Sunday, 6 September 2015



What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Brandon Hill (my pen name).   I was born in Lake Charles, LA, and I currently live in Lafayette, LA.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Yes, actually, though I didn’t formally start until I’d read enough to have confidence in doing it.  

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
When I began with my story that I called “Eden” about my sophomore year in high school.  That was about 1993 or 1994.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?

Yes.  It took dozens of attempts with different manuscripts and lots of rejections.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes.  I still work other jobs.  I’m pushing for my work to get notoriety.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is titled, Double-Cross My Heart.  As for summaries, it would go as follows: “A mission of mercy for the enemy of her enemy becomes a struggle for survival.”

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I both self-publish and have books published through Rogue Phoenix Press and Mythical Legends Publishing.

Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
No.  I never had any need for those kinds of things.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It depends on the book.  My most recent book took a little over a year and a half to finish it, while one of my other books, I finished the first draft in about 3 months, but put it through countless revisions to the point where it wasn’t published until about 3 or 4 years later.  

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
I find the more complex the characters, the more difficult it has been to write my books.  My book, Elven Roses, had fairly simple characters, and was more or less easy to write,  but my most recent book was very complex and had much deeper characters than anything else I’d written.  That took a lot of backtracking and concentration.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have more books in the series that I’ve published, such as my “War of Millennium Night” vampire books, and my “World of Five Nations” sci-fantasy series, but I also have stories that are straight-up fantasy, as well as a complex cyberpunk story on the burner.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes.  I am currently working on a book that I have titled The Tribute.  I would like it to be a standalone story, but it may end up being part of a series, the way I have the plot written out.

What genre would you place your books into?
I chiefly write sci-fi and fantasy.  Those are my two main genres of choice.  

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I have always been enamored by sci-fi and fantasy books, stories, TV shows, and movies for as far back as I could remember.  I found them inspiring.  

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
Thus far, I would say that my favorite is a toss-up between my most recent book and the one before that: a 3-story sci-fi compilation called Lifemates.  But if you are talking about all the stories I am in the process of writing, my favorite is yet to come: my Eden story, which I have not yet finished.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
My favorite character in my current books is Elisa.  She is resourceful, intelligent, strong, and deceptively nonthreatening.  She’s everything I’m not, except maybe intelligent.  I sort of envy her in that regard, though I don’t envy her painful past.  

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
Perhaps Isibar, the main character in Combat Pay Blues, the second story in Lifemates.  He has a wife and children, financial stability, and a stable life.  He’s where I want to be.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing formally since my sophomore year in high school, back in 1993 or ‘94.  As for inspiration, when I was a kid, I used to play with my toys in different ways from the way the stories behind them were made up, and I used to write small stories I made up on my dad’s old typewriter.  Also, I drew a lot, making up characters for stories that were similar to cartoons that I watched.  

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
Different things.  Video games, movies, TV shows, cartoons, dreams I’ve had.  As a writer, my inspiration has been writers like Anne McCaffrey, William Gibson, and Octavia E. Butler.  

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I have a drafting table that I sit at.  Sometimes, I listen to classical music (my favorite is the Brandenburg Concertos).  It’s about the only music I can listen to that won’t break my concentration.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Yes.  I have, as of late, taken to releasing the rough draft chapters on my DeviantArt page, looking for feedback, as well as using review sites like Scribophile.  Also, I have a few close friends who are big fans of my work who give feedback as well.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes.  That is a very good way to get a free book from me.  

