Good morning my lovely readers,
exciting things are happening today on my blog. Today I am thrilled to have Brooklyn Ray here on my blog. 🙂 They were so nice & agreed on a small author spotlight with an interview. Read further for their answers.
It’s the amazing release day of Brooklyn Ray’s Darkling. This novella is full of (dark) magic, necromancy, a novella where friends turn into lovers, bond together, a book full of hot, steamy scenes.
If your heart sings when you hear all of those things, you need Darkling in your collection. ❤ It’s not a drill but you won’t wanna miss this. 😉
Check out this post for my review, with an excerpt and a giveaway. 🙂 Don’t miss all this.
Happy reading. 🙂
Be aware of some spoilerish questions and answers. 🙂
Happy reading and I hope you have fun in reading the answers as much as I did. 🙂
Hello Brooklyn, thank you for being here. :3 And thank you for agreeing to this interview. :3
Hi! Thank you for having me. I’m Brooklyn Ray. I write Queer paranormal romance about witches and magic. My stories are published by NineStar Press.
Your full length debut novella, Darkling, is out today, January 8th. It’s the first book in the Port Lewis Witches series but before that you’ve already written a short story, Reborn, in the anthology Into the Mystic, Volume One (published by NineStar Press), with Thalia & Jordan – Ryder’s sister – , two reappearing characters in Darkling.
Where did the general inspiration for the book & the whole series came from?
You know, I didn’t plan on writing a Port Lewis series. When NineStar made their submission call for the f/f anthology I asked a friend if she wanted to write a story with me. Unfortunately, that story never came to fruition due to creative differences, but I still wanted to submit something. Mostly, I didn’t want a falling out with an old friend to stop me from being a part of something cool. So I wrote REBORN and met my lovely editor with NineStar. My editor loved REBORN and asked if I had any plans to expand the Port Lewis universe. I started thinking about Ryder and toying with the idea of necromancy and secrets and romance, and DARKLING came to be. Now I have six novellas planned.
The blurb already gave hints and when I’ve read it, the book was full of dark elements. You gave trigger warnings (can be find in the preface book & on the publisher’s website) that the book contains scenes of bloodletting and death (and resurrection) of an MC, but yet had a (and I might say that: super adorable) HEA.
Where does your fascination of those dark themes came from? What is it what catches your attention in those topics most?
I base a lot of the magic in Port Lewis on my own practices. Not that my eyes turn black or anything (I wish), but the demonic Orders, the full moon parties, meditation practices, use of grimoires and such are all exaggerated aspects of things I’ve seen and done. Magic is definitely real, and it’s fun to saturate it in story-telling.
What are your plans for further books in the series? Which pairings can we expect? 😉
The next installment will be from Liam’s POV. You can expect lots of Water magic and sensuality in that one. The third book will from Donovan’s POV.
Tarot is one prominent topic in the book, actually it has an important meaning for the character’s future. (see the excerpt on the homepage).
What tarot deck does Ryder & Liam use for their readings? Also what research sites and/or books can you recommend for people who want to know about Ryder & Liam’s card who influenced their destiny so much? 🙂
Tarot has been around for a really long time and if one of my main practices. You can find lots of information online about different tarot decks, what the cards mean and how different spreads can point to different outcomes. I’ve done several spreads myself, but my personal favorite is one off the top, one off the bottom. It’s easy and straightforward. When it comes to books, I think one of my favorites is out of print, unfortunately. I got it at a second-hand store a long time ago. Usually Llewellyn has great titles to choose from – they’re an occult publisher. Fun fact: My mother’s maiden name is Llewellyn.
In the book we have the familiars, and in short they can be summarized as “a magic-user’s spiritual helper manifest in animal form” (for more information see this article).
Through the book we have several forms of animals, like a cat, an owl, a mouse, a boa and even a horse!
Does every character has their own & unique familiar & how did you decide which animal fits best? Was it just a personal preference or do the familiar have special features & “magic abilities”, things we maybe see in the next book(s)? 😉
I tried to give a fresh take on the idea of Familiars. So many magical stories have them, pets or domesticated animals that bond with a witch, but I didn’t want to use typical creatures. Ryder has a black cat named Percy which is pretty normal, but then we see Thalia who has this giant white elk as a familiar. I felt like Familiars should be connections to nature for witches. Ways for the witch to stay grounded and humbled, and also protected. Opal, Liam’s owl, is constantly checking on him, following him, making sure he’s safe. I feel like that’s their main purpose, to keep their witch counterparts safe as they navigate a magical world.
Your book is full of diverse characters, full of queer relationships & I loved it from the bottom of my heart to have this variety. ❤
One of your MCs, Ryder, is a transgender man.
Was it challenging for you to write him? If yes, what did help you in your research & the writing?
And what do you fear most from the readers according to Ryder, when they first “meet” & read more about him?
What do you wish from your readers when they get more details about Ryder & see his and Liam’s relationship is different from other in (“typical”) M/M stories?
I absolutely hired a sensitivity reader, first and foremost. But when it came to writing about Ryder, I didn’t have much trouble finding resources online. I didn’t want him being trans to have much to do with the story. He’s a young man who has feelings for his best friend. His magic is going out of control, his circle-mates are suspicious of him – he has a lot on his plate. But his family understanding him and his friends accepting him were never questions I needed to ask. As someone who is coming into their own gender identity, I wanted to see a story where someone being trans wasn’t a big deal. No big reveal. No shocking coming out conversation. No being walked in on. Ryder is trans and he’s cool with it, and it doesn’t stop him from being a badass or getting his sexy happy ever after with his long-time crush.
