Author Interview: Brianna Leaver

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Brianna was written by Brianna Leaver.)

Kelly kicked off her shoes and let out a sigh as her feet sank into the sand of the beach. Yeah, she could get used to this. The weather was perfect—not too windy, not too sunny, not too hot, and not too cold. Yeah, it was nice. Kelly smiled as she inhaled deeply, but she wasn’t here to relax.

She noticed someone approaching her on the beach, and Kelly narrowed her eyes to see her better, and she headed in that person’s direction. Once they were in hearing range, Kelly asked, “Brianna Leaver?” When Brianna nodded, Kelly smiled, lengthening her strides to meet her. She shook her hand. “Hi, I’m Kelly. Great to meet you. Must say, thanks for recommending the beach. Always a relaxing locale. So, how you doing today?”

Brianna blinked in the sunlight, as her eyes adjusted. She saw the young woman approaching her and shook hands when they met. “It’s nice to meet you too. I’m fine thanks. How are you?”

“I’m quite well. I think today will be a good day for me.” Kelly smiled warmly then motioned to the beach. “Shall we walk?” As they strolled across the sandy beach, Kelly glanced at Brianna with another smile. “So, tell me about yourself? Anything interesting…or not so interesting. What do you do in real life?”

Brianna fell into step beside Kelly as they began their stroll along the beach.  She thought carefully about the question. “Well, I work two jobs, so that absorbs a lot of my time. When I’m not working, I’m usually with my family, or hanging out with friends. Besides that, my life is pretty basic. I go to church every week too”

“That’s good.” Kelly nodded with a smile. “You sound incredibly busy with two jobs, but at least you make time for family and friends. How do you find time to write?” She cast her a quizzical look.

Brianna laughed, her soft brown eyes lighting up at the question. She looked over at Kelly and nodded, “You know, a lot of people ask me how I manage that, and I think it’s mostly because, no matter how many hours I work, I tend to stay up late at night. I prefer night, you see. It’s quieter, and more relaxing. Easier to focus. I guess with the determination to write, I make the time. Besides, I usually carry a notebook with me just in case I get an idea at any time.”

“See, that’s good. You’re determined to write, and therefore you write! That is very good. Never lose that determination.” Kelly smiled widely at Brianna once more. She was very pleased that Brianna was so determined to write that she would do so regardless of the day she had and all the work she had.

Kelly spotted a beautiful shell on the shore, so she scoot it up, inspected it, and the glanced at Brianna once more, offering it to her if she wanted it. “So, when did you start writing? What inspired you to become serious about it?”

Brianna relaxed as Kelly continued to ask her about her most favorite pastime. She saw Kelly pick up a shell and she took it, thinking of her own collection of shells at home. It would be a great keepsake for this moment. Turning it over in her hands, she looked out over the water. This was where she felt she could think. Many a time she had come here, to a beach so she could think. With a sigh of contentment, Brianna answered, “I guess I started when I was little. I had no playmates and I wanted something more than journalism. So I began writing fan fiction until I had ideas of my own.”

“Fan fiction is always a good start. Hone your craft playing in someone else’s universe until you have a good understanding of the concept of writing, and then branch out into your own creating your own universe.” Kelly gave an encouraging nod. “I’d ask what sort of fan fiction you used to write, but we are short on time, so what kind of stories do you write now? Anything specific inspired you to start writing your own stories?”

Brianna remembered the stories she had started so long ago and smiled again, thinking of the new ones she loved to work on now.

“Well,” she began, “The book I’ve just published is called Beyond the Blue. It’s a fantasy novel. I think I enjoy fantasy because you can do anything with it. When I started, I had no idea how to come up with solid backgrounds for each of my characters. With some help from a very dear friend, I was able to make them seem more real and they became easier to work with. As for the inspiration, yes. My niece used to love bedtime stories and got bored of the books we had in the house. She asked me to make up stories. I then found myself writing them down in case she asked me to tell it again. That’s how it all started really.”

“That’s wonderful and very dear.” Kelly smiled fondly then motioned up a path a little to a bench overlooking the shore and ocean. Once they sat down, Kelly turned to Brianna. “So this fantasy novel, is that the story you wish to discuss with me?” She never knew which story the writers wanted to talk about, so she gave them the chance to direct the conversation. Kelly, however, added with a smile. “Congrats on publishing it, by the way! Very exciting.”

