1. What is The Brumal Star about?
The Brumal Star is a fantasy set in the world of Ransara. It’s about a delinquent teenager named Lorica Warde, who’s been idling her way through life since being expelled from school. She runs away from home with her bat friend Scout when she overhears her father’s plans to send her to the Sisters of Durainne, a recently revived religious cult.
Lorica reluctantly teams up with ex-sorcerer Jamison Undrand, who’d had his powers taken and then was banished from his sorcerer council. Together, they go on a quest to seek the Brumal Star, an ancient crystal rumored to grant powers to those it deems worthy, until they become unwitting targets of a vengeful, human-sacrificing enemy.
2. Did you start with the story or the characters?
A little bit of both. I’d had the germ of the idea written in an old notebook since the 90’s. It really started off being Jamison’s story. Back then his name was Liam. I wanted to explore the idea of this guy whose life basically implodes. He’s betrayed by his own council, forcefully lost his magic, his family, his home, and then he’s exiled. What would you do if that happened to you? Where would you go? What would become of you?
Gradually the runaway teenage delinquent character made her way into the story and they become unlikely friends. But she wasn’t always a teenage delinquent. Originally she was older and was going to be a love interest, but that romance-angle ended up not working out in the grand scheme of story-planning.
3. What led you to write it?
I don’t even remember anymore, honestly. I had the story idea and two of the characters written down. And I figured if I didn’t sit down and figure out the rest of the story, I’d never finish it, I’d never find out what happens to these two characters. It would end up being something else, another in a long list of things I tried and failed at, that I didn’t have the attention span to complete. That bothered me, because I get bored and distracted very easily and it was hard to see it through to the end.
4. What authors or stories inspire you as a writer?
I really love Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, Kaitlin Bevis, Dick Francis, P.C. Doherty, Michael Crichton, Dorothy Parker, Edgar Allan Poe, the DragonLance books, the brothers Grimm fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen, and Greek & Roman mythology. The story of Hades and Persephone is my favorite.
I’ve been interested in the occult and the paranormal since I was a kid. My mom brought me home a book from the library about UFO sightings when I was seven years old. I read everything my local library had on UFOs and aliens, ghosts and hauntings, cryptozoology, demons, Ouija boards…
I also really love astrology so I read a lot of books and articles about it. Many of the themes and archetypes you find in astrology, as well as numerology, animal totems and other symbolism, made their way into some of my writing.