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Employee Spotlight: Brian Knight, CCI/Speer

man with sunglassesWhat if all humans viewed every part life as a learning point? What if our open minds helped us see ourselves and the rest of the world through strange eyes?

This, Brian Knight, CCI/Speer, says is a great approach. It’s possible this way of life is one of the reasons Brian holds his space in the world: working weekends part-time in shipping at CCI and working to create stories – cup of coffee within reach – to fulfill his curious and empathetic mind.

At CCI, Brian transports bullets between the main CCI plant and the Speer plant. He also assists with other shipping needs, including unloading powder trucks and stocking the on-plant bunkers. He has been with CCI for nearly two years.

Brian had been a propane delivery driver for 20 years when he began to desire a change of pace. Brian says the switch he needed came with employment at Vista Outdoor, a workplace he feels provides the chance to advance and pursue new opportunities.

“I was looking for something different. I had no idea I would be back to driving so quickly, but not a day passes that I’m not happy I made the choice to join CCI. With all the choices at CCI, I don’t know where I might end up, but I love where I am now,” he said. “It was best for me to break away from a job I felt stuck at and try something new. I’m thankful to have landed at a place that values its employees.”

Brian delved into the aspects of the job, stating he feels teamwork helps overcome most challenges.

“I think being available to help unload powder trucks every time is important. That task takes a lot of teamwork and demands a quick pace, but showing up for every shift on time, well rested, and ready to do what it takes to help the whole team is the best way to overcome any work challenge,” he said.

Clearly Brian believes that when everyone works together work is simply better. That said, Brian spends a lot of his time outside of CCI on projects that require only a computer and his imagination. Writing and publishing novels is a knack he discovered as a fifth grader. Now, Brian says becoming a published writer is one of his greatest personal accomplishments.

“I have always loved stories in all their various forms – film, television, literature – but books are my favorite way to consume stories, so it was uniquely satisfying to write my own stories, and have editors decide they were good enough to pay for,” he said.

display of booksBrian estimates he has written roughly 25 books, a ballpark number that attempts to include the smaller books (novellas or novelettes, i.e. longer than short stories and shorter than novels), extra material for limited editions of novels, as part of multi-author anthologies, or in other various ways.

And while some might think a writer may have a clear process or evolving template for storytelling, Brian explains every story brings a unique challenge.

“Writing never goes the same way it did the book before. Every idea, every story, is a unique venture,” he said, stressing the importance of writing something every day.

“If I slow, I stall,” he said. “Sometimes I can restart a stalled story, but it’s always better to just put my foot down and rip through it as quickly as possible. It’s different for every writer. Every creator must find their own way.”

His work, which includes horror, fantasy, and thriller fiction, is currently available in paperback, digital, and audiobook from his own publishing imprint, Tulpa Books and can be found on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble online and other online book retailers. Brick and mortar bookstore can also order Brian Knight’s books.

Brian says his lifelong bucket list item is seeing some of his stories translated to film.

Yet despite that lifelong goal and his impressive accomplishments thus far, Brian says his greatest adventure has nothing to do with working to be the best teammate possible, owning his own publishing company or writing a selection of novels. His greatest adventure is a story. One that never ends.

“My greatest adventure was becoming a father. It’s terrifying, exhausting, rewarding, surprising, and it never ends,” he said. “I love it!”

Last read:
“Tales of a Dead Dreamer” and “Grimscribe” by Thomas Ligotti. His work is wonderfully disturbing.

Tell us about a secret talent you have.
I have very few talents, and am loud about them, but I am the only person I know who studies cosmology, theoretical physics, or quantum theory for fun. I’m not claiming to be particularly smart about it, my abysmal grasp of the mathematical underpinnings needed to truly grasp these sciences means knowledge will never go beyond the theoretical, but I love the moment when an idea or theory clicks with me, and I finally “get it.”

Early bird or night owl?
Night owl by choice, but work forces me to be an early bird.

How you’d spend a day off with no obligations:
I’d probably sleep in and watch movies all day.

What decade do you love the most?
The 1970s. It had such wonderful music.

Advice to the younger you?
Don’t hold grudges. They have no effect on the person you’re angry with, but they do hold you back.

What does a person need to be happy in your opinion?
That is a different thing for every person. That’s why being happy is so difficult. First you have to spend a lifetime figuring out what makes you, a unique individual, happy. Once you figure it out and find it, it probably changes. If you keep trying you’ll probably get there, if even accidentally.

Favorite thing about winter?
My favorite thing about winter is when it’s gone. Cold? Yuck! Snow? No thanks. Can’t wait for spring.

Beverage of choice?

Describe your home office.
My home office space can be anywhere from my recliner in the living room to a lawn chair in my driveway. Tablets and smart phones have enabled me to write anywhere. As long as I have a cup of coffee next to me, I’m good to go.

Favorite type of sandwich?
Toasted Cheese.

What fictional family would you most like to join?
The Addams Family. I could be the normal(ish) one.

Who would you like to swap places with for a day?
My cat, Pappy. All he does is eat and sleep.

One thing most people don’t know about you?
I’m a giant Marvel Movie nerd. Huge Marvel Cinematic Universe nerd. It’s kind of embarrassing, really.