Monday, September 23, 2013

Interview with Brie McGill

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

William Cooper gave me nightmares, and my dad forced me to start reading Orwell at a young age. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and a quick glance through the daily newspaper confirms this. From smart phones, to smart meters, to cameras on next-gen gaming consoles, to bluetooth wireless installed in vehicles, to CCTV, to social networks employing facial recognition, somebody somewhere is watching everyone always.
The moral of my story, of course, is that those who are watching should not watch too closely. Sometimes I wear a moo-moo, cover my face in peanut butter, and do the worm on my kitchen floor while listening to terrible disco. I just want to spare them the horror.

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?

I was initially bored with my villains, so I decided to exaggerate their evil and eccentric qualities. Skirra is OCD and loves her subjects too much; Krodha's only method of solving problems is to resort to violence; Brigham is an ice-cold transhumanist.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

Burnaby Rue is crazy. The Daityan military experimented with clinically killing him and resuscitating him for the purposes of mind control via trauma. One day, Burnaby had a near death experience during experimentation, came back to life, broke away from his mind control programming, and massacred everyone in the office.

Despite his escape, he never psychologically recovered from the incident. He is bent on revenge and outs his cigarettes everywhere, including against friends' mattresses and his own pants leg.

Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?

The characters find me and beg me to write them. However, after we're introduced, it's my job to make sure they have an interesting balance of strengths and weaknesses. I especially like each main character to have a weakness that can be exploited by villains to maintain a tug-of-war of power until the end of the book. Lukian has a number of handicaps (he is brainwashed, injected with nanomachines, and bumbles awkwardly through social situations), and his battle with those qualities are what endears him most to me.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

My favorite scenes in Kain are when Lukian experiences altered states of consciousness. They are composed completely of archetypes and fragments of his mind. It's the part where the readers really get to know him, and the part where he gets to know himself.

What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?

Unfortunately, I can only dream of doing all the things I researched! I learned about climbing through air ducts, into elevator shafts, wading through sewers, and shooting guns in zero gravity.

With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?

All the books in the Sex, Drugs, and Cyberpunk series are written to be read as stand alone novels. They can be read in any order--but the more books you read, the more you will learn about the characters and the world.

Lukian Valentin has some busy days working as a body guard in Jambu ahead of him, but I need to write a few more books to introduce the villains, before he fights them.

Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?

Lukian went through some rough times and had to reach deep inside his soul to find himself, to appreciate the value of his life--we've both overcome suffering in similar ways. Part of what made me want to write the story was to share the reminder of never losing hope, and that any determined person can overcome anything.

Naoko's hatred of cappuccino machines is also my hatred of cappuccino machines.

Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

I can't sit on the same piece of furniture for too long. I sat on my futon to write my first book and half of my second book--now the futon is an instant source of writer's block (sorry, Futon). I also need to change positions frequently. I don't sit at a desk and have all varieties of pillows for strange sprawling positions.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

Peanut butter and chocolate chip Lara Bars, listening to Evanescence, and watching mushy romantic anime.

What can readers expect next from you?

On October 23rd, I'm releasing another book as part of a twin series (Sex, Drugs, and Biopunk), set in the same world as Lukian's story. There is a different roster of characters, but it provides deep political insight to the workings of Lukian's world. It's science fiction, with heavy paranormal romance and gothic horror elements. After a last-minute title change, the book is called Alien Bride.

Where can readers find you on the web?

My books are currently for sale on Amazon. After October, they will be available through Smashwords and its affiliated distributors.

I highly encourage any curious readers to visit my website, friend me on Facebook, or drop me an email!

Sex, Drugs, and Cyberpunk
Book One
Brie McGill

Genre: Cyberpunk/Steamy Romance

ISBN: 148267324X

Number of pages: 323
Word Count: 115,000

Cover Artist: Jeanne Quinn

Book Description:

Counting days is irrelevant in the life of a well-to-do man, unless he counts the days passed in total service to the Empire. Salute. Submit. Shut up and scan the wrist. Therapists armed with batons and brass knuckles guide the derelict along a well-beaten path to Glory.

When human experiment Lukian Valentin escapes the Empire to save his crumbling sanity--through a grimescape of fissured highways, collapsing factories, putrescent sewers--he realizes the fight isn’t only for his life, it’s for his mind. Torturous flashbacks from a murky past spur him on a quest for freedom, while the Empire’s elite retrievers remain at his heels, determined to bring him home for repair.

Lukian needs one doctor to remove the implanted chips from his body, and another to serve him a tall glass of answers. Lukian attempts a psychedelic salvage of his partitioned mind, gleaning fragments of the painful truth about his identity.

A scorching, clothes-ripping rendezvous with a mysterious woman offers Lukian a glimpse of his humanity, and respite from his nightmarish past. It also provides the Empire the perfect weakness to exploit for his recapture.

To rise to the challenge of protecting his new life, his freedom of thought, and his one shot at love, Lukian must reach deep into his mind to find his true identity. To defeat the Empire, he requires the deadly power of his former self--a power that threatens to consume him.

About the Author:

Doctors suspect Brie developed an overactive imagination during childhood to cope with the expansive corn maze known as rural Pennsylvania. Unable to afford an operation to have the stories surgically removed from her brain, she opted instead to write them down.

Brie lives in British Columbia with her boyfriend and naughty black cat, somewhere not too far from the sea. She enjoys trips to the local farm, chatting with her long-distance friends on a rotary phone, and roflstomping video games from the nineties.

Brie's favorite authors include Anne Rice, George Orwell, and Hunter S. Thompson.

1 comment:

Brie McGill said...

Hi Roxanne,

Thank you for hosting me today!