even especially if other people aren't.”
Brendan Halpin, Shutout

“But here, Ms. Pelletier, is the thing. Without infinitesimals, the calculus as we know and love it simply wouldn't exist. It is these nearly-zero, sort-of-zero, sometimes-zero quantities that allow us to understand the world. Something which seems to be nearly nothing turns out to be crucial to everything. So though I, or for you that matter, or any of us, may be, as a collection of atoms, practically indistinguishable from zero, this does not necessarily mean we are insignificant. Indeed, it may be that we are actually crucially important.”
Brendan Halpin, Forever Changes

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