Amy Braun and Crimson Sky– MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
When you began writing Crimson Sky, did you know the direction the series would take?
Yes and no. I had an idea of what I wanted the characters to achieve, but I had no idea how they would get there. I didn’t really know what Claire’s key from her mother would be used for, and I was still working on the history between her parents and the Hellions. But the more I wrote, the better understanding I had of the series and how it should progress. Hopefully readers will want to continue reading into the second book, which will be just as exciting as the first.
What were the challenges in writing Crimson Sky?
To be honest, I don’t remember the story being that challenging as compared to some of my other work. Oh, there were times where I had to sit back and really think about what I was doing, and the research was bland as ever, but I knew I had to move past the roadblocks and just get the story done. The more I wrote, the more eager I was to reach the end, just to see how it ended.
What inspired the design of Westraven?
One of my favorite movies is The Lord of the Rings. They’re beautiful films and the set design is incredible. I loved the look of Gondor, and I actually based the setting of Westraven off that city. A flatter, less medieval version to be sure, but I liked the idea of a crumbling city of white stones. I have another steampunk series planned that follows the more traditional ideas of a derelict steampunk town, but I didn’t want to write the same setting for two very different series’. I also think that Westraven’s stony, broken look gives a certain, haunting echo to the story, and I think a lot of readers will like it. There are still places in and outside of Westraven that haven’t been seen yet, and I can’t wait for readers to see them.
Why did you choose vampires as the monsters?
It’s true that vampires are overused in fiction. It’s not something that’s lost on me. But the thing with vampires is that they’re such a changeable species, and when you stick to the tradition (more or less), they will always be terrifying. I modeled them after the vampires from Thirty Days of Night– they hide in the shadows, are super fast and savage, and have their own, animalistic language. I can’t read those books or watch that movie without getting chills when I see those vampires. Plus, I like the idea that even after its destruction, the Hellions continue to suck the life out of Westraven and its inhabitants. That definitely seems to raise the stakes.
What can we expect in future books in the series?
Dark Sky will be a collection of three full length novels and two prequel novellas when it’s all said and done. Right now, the sequel, Midnight Sky, is scheduled for release in August 2016, with the novellas to be released in October and December. The final novel is scheduled for February 2017. Midnight Sky will have a lot of surprise reveals and twists, and an ending I seriously doubt anyone will expect. There will also be a lot more chemistry and interactions between Claire and Sawyer, which I think will leave a lot of readers happy. The novellas will focus on the secondary characters, Gemma and Nash, and chronicle their adventures before they joined Sawyer’s crew. I won’t say anything about the third and final novel, because I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that things are going to get dark for our heroes, and they’ll find themselves in places they never expected. And that’s a good thing, because you can’t write a steampu
nk pirate story without some wild adventures.
What’s the one question you dread in interviews?
I’ve been forced to re-write a couple of my stories and push my deadlines back, and while the question hasn’t been asked yet, I dread the day someone asks “When can we expect Book Such And Such,” and I have to awkwardly answer that it needs to be delayed another year because I have to start from scratch again.
Which book do you wish you’d written and why?
All of my favourite books are ones that I’ve drawn inspiration from, and I know that I would never have been able to replicate all the ideas the author came up with. They’d have had some amazing idea that I would have completely glossed over. Having said that, I gotta go with the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. Among my favourite books of all time, I love how Estep is always able to create an exciting new story with beloved characters. It’s the series that made her famous among urban fantasy lovers, her heroine is absolutely fantastic, and her fight scenes are always inventive. All of this has earned her legions of followers and fans. I won’t lie and say I’m not a little jealous, but she’s earned her success.
Who is your favorite villain and hero?
Oh man, this is tricky. As far as mythology goes, I’ve always loved Loki. He’s the ultimate trickster. No one can tell what’s going on in his head until they suffer because of it. Not to mention that he’s hot as hell with Tom Hiddelston playing him. As far as book/TV villains, I have to go with the villains from Game of Thrones. They’re exquisitely crafted, and even if it makes you sick, you understand them. Which makes their actions all the more horrifying.
What are you watching on TV at the moment?
I actually haven’t had the time to catch up on the many, many, many TV shows I’m behind on, but I’m going between the new seasons of Supernatural and The Walking Dead right now. I feel behind because I’m busy writing, but hopefully I can find the will to take a day and unwind to watch what Sam/Dean and Rick/Daryl get up to, hopefully before Facebook spoils me.
A genie pops out of a lamp, what’s the first thing you wish for?
A publisher to sign me on for a book deal that will let me quit my Real Job and allow me to write full time. Alternatively, more time so I can write all the books I want to write and turn my dream into a career. Outside of writing, I’d probably ask for an endless supply of money to travel the world and see all the cities and countries I’ve always wanted to see. Wait, that’s three wishes. Can genies still give out three wishes?
About Amy Braun
Amy’s current work includes the full length novels Demon’s Daughter, Dark Divinity, Crimson Sky, and Path of the Horseman, and the novella Needfire. She has short stories in various horror and urban fantasy anthologies such as Call From The Grave, Hotel Hell, Survivalism in The Dead Walk: Volume 2, Dismantle in The Steam Chronicles, Lost Sky in Avast, Ye Airships!, Secret Suicide in That Hoodoo, Voodoo, That You Do, Bring Back The Hound in Stomping Grounds, Charlatan Charade in Lost in the Witching Hour, and her award winning short Dark Intentions And Blood in AMOK! Amy can be found online through her frequently updated blog, Literary Braun (literarybraun.blogspot.ca), as well as on Twitter (@amybraunauthor) and Facebook (facebook.com/amybraunauthor).