Sunday, 1 June 2014


Title: Seeking The Storyteller
Series: Hunters
Authors: Jessica Walsh & Briana Lawrence
Publisher: Solstice Horizons

BLURB from Goodreads
I know of the Storyteller, it whispers into the man’s ear, I’ve met him. If you promise not to kill me, I’ll take you to him. 

Alix Andre DeBenit and Randall Fagan are Hunters, part of a hidden network of humans who track and kill the monsters lurking in our world so everyone else can pretend they don’t exist. But when a living shadow mentions someone called the Storyteller, Alix hesitantly decides to learn more. 

They say the Storyteller lives in a massive library full of books that tell every being’s life story. He can read 
these books, rewrite them and change anything he wants, even if 
it’s already happened. That’s the power Alix wants, the power to bring his murdered family back and he’s determined to make the Storyteller do it. 

He just has to decide if working with the very creatures he’s supposed to kill is worth it.



My life is a flurry of writing, art and creativity. You can usually find me reading a book, scribbling notes in a notebook for future creations, typing on a laptop with music blaring in my ears or buried in my basement watching documentaries and sitting behind a sewing machine. 
I've been writing for as long as I can remember and have boxes of old notebooks in horrible handwriting to prove it. Only recently have I stumbled back into writing and finishing my ideas.
Seeking the Storyteller is the first novel I've published; with my partner in crime and life, Briana Lawrence. I also write horror, fantasy, supernatural and occasionally romance pieces which I am currently shopping around through contests and publishers.


At the age of nine, like most kids, Briana Lawrence had a dream. She wanted to be the best “WRITTER” in the whole wide world. Her fourth grade class laughed and wondered how one hoped to become a “writer” if they couldn’t even spell the word. Back then her stories were created with crayons and construction paper. As she grew older they progressed into notebooks and colored ink pens of pink, blue, and purple. When she lost her older brother, Glenn Berry, in a car accident, she stopped writing.
Dreams, however, have a funny way of coming back. 
Before she realized it she was grabbing her notebook and pens again. She would write stories that ranged from high school romance to her imagination running wild with the likes of Goku, Vegeta, and the other characters of Dragonball Z. This continued throughout college where she would always end up writing about the space exploits of the pilots of Gundam Wing and other works of fan fiction. Soon she realized that she wanted to do more than that. Her head was full of ideas, full of original characters and worlds that she wanted to share with others.
Thus, she stepped into an English Major with some Women’s Studies on the side.
She graduated Iowa State University in 2006 and moved to Minneapolis with her partner. Here, she tried to get into graduate school, but things didn’t pan out the way she wanted. She ended up working retail, her dream becoming buried by Black Fridays and other busy times of year. Once again, however, that dream returned. She went from immersing herself in geeky fan fiction to actually writing about the geeky things she loved for several anime and video game review sites. However, it was her discovery of National Novel Writing Month that made her go back to creating her own characters and plots. 
Now, here she is, an author in the writing world.


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Jessica:  My name is the same as on the book, I don’t use a pen name.  I was born somewhere in Missouri, though I’ve spent more of my life in Minnesota.
Briana:  My name is Briana Lawrence which is also the name I use for my books.  I was born in Chicago, Illinois, and I now live in St Paul, Minnesota with my partner Jessica.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Briana:  It certainly felt like it!  Though, looking back, probably not too long?  I remember my first book, “Treat Me Kindly,” felt like it took forever because it got rejected about 10 times before my publisher, “Damnation Books,” accepted it.  But that’s just the beginning.  Then it needs to get edited.  Then it needs to get edited again.  And even after it’s published it’s not over because then you need to promote it, look for reviewers, things like that.  So it feels long but, at the same time, since it’s following my dream it’s worth it.  With the later books (“Double Hue” and “Seeking the Storyteller” with Jessica) I feel like I had a better idea of what to expect going in.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Briana:  I do a lot of things these days but it’s all from home.  I’m do blog posts and other social media tasks for a company called Nimble Media.  While I do that, I do various arts and crafts with my partner that we sell on our online store and at conventions.  We also get to sell our books at these conventions, too.  They tend to be geek related (anime, sci-fi, comic book, video game, ect.) and are a lot of fun.  I’m also the one that gets to look at the different conventions in the country and reach out to them in the hopes of getting a table and selling our art and books there.  
Oh, and at some point I find time to write, usually at night while Jessica is sleeping.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
Jessica:  I have a publisher:  Solstice Horizons Publishing.  Currently I just have a single book through them, but I’m working on another and they’ll be the first place a I check with.  (

