Welcome to Ink & Magick. I’m your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you (or your character) today?
I’d love a spell to slow down time so I can get more writing done in a day.
I'm sure I don't have to tell you that messing with time is a dangerous business. Do you have a license for that? Have you been properly trained and certified? No? I'm sorry, I cannot give you the spell then. But why don't you tell me about your #urbanfantasy series The Knight's Bane Trilogy?
The Knight's Bane Trilogy is about a top-secret government team of monster hunters trying to save the world... and not die. Book one, INCURSION: Knightmare, is a vampire hunt that goes horribly, awesomely wrong. In book two, INCURSION: Faeblade, a fae nightclub in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is attacked and the fae are massacred. The fae blame humans, and the team is sent to investigate and stop a war with the fae. In book three, INCURSION: Dragonfire, an ancient enemy has returned to wreak havoc. As the team fights this threat, they are battling forces inside their own government that are trying to shut them down.
Hunger. Pain. Cruel hunger gnawed away at the creature. Forced to hunt. Searching for prey to feed the growing hunger. Cold, dead eyes saw the world around it. Even though it was a dark, moonless night, the creature saw the path and the surrounding woods as if the sun were overhead. Sounds. The rhythmic pounding of footsteps on the path. As the creature turned toward the sounds, it caught sight of a young woman. Even though the girl was still fifty yards away, the noise of the music on her headphones was apparent to the creature's newly heightened senses. Blood. Smell the blood. Nostrils flaring, the creature could almost taste the blood pumping through the veins of the girl. Forcing itself to wait for the prey to come closer, the hunger drove the creature to the edge of madness. As the prey neared, the creature hunched into the dark shadows. Running. The prey noticed the creature and screamed in alarm. She stumbled to a halt, turned, and ran away in a blind panic. Like prey was supposed to do. The creature leapt toward the girl and snarled as it quickly ran down its prey. One hand reached out and savagely grabbed the girl by the scruff of the neck. A heavy jerk and the prey was dangling from the creature's hand. The prey's screams grew more frantic as she came face to face with the creature. Reaching up, the creature hissed at the girl, and then hit her in the head with a mighty swing of its free hand. The girl shuddered, and her screaming abruptly stopped.
There seems to be a lot going on here. Tell me about what type of supernatural beings are in your world?
In my world, any type of supernatural creature is an inhabitant of our world, and of other realms. Vampires and werewolves, fae, dragons, mythological creatures, and even aliens.
How do you handle vampires? Fae? What makes your creatures unique?
Vampires and other monsters have gone back to the more monstrous roots. No hip, goth clothes. No Hollywood looks. No sparkling. (Unless you light them on fire with a flamethrower. But I digress.)
For the fae, I did an awful lot of research about the existing mythology, lore, and stories of the fae, and carefully decided how I wanted to portray them. I kept the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, but added a third court (the Gray Court) as an arbiter of justice and law. I divided mythological fae creatures between the courts based on type, and then worked out some new twists — like the Seelie Queen and the Unseelie King are actually married in a fae-law mandated alliance. They just govern their own courts.
What makes my creatures unique? Like the fae and the vampires, I try to research everything I can before I add a new creature. And then I carefully choose what I want to keep and what I throw out or change. For instance, in my world, a holy symbol will help drive away a vampire (if the person has belief in the symbol), but garlic just means the vampire has a tastier snack.
Intriguing! What about Section 28? Tell me more about the organization and the world it exists in. Do humans know the supernatural exists?
Section 28 is the top-secret government agency that is responsible for interdiction and eradication of Others that threaten humanity. I also chose it as the name of my company (Section 28 Publishing).
in the time up to, and including The Knight’s Bane Trilogy, humanity in general is clueless that the supernatural exists. And one of Section 28’s job is to make sure that is the case. After the events of the third book, INCURSION: Dragonfire, all of that changes. And if I told you any more, I’d spoil it for you.
I understand that you also do all of your own cover art? Tell me more about that.
I have a background in art and graphic design and love working on design projects. So when I had to do my first cover, I created it myself. I liked the look enough that I stayed with that style for the other two books. After getting some positive feedback, I also started offering my services to other indie authors at a reasonable rate to give them the best options available. I’ve worked on a wide array of covers: fiction and nonfiction. From modern urban fantasy to 1920’s noir, and civil war cowboy adventures, i’ve even enjoyed working on a children’s book cover.
This also has led me to helping other indie authors with not just the book covers, but with the marketing products for their books, and even logos for their publishing imprints.
Which one of your characters surprised you?
This is a tough one. All of my characters surprise me at some point. They follow their own paths, and I just write down what they do. As far as the most surprising? Hannah “Dancer” Sedano. The reader meets her at the very end of book one, but she shows up in a big way in books two and three., and I didn’t expect that.
Who is your favorite (or least favorite) character and why?
Tough question. I have two favorite characters, and neither one is considered a main character at any point. The first is Special Agent James Smith. From the opening of book one, he is a solid government bureaucrat who recruits the team. By the end of book three, you find out just why he is one of my favorites. And why the trilogy is called the Knight’s Bane Trilogy. The second is called Vellath. We meet this dragon in the second book, and he allowed me to bring some snark and comedy to some really dark parts of book two.
If you could time-travel, would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go, and why would you choose that time period?
I’d travel to the past, three different times. The first would be to meet Walt Disney as he is just starting to search for funding for Disneyland and get in on his company as an investor. The second spot would be to the early 1980’s so I could meet Steve Jobs and invest in Apple. The final stop would be around the same time as meeting Steve Jobs, and I would travel to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to meet and spend time gaming with E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson — the creators of Dungeons & Dragons.
Why? The first two would build a fortune so that I can write full time and do a lot of good in the world with the money. The third would be to meet and play D&D with the guys who started the TTRPG industry.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Other than buying my books (which always helps), reviews on the major sites will seriously help my rankings. And spread the word to your friends about my books.
What can we expect from you next?
In July, I’ll be releasing my first tabletop RPG game called Hidden Worlds: Incursion. It takes place in the same setting as my novels. After that, I have a list of novellas and a new trilogy to write.
Wow! You are going to be busy. Good luck to you.
Thank you for having me for this interview!
Early in his life, Bryan decided he would try as many different jobs as possible. Well, it was his high curiosity and low attention span that decided for him. He started in fast food and has worked in sales (retail, used car, business-to-business, door-to-door, credit card processing, vacuum cleaner, and firearms). Bryan has also been a security guard, police officer, and armored car vault manager. And he was a youth pastor.
Eventually, he decided he'd take the "easy path" and become a writer. He was an idiot. Writing is not easy, but it turned out, he was pretty good at it. People seemed to like his stories, so he kept telling them.
Bryan is a published author (fiction and non-fiction), game designer, graphic artist, web designer, consultant, trainer, ministry leader, and multiple-business owner. He is also happily married to his wife of over 20 years, Christina, and father to six or seven kids, depending on the day. He even sleeps occasionally.
Bryan is currently writing from a hidden bunker in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At least that's what he claims. We know he sits in a home office with a brass plaque that reads "Dungeon" affixed over the door.
You can connect with Bryan on his website