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Absolutely.  I crave feedback to an almost neurotic extent, whether it be positive or negative.  I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
Probably the critique of the first chapter of my upcoming book on Scribophile.  She pointed out a lot of issues with the lead-in, conversation, content, and descriptions, showing me a lot of things I missed.  As much of an undressing as it was, it was great help for getting me to visualize better and become more dynamic with my writing.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No.  Even if that person does not like my book, I can appreciate and value candor and honesty, as long as he/she wasn’t being overtly negative just to be cruel or tear me down.  You can tell when that’s happening, and it isn’t pretty.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
The titles usually come easily to me.  Only once or twice did I have any difficulty thinking up a title for a book.  They usually just pop into my head.  The cover designs come from different sources.  The covers for four of my books were done by the cover designers for the publishers that picked them up, while the cover for Lifemates was done by Paul Lucas, a member of DeviantArt and fellow writer whom I developed a rapport with.  

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I’ve come up with a title before writing the book a couple of times, but usually the title comes to me while I’m writing it.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
It’s another thing that just comes to me.  Since a lot of my names, especially in my fantasy or far-flung sci-fi books are made-up, I just put together sounds and syllables that sound good to me.  Other names I just cobble together from combinations that I like.  (Once, however, my sister accidentally helped with one character’s name.   I asked her if she could come up with the name, but she said, “not a clue.”  But she kind of mumbled it, and it sounded like “Mericlou,” so the name stuck.  It’s been my favorite name in all my books, even now.)  

Are character names and place names decided after there creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
Usually, I decide them upon their creation.  It makes things easier.  But I do have an old list that a college friend and I made up years ago with a load of nonsense names.  I’ve used that from time to time as well. 

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I usually have an idea of what the character is like before I write him/her, and build upon it as I write.  But as of late, I’ve realized that this can be a haphazard method, and have started to put together traits before the fact.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I usually have a basic plot before I start writing, though it might not always be finished.  And sometimes, the story may flow in a direction that is not quite what I had originally intended.  That’s where it gets interesting.

How do you market/promote your books?
Only recently have I started majorly pushing for promoting my books.  My favorite venue is Twitter, and my publisher has been using multiple venues.  Also, I have been marketing it out to book reviewers to gain notoriety.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
I believe that it is a book that truly resonates with its audience, through characters, plot, and the telling of the tale.  I think it’s a synergy of all three elements.  

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Fortunately, I have never had writer’s block.  I tend to be very easily inspired and stimulated, and can cobble together a story or a situation fairly quickly.  The only times when writing is difficult is when a story slogs through dialogue, or through parts that aren’t as interesting as others.  

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I play video games, read, or draw.  I’m also a bit of a Facebook/YouTube junkie.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
A few times, as some aspects of my stories are based on dreams I’ve had. 

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Yes, but I often feel that they may be forced.  This can probably be chalked up to self-consciousness, however.  This is why I am thankful for feedback.  

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
During my earlier attempts at writing, I was heavily reading Anne McCaffrey, and patterned my work off of her writing style.  Later on, my favorites switched to writers like Frank Herbert and William Gibson, whom I sadly discovered I don’t hold a candle to.  But now, my biggest influence is probably Octavia E. Butler.  I want to make stories that probe the human condition like her.  And being one of the few African-American sci-fi authors of note, she’s someone whose notoriety I want to strive for.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
It doesn’t matter to me.  A good book is a good book, be it electronic or paper.  And I only buy hardbacks if they are books that I especially want.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
I have many favorite books.  But near the top of the list, if not at the very top, is the Xenogenesis  trilogy by Octavia E. Butler.  I’ve read it about four times.  

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
I believe that this question has a complex answer.  It depends on the director, studio, and the book.  Also, some books are more easily adapted to film than others.  My favorite adaptation is probably the Harry Potter movies (with the exception of The Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix), and the worst adaptation I have seen is most likely The Host.  

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I’m currently reading the e-book version of A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix.  I’m finding it very enjoyable.  

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
No.  I believe that people will always want to hold an actual book in their hands.  

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
As a former teacher in a parish that was very heavily pushing reading classes, I feel that most curriculum's do encourage reading, and even imaginative writing, though the results vary, not due to the quality of the curriculum, but the willingness of students to actually write.  Some find pleasure in the activity; others do not.  

