Note from Laurence: I’m always excited to showcase the work of other up-and-coming urban fantasy authors. L.R. Braden also happens to be a Colorado author like me. That’s an added bonus for local readers.
And she has degrees in both English literature and metalsmithing, so naturally she splits her time between writing and making chainmail jewelry.
We had the chance to chat at the ever-popular MileHiCon this year in between book signings. She agreed to share a peek behind the scenes of her latest book, Faerie Forged, which just came out over the weekend. Check it out!
LM: For those who haven’t checked out the Magicsmith series yet, can you talk a little bit about it?
Braden: The Magicsmith series is set in a world where humans and fae have been at war and now live in an uneasy truce, but there are factions on both sides who’d like to see a return to war. My protagonist, Alex Blackwood, believes she’s 100% human until a faerie knight shows up to tell her different. During her ensuing hunt for a serial killer, infiltration of a vampire lair, and debut at Fae Court, she slowly finds her place in the world–smack dab between the warring sides.
LM: What makes Faerie Forged different from other books in the genre?
Braden: The fact that the humans and fae in my world have already been through one war and are on the brink of another is pretty unique. That conflict sets the stage for some interesting plot twists and character development as people fight either to preserve the peace or push toward a second war as the series unfolds.
LM: Did the finished book come out the way you planned, or did you have to edit anything out?
Braden: Faerie Forged is the first time Alex actually sets foot in one of the fae realms–parallel realities ruled over by the various fae lords and connected to the mortal realm by portals. When I first wrote the chapter where Alex arrives at her grandfather’s keep, I basically took her on a site-seeing tour of the kingdom. Obviously, I had to cut a lot of that out for the sake of moving the story along, but I developed a lot of little details that I’m hoping I can work into other scenes as the series continues.
LM: Any cool hobbies or interests outside of writing fiction — and do they find their way into your books?
Braden: Aside from writing, I’m also an artist. I studied studio art in college and graduated with a degree in metalsmithing, which has directly influenced my main character, Alex, who is a professional metalsmith. While I still enjoy more advanced metal work, these days I primarily make and sell chainmail jewelry on my etsy site.
I also love to hike, which is why Alex lives in the mountains above Nederland, CO.
LM: Do you have a writing buddy?
Braden: My cat. No matter where in the house I decide to work, as soon as I sit down to write she joins me. She particularly likes to lay across my arms, making it hard to type. She’ll also drape across my shoulders, lay on my feet, or try to snuggle up under my chin. I also always have a blanket when I write in my home office. I often write early in the morning and my office is cold!
LM: What are you reading right now? And what’s next on your TBR pile?
Braden: I just finished A World Without Princes, book 2 in the School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani. Next up, I’m very excited to read Queen of Nothing by Holly Black.
Alex is screwed. She’s due at the fae Court of Enchantment in less than twenty-four hours, but she’s not even close to being ready. Her job is hanging by a fraying thread. There’s a new vampire master in town. And several of her werewolf friends have been captured by the Paranatural Task Force.
She’s their best chance for release before the full moon reveals their secret, but the Lord of Enchantment is not someone you keep waiting—even when he happens to be your grandfather. All Alex can do is call in a favor, hope to hell she can survive the plots of the fae court, and hightail it home to salvage her life.
One mistake at court could change everything . . . .
“Original and riveting.”—Book Likes Blog on A Drop of Magic, Book One of The Magicsmith series
“Great plot. Lovable characters. Heart-pounding action.”—Lauren Davis, Netgalley Reviewer on A Drop of Magic
P.S. More giveaways coming soon! Don’t forget to sign up for my author newsletter.