Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Talk with Lynda: Special Guest Brandon Ax


Hey, everyone! Today marks the beginning of something special, and I’m glad you’re here to share it. Back in the day when free time was in abundance (about three or four years ago), S.K. Anthony and I used to get together for coffee on a weekly basis and talk about all kinds of things bookish. Pure intellectual stuff, it was. Or something like that.

[Side note: If you ever have time—and brain cells—to kill, check out my Coffee Chat tab. But start at the beginning or it will never make any sense. Um . . . and starting with the first one doesn’t actually guarantee the subsequent ones will make sense, but it helps.]

Here I was, missing the days when S.K. used to break into my house (before she had her own key made), take over my kitchen, and chat with me awhile about everything relating to writing and reading. So I decided to invite someone over today to talk about book stuff. I thought about who would be too polite to say no, and chose Brandon Ax because he’s from the South, and we all know how polite southerners are. Right? Not only did he say yes (I knew it!) but he just so happens to have a new book coming out in a few days, so I won’t have to pull out my 3x5 index cards of Conversation Starters for Awkward Moments.

[Heads toward the kitchen.] Hmm . . . he’s actually waiting outside the door. How odd. I guess I’ll have to get used to guests waiting for me to let them into my house.

L: [Opens door to let him in.] Hey, Brandon! Welcome to the very first Book Talk with Lynda. Make yourself comfy and I’ll grab you a cup of coffee.

B: [Walks in and takes a seat at the table.] Oh thanks! Actually a glass of water would be great.

L: [Pours cup of coffee and plops it down in front of him.] Here you go! Drink up; I made plenty.

B: Um . . . thanks.

L: So hey, I’m pretty excited that the third book in your Light Bringer series is coming out on Monday. I’ve actually read it and I’m still excited because that means it’s official, and everyone else can enjoy it too. Are you feeling any sadness at saying goodbye to the characters?

B: [Nudges the coffee cup around.] There is a bit of sadness. Although who knows what the future holds. They have been a part of my life for so long I don’t know that I can truly stop telling stories about them. However, I am really excited about the things I am working on now. [Waits for Lynda to turn her attention to the oven, where something smells wonderful, and promptly pours coffee in the cat’s dish.]

L: I’m excited about homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast! They go so well with the coffee, and they’ll cheer up your sadness. [Hands over full plate.] So of course I have my favorite characters—seriously, Zander is my fave—but I loved the addition of new characters in Light Bringer. Some of them, I wanted to punch, but I’m sure you may have felt the same way. Have you ever had a bad-guy character where you were like, “Ooooooh, if you weren’t essential to the plot I would kill you so fast . . . better watch yourself, mister . . .”

B: [Takes a soft, warm roll from the plate and tries not to make too many “mmm” sounds as he bites in.] Well, I try not to write villains as much as antagonists. As such I get into their heads and find their motivation. In the end, although I don’t like the things they do, I understand where they are coming from. Having said that, there is a Weaver in the first book who made me contemplate interesting ways to kill a character. She was particularly vile and her motivations were pretty self-centered and obnoxious.  

L: She really was. I was hoping she’d get it good. And what if Lynn or Sidney or Connor or any of the gang starts talking to you again? Would this particular storyline continue somehow, or would you come from a completely different direction?

B: That’s the thing, right? They never really stop talking to me. There may or may not be a document. In this possible document, there may or may not be the beginnings of something. I will just have to wait and see what happens. I do have a prequel in the works mostly geared around Aiden. Also there are a few side characters in this last book who are screaming for a spin-off.  

L: What a tease. I would love any or all of those, so write as quickly and as often as you can. [Looks to the side as something whizzes by.] Whoa! Check out AndyAndy! I don't know what that's all about . . . that cat never moves that fast! But anyway, I know you're also an artist . . . does art have anything to do with what you're working on right now? And let me refill that coffee for you.

B: I'm really not that much of a—

L: Here you go! [Places a steaming mug in front of him.]

B: [Sighs.] Thanks . . .

L: So, those other interests and projects . . .?

B: [Watches the cat run laps around the table.] Yeah, I do a lot. I have always drawn, but I also love to paint and make clay figures. I have illustrated a book for someone and even dabble a bit in writing songs. Writing is my first love and will always win out, but I figured I could use some of those others here as well. So one thing I am doing as part of the giveaway is painting pictures so I can give away some prints. Would you like to see them? [Goes to grab another roll and promptly pours the coffee in a house plant.]

L: Are you kidding me? YES. I’ve seen some of your clay figures in the past, and think the book you illustrated has an adorable cover. Of course I’m a big fan of songwriting, too, and taking a peek at your paintings is naturally the next step. Doing a giveaway of the paintings is a phenomenal idea and I think your readers will really love it. What are you waiting for? Gosh, you’d think those two cups of coffee would have kicked in by now. Let me refill that cup while you grab your paintings.

B: But I—

L: Bottoms up, my man. [Lifts mug to “cheers” him.]

B: [Clinks mug in despair.] Thanks . . . Oh, by the way, can I have a glass of water, too? Because . . . coffee makes me . . . thirsty. Yeah, that’s it.

L: There you go. [Hands over a tall glass of water, almost dropping it as Brandon grabs frantically at it.] Hydration is the key, right?

B: Right!


 


L: Wow, these are great! Connor, Lynn, and Zander. But I thought you said you were bringing four with you.

B: I did. But now I can't— [Cuts off abruptly as AndyAndy races by with a painting in his mouth.] Never mind.

L: Uh . . . sorry.

B: [Sighs.] So I was thinking, it may be cool for people to read an excerpt from Light Bringer. I mean I wouldn’t want to spoil anything big, so some stuff may be redacted. In fact, it's in that file right behind you. [Waits for her to turn and pours full cup into her nearly empty one.]



L: That was . . .

B: Riveting—I know.

L: I’m still catching my breath.

So hey, everyone, I hope you enjoyed the very very VERY first Book Talk, with my special guest, Brandon Ax. And if you haven’t read Brandon’s first two books, Elemental and Ashes, then I have no idea what you’re waiting for, but you’re in for a treat when you do. Light Bringer will be released on Monday, September 25, so you will want to be caught up and ready to continue the adventure.

You can find Brandon at his website: Brandon Ax
At his blog: Writer's Storm
On Facebook: Brandon Ax: Author
On Twitter: @BrandonAx
And on Instagram: axbrandon

I’m here, of course, because it’s my blog and nobody invites me anywhere else. But you can also find me on my ERE Facebook page and on Instagram as easyreaderediting. Follow me to see what kinds of trouble I can manage on other social media (I post different things in different places), which basically means take your chances on being bored, or completely stunned and amazed.

37 comments:

  1. I don't write villains either.
    I also don't drink coffee. No surprise the cat went bonkers.
    It's both triumphant and sad to wrap up a series. What comes next? I'm sure you'll think of something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor AndyAndy. I hope he doesn't develop a caffeine addiction.

      Delete
    2. Yeah as you know authors always have something in the chest of ideas. Now to find the cat a rehab for his new addiction.

      Delete
  2. OMG that excerpt is PERFECTION! I'm so excited for Light Bringer, it's such a GREAT book! Congratulations, Brandon!

    Go Lynda with the new Book Talk with Lynda — what a perfect title if I do say so myself :P lol (Send me Brandon's coffee . . . what a waster, eh?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I already put the coffee in the mail, so open the envelope verrrrrrryyyy carefully. And yes, the title is perfection, haha. One might even say I was inspired by the other half of my brain.

      Delete
  3. Congrats to Brandon on his upcoming release...and to you Lynda for your first Book Talk! I look forward to more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! He may need coffee therapy before I invite him back.

      Delete
  4. Ha, I love it! What a fab format - although the cat may never recover...

    Congrats on the new release, Brandon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AndyAndy ran right out and caught three chipmunks to celebrate . . . and then passed out cold. I may have to send him outside for the next chat, if I have another non-coffee drinker.

      Delete
    2. Thank you and I just feel bad for AndyAndy now.

      Delete
  5. I think Brandon was an excellent choice for Book Talk's first subject!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, he did say yes, so that was the first qualification. We certainly had a good time!

