Author Interview with M.L. Brennan + Win GENERATION V

Posted 16 August, 2013 by Lori @ Romancing the Dark Side in Author Interviews, Giveaways / 13 Comments

by M.L. Brennan

RtDS: Welcome to the blog M.L.! Give us three facts about yourself or three of your top bookish pet peeves.

ML: Three top bookish pet peeves sounds like a lot of fun! Okay, in no particular order and with no particular books in mind…

1) It freaks me out when a book takes place over the course of a single day. At about the halfway mark, I start getting a little worried on the character’s behalf – aren’t they getting hungry? Won’t they need a bathroom break soon? And for the love of all things holy, don’t they want a nap right around now?

2) The situation of – “we’re hunting this huge baddie, everything is really tense, we’re surrounded by people we don’t know that well – let’s stop and have sex in the woods.” I mean, really? Timing, people. Timing. Also, the whole time the main characters are getting their freak on, all I can think about are those secondary characters standing five feet away and probably having some awkward, “Sooooo… how ‘bout that sports team?” conversation to try and normalize the part where they have to wait for those other people to have their loud and fulfilling orgasms before they can get back to the work of tracking down this big bad creature. I’ll just say it – Hostile. Work. Environment. Also – sex in the woods? Really? You do know that during the seasons where the weather is conducive to that, there’s the possibility of picking up a tick, right? Does your sex life somehow trump the harsh reality of Lyme Disease?

3) Our heroes are completely backed into a corner – time for a deus ex machina via magic. Look, I’m not saying that every book needs to have a completely Sandersonian set of magical rules and handy reference charts, but I do think that authors need to keep track of what they established earlier in the book as impossible – and respect that. Not “impossible unless we really really really need to do it,” but actually impossible. If you’re going to pull that out of your bag of tricks during the big climax, maybe soften that “impossible” to “well, the only person who ever did that and survived was Myra The Incredible, but she was raised by wombats and learned their mystic ways as a child.”

Also, if someone it turns out that someone can actually do some magic that, I don’t know, makes people immortal or brings them back from the dead? There had better be a good reason why they aren’t doing it all the damn time. Either it has an incredible cost, or they only have one set of batteries and can only do it once, fine, but it shouldn’t just be, “Golly, that was sure useful and solved all of our problems! And it seems remarkably free of side-effects!” And about those side-effects… please, for the love of everything we hold dear and the future of your series, please don’t make those side-effects something that will force your character to start having frequent sex in the future.

RtDS: Your main character Fortitude is a bit of the anti-alpha hero, was this your initial intention while writing his character?

ML: That was always how I envisioned the character, because I thought it could be something kind of fun and different, and it also made me empathize more personally with his character. I wanted someone who was a bit more of an everyman kind of character, with a snarky sense of humor but who was very much the fish-out-of-water among the rest of his family and a lot the people around him. While I think there are a lot of us who certainly enjoy reading books about super-suave heroes who always save the day, are super-confident, and have incredible sex lives, I think a lot of us have a bit more in common with Fort, who doesn’t have those things, yet at the same time does end up saving the day.

RtDS: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

ML: Oh, definitely. In order to construct the backstory of the kitsune, I did a bit of research about Japan in the 1940s, particularly the failed military coup known as the Kyūjō Incident. During a brief reference to my character Atsuko Hollis’s part in derailing that plot, I somehow had a weird flub and set the first atomic bomb as being dropped on Nagasaki rather than Hiroshima. These things can happen in a first draft – but somehow I didn’t catch it when I did my edits. And neither of my first readers caught it either, or my agent, or my editor, or my copy-editor! The amount of us who missed it is actually pretty amazing when you think about it, because I am extremely certain that we could all correctly name the order of the atomic bombings on Japan. In fact, the first person who notified me of the problem was my friend Django Wexler, who mentioned it when I sent him a copy of the book. At that point there was nothing I could do but just smack my head in horror. Not everyone catches it, but the readers who do tend to get pretty irritated. If I could go back in time, I would definitely fix that one. After all, I have a minor in history, and it’s pretty embarrassing!

