Welcome!! Thank you both for stopping by! J How did you start your writing career?
Juliet: Hello. Thank you for having us. It all started with a 4th grade assignment to write a short story. I fell in love instantly. There is something about creating worlds and characters and taking them on adventures. In high school I began taking journalism where I met Brian. Once I was able to observe Princess Alexandra and her husband Sir Angus Ogilvy visit one of the classes at my school. I wish I still had the article I worked on but you can read what the LA Times has to say at http://articles.latimes.com/1990-10-16/local/me-2719_1_costa-mesa-high. I’m still working on a degree in journalism, taking a class here and there over the years. In the meantime I write urban fantasies with Brian and for many years helped people with their resumes. What can I say, I love to write.
Brian: I started writing short stories in the 5th grade, when I wrote a story for my English class about walking in the clouds. I continued to write short stories over the years, until I wrote my first fantasy novel in high school, but it was a horror novel in my senior year that I used to impress Juliet when she started going to my school. We started dating a month later. In college I began working at Interplay. I started on a typing game, of all things, but then I heard that they were making a sequel to Wasteland, one of my favorite games of all times. I sat in on the story meeting, and spent the entire time answering questions about the game. It didn’t take long for us to realize that this game was evolving into something just as great, Fallout.
After designing quests and writing dialog for Fallout, I designed several games that I’m very proud of. I watched the original series of Star Trek over and over again until I grasped Gene Roddenberry’s voice before designing missions for Starfleet Academy. In Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, I worked with greats like Marv Wolfman, Warren Spector and an amazing team to create a voice for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit for the first time in 40 years. In my last game, Lichdom: Battlemage, I was able to go back to my RPG\action roots. We created a game where you could create thousands of different spells and really choose how you want to play.
When I’m not designing games, I write novels with my wife, the girl who liked my novel in high school. We’re working on Book 3 of the Sundancer Series which we hope will come out the beginning of next year.
Tell us about your current release.
Mind of the Beast is book 2 of the Sundancer Series, and the sequel to Demon Dance. Nick St. James is running out of time. Something is infecting people and gods, something that wants them wiped out. Now he needs to figure out who the Green Man is before he loses Thelma, the first woman Nick has cared about since the passing of his wife, Ann. In order to do this, he’s going to have to come to grips with something he’s been burying inside since childhood.
Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it? If so, can you share it?
I quickly took in my surroundings. Books lined the shelves, a couple of reading chairs and antique lamps straight out of Masterpiece Theater. It would’ve been quaint, except Thelma sat cross-legged above the rug. Three feet above the rug.
It was like a meditation video and The Exorcist all rolled into one. She hovered in the air with her back to me. Her shoulder-length black hair stuck up in a frizzy cloud around her head, and her sleeveless tank top was pale against her dark-brown skin.
On the wooden floor, someone had drawn a cross over a square box with a fine dark powder. Various arcane lines and spirals ran through the symbol, surrounded by a human skull, a bottle of dark rum, and a few black and purple ribbons. Damn, what did Thelma get herself into?
“Well, hey, good looking,” I said. “I was just in the neighborhood and decided to check out the party. So, which one are you? Gozer or the Keymaster?”
“Sundancer,” Thelma said in a voice that was hers, yet wasn’t. The wasn’t part was a man’s voice. It had a deep bass that vibrated in my bones. “Sundancer, Sundancer, Sundancer,” the voice repeated.
Sadly, he wasn’t riffing on my Ghostbusters reference, but rather my nickname. Man, I hated that thing.
As she chanted, Thelma began to turn in place above the floor. She spun lazily, and about halfway around, she lurched off balance. One slender leg touched the ground, and she steadied herself. A short, drunken laugh escaped her lips.
I did a reality check, as much as I could while my friend hovered like a demonic yoga expert. One, Thelma was possessed by what seemed to be some kind of Voodoo spirit. Two, the spirit was flat-out drunk.
Thelma faced me and gave a burp that rattled the windows, followed by a giggle in that same weird dual voice.
“Good trick,” I told her as I pushed aside the panic. I needed to stay calm if we were going to get out of this alive. “You do Bar Mitzvahs? How about Vegas?” This was not someone to spook, as the flaming teddy bear could attest to. Without thinking, I glanced up at the charred hole in the ceiling. I could see the moon through the opening. “I know,” I said before I could stop myself, “how about interior decorating? You could do skylights and color swatches.”
The spirit chuckled and lurched again. “You talk so brave, silly man. But I can taste your fear.”
“You’re going to taste something else in a minute,” I said with all the bluster I could manage, “unless you give me back my friend. Now.”
“There is no one else here. Only Oussou. So few call these days. Oussou is here, and Oussou must have rum.”
“You have rum right there,” I said casually, even though the adrenaline coursed through my veins. Nothing would have given me more pleasure than to pulverize that thing, but instead, I pointed at the bottle of rum at Thelma’s feet.
“That’s not my rum!” The thing roared as half a dozen books lifted off the floor and exploded into flames.
What do you think makes a good story?
Juliet: A good story should take you on an emotional roller coaster ride. You need to know the characters as well as your best friends and worst enemies. A reader should be so immersed that they forget they are observers and are participating in the story.
Brian: It needs to have realistic characters with their own hopes, dreams, faults and motivations. Not only that, but a great story will have a universal truth the reader can relate to. Something that can touch your life and make you feel like you’re not alone.
