1. What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book? My lifelong love for reading motivated me to write the books in the BryonySeries. I began writing my own stories at age eleven and sharing them with friends. I always knew I’d write at least one book. But the story had to be right. I never conceived that idea until I was twenty-five – and I never started developing that idea in earnest until I was forty-six.  At the time, I thought the story was just one book. I didn’t realize until later that I needed multiple books to tell the story.


2. What is it about and who is it for? The BryonySeries has multiple subseries for the enjoyment of different types of readers. All the books are interrelated. But they are written as standalones, even if they appear in a trilogy.


Bertrand The Mouse: an amigurumi mouse shares his adventures to foster the joy of reading in young children.


The Adventures of Cornell Dyer: a supernatural super sleuth travels around in his motor home unraveling mysteries, untangling myths, and deciding what to have for lunch.


Girls of the BryonySeries: each book features an eleven-year-old girl with a problem she must solve on her own.


“Drop of blood” trilogy: A 1970s teen trades her blood with a Victorian vampire for a trip back into time (first book). While grieving the abrupt end of her blood bargain with 19th century pianist John Simons, 18-year-old Melissa flings herself into a relationship with a college music professor, a man with a shady reputation and an uncanny resemblance to John. (second book).  A teen music prodigy lives in a remote fishing village, works for a newspaper delivery uncle and a funeral director stepfather, has a princess in his mirror, and his father was staked by his best friend’s father. That’s the old normal. (third book)


Before The Blood: An incomplete historical novel of five incomplete installments featuring four main characters that ruin their lives. Time period is mostly mid to late nineteenth century America with a bit of 30 Years War mixed in.


Limbo trilogy: an exploration into a fishing village where time essentially stops. Features vampires, sorceresses, ghosts, and sirenish characters in the background.


Lycanthropic Sumer: A teen girl struggles to write the world’s greatest werewolf love story before her eighteenth birthday. Then she discovers a couple is keeping a savage boy locked in their basement, and her muse goes on overtime. She should help him, but…


Snowbell: A short story about a snobbish teen who decides to show up the locals by disproving their cherished ghost stories. However, her calculated prank becomes a terrifying night in a dilapidated mansion and a desperate wish that the legends were true.


Ramblings of a Ruthless Dictator:Two humorous books (so far) authored by Ed Calkins, Steward of Tara (real person and BryonySeries character).


The BryonySeries also has three related cookbooks, including one that is a permanent fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties. These books are Squeak! Twelve mouse-themed recipes, GRRR: Twelve pawtastic werewolf-themed recipes, and Memories in the Kitchen: Bites and Nibbles from Bryony (recipes from the nineteenth century and the nineteen seventies).


3. What takeaways might the reader will be left with after reading it? Hopefully the desire to read another book – even if the book isn’t part of the BryonySeries. There are few pleasures so sublime as losing yourself between the pages of a good book.


4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? Each title reflects the story’s theme, so I decide each title early in the story development. I collaborate with local artists for cover design. The cover design also reflects the story’s theme as well as each artist’s personal style and vision.


5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Play the long game. Make and execute short and long-term goals with one eye on the horizon. Too many writers quit too soon.


6. What trends in the book world do you see — and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? I see more creative control, more opportunities for publishing. But I also see increased struggles to find invested readers and less opportunities for making significant income from written works.


7. What challenges did you overcome to write this book? Honestly, the question ought to be what challenges didn’t I encounter?  Since I published the first book in 2011, I’ve moved five times and experienced homeless. I’ve battled illness and currently have two family members in two separate nursing homes in two separate states with dementia. I have constraints of finances, a fast-paced career, and a very large immediate family where something challenging is always going on.  Oh, and let’s mix in a few cats, including one with cancer that’s also beaten the odds and is enjoying relatively good health.


8. How would you describe your writing style? I’m a features journalist by profession, so my style is clear and concise. But I also love classic literature and that love appears in my varying sentence structures, richly developed characters readers might forget aren’t real, vivid worlds, subplots and subtleties (so readers always find something new with the re-read), and an undercurrent of the human experience.


9. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? Maybe it shouldn’t be mine. Readers who only like Westerns or romances may not gravitate to any books in the BryonySeries.  But for readers open to discovering a book (or two) they never imagined existed, if they find something intriguing in a description or book cover they wish to explore, then, yes: they should buy or read one or more books this week or month.

Every book is not for every reader. But I believe every book is the right book for the right readers. For more information, visit https://www.bryonyseries.com/.


About The Author: Denise M. Baran-Unland is the author of the phantasmic BryonySeries, co-founder of WriteOn Joliet; and features editor at The Herald-News in Joliet, Illinois. She has six adult children, three adult stepchildren, eighteen total grandchildren, six godchildren, and four cats. For more information, visit https://www.bryonyseries.com/.



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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.2 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past decade, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a “best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, NewsdayThe Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum