Veterans in Horror Spotlight 2023: Brandon Ketchum
Brandon Ketchum Biography
Brandon Ketchum is a speculative fiction writer from Pittsburgh, PA who enjoys putting a weird spin or strange vibe into every story, dark or light. He is a member of SFWA and the Horror Writers Association, and his work has been published with Air and Nothingness Press, Perihelion, Mad Scientist Journal, and many other publications, including the short story collections Legio Damnati and its sequel Civili Bellum. Brandon is a therapist in the mental health field and provides treatment for veterans with addictions, as well as conducts trauma therapy for veterans with PTSD. He is also a disabled veteran.
Book Recommendation: Legio Damnati
I bill my book, Legio Damnati, the “True history of Julius Caesar’s supernatural squad during the Gallic Wars,” but it’s far more personal in nature. The collection follows the exploits of the Roman centurion Verum Venatoris, the leader of the squad, who is caught up in a whirlwind of atrocities, mundane and supernatural. He is forced to deal with the consequences of unspeakable violence, grief, and loss. Added to the trauma is the praise heaped upon him for doing so, and his career advancement under Caesar’s patronage. The internal struggle of shame and guilt versus the honors bestowed upon a conquering warrior is highlighted, as is the conflict inherent in weighing ambition against wanton butchery. Soldiers throughout history have dealt with military trauma, in different ways and with different approaches. In Legio Damnati, I try to strike a balance between the exploration of trauma and the fantasy/horror adventure of the overarching story.
Find it here.
I hope you enjoy this collection, and its sequel Civili Bellum, released in October (available here.)