How do you react to a bad review of your book?
Juliet: I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad review. Sure, some people like to say negative stuff about a book they never read. But that aside, I want to know what readers think, so I can keep that in mind for the next book we write. Authors never stop learning their craft. When I read something “negative” I look at it from a reader’s point of view. If I agree with it, I learn from it.
Brian: There will always be bad reviews. But like Juliet said, you need to look at it from the reader’s viewpoint and see what you can do to make things better. A good example was in Demon Dance. Some of the reviewers wanted to know more about Nick’s background as the Sundancer, and what that meant. We were already planning on delving into that with Mind of the Beast, but decided to add a bit more to answer some of the lingering questions from the reviews.
What are your favorite TV shows?
Juliet: Persons of Interest is great once you get past the first few episodes in the first season. I’m also catching up on Dr. Who and watching reruns of Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
Brian: I love watching Persons of Interest with Juliet and our son, Kyle, but I also love all kinds of genre television. Arrow, the Flash, American Horror Story, Dr. Who, you name it. Although the television show that surprised me the most last year was Sleepy Hollow. I had no expectations going in, but man I love that show.
Where are your fans most likely to find you hanging out?
We like to go on nature walks around the lakes and parks. If we’re anywhere near the ocean, you’ll find us walking along the shore at dusk.
How did you meet?
Juliet: It was the middle of my senior year and I had to change schools. Talk about a drag! Journalism was right after my lunch, so I decided to go to class a few minutes early. The teacher announced me to some of the students in the classroom. Next thing I knew, two tall boys from the back of the room were shouting “New Student!” and charging to the front of the class.
Brian wore a trench coat, ripped jeans and baseball cap put on backwards. It was a little scary watching this six foot tall boy jumping over desks. Pahn and he took turns asking if there was anything they could do for me. The next day, however, Brian ignored me for a comic book until I found out he wrote a horror novel. After much persuasion, he let me read it. I had all the lights on in the house, the windows open and did not want to be alone at all. Think Watchers, by Dean Koontz.
We became best friends very quickly and a couple of days before Christmas, we had our first kiss. I call Brian my Christmas present.
Mind of the Beast (a Sundancer Novel, Book 2)
by Brian & Juliet Freyermuth
When a vampire asks Nick St. James to investigate his friend’s murder, the answer should have been easy, right? NO. Okay, not so easy. How do you say no to a friend like Felix?
Besides, with Thelma by his side, what could go wrong? She’s got that, umm … cute pink backpack of Voodoo magic. Of course it hurts that she manages to look good even when she accidentally conjures and gets possessed by a drunk loa. No, it won’t be at all distracting to have her along.
Since no good deed goes unpunished, a crazy man with starry eyes jumps out of the shadows at the victim’s apartment and pummels them. Their attacker doesn’t just beat them up but also infects them with some bad mojo that’s killing Thelma and making Nick angry … angrier.
If the trail to the suspect—the Green Man—is any indication, they’ll be killed before the poison finishes the job. The old gods are more dangerous than helpful. The Watchers—even the one who seems to have a brain—are always a hazard. And what’s with the all the minions? Who has minions anymore? Not to mention the rapid progression of the infection that quickly upgrades Nick’s condition to ‘blind-rage-filled.’
Why couldn’t Felix have just asked Nick to help him move?
She shot him again, but he continued toward her. Two bloodstains formed on his ratty shirt. He swung at her, but she quickly shifted to the left.
It was my turn. I punched him from the side and sent him flying into the desk across the room. Sounds of the monitor shattering and wood splintering filled the air as I rushed toward him.
Another sound of gunfire rang out but didn’t stop him from getting to his feet. He barreled toward me like a freight train. The gunshots slowed him considerably, but it didn’t stop him. Pain radiated through my chest as his fist made contact, sending me into the wall between the two rooms. A crack traveled up the wall to the ceiling, and plaster rained down around us.
More shots sounded as I got back to my feet. Two more holes opened in the man’s shirt. He was almost to Thelma when I grabbed him from behind. I used all my enhanced strength to lift him and toss him toward the kitchen. His body flew through the open door, smashing the wood of the frame in the process.
On the counter was the third gnome, his hands covering his speak-no-evil lips. I grabbed it and swung for the man’s head. It contacted with a sick thunk, and blood splashed across the gnome’s face. The bastard wouldn’t go down! I snarled and swung again, but this time he grabbed my wrist in midair and twisted it before tossing me to the ground.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
After 18 years of marriage, Brian and Juliet Freyermuth decided to try something crazy; write a book together.
Brian’s writing is not limited to print. For twenty years he wrote and designed games such as Fallout, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Epic Mickey 2 and Lichdom: Battlemage.
Juliet’s love for writing began with a fourth grade assignment. She has been writing ever since. Her writing took a new direction when she enrolled in journalism and met amazing people. Whether it is an article about anthropology or a hero’s journey in a magical world, she hopes to inspire readers to new possibilities.
When Brian and Juliet aren’t writing, they enjoy reading, watching shows like Persons of Interest and going on road trips with their son, Kyle.
Twitter: Brian: @brianfreyermuth Juliet: @julietfrey
Brian and Juliet will be awarding a $25 Amazon giftcard to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon giftcard to a randomly drawn host.
a Rafflecopter giveaway