Friday, July 29, 2022

Brian Feehan Interview - Harmony of Fire


Photo Content from Michael Greene Photography

Brian Feehan lives in his mind, creating vibrant characters who tend to talk very loudly and far too often. When real life comes knocking, it is likely to be the love of his life, Michelle, or their son Dylan. Together, they live on the northern coast of California.

Brian is fascinated by both the written word and learning new subjects. He is always up for a laugh, a game, or a drink with friends and family. He is also the son of #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, who started his training to become an author before he was old enough to walk.

        
  

Greatest thing you learned in school.
The greatest thing I learned in school is that we are all just people. From the teacher to the principal, to the other students. Each one of us has our own skills, talents, challenges, and unique family dynamics. Over the years, it’s a lesson that I’m reminded of over and over.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
That’s easy, it’s the people. Being a writer, you spend a lot of time in your own head. I mean, a lot of times it can feel endless, but it’s kind of supposed to be that way. Even when it comes to the actual writing part, you are basically alone. But the being publishing part, that feels like opening your eyes on Christmas morning. Neighbors, friends, relatives, readers, writers, and industry professionals all show up with big hearts in support of you and this story you’ve just poured your heart into. It’s difficult to describe the feeling, but I can’t help but think it’s like being part of a wonderful army. I am so grateful, and thankful to everyone out there for their kind words.

Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I wish! That would be awesome. I decided to become a writer later, in my early twenties. My mother, Christine Feehan (super writer), absolutely helped develop my love of stories, reading and the imagination. She would always say a great imagination is a terrible thing to waste. I like to make jokes that she started my training to become a writing at an early age, and I don’t think I am far off in saying that. When she wasn’t reading to me and my siblings, she would talk to us about the world, and why people do what they do. She would push us to learn anything and everything. I owe her so much.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
You want a new writer to have a unique voice and style? That is asking a lot. I kid...

This is what I did and what’s worked for me:
I read my favorite novels. I read the best I could find and when I loved a section, I stopped and started studying how they wrote it.

Take Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb) for example. My goodness, the women is an icon and expert storyteller. In my opinion, she is one of the very best. The way she can drop you right into her story. I’m talking from the very first page. Few have ever so easily drawn me out of my world so gracefully and slid me into their story. Even today, her skill takes my breath away. So clearly, I studied her writing. I would study everyone’s writing. Every great novel I picked up, every great show I watched, every great movie I saw, and every great stand-up comedian I had the good fortune to see. Every single one was an amazingly influential teacher handing me a writing lesson. So, I suggest a new writer should go learn from the greats, and as you do, form opinions about writing, about how to tell a story. You can’t make something better if you don’t understand it. And lastly, I would say writing or storytelling is about giving to others, never asking what it will do for you in return.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
Currently I am working on my third novel in the Alice and Owen series. I then hope to attack a new series about warriors defending the world from monsters wreaking havoc in the night.

In your newest book; HARMONY OF FIRE, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
Harmony of Fire was so much fun to write. Owen is loyal and principled in his truth. He never does or even “is” what anyone expects him to be. He never walks in a straight line. He’s a musician with a soul that needs to be free as he strives to make the world different, better, together.

Alice is the embodiment of a woman. When her family is on the line, she won’t back down, she won’t break, she won’t stop or give up, no matter how many times she gets knocked down. No matter how much pain she endures, she will succeed. She breaks my heart when I write her.

I gave Owen and Alice their own people that love them, so they are not alone, and through those people we can see their complexities. I hope it’s a fun roller coaster of a story for anyone willing to give it a try.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
Nothing (laughing). Only this time, I am not kidding.

I believe in the healing power of a great novel, particularly a romance novel, because they are about people and problem solving their relationships and learning how to communicate. Those of us that read romance know this to be true.

When you read, or better yet “live” an exceptional story, your active mind quiets. When that happens, it can give that “time out” we all need. Within that “time out,” you can get stronger, while the emotional stress of life, work, and family dissipates.

So, my hope, my absolute hope, is that when you read Harmony of Fire, you are pulled out of your own mind. For a little while, you’re able to take a vacation to the world of Alice and Owen and ultimately, you are refreshed and rejuvenated as you read the final page (Fingers crossed).

