BOOK TOUR & INTERVIEW: Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski #DarkFantasy #Romance

Brianna Sugalski
(A Lay of Ruinous Reign, #1)
Publication date: December 16th 2022
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, New Adult, Romance

At the peak of the Breton Renaissance, Lilac Trécesson is held prisoner in her own castle after a most wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her fifteenth birthday. Her coronation looms years later, and between their town riots and the noble family bent on snatching her throne, she prepares for the worst…

Until a letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to banish her curse forever.

Her heirloom dagger at the ready, Lilac embarks into Brocéliande and finds herself in the hands of a bloodthirsty barkeep who demands her help in exchange for protection against the even deadlier forces of the woods.

She is thrust on a quest to uphold her family’s legacy—and her sovereign right to destroy it and start anew—by any means necessary. Pity the fool to underestimate the girl with subpar blade skills but pure spite to make up for it.

This is the tale of a cursed princess,

A crestfallen killer,

The town that wants them to burn,

And the witch who can save them both.

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Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you find the most rewarding about it?

For a long time, as long as I can remember, in any capacity. I went to school for journalism and that ultimately fell through, and I had a family and became a romantic fantasy author instead. I’ve loved reading fantasy novels all my life, so it’s become my adult dream in a way.

Being able to transport readers to different places and periods and give them the same sort of escapism I enjoy is the most rewarding part of being a writer.

When you’re writing, do you plot ahead of time or does the story come to you along the way?

A little of both. I pantsed my way through Disenchanted but writing the sequel has not been the same process at all. Book two has challenged me in ways that forced me to become a plotter, because now that this is a full blown series (at first I was unsure if it would be a standalone or duology, but joke’s on me, it’s at LEAST a trilogy), the plot is always bigger than the draft in front of me. I then fill in little plot holes along the way, or rather, the characters will do that for me.

How do you balance your writing time with the rest of your life?

That has been the challenge. Over the pandemic my partner and I added two kids to our family, so it hasn’t been easy balancing motherhood and writing. Recently we’ve been able to finally accommodate daytime childcare and a PA for myself, both of whom I so appreciate. In the day I work on press, social media, and write here and there where I can, but I’ve always been a nighttime writer, when the house is asleep and I can hear my thoughts. I make sure to carve time to write four to six pages a day—a bare minimum of two—even if I’m exhausted at the end of it. It is my labor of love; the show must go on, the story of Lilac and Garin must be told, even with two or three kids sandwiched between us some nights.

Most authors started out as voracious readers. Do you still find time to read? What’s your favorite book of all time?

I do! The only way I can these days is by audio, and sometimes my Kindle app. I didn’t discover audiobooks until 2021. The first I listened to was Leigh Bardugo’s NINTH HOUSE and I’ve been hooked on the duet and dual narration styles since. I write while listening to them. My favorite books of all time are still grade school reads, The Tale of Despereaux, and The Three Musketeers. My favorite book recently is probably going to be the one I’m reading, The Love Hypothesis. It’s everywhere and I finally got my hands on it. I have a feeling Ali Hazelwood will be my contemporary romance fave, her writing is so easy to devour.

Tell us a little about your book. Where did the idea behind the story come from?

After experiencing a stillbirth in 2017, I took to writing. My therapist told me to free-write my feelings or whatever came to mind. I wrote a few poems in alternating POVs of two characters—a princess and a monster. I am a horrible poet, so I set those pieces aside, but they became two characters I could not stop thinking about. I needed names, a context, a setting, which quickly became a forest. Brocéliande came to mind. I knew a little about the mythical forest in the backdrop of Merlin and other Arthurian stories that inspired the fairy tales my mom read to me as a kid, and was shocked to find there was a real-life Brocéliande. The residents surrounding it still believe in and operate around faeries and other mythical creatures specific to the region. I spent the latter half of the year reading some of Le Morte d’Arthur and books on the romances of Brittany, and drafted in 2018. These characters, who became Princess Lilac (inspired by some of the women of Arthuriana but mostly Eleanor the Fair Maiden of Brittany, Constance of Brittany, and Anne of Brittany) and Garin (inspired by the themes in Gawain and the Green Knight, a little Klaus Mikaelson from TVD, and Spike from BTVS), basically told me their story from there.

As a writer, do you find yourself writing the heroes you love reading about the most? What’s the most difficult character you’ve ever written, and why?

No, I think I do the opposite. Lilac, the FMC, is the most difficult, and Garin comes to me the easiest. I think many authors in the romance fantasy genres these days are exploring the space between good and evil, that it is not so black and white after all, and I love it. I like to write realistic flaws and things readers might not like in my protagonists. Lilac does things that people roll their eyes at in book one, but the girl’s been spoon fed off a silver platter all her life and is told for the better part of it that she isn’t allowed to leave because of this dark gift she wields—that there are repercussions for a public appearance before she bears the crown. How would she have much common sense at all?

Is there anything you’d like to share with aspiring writers?

Write the book you want to read. There will always be an audience for it.

Author Bio:

Southeast Asian fantasy author with a soup addiction. Diverse medievalist and developmental editor who lives in oversized sweaters, and prefers to explore the more ominous—disenchanting, if you will—undertones of history, romance, and the arcane.

My debut, Breton Arthuriana-inspired YA Dark Fantasy DISENCHANTED, released with the Parliament Press in March 2020, and is being re-released and rebranded for the New Adult/ Adult indie market in December 2022. The rest of the trilogy will follow this updated genre rating.

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