Alumna invested in the commitment and intensity to become an author 

Fall 2017 Edition


Brock Car

Brock Car

Quite a lot has to be in order for Brock Car to be able to sit down and write for a long stretch of time. First, the kitchen has to be clean — she can’t stand it when there are still dishes in the sink. She has to shut off her phone, or at least ignore it, and settle into her desk. First she writes around 9 a.m., once she's done some reading and her morning yoga. Then she eats lunch and resets again for the afternoon, researching and writing until the end of the day.

When she wrote her first book, “Dead Behind The Eyes,” published in 2014, having these things just right was sometimes difficult, but absolutely necessary for Car, a 1971 William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications graduate.

“I’ve never missed a deadline in my life, but the deadlines were not self-imposed like they were for this book,” Car said. “This was, if I didn’t get up and write, nobody was on my back about it. I really had to force myself to focus.”

But once she was in her comfort zone, writing her first novel — a what she calls a psychological mystery —  came naturally.

Dead Behind the Eyes
By Brock Car

“An hour to two into it, I am so much in that other place that the novel is taking me that it’s no problem at all,” Car said. “You can't be distracted, you're really in another universe, or at least I am.”

The universe for her first book was full of intensity. The book starts with a murder of CEO Man Riley on an airplane in the early going, then overlapping stories and investigation into who murdered Riley brings out struggles of sexual addiction and corporate power within the people around him.

She came about the topic for the book by simply writing, she said. Car wanted to write a nonfiction book after quitting her previous job to write full time, and she was in the process of writing about children who had murdered their parents. But then a friend, a writer, gave her a suggestion: “Just write fiction. You just make stuff up.”

So, she did just that, using real-world experiences she had witnessed to fuel her fiction.

“The book has a lot of corporate politics and sexual politics and that sort of thing, which is kind of where I come from, though I'm quick to tell people it is fiction,” Car said. “The book not only has a murder, it's got a suicide, great unhappiness, pretty much caused by the man who gets murdered in the preface, who just does what he wants with whomever he wants and can't seem to control himself.”

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Car completed her second book a few months ago and is attempting to publish it, which has the working title, “The Cure for All Things.” This book centers on an idea that came to her in a dream: a new way to cure cancer. So, she wrote it down in the middle of the night.

It examines the chances people take in life, a much different outlook than her first book.

“It's got a lot of overlapping human stories just about taking chances in life and not overthinking things and jumping in with both feet, letting serendipity take over,” Car said. “It leads to a lot more fun.”

— Christian Hardy is a senior from Derby, Kansas, studying news and information.