Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Q+A with M.L. Brennan (Generation V)

Please welcome today's paranormal guest author M.L. Brennan.  M.L. is the author of Generation V.

EJ:  When did you begin writing?

  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?

  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?

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.

  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?

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.

Reality Bites.

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.…

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.


  1. I have heard only good things about this one :)

    1. I'm excited to read this one too. Love mythical creatures entwined in my urban fantasy.

    2. I really hope you both enjoy the book! I've been extremely lucky that so many very talented bloggers and reviewers have responded so positively to Generation V. It definitely gave me the confidence booster I needed when I sat down to the daunting task of writing the sequel!

  2. I am so glad you made the move from fanfic to writing incredibly lyrical books with characters you want to follow and see where their path takes not only them but you, the reader.

    E.J. cares about her readers & fans. I'm proof of that. I follow her on Twitter & she follows me. We've had some fun tweets.

    While I don't have any of her dtb's, I do have all of her ebooks on my Kindle. If there were a way to get those autographed I'd be on it like a duck on a June bug!

    Keep writing and we, your faithful followers will keep buying, reading & falling in love with your beautiful story telling.

    Tammy (gadgetgirl66)

    1. What a lovely post, thank you for the vote of confidence!