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Jessica:  A lot, hopefully.  Seeking the Storyteller is the beginning of a series which should have about 7 books.  I’m also working on my own novels and have a new rough draft done.  I’ll probably stick within the Urban Supernatural genre, but I’ve also got some Horror stories that can’t wait to be written.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Briana:  My partner always reads what I write before I send it off somewhere.  She’s also who I talk to when I have a new idea, she’s a great muse.  Sometimes I let my mom read my work beforehand, too, she reads a LOT and likes the urban supernatural stuff, so she also works as a good muse.  She and my partner helped a lot with my first book, I ended up using their ideas quite a bit.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Briana:  Definitely, and each one is helpful.  My writing is something I’m always trying to improve and readers catch things and comment on things I never would’ve thought of.  As a writer I read my own work so much, and even have my partner read it, then the editor reads it, but new readers and reviewers are a fresh set of eyes.  This is especially helpful with “Seeking the Storyteller,” which is going to be a series, so now we have more ideas for the second book.  Of course the real fun part about reviews for this book is that, since it is a series, we get the occasionally, “Hopefully this gets explained in the next book,” or, “Why did this happen what is it leading up to,” and we kind of snicker because we know what we have planned and know when things are going to get answered.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Jessica:  Never.  Reviews, even the bad ones, are all important.  I would rather know honestly how a person feels about my book(s) then have them lie.  If I only wanted positive feedback and nothing else I’d probably only share my stories with people I knew who were ‘too nice’ to tell me anything else.  But part of being a writer is hearing what other people honestly think and then using that to improve yourself. 

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
Briana:  With my two books “Treat Me Kindly” and “Double Hue,” they both had different titles (“Pet” and “Double H”), but as I wrote them and read over them again the titles changed.  There were details in each book that led me to wanting to change the title.  As far as the cover goes, “Damnation Books/Eternal Press” has a cover artist they assign to you, and you give them details and ideas of what you envision for a cover and they work with you.  Both times my cover artist, Dawne Domique (, kept to my core ideas and let my descriptions guide her to come up with some unique ideas that I loved more than my original idea.

“Seeking the Storyteller” was something Jessica and I came up with.  We knew we wanted the Storyteller in the title somewhere, the rest just seemed to come naturally.  The cover is really special to us.  Our good friend, Stephen “Lor” Raffill ( did the cover.  We sent him details of an idea we had and we told him as much about the book as we could (we actually had to give him a huge spoiler).  He sent us 5 proofs with explanations behind each one, and we ended up choosing the original idea we had as the back cover with one of his new ideas as the front.   

Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?

Jessica:  I like picking character names based on something about the character.  For example, the character of Haven is pretty obvious, because he grew up homeless and doesn’t have a ‘haven’ to stay.  So instead he’s constantly searching for one, and the name sounds more exotic than most people would have.  Things like that, though it’s usually not quite so obvious.  I also love looking for names in other languages and then changing them a bit to fit my own needs. 

How does the writing process work with two authors?
Jessica: For us it’s pretty simple.  We discuss the idea - at length, almost all the time - and one of us writes the first draft.  Then, the second person reads through it and adds notes and corrections in red.  Once they’re done, the first author goes back and adds comments and changes in another color and we keep going back and forth until we’re both happy with it.  

Do you market the book any differently with it having two authors?
Briana:  I think it gives us more time to market.  For example, since I’ve used Goodreads for my previous books, I knew what to do with this one in getting it into read and review groups and whatnot.  Meanwhile, Jessica has been keeping a list of blogs and Facebook groups to tackle.  She’s also been the one setting up interviews.  At conventions we have the power of two as well, we can both talk about the book or if one of us forgets to mention something, the other can jump in.

Do you write alone as a sole author of a book too? If so which do you enjoy most?
Jessica: I write alone as well and both have advantages and disadvantages.  The funny thing is, when I’m writing alone I follow basically the same process, as we both read each other’s sole stories too.  The biggest difference is that when I’m writing my own book I don’t have to clear new ideas with her; I just have to make sure I explain them so she understands them.

If there's a disagreement, say about plot, title, cover etc how do you solve it?
Briana:  I can’t think of any huge disagreements that we’ve had.  We usually, as Jessica said, discuss it back and forth.  We have files for each book we have planned and we have notes in different colors, and we go back and forth until we both agree.  It doesn’t take long for us to reach an agreement, it’s usually in the form of, “This is my idea.” “That sounds good, what if we did this too?”  “That may be a bit much, how about we tweak it to this?”  “Oh!  I like that, and then we can do this.”  “Exactly.”  We’re working on the second book together and now that the first book is done we both agreed, almost immediately, that some changes need to be made, so we made notes on the top of the file and were both like, “Yep.  This needs to be done.  Definitely.”  I guess it helps that we’ve been working on this project together for years, we role played these characters out online and really established them together, so we both share the same vision.

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