Thursday, October 30, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Christian Brown

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

I’ve always had an interest in mysteries, magic and the unexplainable. Exploring the unseen, if only speculatively, is a natural inclination for me.

What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?

Well, in Feast of Fates, there aren’t vampires per say. There are two Immortal Kings who are bound through rites, millennia of brotherhood and the exchange of vows, magic, and yes, blood. Personally, I think it boils down to blood being one of the oldest known reagents for rituals and spells. Blood is a substance often associated with the essence of a person: their life-force, their passion. So it seemed natural to me that these two men—Magnus and Brutus—should share blood.

What inspired you to write this book?

Oh my, don’t have time for the long answer. I’ll give the short answer then. I’ve always had this world, or some variant of it in my head. Years ago, when my mother became ill from cancer, I quit my job to care for her and had plenty of down time during her hospital stays that I could use to finally finish that story I’d been messing around with. When all was said and done, it turned out to be a novel!

Please tell us about your latest release.

Feast of Fates is a love story: familial, romantic, love when it is twisted to hate. In Feast of Fates, we follow the adventures of Morigan, and her first love with a man (sort of) who thought he would never love again. Because this is an epic fantasy, with grand plotlines and schemes, I thought that it was important to start small, with this one chance encounter that leads to something beautiful and terrifying—for them both.

Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?

Most characters from the eastern side of the world, where there is a great forest named Alabion, have pseudo-Celtic onomastic qualities: Caenith, Macha, and so on. Occasionally, I’ll use a Native or Inuit modified name, because I am somewhat familiar with those cultures. Elsewhere, I tried to stick with modified Anglo/ English names, because it’s simpler. I think that fantasy, and transporting a reader to another world can be complicated enough without worrying about how to pronounce something eighteen syllables long with various phonetic inflections. 

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

Most of the characters wrote themselves, and I really, truly love each one. Elissandra, possibly, was trickier to write, since her motivations are quite cloudy.

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

I do love to write villains. Not the cartoon kind, but the sort with heart, and convincing motivations—however twisted.

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?

No formula. Pure improvisation, followed by drafting to refine their speech and personality.

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

I think that almost any scene between Morigan and the Wolf has a delicious kind of tension to it. Their love story is quite pure and adult (not XXX—though the Wolf is a carnal creature in general). Perhaps the scene where she demands to see his “second self” is one of my personal favorites. 

Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?

I had to research and learn some Gaelic for the language used here and there in the book. Interesting alphabet and phonetics. Quite different from English.

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

Does absolute sleep deprivation count? J

Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?

Well in Geadhain (that’s the world), there are fantastical elements, although the general level of technology—or technological and “magikal” fusion, in this case—is slightly more advanced than on Earth. We have a society at a relative level of peace between diametrically, morally opposed nations. An uneasy peace. Against this political backdrop we also have the clash of old world ideals and new world advancement and technomagik. So there’s a lot of underlying tensions in the world to explore.

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?

I would not advise reading the books as standalones. Each book has a specific beginning and end (no cliffhangers), but they are part of a larger story. 

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

I think it’s safe to say that all writers have a little bit of each of their characters in them—good and bad J

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

No, but I do get burned out and need to take a break from writing every now and then. Usually, this happens after finishing off a manuscript. 

Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

I need to exercise, shower and eat, in that order, before I begin to write. I also write in a shift from 7am-5pm shifts. I treat writing the same as I would treat any job, albeit one you enjoy.

Do you write in different genres?

Currently, I am laying out the groundwork for a horror/ YA novel.

Do you find it difficult to write in multiple genres?

I think most fiction crosses multiple genres. I would be afraid of boxing myself into one market or niche.

When did you consider yourself a writer?

When I was very young, I wrote story after story in large, green school notebooks—never kept any of them, sadly. In my twenties, I mostly wrote poetry, even though I dabbled in a pre-draft of this novel for many, many years.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

Bad food and bad movies.

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?

Fitness, video-games (in moderation), spending time with my family, reading, the occasional outdoorsy thing, playing with my adorable cats. 

