Please welcome today's paranormal guest author M.L. Brennan. M.L. is the author of Generation V.
EJ: When did you begin writing?
ML: Writing is always something that I’ve really enjoyed, going all the
way back to a very young age. I remember that creative writing
assignments were always something that I looked forward to in school,
and that I always found them extremely easy (which, of course, is a very
pleasurable thing for most students). I liked creating imaginary worlds
and situations, and I always got As with very little effort. In high
school I also dabbled with fanfiction – which was a fun offshoot of my
enjoyment of a few TV fandoms.
But in terms of serious writing, I don’t think back on myself as a
writer until I was in college. That was when I started really studying
writing and pushing my own work as hard as I could. I also began working
in short stories, and I was a senior in college when my first short
story was accepted for publication in a literary journal. That was when I
started really considering myself a writer.
EJ: What brought you to the paranormal genre?
ML: I think all the blame for this goes to my brother. He’s two years
older than I am, so when I was young a lot of the books that I was
interested in reading were the ones that he had – pretty classic younger
sibling, I guess. I read Ender’s Game because he lent me his copy, I
read his Star Trek novels, I read his Star Wars books, and the entire
Death Gate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.
Our tastes started diverging around high school. He became more
interested in very hard sci-fi (and by “hard” I mean in the hard/soft
sense of technological/sociological focused sci-fi), while I went more
into the fantasy direction with the Forgotten Realms books and
Ravenloft. Then at one point I picked up a copy of Emma Bull’s War for
the Oaks and became absolutely enraptured with the idea of monsters in
the big city. So when it really crossed my mind that I wanted to write a
speculative novel, I really gravitated toward urban fantasy.
EJ: If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?
ML: I’d probably choose to be a shapeshifter. I like the idea of being
able to see the world through different eyes and experience a heightened
range of senses – plus, I’d finally get to understand why dogs always
look so happy when they stick their heads out of car windows!
EJ: Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.
ML: I think readers will really enjoy Generation V because it is the
start of a series where I do two things. First, I take vampires a bit
back toward their roots – these aren’t a group of misunderstood guys who
just want to date high school girls, these are monsters who view humans
as a food source. They don’t have feelings or empathy for humans.
Secondly, I also changed my vampires around on a fundamental biological
level – instead of vampires in this series being undead humans who are
changed through a simple blood exchange and then do not age and live
forever (can we say population control problem?) I made vampires into a
completely separate species. These aren’t humans, and they never were
humans – they are a species with long but finite life span and a very
complicated and difficult reproductive cycle.
Also in my series is an idea that is based on crocodiles – a grown
crocodile is one of the most badass animals in its environment, and no
one is going to mess with it. But a baby crocodile is pretty much
everything’s idea of dinner. My vampires gain strength and power as they
get older – but my protagonist, Fortitude Scott, is a young vampire.
He’s in his late twenties, and in terms of power, he’s basically on the
level of a regular human. So while his older siblings might make
everyone else wet their pants in fear, Fort can get beaten up by just
about everything. To me that made him a much more interesting character –
nothing bores me faster than a book where the main character is the
strongest, fastest, most super-magical creature there. It’s obvious at
the start of every conflict that this character is going to win pretty
easily. Fort, though, is constantly outclassed by everyone he comes
across – to get what he wants he has to outsmart his opponents, or find
and make allies, rather than just getting into a fistfight.
Finally, I’m also bringing in myths and ideas that come from outside the
usual pool of urban fantasy sources. My secondary character in the book
is Suzume, a Japanese kitsune. This is a fascinating myth about a fox
who can turn into a woman, and who can be either a trickster or a
helpful character in old stories. I really incorporated that idea of a
trickster when I was making her character, and I had so much fun writing
her and the scenes that she’s in.
EJ: If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?
ML: I’ve never really used movie characters as models for primary
characters – it’s not how I think of Fort or Suzume, and I’m not sure
I’d be comfortable even naming off a few actors, since I worry that that
might lock me into something. But I do enjoy using this to help when
I’m writing characters who appear less often. Fortitude’s mother, a very
powerful, ancient, and dangerous vampire who presents a deceptively
sweet and grandmotherly appearance would be best played by Betty White. I
have a suspicious human private investigator sniffing around the edges
of the story named Matt McMahon, and Jason Beghe (who played Mike Royce
in Castle) was always the person who I used as a model.
Generation V (American Vampire #1) by M.L. Brennan.
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
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
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Thank you M.L. for joining us here today at From the Shadows!
To learn more about M.L. Brennan and his books, please visit his website.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Q+A with M.L. Brennan (Generation V)
E.J. Stevens is the bestselling, award-winning author of the IVY GRANGER, PSYCHIC DETECTIVE urban fantasy series, the SPIRIT GUIDE young adult series, the HUNTERS' GUILD urban fantasy series, and the WHITECHAPEL PARANORMAL SOCIETY Victorian Gothic horror series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines. Her novels are available worldwide in multiple languages.