1. Tell us about your newest release.
Lotus Petals, my first novel, is coming out in print this month! It's a story I've been hoping to share with readers for years. It's the story of a vampire's first love, in a world where demons are never meant to love, and humans are nothing but playthings and prey. The characters-Rhiannon and Aijyn-have been with me more than a decade, and I'm so very, very excited to have them finally come to life for others, as well!
I also have two "Flirts" out this month: Change of Pace, a tale of romance and mistaken identity; and Phone Home, a story of a couple finding ways to keep the spark alive, even when separated by miles. I really enjoy writing these sort of "one-shot" erotic stories. They provide a way for me to test out new ideas and learn about new elements I can bring into the stories.
2. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?
In my research, I discovered the 'precursor' to the geisha were courtesans known as oiran. What I found surprising, though, was that there wasn't a lot of information to find on them! Strange enough not to find a lot of their history online, but even scouring books at the library, it was very difficult to pin them down. I'm still not sure why this is.
3. Do you have any interesting or quirks or rituals?
Well, I have a real hang-up if I don't have a title for what I'm writing. I guess it's a quirk. I can know what the story is about, I can even have picture every scene in my mind, but unless I have a title that sits well with me, I can't get down word one. It's irritating.
My other quirk is that I play League of Legends as though the champs are characters of mine. For example, Diana would be Rhiannon. Then I do voices over Skype chat with my gamer buddies.
4. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
I've always been a writer at heart. I have to give deep thanks, though, to my husband Ken and my best friend Rissa, who have always pulled for me to get published. They have been my biggest supporters from day one. I have a lot of friends around me now who are really great and get very excited to read what I write, so I've got a terrific support network, but Ken and Rissa really deserve the most credit.
As for authors, I have to say that Jim Butcher, who writes The Dresden Files, is a huge influence and inspiration to me. I would say that even if all I knew of him was what I'd read through his books-they are terrific-but I actually had the pleasure of meeting him twice last year, and he just blew me away by being exceptionally open, friendly, and willing to talk shop. I thanked him for his books and told him what an inspiration to me they were, and he was very encouraging that I keep submitting my work, that it would be a success if I kept trying. So that was pretty amazing!
5. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
Heh, well, my mom is incredibly excited but disappointed that she can't brag about me at church. She keeps asking for copies of my books not so she can read them but at least so she can put them on her bookshelf and be proud of me. I keep telling her she probably really doesn't... since they have titles like The Big Book of Orgasm and whatnot...
My dad is really interested in the process, if not the genre that I write. He's started writing his own work, a sci-fi book, so now every time we're together he wants to more about what's going on with the publishing, how did I get it out there, how am I marketing now and stuff like that. He created this beautiful painting for me for Christmas: a Japanese scroll with a koi pond and garden, with the kanji lettering for "Temple of the Blood Lotus".
6. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
I'm an artist and I draw, paint, and use a Wacom tablet for digital work. I also customize My Little Ponies (Google "custom mlp" if you want to see what that means), and I've recently become interested in sewing plushies.
I also game a lot. I'm particularly fond of League of Legends right now, though I'm also a huge fan of The Sims and Starbound, which is a recent new release on Steam.
7. Can you tell us what is coming up next for you?
Well, now that both Lotus Petals and Goblin Fires are out and doing well, I've been fortunate to have my publisher, Breathless Press, decide to release them both in print! I'll be attending a convention in October to promote the books and other Breathless titles. As for new works, I've submitted the sequel to Lotus Petals and am waiting to hear back on its acceptance, and I'm working on a stand-alone novel called His Cemetery Doll, for a Halloween themed call.
8. How can readers connect with you online?
I'm on Twitter, of course, as @brantwijn, and they are always welcome to visit my blog at www.brantwijn.blogspot.com. I'm also on Facebook and G+, as well as Pinterest. And I love, love, love comments on my work!
Aijyn, human slave to a ruthless vampire Lord, would never dare do anything to incur his wrath. Then, she fell in love...with his bride.
Rhiannon Donovan, daughter to the vampire Queen, would rather die than be made a bride to a demon lord. Aijyn, courtesan to the undead Daimyo of Kansai, can think of nothing more horrifying than his promise of eternal life. In the halls of the Blood Lotus Temple, the two women struggle against the chains of their fate, and find a solace in each other that could mean freedom for them both...or cost each of them their lives.
CHANGE OF PACE
Edward Prince was raised a man of privilege and wealth. He's about to find out, though, what it really means to be rich.
A chance encounter puts Edward Prince face-to-face with his exact double: a coffee barista named Tom. Over macchiatos the men decide to take advantage of a rare opportunity: switching places. Tom will go home to a life of luxury as Edward, while Edward finds himself in Tom's comfortable studio apartment with Tom's girlfriend, Vicki.
A few days of living Tom's life, however, and Edward finds himself in a troublesome position—he never wants to go back.
What to do when your honey's traveling but you've just got to have some fun? For Catie and Ryan, good times are only a phone call away...
Ryan's on a road trip with friends, which means Catie is by herself for a long—and lonely—weekend. When the phone rings just before midnight, though, she can guess what it means: Ry's lonely too, but he's not about to let miles of road stop them from having a hot night together.