What was the last amazing book you read?

Right now I’m reading “Servant of Fire”, by Simon J. Cambridge, and I’m enjoying it quite a lot.

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?

Nothing beats being in bed with a nice cup of herbal tea and a good book (or e-book).

What can readers expect next from you?

The second installment of Four Feasts Till Darkness is out just after Christmas. I’m also working with a number of very talented artists to do a media/ cover refresh on the website and other FoF associated materials.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?

Since I mentioned it, I’d like to share the scene where Morigan first witnesses the Wolf’s transformation.

Morigan took the bracelet.
            “I accept your offering.” The Wolf’s face lit and she thought that he would leap at her. “Yet first, I have a request.”
            “Anything, my Fawn.”
            “I would like to see…what you are. The second body that shares your soul. Show me your fangs and claws,” she commanded.
            Perhaps it was the steadiness of her voice, how she ordered him to bare himself as if he belonged to her that made the Wolf’s heart roar to comply. He did not shed his skin but for the whitest moons of the year, and even then, so far from the city and never in front of another. In a sense, he was as much a virgin as she. With an unaccustomed shyness, he found himself undressing before the Fawn, confused for a speck as to who was the hunter. The flare of her nostrils, the intensity of her stare that ate at him for once.
            I have chosen well for a mate. She is as much a Wolf as I, he thought, kicking off his boots and then shimmying his pants down to join the rest of his clothing. No bashful maiden was Morigan, and she did not look away from his nakedness, but appreciated what she saw: every rough, hairy, huge bit of him.
            He howled and fell to all fours. Bones shifted and snapped, rearranging under his skin like skeletal gears. From his head, chest and loins, the soft black hair thickened and spread over his twisting flesh. His heaving became guttural and sloppy, and when he tossed his head up in a throe of agony or pleasure, his beard had coated his face, and she noticed nothing but white daggers of teeth. Wondrously Morigan witnessed the transformation, watched him swell with twice the muscle he had possessed as a man, saw his hands and feet shag over with fur and split the soil with black claws. Another howl and a final gristle-crunching shudder (his hindquarters snapping into place, she thought) signified the end of the change.
            Her dreams did not do Caenith justice. Here was a beast twice the size of a mare with jaws that could swallow her to the waist. Here was a monster that had stalked and ruled the Untamed. A lord of fang and claw. The birds and weaker animals vanished, knowing a deadly might was near. Around her, the Wolf paced; making the ground tremble with power; ravishing her with his cold gray gaze; huffing and blasting her with his forceful breaths. While the scent of his musk was choking, it was undeniably Caenith’s, if rawer and unwashed.
            Morigan was not afraid, and was flushed with heat and shaking as she slipped the bracelet on and knelt. She did not flinch as the Wolf lay behind and about her like a great snuffling rug and placed his boulder of a head in her lap. No, she stroked his long ears and his wrinkled snout. A maiden and her Wolf. Soon the birds returned, sensing this peace and chirping in praise of it. And neither Morigan nor the Wolf could recall a time—if ever there was one—where they had felt so complete.

Feast of Fates
Four Feasts Till Darkness
Book One
Christian A. Brown

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: September 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1495907586
Number of pages: 540

Word Count: 212K

Cover Artist: Brian Garabrant

Book Description:

"Love is what binds us in brotherhood, blinds us from hate, and makes us soar with desire.”

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her--visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land.

With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive.

Available at Amazon and Createspace

About the Author:

Christian A. Brown has written creatively since the age of six. After spending most of his career in the health and fitness industry, Brown quit his job to care for his mother when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2010.

Having dabbled with the novel that would eventually become Feast of Fates for over a decade, Brown was finally able to finish the project. His mother, who was able to read a beginning version of the novel before she passed away, has since imbued the story with deeper sentiments of loss, love, and meaning. He is proud to now share the finished product with the world.

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1 comment:

Christian Brown said...

Thank you for the interview! It was a treat :) Happy Halloween, btw!