Next to Ryder we have Vassa, a non-binary character, who clearly claims their wished pronouns.
Actually this scene was one of the most amazing in the whole book, because not only was it sensitive, it was also funny how Ryder answered & it was perfectly balanced. 🙂
Same question as above: how was it to write this character?
What helped you for research & did you have had for example sensitive readers for either the transgender topic & Vassa as a non-binary character?
And maybe the most important question: what can we expect to see from them in the future? 🙂
I admit I am really excited to see more from Vassa & hope they get their own book. 🙂
Vassa will get their own book for sure. I didn’t hire a sensitivity reader for Vassa because of how small their role is in DARKLING, and also because I’m leaning toward identifying as non-binary myself. When it comes time to write their book, I’ll definitely hire a sensitivity reader.
As mentioned, the book is full of diverse characters. What pairings in the series can be expect, next to the M/M (Liam/Ryder) & F/F (Thalia & Jordan) (and M/F if we include Ryder’s parents ;)), we already have. Do you plan to introduce an ace/aro character too? And what about poly relationships, is this a possibility? Tell us more, please, if you can. 🙂
We’ve got two M/M couples with four books, one for each character, in the series. Ryder/Liam and Donovan/Tyler. And we’ll also see Vassa and Christy get cozy with another character involved as well – NB/F/F and I’m hoping to write Jordan her own book which will be F/F.
In the book, Tyler has a problem with Ryder’s “new” identity as a necromancer & the dynamics & the long time friendships in the cycle is struggled, actually in danger.
Were the characters in the Port Lewis Witches circle based on people close to you or did you totally create a bunch of people full of interesting talents & magic out of your amazing imagination? Please tell us a bit about the background of this group. 🙂
Tyler is the head witch of the circle, so he looks at things from a bit of a different perspective. He’s always trying to keep his friends safe, and he’s been raised in an elitist family who isn’t very kind to outsiders. I didn’t necessarily pull inspiration from people I know to create the circle or the other witches in Port Lewis, but some of them have qualities I see in my friends. Christy is very light and positive and reminds me of someone in my life (she’s also psychic and a light witch) and of course, Ryder plucks on some of my own heart strings.
Keyword magic. The magic the Witches are using is pretty much based on the elements, like fire, water, wind and earth. But also the “dark” magic, like the one Ryder & Jordan and the rest of their family summon. What types of magic will we find in the upcoming books (if you can tell ;)) & do we get mixtures & combinations of them? Or is only one character (normally) able to have just one special type of magic?
We’re going to see elemental magic and dark magic cross paths. We’ll see more creatures who break the rules, family secrets, different magic. We’re going to see old-world beliefs get challenged and new types of rituals. Sex magic, blood magic, Fae, Were-creatures, more demons. There’s lots to come.
I have to ask: where did the idea of the car hooking came from? 😀 It’s mentioned several times & comes like a running gag within the book & amuses a lot of the characters.
Several times I cracked up & laughed out loud, even now. XD
Oh, it just happened organically. I didn’t necessarily have an idea or anything. I put the characters at the full moon party and they navigated the scene.
Darkling is pretty sensual & full of hot scenes. You actually aren’t shy in directly describing explicit scenes. What’s your favorite steamy scene & what’s your favorite non-sexual one?
The car scene is my favorite steamy scene in DARKLING. There’s a scene in the next book that I absolutely love too – it’s very open and carnal, and Liam asks for things he wants. I’m about to start work on Donovan’s book, and him and Tyler have a raw, complicated relationship. There will definitely be safe words necessary.
As for favorite non-steamy scene, I really love the opening scene in DARKLING when Ryder and Liam are doing the reading.
So, that’s it. Thank you so much for your time and your answers. It was a great pleasure to have to here. ❤
Thank you so much!
I hope you liked this interview as much as I did. I had a blast in doing this. See below further information about the book. :3 Author Spotlight /Interview
Series: Port Lewis Witches # 1
Author: Brooklyn Ray
Genre: M/M Romance, Trangender, Paranormal,
magic users, bonded, demons, friends to lovers
Release Date: January 8, 2018
Publisher: Nine Star Press
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
Lenght: 33.200 words / 101 pages
Warning: Scenes of bloodletting and death (and resurrection) of an MC.
Note: A short story connected to this series called Reborn (Thalia & Jordan, F/F) was published in the anthology Into the Mystic
Add to you bookshelf
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Port Lewis, a coastal town perched on the Washington cliffs, is surrounded by dense woods, and is home to quaint coffee shops, a movie theater, a few bars, two churches, the local college, and witches, of course.
Ryder is a witch with two secrets—one about his blood and the other about his heart. Keeping the secrets hasn’t been a problem, until a tarot reading with his best friend, Liam Montgomery, who happens to be one of his secrets, starts a chain of events that can’t be undone.
Dark magic runs through Ryder’s veins. The cards have prophesized a magical catastrophe that could shake the foundation of Ryder’s life, and a vicious partnership with the one person he doesn’t want to risk.
Magic and secrets both come at a cost, and Ryder must figure out what he’s willing to pay to become who he truly is.
Author bio – Brooklyn Ray
Brooklyn Ray is a tea connoisseur and an occult junkie.
She writes queer speculative fiction layered with magic, rituals and found families.
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