The Pact was my first-ever NaNoWriMo novel, written in November of 2006. It’s a supernatural weird west adventure, great for teens and adults who enjoy fantasy, urban fantasy, and sci-fi. It takes place in the fictional world of Geiral and follows a lady bounty hunter and hexslinger. She’s on the trail of her ultimate prey, the man who changed everything for her, with one goal. Whether that goal is justice or vengeance, well...that all depends on how you see things.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?
A lot of The Pact—in fact, the whole series—deals with distances traveled and the various means of making those journeys. I dealt a lot with things like, how far a horse travels in a day, how far a person travels, how long it takes to make the journey of a lifetime. There’s a lot of mapping and geography that goes into planning out Serenity’s path.
Do you have any interesting or quirks or rituals?
Lately I’ll find a YouTube video with and hour or two of instrumental music (nothing with words), pop on my headphones, and just write. I’ve saved hour-long videos of Celtic music, “Epic” music, “Spooky” music. Whatever is appropriate for what I’m currently writing, I’ll pop a similar video on and just go with it. It’s not really the same as using music as inspiration...I don’t really incorporate anything from the music into the work. It’s more like just white noise, blocking out distraction and centering my brain in the tone of the work.
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. 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, 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!
What does your family think about your career as a published author?
Up until now, my books have all been in the graphic erotica genre. The Pact is the first non-erotic, non-romance tale I’ve had released (though there is some romance in it!). 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 soshe 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...
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..
Can you tell us what is coming up next for you?
I just recently submitted the sequel to Goblin Fires for review by my editor. I’m very happy with the story, and hopefully it’ll be approved and we’ll put it into edits very soon. I really can’t wait to share the story of Finn, a half-elfin Knight, with my readers. As we’re now into November and a new National Novel Writing Month, I’m working on completing last year’s NaNo project, Winter Hearts. This will be the third book in my Blood and Fire series, following the story of Rhiannon Donovan, and her dark tales of romance.
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!
Fleshlings and darklings… Rune-weavers and demons… When you walk in the land of the Reaper, who will survive? Serenity Walker has cast runes for as long as she can remember. Her teachers call her a prodigy, and her secret studies hold the key to unlimited potential. Once an orphan left on an old woman’s doorstep, Serenity finally belongs. But when her mentor is murdered right in front of her, her hopes of a home die with him. Her quest for vengeance leads her into a dangerous deal with a demon. Armed with its dark power and her own talent with the runes, she blazes a trail across the lands where ranchers and railroad men are kings, where the prevailing law is the law of the gun. To find the man who reshaped her past, Serenity offers up her future. She’ll face a world where weavers are hunted down to be hanged, whipped, or burned alive...but she won’t face it alone. As Serenity’s mission takes her farther than most weavers are willing to go, she’ll have to decide who her true enemy is: the wicked men of the world, or the powerful demon inside her. Buy your copy now!
The monk stood in wait for her, halfway up the aisle. He'd appeared out of nowhere again, quick and quiet as a scavenging rat, and glared at her with eyes full of mean shock and disgust. “Witch,” he spat. “I knew it as soon as I saw you. Devil! Bride of—” Serenity threw the sigh of fehu at him, the sign of the cattle’s horns, and it caught him high in the chest to send him stumbling backward. The power issued forth a bit weaker than usual. Her demon felt suffocated in the holy place, sapped by the wards against their kind and hollowed out by the ravaging spells she’d twisted back in the tavern. But it cast the insufferable priest to the stone, striking him down with a callous resentment, and she stalked across the aisle at him. “How dare you come into this place of worship!” he sputtered, crawling backward on his behind as she came closer. “How dare you—” “How dare I?” she snarled. “Murderer!” “All I wanted was a place to rest for the night,” she muttered. “A room and a bed, and to be left alone. I didn’t come here to harm anyone. But somehow I get you, chastising me in the street, thinking to tell me what I can and can’t wear even while you sit there ogling, and I get your servants breaking into my room and burning years and years’ worth of study, and then I get a mob of your people screaming for my blood, planning on hanging me in the middle of the night. And you, padre, you have the gall to call me a murderer?” “The Lord will repay you in kind!” the priest shrieked. “When you come here, doing the devil’s work! Wearing his symbol upon your breast! Whore! Devil’s whore!” She leaned down and grabbed him by the front of his robes, pulling him up to meet her eyes. “You’re right,” she hissed. “I do the devil’s work. I wear his mark. I traffic with demons and I command their power. So it might have been wise of you and your people not to piss me off.”