- a masterful weaver of fantasy worlds with the magic of the written word
Readers, let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Brand J. Alexander is an American author of Epic Fantasy from small-town Indiana. He grew up losing himself in the created worlds of Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks and dreaming of one day being an author in that same literary style and tradition. After the shock of Jordan’s death and a trying battle with stage four cancer, he quickly discovered the imperative of capturing one’s dreams now before time runs out.
With that newfound wisdom, he got to work and, within a year, published the first two novels in his debut epic fantasy series Tears of Hatsunae. Rise of Tears and Fall of Tears. Emboldened by those successes, he has continued to create and develop new stories and series for the Universe of Brand J. Alexander, always pursuing his dream to share as many of his worlds and adventures as possible with the gift of time that fortune has granted him.
Brand, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
Definitely a dragon. Of course, it would also double as a means of transportation and eliminator of anything that displeases me.
A classic choice, with very utilitarian reasoning!
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I write a variety of fantasy short stories, novellas, and novels, ranging from epic fantasy to slightly dark and spooky. My focus is my epic fantasy series, Tears of Hatsunae. I have two books currently available, Rise of Tears and Fall of Tears, and I am currently writing book 3, Tears of the Fallen.
I have a developing fantasy novella series, Guardians of the Tide, which is a bit lighter than my other work. I currently only have the first in the series, Moonrise’s Call, released. Although, book two, Call of the Rising Deep, is completed and in preparation for publishing.
My dark fantasy series is more of a side project for me and does not exist within my literary universe.
Every year I design, build, and run a yard haunt for my community known as Ravenfell Manor, along with a food drive for the local community. As a writer, it was inevitable that I would create a backstory to the dark fantasy world that I created, and after requests for the entire tale, I wrote the four short story/novella series Ravenfell Chronicles: Origins to tell the origins of the Ravenfell family and the manor that bears their name.
As for how I got started, I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I used to help my mother make up bedtime stories about my stuffed dragon when I was little, and I can remember winning a writing contest in second grade for my short fantasy story.
I have attempted numerous novels throughout my life and had quite a few obstacles. Computers crashing, file errors, and even an ex’s pet pig that ate my word processor. Then I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and I realized that the time to fulfill my dream could be cut short before I ever achieved it. So I swore that if I survived, I would not stop until I was a published author. After eight months of chemo and a year to recover, I set out to live my dream and wrote the first two books in my Tears of Hatsunae series. And I haven’t stopped writing since. Completing that first book broke through whatever had been holding me back, and at last, all the stories that have been locked within my mind can be brought to life on the page.
What an amazing journey! So glad you’ve been able to recover and find your way from muse to polished manuscript.
What do you like to read?
I love reading epic fantasy novels with in-depth worldbuilding and long expansive adventures. Some of my favorite authors are Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Terry Brooks, and Melanie Rawn.
I see another author, spying on my bookshelves!
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
Draft first, then edit.
I simply cannot do it. My brain does not move on to the next chapter well if I have not created a solid foundation for it with the previous chapter. I edit as I go and make multiple passes through a chapter as I write it before I feel satisfied enough to move on to the next.
When I hate where I’m going, I have that problem. But, as the shape of things change as I write, I usually have to find the end before I can fix the beginning.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
If something doesn’t work for you, let it go.
I honestly do not think there is one. I have always looked at writing as an art and believe stipulating strict rules to achieve art only diminishes the creativity. I try to write every day, which is a rule most espouse, but that is simply not always possible. I say if you find a rule that works for you, then stick with it.
Indeed! The first rule of writing – do what works for you.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
Tears of Hatsunae
Rise of Tears (Book 1)
The world of Elerea is dying, and Asahn is the only one who can save it. At least that’s the tale that Old Durn, the tribe storyteller, was weaving this time. It seemed absurd at first, but then everything spun out of control.
A strange new religion is hunting the Kahn Shogal, and the secret to why may reside in the clouded history of Asahn’s people. The mighty Highlands warriors have no choice but to flee into the wilderness of their homeland, but it has become a harsh and unforgiving place as the world withers.
While the Kahn Shogal face danger on every side, their great chieftain is too consumed by pride and tradition to lead them. Only Asahn, heir to the Kah Hrah, has the authority to confront his father in his missteps. But for a son who always looked up to his father, such betrayal will not come easily.
With every step, Asahn will confront new dangers to his people and his world. And with every step, he will drive himself, against all odds, to become the person Old Durn swears he can be, their only salvation.
Fall of Tears (Book 2)
The gift of the Aiune Kah granted the ability to sense the divine. But to Asahn, the mark of his lineage had proven to be nothing but a curse. Because of their ancestry, Asahn’s people were now hunted by the Order of Light, yet to what end, no one could say. The gods of Elerea had been gone for a thousand years, and their essence had faded from the dying land. Yet the Order preaches of a Rebirth, and their priests wield magic like the gods of old, a magic that Asahn can sense.
Asahn must uncover the Order’s secrets and the sinister purpose behind their hunt for the Kahn Shogal before it’s too late. His only hope for answers may reside in the Stonelord capital of Vulgotha Tor, but the ancient city stands behind enemy lines, and the Stonelords and Kahn Shogal hold an age-old enmity.
Guardians of the Tide
Moonrise’s Call (Book 1)
When the moons rise over the endless seas of Nix, they bring only destruction. Three moons hold the ocean world under their sway and imbalanced by their erratic orbits. Immense waves called Moontides follow in their wake, washing away any attempt at civilization.
Amid the chaos, an orphan named Aust survives by his wits and the help of a sloppy Dredge Eel named Funk. He is named Orphan King for protecting the children abandoned upon the floating village of the Barges. But his ability to do so is about to be tested, and it will take everything he has and more.
A Moontide like no other is coming, and the world of Nix will never be the same. As a world of water, change is inevitable, but not even the legendary Guardians of the Tide will be able to protect them when moonrise comes.
Aust the Orphan King will be summoned by the tides and the waves of fate to be more than he ever thought possible, but only if he can heed the Moonrise’s Call and unlock the secrets inside.
Every year as the veil between worlds weakens, a slumbering darkness stirs. Few know the story of its origin or the mysterious family who stalk those haunted grounds, but the name alone elicits an icy chill in those who have witnessed Ravenfell Manor’s return. But how did such dark magic come to be?