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Interview with Author Thomas Brigger.

It’s no surprise that Thomas Brigger wrote a fascinating novel that dives into the many facets of the human condition after learning of his multi-career layered life thus far. His debut novel, Beyond the Higher Ground, shines the light on inner demons we all face and how we end up building our own prisons sometimes. From writing short stories, to always observing people when he lived life on the road, we talked about how he got to where he is today in his writing career and what he learned from writing his first novel.

Exclusive Interview

Can you tell me about yourself and how you became a writer?

I went to school to major in English, but I ended up not graduating and started a career in construction. I’ve touched most of the bases in many occupations, but I’ve always loved writing, specifically short stories. I always thought in the back of my mind I wanted to write a novel. I did a lot of business traveling; in fact, I’ve been to almost every state in the country. To pass the time, I would read a lot of novels. One night I read a bad novel and thought, “You know I bet I could do better.” So, I started writing my first book, Beyond the Higher Ground.

Let’s dive into Beyond the Higher Ground. What was your inspiration for the novel?

When doing construction work in Appalachia, I was fascinated by the people that lived there and the heartbreak that comes with the severity of the opioid crisis. With that observation in mind, I wanted to make people aware of that crisis, but didn’t’ want it to be an exposé. So, I wrote a story about a character named Tucker Mason who lost his wife and moves to Southwestern Virginia to restart his life. He takes on the challenge of managing the construction of a prison on a remote Appalachian mountaintop and finds out drugs are being smuggled through his construction site. Things start to deteriorate for him, but ultimately it does have a hopeful ending.