29 January 2012

J.L. Bryan Interview & Giveaway of Fairy Metal Thunder!


Today I'm having an interview with the author of one of my favorite series ever! For those of you who don't know him, Jeff aka J.L.Bryan is the author of The Paranormals Series, along with a lot of other kick-ass books.

The second book in his new Songs of Magic series, Fairy Blues, released this month. For those of you who haven't read Fairy Metal Thunder yet, check it out! It's a fun, unique take on the world of faeries =)

J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on English Renaissance and Romantic literature. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Christina, dogs Violet and Tiger Lily, and cats Shadow and Sue.

Describe yourself in three words.

Nouns or adjectives? Oops, I just used all three!

What's your favorite band? What kind of music do you usually listen to?

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I suppose I’ll have to go with Pink Floyd, as I like just about all of theiir songs, which is rare. I usually listen to classic rock, old country music, and classical, but I like all kinds of things.

Do you listen to music while writing?

Definitely. Often there’s a song that really defines a character or a part of a story for me, and I’ll listen to it a number of times while I’m writing. “Alexandra Leaving” by Leonard Cohen was a song I strongly associated with the ending of Tommy Nightmare, and I don’t know how many times I played that while writing the book.

Why The Assorted Zebras?

I thought it was a fun name, because how would you sort zebras? Don’t they all look alike? What would be assorted about them?

Speaking of stolen instruments, do you play an instrument?

No. I played drums long ago. I keep meaning to learn guitar, but then I’d need to actually own a guitar...

Which band (in real life) comes to your mind when you think of The Assorted Zebras?

It’s hard to say, as they’re still finding with their record label about what kind of band they’re going to be. I think Erin, the lead singer and the main songwriter, wants to be a bit like Pink—more of a tough girl with songs that touch on socially relevant issues, music that can be critical of the world around her. She doesn’t want to make bubblegum pop music. The record company has other ideas...

Which fictional character's personality can you most relate to (doesn't have to be one of your own)?

I guess Jason, because he’s just sort of stumbling along, trying to figure out what’s going on and stay on top of things before they get too crazy. He fails at a lot of things he tries to do. He has kind of a hopeless crush on Erin in that he can’t really get a relationship going (it doesn’t help that she already has an apparently awesome boyfriend...). That was definitely me when I was a teenager.

You've published a lot of novels in the last 3 1/2 years. Do they come to you easily or do you sometimes face a writer's block?

I don’t really get writer’s block in the sense of not knowing what to write. I do get tired, or lazy, or disillusioned with whatever current project I’m writing. But it’s like any job, you get up and have some coffee and make yourself go to work. One of the best things I read on the subject was by the mystery writer Lawrence Block, many years ago. He said that some days it comes easy, and some days it’s a struggle to write anything and you’re sure you’re just typing garbage—but later on, when you read through the manuscript, you can’t even tell what you wrote on a “good day” or a “bad day.” It all reads the same, your writing skills don’t actually go up or down with your mood. That’s kept me working a lot of days when I wasn’t feeling it at all.

Any genres you'll never read?

Nope, I’m pretty omnivorous about reading. I’ll read the children’s activity placements at a cheesy restaurant if I have to.

What do you think of interaction with readers? How important is it for an author? Do you interact with them on a regular basis? If yes, how?

I love interacting with readers! Blogs and social media make it easy. In my case, I know I’m influenced by readers feedback when working on a series—if people have questions or want more of a particular character, etc. this is something I take into consideration.

What do you think are the pros/cons of self-publishing?

The pros would include the freedom to write what you want—traditional publishers want you to write the same thing again and again, and I like to explore new things instead. Picking your own editor and cover artist is great. Getting a 60 to 70 percent royalty is great because you don’t have to sell as many as traditionally published author to make the same income. With ebooks, your entire list of books stays on sale forever, which again helps you make a living without needing to have big “hit” bestsellers. The biggest con would be that you’re less likely to sell subsidiary rights, like film and TV, when you’re self-published.

The faerie world that you've created is quite different from the ones in other books, how did come up with the details?

I started by studying all the traditional fairy lore I could find, but then added a lot of new ideas. This is obviously a sort of fun and funny approach to Faerie, with lots of goofy creatures and plants and animals. It’s sort of like if Douglas Adams had written about fairies, though I’m sure it would have been funnier and smarter if he’d done it. The books are meant to be lighthearted and full of shiny new things, so I think this version of Faerie helps accomplish that.

Grizlemor is hands down the most amusing character in the series! How did you think of his character?

Thanks! He was pretty unexpected. Originally he was just the burglar who’s been swiping jewelry around town. Jason follows him into Faerie—and I didn’t realize Grizlemor would be back after that, but he’s sort of like the visitor who never leaves. It’s also nice Jason has someone to ask about fairy-related subjects, and of course Grizlemor is generally too grumpy and annoyed to really answer his questions very well.

What's the last concert you went to & when?

I think it was Roger Waters (which sort of reinforces my Pink Floyd answer earlier....). It was a couple years. We don’t get out as much with the baby around!

Robots or Zombies?

I think robots and zombies can coexist peacefully if they just learn to listen to each other.

Cats or Dogs?

I have both & like them both, but I like cats because they’re independent and aren’t such attention hounds.

Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic, #1)
Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans and no gigs, and they're going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on the lead singer, but she already has a near-perfect boyfriend.

One night, Jason steals enchanted instruments from the fairy world. Suddenly (with a little help from YouTube) every kid in the Midwest is crazy about the Assorted Zebras.

The fairy instruments drive the crowds wild, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic. The band struggles to gain control of their instruments and avoid the supernatural bounty hunters sent by Queen Mab of Faerie to track them down, all while trying to finally land their first gig.

Fairy Blues

The sequel to Fairy Metal Thunder.

With their enchanted instruments charming the crowds, the Assorted Zebras attract interest from record producers, and soon they’re off to cut their first album and music video. Jason and his friends don’t know they’ve just become pawns in a sinister plot by a cabal of evil fairies...

Meanwhile, Aoide and her band pursue a new strategy for regaining their stolen instruments, one that will take them into the most haunted region in Faerie.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I've always been drawn to fairies, but at the moment the only book about fairies that I read and liked was "The Faerie Ring" by Kiki Hamilton. I'd love to expand my knowledge of fairy-lore and, perhaps, write about fairies too.

  2. WHAT AN AMAZING INTERVIEW!!! Really had fun reading it:) Would sure be happy to win this book:) Hugs

  3. Dulcie O'Neil series by H.P. Mallory She is fey and is a cop/PI that hunts down bad guy vamps, faries, weres...etc Love this series.

  4. *Thx for giveaway! Help to us on Fixed Income/SSI {am perm multi disabled: wheelchair/home-bound}who need & enjoy to read, attain books can't afford!

    *Favorite Faerie Book(s): 'Fairytale' & 'Forever Enchanted'(sequel)-Maggie Shayne!

    )0( Warmest Blessings )0(

    *Paranormal Books are Magickal*

  5. My favorite is a series for middle graders called A Flower Fairies Friends by Kay Woodward. The covers are so pretty and my daughter loves them too! We only have two so far but they are really good.

  6. My favorite faerie book, I guess would be Gail Carson Levine's Cinderellis and the glass hill. I always loved her The Princess Tales stories since they take a unique spin off the original fairytales...it's a pity she hasn't written a third volume...