Brian Farrey was born and raised in Wisconsin, land of dairy products and bratwurst. Although he’d always dabbled as a writer, he became serious about writing in 1983, when he discovered Doctor Who and started writing novellas based on the show (today, we would call this “fan fiction”). To this day, he is still a rabid fan of Doctor Who, and his secret dream is to be the first American to write an episode of the TV show. (It’s unlikely, but you gotta dream.)

He has slaved away in retail, been a local TV producer, managed a theater company, sold books, coordinated author events, and worked as a publicist. He is currently an editor, and acquires educational resources for a small but feisty press in the Midwest.

In the early part of the twenty-first century, he moved to Minnesota, where he has lived ever since. He currently resides in St. Paul with his husband and their needy cat, Meowzebub.

Author Q&A

1. What’s your writing routine? 

I don’t know that I really have one. I’m more about meeting certain conditions. For example, I prefer to be alone. Mostly for the solitude but also so I have a place to pace when I need to think. (Pacing is a very important part of the process.) I also need silence. I envy writers who can write while listening to music. I can’t.

2. What part of your book was the most fun to write?

The scene that reveals the secret of Dreadwillow Carse. I’d had it in my head for a long time while writing and it was such a relief to get to sit down and finally commit it to paper.

3. Which part was the most difficult?

The chapter that introduces Aon (the second chapter). I have many versions of that chapter (including one in which Laius played a very different role). I knew I had a lot of different elements that needed to be introduced, and finding a way to balance them all (and not make the chapter twenty pages long) was a challenge.

4. Is there one particular character in your new book that you most relate to? Why?

In many ways, I relate to Queen Sula. She’s someone who wants very badly to do what’s best but, in doing so, makes some decisions she later regrets. Even realizing this, she finds it hard to go back and correct her mistakes. I think just about everyone can relate to that.

5. What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Read. Read a lot. Read lots of different things. It’s great to have a favorite kind of book (science fiction, fantasy, romance, etc.) and even favorite authors, but you’ll learn more by reading as many different kinds of stories by as many different kinds of authors as possible.

6. Cats or dogs?

Cats, always and forever. Oh, wait, you weren’t talking about the musical, were you? . . . Eh, same answer.

7. If writing weren’t part of your daily work, what career would you like to have?

I think I would be a very good billionaire. Do you know anyone who’s hiring?

8. Which author would you most like to spend the day with?

I’d love to spend a day picking Jonathan Stroud’s brain. I’ve learned so much reading his work and it would be fun to hang around and talk shop. But it would be very hard not to fanboy all over the place.

9. What is your secret superpower?  

I am Introvert Man, capable of going from calm to flustered in under a second by even the slightest bit of attention.