      Delete
    2. I tried and of course I said yes, who could pass up that much fun?

      Delete
  6. Alas, I have failed as a mother! I was not able to teach my son to love coffee, and he is going around pouring it in all manner of places. Hope Andy Andy recovers from all the excitement. I too will hate to see the series end. Looking forward to what is next, in the great adventure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't be too hard on yourself; he shines in other ways, so I suppose I can grudgingly accept his coffeeless self. At least I know not to put out the chocolate-covered coffee beans in a bowl on the table for next time.

      Delete
    2. I think the interview was splendid. Yummy, two of my favorite things coffee, and chocolate covered.

      Delete
    3. Hey, you know me I have to be different.

      Delete
  7. What a fun interview! He was very creative in dealing with the coffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My houseplant grew a foot in two days and died immediately afterward. I think next time I'll listen to his requests for water . . .

      Delete
    2. Now I have to buy a new plant. I just feel bad.

      Delete
  8. Way cool post, Lynda. Brandon, at least she didn't put yellow snow in your coffee. That's what she did to me when I said I only drink frozen coffee. Of course, it was winter, but I wouldn't put it past her to add some kitty litter to the coffee--clumps of kitty litter, that is.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be fair, Janie, that was my butler. He has since been fired.

      Delete
    2. That was one of your kids (thought you could fool me, didn't you?). You fired your child? I don't believe it. I understand why you use your children as servants, though. It's so hard to get good help these days.

      Delete
    3. Yes I decided to go when the snow was far away.

      Delete
  9. In all this I feel so sorry for AndyAndy. What happened to the plant? I promised Brandon that as it was my wedding anniversary on Monday I would raise a glass of champers to him to toast his new release.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That plant . . . it shot up an entire foot in just a couple days and then keeled over. I may have to work on my listening skills next time. Thanks for the visit, Jo!

      Delete
    2. I will be raising a glass back your way!

      Delete
  10. 1st of all congrats on the release Brandon. Second, Great new blog Lynda. Since SK can't come over and play I feel this will be a great replacement.Third, why doesn't people like to write villains? They are the most fun, better than stuffy ole heroes. Usually villains have a more interesting , and traumatic, back story.

    Brandon, good way to hide the coffee disposal but I don't think Andyandy will ever be the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to hear from you, J.T.—I'd been wondering if you'd disappeared again and how the hurricane treated you. As far as villains go (not speaking of you), I think it was more of a "villains v. antagonists" thing, rather than not writing any bad guys. We need bad guys! The world would be so boring if everyone was nice all the time, and I'd have no excuse to indulge in chocolate therapy.

      Delete
    2. Luckily the Hurricane took a sharp right turn then a sharp left to miss us. Still lost fence pieces and a few limbs but no large amounts of damage to the house, though we were powerless for about a week. Ahh on the villains Vs Antagonist thing. I still think villains are much better than plain old run of the mill antagonists. But of course I am a bit old fashioned.

      Delete
    3. So glad you're okay! A week without power is pretty bad, but at least you're uninjured and your house is still standing.

      Delete
  11. Well, I WAS going to check out Brandon's books, but after reading that excerpt I feel like I ruined the entire series. How about a spoiler alert next time?

    Also, this post made me thirsty for coffee. I mean, I'm already drinking coffee while typing this, but I should probably put on another pot just to be prepared.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I told him he shouldn't have given the entire plot away, but you know how authors can be . . . so stubborn and "look at me, look at my work" all the time. Besides, he really wasn't thinking clearly, being a water drinker and all. Next thing you know, he'll probably tell us he eats healthy most of the time. Sigh.

      I think it's always best to be prepared for a coffee emergency, so by all means, put on another pot and have at it!

      Delete
  12. Haha, how funny! This was so entertaining--thank you for writing! :D

    ReplyDelete

I love comments, and will always answer them, partly because I like having the last word and partly because I just like getting to know the people who read my blog. (Note: if the post is more than a couple weeks old, your comment will automatically go into the "needs approval" folder, but I will still publish it and reply!)