RtDS: Describe the male lead in Generation V, in 140 characters or less.

ML: Fort is an underdog, underemployed, and has low self esteem. But he also has a sense of humor, a strong moral compass, and true grit.

RtDS: Who are some of your go to authors when you want to get away in a book?

ML: Sharon Shinn, Sherri S. Tepper, Anne Bishop, Patricia Briggs, and Brandon Sanderson all top the list!

RtDS: Would you ever want to see your books come to life on the silver screen or TV? Do you have any casting ideas?

ML: If someone from SyFy or HBO offered me a big pile of money, I probably would say yes, but hopefully it would be after I’d already written all the Fortitude Scott books I wanted, and once the adaptation started I could just move on to other projects. No adaptation will be entirely true to the books, after all, and most play pretty fast and lose. I wouldn’t want the case of “competing interpretations.” For casting, I’d love to see Betty White play Madeline.

RtDS: Can you give us a little teaser of what’s next in the series?

ML: Fort is getting more involved in the darker side of his world, and things are starting to get much more complicated than in the first book. A lot of the supernatural species that had brief cameos in Generation V will be back in much bigger ways, and Fort will also be spending a lot more time with his siblings.

RtDS: Finish this sentence using as much or little detail as possible: Generation V will appeal to readers who…

ML: …enjoy a series with a down-to-earth hero with a sense of humor and a distinct lack of incredible powers. It will also appeal to readers who don’t need every plotline to be about saving the entire world, but instead like a perilous situation that has a bit more complexity to it.

Just for fun…

RtDS: Favorite supernatural creature?

ML: I’m a sucker for a werewolf.

RtDS: Morning person or night owl?

ML: I’m naturally a night owl, but my work schedule has forced me to learn how to write in the mornings and the afternoons instead.

RtDS: Coffee or tea?

ML: Tea.

RtDS: You’re stranded on a deserted island and can pick one book and one person to spend the time with. Which book do you choose and who would you want for company?

ML: Ooh, tough. Well, I’d bring The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, since I think I could read it a thousand times before I got tired of it. And I’d also bring Adam Savage from Mythbusters, because he would build some kind of rescue device out of coconuts and get us back to civilization before I’d gotten sick of The Last Unicorn.

ML: I had a blast chatting with you today! Congrats on the new release 😉

RtDS: Thanks so much for the opportunity, and I had a great time!


About the Book


Title: Generation V
Author: M.L. Brennan
Series: American Vampire #1
Genre:Urban Fantasy
Publisher: RoC
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N

Reality Bites

Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.

But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.

But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…


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One signed copy of Generation V by M.L. Brennan {US ONLY}

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About M.L. Brennan

M.L. Brennan is the author of the critically acclaimed GENERATION V and its sequel, IRON NIGHT. The third book in the series, TAINTED BLOOD, is forthcoming in November 2014. Brennan holds an MFA in writing and is employed as an adjunct professor at several New England colleges.

Brennan cut her baby bibliophile teeth on her older brother's collection of Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert, but it was a chance encounter with Emma Bull's War For The Oaks as a teenager that led to genre true love. Today she'll read everything from Mary Roach's non-fiction to Brandon Sanderson's epic fantasies, but will still drop everything for vampires and werewolves in the big city.

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13 Responses to “Author Interview with M.L. Brennan + Win GENERATION V”

  1. Texas Book Lover

    I totally get what you mean about books that take book in one day!

    This book sounds fantastic!

    Thanks for the chance!

    • I just start feeling all stressed out when I count up the hours! Also, when the whole book is crammed into one day, and then there’s suddenly this big sex scene? My knee-jerk reaction is, “Really? People have been trying to kill you all day, you nearly got blown up with a car bomb, half your friends have betrayed you — are you sure you wouldn’t rather grab a shower, a cookie, and a power-nap?”

  2. Denise Z

    I have been following the recent tour some and the more I read about Generation V the more I want to read it. Thank you for sharing with us and for this treat of a giveaway opportunity 🙂

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