Please welcome M.L. Brennan to the blog today for a fab interview. He's also giving away a signed copy of his new book, Generation V. Make sure you check out Kirsten's four butterfly review!
*Where did you get the inspiration for Generation V?
There was one particular source – I’ve always been curious about those writers who talk about just having a sudden bolt of creativity and imagining their whole world at once, or the ones who have really detailed and creative dreams. On the one hand, I can see how that would save a lot of time and energy, but on the other I like have the process of discovery.
Basically, I would be thinking or reading about something, and I’d say to myself, “Hey, that could be something cool to write about.” And I’d file it away in my brain, and it would rattle around back there for a few months until I got another little snippet of an idea that it could graft onto. And eventually that idea got bigger and more nuanced, and I was eventually able to craft a world, an interesting family, and a book out of it.
*How many books do you have planned in the American Vampire series? Any hints you can give us for what’s in store next?
Right now I am contracted with Roc for two more books, with the second, Iron Night, coming out in January 2014. With luck, though, there might be interest in more books, which would make me very happy, since I definitely have more ideas for Fortitude Scott.
Hints… hm… Well, Iron Night will involve Fort taking on a lot more family responsibilities. This is going to draw him deeper into the shadowy parts of his world that he has spent most of his life deliberately avoiding. It might also draw in some of the humans around him, too.
Oh, and Suzume will definitely be back. *g*
*If your book were to be made into a movie, who would be your top picks for the cast?
Without a doubt, Betty White would play Madeline. I think she could perfectly ride that line of sweet grandma and deadly predator. And everyone else would just be ornamental after that casting coup.
*Any movie works as long as Betty White is in it! Could you tell us a little about the ups and downs you have experienced in publishing?
Well… how much time do you have here? *g* My road to publication was one that took several years. I didn’t have any contacts with publishers or agents, so breaking into publishing for me involved a lot of persistence and a bit of luck. I found my agent by writing my first book and then writing pitching queries to a whole lot of agents. Then we worked together to try and sell that book – which after about a year became clear wasn’t going to happen. Fortunately my agent believed in me as a writer, and I rolled up my sleeves and wrote another book – this was Generation V. I gave it to my agent, and she got to work trying to sell it. It was actually rejected by a few places and I was just getting ready to start writing a new third book when we got the call that Roc was interested in it – and then after that things really did all fall into place. But believe me, there were a lot of frustrations and dips along the way – I have rejection notes from at least fifty agents, half a dozen publishers, and don’t even ask how many rejections from magazines from when I was working in short fiction!
Basically, what I learned was that if you can endure the downs and learn from them, then you get to enjoy the ups.
*What are some of your favorite books in the paranormal genre?
Oh, that’s tough – so many to choose from! Anne Bishop’s Written In Red really tops out my charts recently, but I also love Patricia Briggs’s Mercedes Thompson series, and I think that everyone should read Cassie Alexander’s Nightshifted. This might be a genre stretch, but I also am really having fun reading M. J. Scott’s Shadow Kin.
*Oooo, I've read and loved all of those, except for Nightshifted, but it's on my massive TBR pile. If you could tell readers one thing about yourself or your books what would that be?
That this is a new take on vampires – these are vampires that are a separate species with bodies and rules, and a lifecycle and reproductive limits. Probably the thing I’ve always wondered the most when watching vampire movies or reading vampire series is why vampires haven’t just overrun the entire world. Well, I really tried to address that, and I’ve actually gotten a few emails from people who really enjoyed it because they’d always had the same qualms that I did.
*What is the craziest or at least most interesting thing you have ever done?
I misread that at first and thought that it was “craziest or least interesting thing” and I thought, “well, that’s an interesting range!” I’d say that the most interesting thing that I ever did at this point in my life (judging by my recent conversations) was probably getting published. Given the odds against it coming off successfully, I think that also counts as the craziest thing, too!
*Finish this statement: "You'll like Generation V if.. If you like overmatched heroes who have to overcome huge odds by using their wits rather than magic, dark humor, foxes, a lot of geeky in-jokes, and new riffs on old myths.
My first novel, Generation V, is coming out in May 2013 from ROC Books, and is a work of urban fantasy.
I cut my baby bibliophile teeth on my older brother’s collection of Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert, but it was a chance encounter with Emma Bull’s War For The Oaks as a teenager that led to genre true love. Today, I’ll read everything from Mary Roach’s non-fiction to Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasies, but I’ll still drop everything for vampires and werewolves in the big city.
I hold an advanced degree in the humanities, and I am work as an adjunct professor, teaching composition to first-year college students. I am currently hard at work on the second Fortitude Scott book, Iron Night, which will be published by Roc in January 2014.
Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.
But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.
But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…