The first Good Thunder event of the new semester brings author and Minnesota State University, Mankato alumni Brett Biebel to campus.
Biebel found his love of writing at an early age from reading. Growing up, he found a love for language and during his time at MSU he took several classes on different storytelling aspects.
“I read a lot [as a kid] and when I got to college, I didn’t major in Creative Writing or English; I majored in Communication. I think it was because I enjoyed language,” said Biebel. “Combining storytelling aspects and using words to tell stories was something that spoke to me. I’ve always liked playing with words.”
As an alum of MSU, Biebel credits the English Department for the critique that helped improve his writing overall. Biebel didn’t find any pretentiousness or pressure to publish that can arise from being a writer, which he found refreshing.
“Sometimes in writing workshops you run into snobbishness and there wasn’t any of that here. I think my writing really started to click when I didn’t worry so much about publication and career success and I started writing for fun and to just enjoy the process,” shared Biebel. “I think I wouldn’t have gotten here without MSU. It was a really important step.”
Biebel’s most recent book “48 Blitz” is a compilation of 48 short stories that take place in Nebraska along I-80. While most stories in the book are under three pages, Biebel’s character’s are all linked together to create one larger story altogether.
“The characters move in and out and each story has its own little mini arc, but when you put them all together, certain things fit,” said Biebel. “It’s trying to make every page fun to read in of itself while still making the book fun to read as a whole.”
Biebel noted that writing has impacted other aspects of his life as it has made him more aware and observant by noticing little details that others might not necessarily notice.
“Writing has made me be more open minded and curious. I think that helps my writing by being curious and wanting to know a lot of different things,” shared Biebel. “It’s appreciating all the cool things that happen in small experiences.”
Biebel said that the event he is anticipating the most during Good Thunder is the craft talk, since it allows audiences to participate in conversation.
“I’m leaning more towards the workshop and craft talk because those are the places where people can ask questions and I enjoy the conversation a lot,” said Biebel. “I love reading [my work] aloud and putting the material up for conversation, but I look forward to the Q/A events the most.”
Biebel wants those who are wanting to pursue writing to, while it may be harder than it seems, enjoy the process as it makes it all worthwhile in the end.
“It’s hard to plan [a writing career] but figure out what you really enjoy, pay attention to it and make a lot of care to observe it,” shared Biebel. “Keep writing no matter what and find joy in the process.”
The Good Thunder events include a workshop that takes place from 10-11 a.m at the Emy Frentz Art Guild, located near downtown Mankato, a craft talk from 3-4 p.m. and a reading from 7-8 p.m., both in Centennial Student Union Room 245.