Aeo, assassin for the king of Arata, thought wielding the legendary Bok'Tarong would be the ultimate show of power. Instead, his soul has become trapped inside the enchanted sword, and his only means of contact with the world is a new bearer who despises him for his crimes. They are humanity's only defense against the mind-eating parasites preying upon mankind, and the key to possibly destroying them forever. Doing so would mean putting their trust in new, dangerous allies ... but if they fail, they'll have to watch the world fall to the Coming Madness.
I feel like Brenda and I would be great friends. She likes RPGs, fantasy novels and camping. We are basically twins already. She has a way of expressing herself that is very down to earth and approachable. I hope you can get to know her and find out about her book with this interview.
What were you like in school?
It took me a long time to figure out who I really am and proud of that. I had no clue where I fit in school, so I hung around the edges. I was one of those annoying kids who never had to work hard to get good grades. I was the weird one who lots of people knew, who wasnÂ’t hated or picked on, but no one was really friends with either. I was mostly invisible and thatÂ’s the way I liked it.
What writers influenced you the most?
The first book I read that made me go Â“I want to write a book like this!Â” was The Demon Awakens by R.A. Salvatore. IÂ’d always loved books but I wasnÂ’t a huge reader when I was younger, and I didnÂ’t start getting heavily into fantasy until I was almost 20. Once I did I was hooked, and I started reading everything I could get my hands on. It was like something sparked inside me and I finally found what I wanted to do. I started writing and never looked back.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Certainly! IÂ’m working on a prequel novella to my first novel, Soul of the Blade, which is the story of how the Entana first invaded humanity and how the BokÂ’Tarong, the enchanted sword that can kill them, was created. IÂ’m also writing a new epic fantasy novel called Joythief. ItÂ’s set in a Persian-inspired world, with a poison that kills the part of a person they love the most. My protagonist is a princess-turned-thief who has to fight to preserve magic and save the world while losing her skills and identity as a thief.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have a lot of favorites, but the one I always mention and aspire to write like is Brandon Sanderson. His worlds are so intricate, his magic so detailed, and his characters so real I canÂ’t help but get sucked into his books. TheyÂ’re everything I think epic fantasy should beÂ—exciting, magical, yet very real and relatable despite the epicness of it all.
Tell us about yourself?
IÂ’m a giant geek at heart. I love books and video games, Doctor Who, Firefly, and Star Wars. I play Magic: the Gathering with my husband and friends. People tend to think IÂ’m very outgoing when they meet me, when really IÂ’m so nervous around people I talk incessantly because IÂ’m terrified. IÂ’m a homebody but I want to travel the world, so I compensate by having adventures through my fantasy worlds.
Do you have any pets?
I do! My husband and I are cat people so we have two kittiesÂ—Twerp (she earned that namesake) and Callie. Both are diluted calicos and stubborn princesses. We love them to bits, though, even if they take up more of the bed at night than we do.
Caution: Adorableness ahead!
Do you have a set writing schedule that you adhere to?
I do my best writing when IÂ’m half asleep, funnily enough. As soon as my husband leaves for work I trod out to my office and try to get a few hours of writing done. Since IÂ’m also an editor I do that in the afternoons when IÂ’m a bit more awake. IÂ’m usually done around 2 pm and then I crash on the couch with a bookÂ—field research, we call it.
Tell us about your book.
I have two novels out, Soul of the Blade and No Hill Without Treasure. Both are stand-alone epic fantasy, though I have plans for at least one sequel in the future. Soul of the Blade is about an assassin who gets his soul stuck in an enchanted sword, and in order to save himself he has to save the world from mind-eating parasites called the Entana. No Hill Without Treasure is about a man who accidentally releases half-sentient monsters of congealed Destruction magic, and he has to collect pure Creation magic to destroy them while battling his own budding Destruction magic within himself. TheyÂ’re both very much the kind of battles and magic and epic quests you find in traditional high fantasy, but hopefully with enough fresh new twists to keep it interesting.
When you read, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I really want to love ebooksÂ—theyÂ’re light, convenient, you can carry hundreds at a time, and you can buy new ones anytime, anywhere. But thereÂ’s just something about real books that I miss so much when I read on digital. My pride and joy is my gigantic bookcase, custom built by my dad, with all the books I love on it. Several of them are signed which just makes it even more precious. IÂ’ll buy hardbacks as often as I can, as long as I can. My heart gets all fluttery just thinking about buying new books.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
If IÂ’m not reading, IÂ’m probably lost in a fantasy RPG like Elder Scrolls or Dragon Age. Aside from that, though, I crochet (especially baby blankets for my friends) and my husband and I like to go camping and hiking. We have a lot of family close by so we visit with parents and in-laws often. We live a fairly quiet life, but thatÂ’s just the way my husband and I like it.
Brenda J. Pierson is just a nerd living her dream. SheÂ’s the author of epic fantasy novels Soul of the Blade and No Hill Without Treasure, co-editor of Wings of Renewal: A Solarpunk Dragon Anthology, as well as the senior editor for Incandescent Phoenix Books. Writer, bookworm, avid gamer, lover of tacos, and crazy cat lady, she’s living the good life with her husband in kitties in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona.
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/brendajpierson