What part of Owen and Alice did you enjoy writing the most?
Every word. Every scene change, every line of dialogue, every attack, and every bit of laughter is what I enjoyed the most. This novel was written with love. Love for the characters, love for musicians and strong women, love for families and for the love of those bonds in life that are essential… and of course, for my love of music.

What was your unforgettable moment while writing HARMONY OF FIRE?
In the story, you get to know Alice as she trains to be a hunter. There is a scene where she sets a trap for Kerogen (the big bad guy), and the trap fails. In that moment, inside Alice, her will threatens to break. She is in such tremendous pain. Yet even here she refuses to fall. I am not a strong enough writer to describe how choked up I got in the moments I wrote this, as I watched her refuse to break. Even now, my heart is heavy and it’s a little overwhelming to think of that moment in the story.

I think seeing her like that, being with her in that moment hurts because I have witnessed so many women who are forced to bend, and bend, and bend under a weight so large. But they too refused to break. My God, women are amazing.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Sherlock Homes! No wait, Roark, from J.D. Robb’s Naked in Death. No wait, this question is too difficult…shrug.

Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
Yes, all the time. I have also had wonderful strangers stick up for me when I needed help. I like this question a lot. Thank you.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Be kind.

Best date you've ever had?
Every date I have with Michelle. She makes my heart sing, and every date is better than the last. I love food and experiences, drinks, and surprises but she’s my best friend and sexy as sin, and it doesn’t get better than that. Trust me, I’m a writer.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
More like happiest memories. We lived in a small mountain town, thick with pine trees, and curvy roads. We lived on the corner, and everyone knew who we were. My mom ran the house since my dad was off in the city working for weeks at a time during most of my childhood. My mom used to say her door was always open, never locked. It was a great house, with lots of children, from both my family and from the neighborhood. I remember lots of laughter and love, shouting and pranks. Although there were tough times, there were far more happy times.

How far away from your birthplace do you live now?
I live just an hour away from my birthplace, and a couple of hours from my childhood home. I’m a small-town kind of guy. I love cities and all they have to offer, and I know right where they are for a visit. But for my day-to-day life, I like knowing my neighbors, waving at people walking by and running into people I know at the grocery store.

What were you doing at midnight last night?
Deep in thought on my next book, holding a glass of ice, wondering what happened to my whiskey.

Where can readers find you?
Writing during the week at the office with my mom, cooking in the evenings with Dylan and Michelle, and visiting with friends and family on the weekends. If it’s a Tuesday night, playing poker with the “old-timers,” and if it’s a Wednesday night, playing an online game with the guys.

TEN CHARACTERISTIC OF A GREAT FRIEND
Brian: Good listener, honorable, kind, loyal, insightful, funny, open-minded, meets in the middle, respectful of the human condition, and lastly, loves reading Harmony of Fire. 😊

Characters
Characters are so much fun to write. Dialogue can be amazing to write and surprises me all the time.

You want the deep dark secret? We all cheat! That’s right, every writer you love and care about is a big cheater (laughing). We take little pieces of personality traits from everyone we meet. We just steal it, remix it and reform it into our characters. The tall guy at the table next to me, that laughs very loud, while were dining out with the in-laws. The woman behind the checkout counter, who talks in a small voice, at my local store. My sister’s friend I’ve never met, but I’ve heard everything about. When you are writing great characters, you want them as real as possible, and so what’s better than taking tidbits from all of the “characters” in your real life? A stone of a truth to build on. So that’s our secret, but we do it with love so we might be able to tell you a great story that’s worthy of your time.


The We walk among us--beings who existed long before humans ever did, filled with powerful magic. Owen and Alice are both Etherealist, rare humans born with magic and a target for those We that wish to take it from them. At nine years old and against her will, Alice's soul was tied to one such powerful and evil We. She escaped and was trained as a weapon so she might one day break the bond and safely return home. Owen is a musician who is trying to outrun his past while keeping those around him safe in an increasingly dangerous world. Only through finding each other do either Alice or Owen have a chance of survival.

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