Brianna nodded, “Yes, This is my first complete story. Thank you, I’m very proud of it.”

“Fantastic! And I always love a good fantasy. Tell me all about it! What is it about? Who are the characters? Their struggles and conflicts?” Kelly raised her brows as she sat back to listen. She could see the excitement in Brianna’s face, and that made Kelly smile.

Brianna sat back on the bench and looked out at the water again. Pleased to share, she launched into her description. “Two brothers, Desmond and Ricky are demons from the ocean floor itself. Desmond is the older one, and he has two henchmen called Luke and Seth. They want to take over the mortal world because they want to run things their own way. Ricky, doesn’t like this idea at all and goes off to seek help from the angels. His problem is, he doesn’t like being a demon. He wants to be an angel. So on his journey, he meets up with three angels. Leila, Quinn and Trenton. They’ve all got powers or skills. One has a bow which fires arrows of lightning.” She laughed as the image flashed across her mind once more. “Anyway, these angels try to help Ricky. You’ll have to read it to find out what happens.”

“Very intriguing!” Kelly then stared across the ocean before them. “And now I’m just imagining them coming out of the ocean right now. Do these demons look fearsome, or do they look normal? Or can they change their forms?” She asked, glancing back at Brianna.

Brianna laughed once more at the irony of their location. She hadn’t really thought of it, but it was very true. Imagining her demons just coming out of the water in front of them was very fun! Brianna looked over at Kelly and explained, “Well, they can change form, yes. Depending on where they are. If they came out of that water right now, we’d see them change into a complete human form like you and me. Underwater, they are mostly human, but their feet and hands become webbed, they have gills and shark-like teeth. Their hair is always longer and matted with seaweed. They aren’t very pretty there. One other form they can do, is a slight variation on creatures. Ricky, for instance, has wolf-like features in his mortal form if he chooses.”

“Oh, I have so many questions I want to ask about the story, but we are short on time!” Kelly fisted her hand, wishing they could have more time, but she went on,  “Maybe I can ask those questions later, but right now, what sparked this story idea? Very interesting to have demons at the bottom of the ocean.”

Brianna also wished they had more time. Thinking quickly, she answered, “I think it started with the demons. I was trying to decide how they lived, and if the angels could reside above the clouds, why not have the demons underwater rather than underground? It was also fun to research the ocean and how I could make it all work together.”

“But most people think demons, they think Hell and fire, and the ocean is very different than that.” Kelly gestured at the ocean in front of them then drew her hand back and shrugged. “I like it though. It’s different. Different is good—unexpected but good.” Kelly smiled at Brianna. “Now, you mentioned that Ricky wants to become an angel. Is that even possible since he’s a demon? Answer if only it doesn’t include spoilers, of course.”

Brianna could see how demons were related to Hell and fire normally. “I think its for that very reason I chose the ocean route for my demons. Speaking of fire, they are fireproof. As for Ricky, I think his becoming an angel is like anyone with a dream. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not.” Without wanting to spoil anything, Brianna thought hard, “I guess that’s how I can put it.”

Kelly smiled, seeing how Brianna managed to dodge that question, but she wasn’t going to push it. She respected the author’s story enough not to try and spoil the story.”Okay, our time is almost up, but one more question. What would you like your readers to take from your story and remember once they’ve finished reading it?”

Brianna was glad that she’d been able to share her story without much difficulty. Smiling, Brianna replied, “My story has a variation of hidden messages. However i think the most important of which is forgiveness. It’s all about how you handle a situation, and how you can overcome any obstacle with the help of a friend.”

“Forgiveness—always a good lesson to remember.” Kelly nodded with a smile as she rose to her feet. “Unfortunately, our time is up. Sorry about that, but remind me again, what’s the title of your book? You said it’s already published, so I’d love to direct people to it.”

Brianna got to her feet as well, “It’s been fun, Ms. Blanchard. My book is called Beyond the Blue. I’ll keep you posted on it.”

“Wonderful! And it was fantastic to meet you, Brianna. I hope you the best with the sales of your book and future books you will publish. Come, I’ll walk you back.” Kelly gestured to Brianna to walk with her. This had been a polite conversation, and it left Kelly with a smile.


Brianna Leaver’s book ‘Beyond the Blue’ is available on Amazon! Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook as well:





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