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
At school, I used to draw a lot in order to get ideas for what to write.  I did this more than write, but in my sophomore year, I started to write formally.  Since that was back in 1993 or ’94, that isn’t something new for me.  

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
Not really.  It wasn’t until I started high school that I started reading a lot.  By then, I was getting into Anne McCaffrey.  

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
Only an old book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.  I’ve had it since I was a baby.  The stories range from well-known to obscure, and the illustrations are very beautiful.  

Do you have a favourite genre of book?
Yes.  Science fiction is my hands-down favorite genre.  

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
Anything by Isaac Asimov, with the exception of Foundation.  And I only read that because I forced myself to.  Ironically, for one of the most revered sci-fi writers in history, his books bore me to tears.  

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
I have been reading the work by a writer named Paul Lucas, who I met on DeviantArt.  He has written mostly erotic pieces, but one particular story outside of that genre that he has written has grabbed me, and has taken place among the best books I have ever read: an epic sci-fi adventure called The Shattered Sky.  It was a book that almost hurt for me to put down in the end.  More than anything, I want to see this book and his work get more widespread notoriety.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
Aside from minor tweaks that every author constantly wants to do, not really.  I like my books just the way they are.  

What do you think about book trailers?
I thoroughly enjoy them.  They show off a great deal of creativity and make books more attractive.  I love looking at them.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
The trick to being a writer is to write.  Never stop writing.  Never let your self-consciousness and hangups get in the way.  You have a story you want to tell, so tell it.  And keep making those stories.  Make them better and never stop writing.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
Absolutely.  My pen name is “Brandon Hill.”  

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
My choices would be Anne McCaffrey, Frank Herbert, and H.G. Wells.  

Where can readers follow you?

Twitter: @DecKrash


Title: From Slate To Crimson
Series: Prelude To the War of Millennium Night volume 1
Author: Brandon Hill
Release Date: 7th July 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Talante, for 10,000 years has governed his clan like a father in the endless war with their hated enemy over the fate of humankind. One winter’s night, he chances to meet Amelia Grayson, a human whose blood arouses his desire, and whose presence arouses his compassion in a way no mortal ever has before. Distracted and terrified by all but alien emotions and instincts by this burgeoning bond in a prelude to what may be his clan’s most desperate hour, Talante is caught between duty and desire, until he is forced by choice and circumstance to decide whether to hold to the one he has grown to love more than his immortal life, or in spite of the cost, let go for the sake of his people and Amelia’s safety, in spite of twofold danger: one from a ravenous enemy that has hunted her kind for millennia … and the other from the seductive bond that would make her forever his, body and soul.

Amazon UK

Title: The Hidden Meanings
Series: The World Of Five Nations
Author: Brandon Hill
Release Date: 18th May 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Jenius Starmage and Raiya Ravensong, two detectives in the Android Equality force, are ordered on the case of their lives: tracking down a rogue android who committed an impossible atrocity of high magic. Uncovering the android’s past, the two elves learn of a horrendous tragedy that left broken bodies and broken minds in its wake, and links to an ancient tale of near-apocalypse that threatens to occur again through this android’s unbridled rage. Guided by a grieving nobleman, and with circumstances reawakening long-suppressed emotions between them, Jenius and Raiya must stop the insane terrorist before history repeats itself to the destruction of all.

Goodreads Link


Title: Elven Roses
Series: The World Of Five Nations
Author: Brandon Hill
Release Date: 8th September 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Aldrec was an elf who was mystery to all but himself. Keeping others at arm’s length, he lived each day staving off madness from his impossibly long and somewhat reclusive life. Mericlou was an Alerian model: an obsolete brand of android from a bygone era, lost in the monotony of the daily grind and her eccentric ‘family.’ Their friendship, born of serendipity, healed their lonely souls. Later, love entwined their lonely hearts…and nearly rekindled a shameful war. 

Goodreads Link


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