Welcome to the Rising Frenzy Release Party!

September 23, 2013

Hi, everyone!  Thanks so much for spending some time with me today.  My name is Brandon Witt, and my new novel, Rising Frenzy, is being released today, September 23!  It seems rather perfect that I’m here on the Dreamspinner site to celebrate with you, people who enjoy embarking on a new quest, adventure, or romance every time you turn a page.  I took a moment to do a welcome video, just for fun. (If I did it right–I’ve never done that before!)

Welcome to the Rising Frenzy day of blogging video!

The first thing you need to know is that I’m a teacher, so if you ever feel like I’m treating you like a kid, just rest assured that pretty much everyone else I talk to feels the same way.  And, while I may be around kids all day, my books are for you, definitely not for children.  In addition, I love to spread random punctuation at every opportunity.  Thank God for Desi, my editor, who keeps this obsession at bay in the novels.  Luckily, he’s not here to save you from it today!  See, already giving disclaimers.

Much like I let my students know what my plans are for the day, I’ll extend you the same courtesy.  I always like to know what’s going on and what to expect, and I think everyone else does too, even if they claim they don’t.  I may drive my boyfriend just a tad bit crazy with this oh-so-fun-disability to need to have every second planned out.

And the breakdown of blogs are:

  1. This one—Hello and Men of Myth
  2. All about me—Can we say self-absorbed?
  3. Rising Frenzy—This is the one with a ton of series spoilers
  4. Women in Gay Fiction—A brave topic a man should know better than write about
  5. Tearfully saying goodbye—For now, it’s just for now

Good lord, and that was just the into!  Let’s dive in.

Rising Frenzy is the second installment in the Men of Myth series.  Book one, Submerging Inferno, came out one month ago.  It’s hard to talk about book two without giving away important aspects of book one, which is why I’m saving the spoilers for the third blog entry.  For now, let’s talk about the series.

Have any of you read novels by Kelley Armstrong?  Specifically her Women of the Otherworld series?  If not, check them out—they’re a blast.  She was the base point and inspiration for Men of Myth, although, I think if she read my novels, she probably wouldn’t really understand how they connect, as they are very different.  Here is the aspect I loved about Armstrong’s books, what I ‘stole,’ if you will:  In Men of Myth you will met men of all different supernatural blood types (such as, demons, fairies, warlocks, mermen, werewolves, vampires, you get the idea).  In this first story arch, which covers three novels, you will get to know two of these men very, very well—their stories, the in’s and out’s of their heritages, and cultures.  After these three books, side characters that you’ve come to love rise up to take their turn in the spotlight, all the while, still keeping tabs on past heroes.   As in the Armstrong novels, you end up being part of this huge ‘family’ who feel as real to you as people in your everyday life, and you miss them when they’re not there.  Either you understand that sensation or you’re thinking that I’m a bit crazy.  I would argue that two are not mutually exclusive.

The thing I love most about this concept, both from other series I’ve read and in writing Men of Myth, is the epic level a reader gets to know these characters.  Much like a real relationship, book one starts off with tiptoeing into this universe that’s hidden in the world around us.  Well, they tiptoe for a bit and then take a head dive into the deep end.  In Rising Frenzy, book two, you get the chance to re-enter this world, and now that you’re familiar, the layers and idiosyncrasies begin to blossom and pull you in until you’re too deep to get back out.  By Clashing Tempest, in book three?  Good luck.  You can’t escape, even if you tried.  The opportunity for character development, and the deepening of relationships (both with the characters and with the reader), is unparalleled in building novels of a series.

Both of the first two books, Submerging Inferno and Rising Frenzy are set in San Diego, one of my favorite places in the world.  If you haven’t had the homemade tortillas in Old Town, open a new browser window, and book a plane ticket.  So good!

While there is romance, and heartbreak, and romance again in the series, I would classify the books more urban paranormal fantasy than as pure romance.  To me, that’s a good thing, as it’s what I love.  To some, it’s disclaimer, if they want the romance to be the main event.  I look at these novels like I see life.  (Although my life doesn’t have vampires, fairies, or mermen.  Yet.)  A relationship doesn’t define a person or make up their entire world, at least most healthy ones.  A romance enhances a person’s life, makes it better. . . makes the person better.  It’s the same in a story.  In the case of Brett Wright and Finn de Morisco, our two men in the first three novels of Men of Myth, their adventure, danger, and ultimate story, wouldn’t have even happened if their romance hadn’t bloomed.

Here are the covers of the first three Men of Myth novels.  Anne Cain, the artist, is a goddess.  Truly.

I think by now, you probably realize why I write novels instead of short stories.  For an introvert who can turn into a wallflower at parties, there are a lot of words.  My fingers on the keyboard apparently don’t have the same verbal anxiety that my mouth has acquired.

There will be two giveaways in the upcoming blogs, get ready!  I’ll post the winners tomorrow!

Ponderings:

1. Have you ever had a ‘relationship’ with a series of books, or even a television series, that truly made you feel like the characters were a part of your life, and you genuinely love them?  What series was that for you, and what about it created such an impact?

