Today’s interview is with Bryant Reil, author of Elf Doubt.
1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Bryant Reil, and I live in BC, Canada.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The most recent book is Elf Doubt (Book 2 of Elf Mastery). It is a YA Fantasy and sequel to Elf Mastery. I am currently writing the third and final book, Elf Righteous.
3) What is the book about?
Elf Doubt follows the aftermath of Elf Mastery (in which Kyla Nim stopped Erebus, god of darkness, from eliminating all light from the world.) The World of Order is fracturing from political upheaval and rebellion. Kyla Nim, on her way to inform the King and Queen of Erebus’ defeat, is met by a mysterious patron who sends her on a series of dangerous quests. The revelation as to her patron’s identity, her frustration with Queen Titania, and her own personal tragedy sends Kyla into a spiral of doubt. As the government faces world-changing internal threats, Kyla’s safety and reputation suffer in the turmoil, and she finds herself on the wrong end of higher powers.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I initially came up with the setting: our modern world, but nature and science are the results of work by fairies and mythical creatures. However, I wanted a character-driven rather than setting-driven story, so I came up with Kyla Nim, essentially a naive small-town girl with little experience or knowledge of the world at large. Though she begins the first book naive and a bit ignorant, her willingness to tackle problems head-on quickly gains her wisdom and experience. My focus in this trilogy is her character development.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
Each book has taken 2 years. In my defense, this was done in conjunction with work and going back to school for a Master’s.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I learned a tremendous lot. First, I did a lot of research regarding the mythical beings in the story (such as curupira, ciguapa, etc). I honed my writing skills, as would be expected, but also learned to format for both ebooks and paperbacks. I learned a bit of marketing (still in progress). I learned to not only accept but actually appreciate criticism. I was initially a bit afraid of feedback from beta readers, for example, but learned to really appreciate it and take criticism as a way to improve my storytelling as opposed to taking it personally. I also learned (and am still learning) the value of a disciplined long-term mindset. Writing a book means committing to writing things down, even if I’m going to delete the later. Little by little, the book will eventually be finished.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
Yes, I blog at www.elfmastery.com. I do not yet have the editing wherewithall to make a book video.
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
Success tips? Not yet. My proudest moment so far is that Piers Anthony reviewed my books for his newsletter. All I had to do was ask. So, don’t be shy to put yourself out there. And don’t be afraid of rejection either! That paralyzes people into never getting anything done.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
Fiction-wise I prefer fantasy/sci-fi, but I’ve also read and enjoyed a lot of classical fiction (ie. Paradise Lost, Shakespeare, classical myths, etc). I like some non-fiction, but don’t read a ton. House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout was a life-changer for me. I like history but not usually historical fiction. I also read science magazines and journals, even if I don’t always understand them. I have a journal written by cognitive psychologists about literature and it’s amazing.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
Tough. The books that have impacted me the most growing up were probably The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. However, I don’t know if I loved them the most at my age. I like Terry Pratchett. His world-building and characters are a lot of fun. Again, House in the Sky affected me on an emotional level more than most books I’ve read.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
I do not. I had a Siamese cat when I was young. If I were to get a pet now, I think I’d like a turtle. Or a platypus, but that’s just dreaming.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
No. I don’t even have a smartphone. I prefer reading on paper, or audiobooks for long drives.