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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BU Blog Tour Continues - Brenna Lyons Interview

Today, I'm happy to welcome Brenna Lyons to my blog.

Brenna Lyons wears many hats, sometimes all on the same day: former president of EPIC, author of more than 80 published works, teacher, wife, mother...member of ERWA, MWW, IWOFA, MFRW, WPM, AWaY, and Broad Universe. In Brenna’s seven years published in novel-length, she's won two of EPIC's e-Book Awards and has finaled for 11. She's finaled for 3 PEARLS (including one HM, second to Angela Knight), 2 CAPAs, and a Dream Realm Award. The NOBODY anthology of dark fiction she's included in won Spinetingler's (UK) Book of the year for 2007.

She writes in 21 established worlds plus stand-alones, poetry, articles, and essays. She's a bestseller in indie/e fantasy, horror, and erom. Brenna has been termed "one of the most deviant erotic minds in the publishing world...not for the weak." (Rachelle for Fallen Angels Reviews) Milieu-heavy dark work is practically Brenna's calling card, with or without the erotic content.

1. How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

I’m all over the place.
 Home web site- http://www.brennalyons.com
 Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/brenna.lyons
 Twitter- http://twitter.com/BrennaLyons
 Blog- http://brennalyonsden.blogspot.com
 MySpace- http://www.myspace.com/brennalyons
The best e-mail address to reach me at is brennalyons4168(at)gmail(dot)com, but be sure to put something like GENERAL QUESTIONS, BOOK QUESTIONS, or CHARACTER QUESTIONS in the subject line, or it may get lost in Yahoogroup mail. Since I average more than 1000 e-mail threads coming in a day, that has happened before, and I apologize profusely when it does.

2. Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?


I am a spec fic writer first and then romance or erotic romance, if it’s a cross-genre book. Even if the book is balanced 50/50 science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, or horror with romance/erom, the mood and usually the opening of the book will show that I view writing that way. People that want sunshine and roses probably aren’t looking for my books. People that like urban fantasy, grit, dark… I’m for you.
My favorites change from day to day, depending on my mood. Usually, the favorites will either be Kegin/Kielan/Wolkin (my three Council of Worlds series), Night Warriors, Renegades, or Xxan. Those worlds, out of the 21 I write, are the ones that stick with me most, which may be why I write so much in them.
I always have new things coming up. Before this interview posts, I will likely have re-releases of the first two books in my Star Mages series: WRITTEN IN THE STARS (fantasy sensual romance from Mundania) and THE MASTER’S LOVER (a M/M…my only M/M, at the moment…fantasy erom from the Phaze side of the company). My next scheduled release is in May. It’s the first in a new series (Fire and Ice) titled MAGMON’S HUNGER, coming from Phaze. I have at least three more anticipated releases after that in 2010, which include the first of yet another new series (Angel-Wing Saga) from Phaze (SONS OF HEAVEN: BELDON), the next Night Warrior series book from Phaze (HUNTER’S MOON), and the next Kielan from Logical Lust (ANOTHER MAN’S MATE). Additionally, I’d like to get the next Xxan series story out with LooseId before the end of 2010 (MATING SEASON). All of the above is in addition to the seven releases I’ve had already this year. And yes…we’re still in March.

3. What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?

I’m somewhat hypergraphic, so writing does relax me, but I don’t write all the time. I enjoy cooking and baking, hiking, swimming, camping, photography, fingerloop braiding…
We don’t watch broadcast TV/cable in this house, at all. Aside from movies and such we pick up on Netflix or purchase, there are only a few shows we watch on Hulu or buy on Amazon Unbox. Those would include: Dr. Who, Torchwood, Heroes (which sounds like it’s over now), V (not as good as the original, but interesting), Flashforward, Battlestar Galactica, and Caprica. I’m thinking of trying The Sarah Jane Chronicles on Netflix to see if it’s worth purchasing.

4. What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to music, and do you want to share your playlist?

As I said, I’m rather hypergraphic, so having a pen and paper or computer is enough to get the juices flowing. Don’t ask me about the time I thought I could give up writing for three days of a camping trip and didn’t bring writing gear with me. Grinning…
I don’t usually write to music, because the temptation to either type the lyrics into the book or to sing along and stop typing is too strong. I do enjoy white noise, which can include movies or TV in the background. For some reason, that doesn’t intrude on my writing mind as songs do, even if I know the movie well enough to do the dialog from memory. I do sometimes listen to music when I’m editing, since it doesn’t bother me, unless I’m typing. What music I listen to depends on my mood and on the mood of what I’m working on.
If you’re asking where my inspiration comes from… Well, that’s another story. I get it from everywhere…people watching, a single quote or look that catches my attention, dreams (mine and those of others that I find interesting pieces in), playing games of what-if, six degrees of separation (which I have a great blog post about), noisy characters from old books or spin-off worlds…readers that ask when X person gets a book or when Y story will be told in detail… You name it, and I’ve probably used it.

5. "All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction." Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?

My house is the veritable animal farm. It’s a good thing it’s a huge old 1901 or so home. At the moment we enjoy (and sometimes curse) three large dogs, five cats (well…three cats and two kittens, to be precise), two leopard geckos, and three hermit crabs. That’s what you get when you have three kids, one of which is training to be a vet. I fully agree that most authors have an affinity for animals. I’ll share some favorite pics of my fuzzy writing helpers…uh…hinderers.

6. What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?

There are a lot of great Yahoogroups out there I’d suggest. Among them?
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AvoidWritersHellChatters/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EPIC-eWorkshop
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mikeswritingworkshop
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PNWriters
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/writepublishmarket

If you’re writing erotic, I highly suggest joining the mailing lists that ERWA maintains.
http://www.erotica-readers.com/

Once you’re published, you can remain a member of all of the above. There are a whole bunch more that you can join then, including:
http://www.broaduniverse.org/  -$30 per year membership fee
http://epicauthors.com/  -$30 per year membership fee
http://iwofa.net/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AuthorsAgainstE-BookTheft

Specialty industry groups I’d suggest include:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ebook-community
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/pod_publishers 

The advice I’d offer aspiring authors is long and pointed to various topics. The best thing to do is visit my site and go to the FOR AUTHORS portion. That’s a good place to start. If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, ask me.

7. What writers inspired you to become an author?

Any I’ve read, in my lifetime. That said, I think all beginning writers have a couple of authors they emulate, before their own voices form fully. Mine were Stephen King and David and Leigh Eddings…and perhaps Piers Anthony. As I got older, some other voices crowed in there: James Morrow, Robert Heinlein, Joan Vinge, John Varley, and many more.

As for the “push” to become a writer, that largely came from inside. Encouragement to enter contests and submit came from my very early English teachers. Starting at about age 11, my teachers insisted on me entering anything they found for me. One even took my work to a local newspaper without telling me and suggested they publish me.  When I moved from articles, essays, and short stories to writing novels, there was no question I would publish. I’d been published in recognized venues since I was 13.

Thank you so much for joining me on this tour, Brenna. Congratulations on all your publications!