2. What is your initial, gut reaction when you see books from a new author?   Do you wait for reviews of the book, pick it up because of the cover, walk me through your process a little bit, please…

8 Responses to “Welcome to the Rising Frenzy Release Party!”

  1. karen says:

    When I see a new author, I usually look at the cover, and than see review, and than read the 1st few pages. I will know right away if i am going to be into the book by the 1st few pages. It has to capture my interest, and keep going.

  2. BrandonWitt says:

    I usually go about it the same way. I’m discovering that I often disagree with reviews. Sometimes, it’s the negative ones that make me read a book. But I tend to be obstinate like that. :) Thanks for joining us, Karen! What is it that you look for in a cover–what draws you in?

  3. Carolyn says:

    Hi Brandon. (Let me preface my response by saying that if you love random punctuation, I hope that includes parentheses, because I’m a big fan of parenthetical statements.)I haven’t read any of your books before, so it’s great to get this bit of primer on them (and you).

    As for your questions. Well, to the first, I absolutely love a series. When done well, you do feel immersed in someone else’s world, and it becomes part of yours. I tend to enjoy a series that follows a character or two main characters (I read a lot of mysteries and they do that really well), but Mary Calmes’ Warder series might be a good example of the other type, that follows different characters in one world, which worked really well for me.

    Now, gut reaction to a new author? I will definitely be drawn in by a good cover (it has to tell me a quick story on its own or contain a bit of mystery that makes me want to delve further) and turned off (which means I won’t even look at the blurb) by a bad one, but the only place I pick up a book and get it based solely on the cover is at the library (which actually works more often than not surprisingly). If I’m intrigued enough by the blurb, then I go to see if there are reviews (which would take a lot more sentences on what I’m looking for there). Then, I actually go to the excerpt. I don’t know why I don’t read the excerpt first, but that’s just the way I am. Of course, each of those steps might be short if I’m grabbed/turned off enough by the previous one.

    Great questions!

  4. BrandonWitt says:

    Carolyn,
    I love parenthetical statements, as you’ll find out in soon-to-be blogs. (I also that that. The-put-a-hypen-in-a-string-of-words-for-no-real-reason!)

    It’s nice to have a fan of series here with me. I rarely read a book that isn’t a series. I know there are two schools of thoughts on series. Those that love cliff hangers and those that love them. I love them–though I think I am in the minority on this. Much to people’s joy or hate, I do use cliff hangers in Men of Myth. Certain things are wrapped up in each book, but huge questions are left uncovered, at least through the story arch. All (mostly) questions will be answered in Clashing Tempest. I only put that out there, becuase I like people to be prepared. Well, to be honest, I like people to be surprised, but I’ve learned the hard way that people like to know that there’s a cliffhanger coming.
    I’ve heard of Mary Calmes, but haven’t read any of her work. I may have to give it a try. And, I’m a sucker for a good cover. I’m curious about what you look for in reviews. As an author, I have a very strong love/hate relationship with them! Thanks again for being here today!!!

  5. Carolyn says:

    I’m going to be away from the computer for the rest of the day, but I will definitely get back to you about that question! I love conversations, and I just don’t want you to think the ball has been dropped over here. I don’t know how the notification system is on these blogs for the authors, so I might end up emailing you or something, but I will get back to this. Thanks for sharing with us all, and I look forward to reading the rest of yours posts tomorrow! (Wow. How’d I make it through this without one parentheses? Oh, phew, I didn’t.)

  6. BrandonWitt says:

    LOL!, Carolyn, you kinda rock! I’ll keep checking today and tomorrow, and the last blog will have all kinds of contact information. I’ll look forward to hearing from you! I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!

  7. Carolyn says:

    Hey, Brandon, it WAS wonderful. I’m pretty sure your good wishes tipped the scales. ;-D

    Sooo, to go into a bit more depth about what I look for in reviews…I don’t go for the rating, but it’s always staring you in the face. I actually love The Armchair Reader reviews because they have those “LOVED it” or “not feeling it” reviews, and while you could ascribe a number to it, that speaks more to me, since quantifying a book of words with numbers is kind of silly in a way. Another thing I don’t go looking for is information about the story. I actually skip over that in reviews. I just feel like, I’m going to read the story (or not), I don’t need the plot points given to me. That’s just me. So, I skip to where they say what a author did or didn’t do well. If they were let down by something, I like to know, even though what they don’t like might be something I do. (Spoiler for another blog comment: I totally dig cliffhangers.) I want to know about the writing style. There’s nothing that will turn me off faster to a book if I read in the review about how the writing was clunky or there were major plot holes. Everything else can be arbitrary (for romance books: sappiness, flowery descriptions, love happening too quickly, hating personality types of the MCs, too much/too little sex, etc.), but if the story is written poorly, that’s the one I really want to know.

  8. BrandonWitt says:

    Carolyn,
    I like how you use reviews. That makes sense to me. Other than people saying a book or writer suck becuase they didn’t like the outcome or events of a story, my pet peeve are reviews that retell the story! I always get mad if it takes me a second to realize what I’m reading (I may be a bit slow) and then get some of the book ruined. And, glad your day was wonderful!

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