After graduating with the honor of Outstanding Communications Student from the University of Rio Grande, Bryna Butler settled down with her high school sweetheart on their family farm along the banks of the Ohio River. She put her bachelor’s degree in mass communication to use, working in radio and for civic groups before starting her career as an accomplished financial public relations and corporate communications professional. Over the years, she has authored hundreds of publications and press releases.
Butler's young adult paranormal novels feature strong female leads and are woven from elements of horror, suspense, comedy, and mystery, all in a modern, small town setting.
Butler is inspired by authors like Rachel Caine, Charlaine Harris, Lauren Kate, Cassandra Clare, Stephenie Meyer, and MaryJanice Davidson. Her work contains no profanity or explicit scenes, making it appropriate for pre-teen as well as teen readers.
Spotlight Interview Questions:
What is your all-time favorite book and why?
I adore The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Its style is like nothing else I’ve ever read. I found it to be almost hypnotic with its imagery and near poetic cadence.
Is there an author you could be compared to or popular fictional characters your book's characters could relate to and why?
Because I tend to write about strong female characters, I think that one could draw a comparison with Charlaine Harris. I had the opportunity to meet her this summer and, to my surprise, she is a down-to-earth hillbilly just like me.
Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?
One of my favorite quotes comes from my newest book, Shadows Rising. In this scene, Keira faces off against the leader of a group of extremists that believe her charge is keeping her from her destiny. I think this quote is a great mix of Keira’s courage and her youth.
“You keep yapping about my charge being a distraction, but here I am dealing with you again. Leave us and my charge alone or die tonight at my hand. I mean it, jerk wad.”
What types of things/people/music inspires you and makes you want to keep writing?
I’m very inspired by my favorite authors. I often name characters, places and things in my stories in homage to these authors and their work. For instance, in the Midnight Guardian series there is a goth girl named Mikayla Collins whom everyone calls Mikey. Mikey is clearly named in honor of Michael Glass and Shane Collins, two of my favorite characters from Rachel Caine’s Morganville series. Her goth look comes from another beloved character in that series. Also, I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan (who isn’t?). If you look hard enough, you will find several subtle references to Buffy and Firefly sprinkled throughout my books.
Describe your typical writing day or week.
Just call me the “Night Writer”, not because it sounds like an insanely cool superhero, but because it is true. For me, writing typically begins after the kids are tucked into bed somewhere around 9 p.m. I grab a soda from the fridge and settle in with my laptop. Typically, I first re-read and edit the last thing I wrote before I start writing anything new. That refreshes it in my mind and allows me to move forward.
Is there a food or drink do you have to have when you're writing?
I can’t eat while I write. Sounds good in theory, but it never works in practical application. BBQ sauce on the keys…melted cheese on the screen...a whole chapter about brownies.
Can you tell us what you're working on right now (& possibly provide an excerpt & cover)?
Shadows Rising was released on January 18th. In this 4th installment in the Midnight Guardian series, Keira and her friends race to rescue her charge before The Harvest and the rise of a new form of evil, the shadows.
Book 5 is well underway with the working title of Book of the Lost and an anticipated late spring release. I’ve also begun work on a young adult werewolf trilogy set in Alaska. The story centers on a girl that walks the line between two feuding werewolf packs.
OF SUN & MOON (Midnight Guardian #1)
Teens are disappearing in a small river town in southern Ohio as Keira Ryan begins her freshman year. Kidnappings aside, her worries mount as she crushes on an older guy, her best friend starts dating a spoiled cheerleader, and the parents that abandoned her at birth arrive at her doorstep. And, oh yeah, she’s a tooth fairy destined to kick some butt and bring about the end of a royal line of vicious, blood-sucking tyrants. Over the years, humans have pieced together sightings and assumptions to create the myth of the tooth fairy. As it turns out, they were pretty much wrong.
WHISPERING EVIL (Midnight Guardian #2)
Keira Ryan has moved on. It’s the start of her sophomore year at Valley View High School. This means big changes like a new guardian mentor, taking (and passing) her driver’s test, dating her best friend, and figuring out how to stop the new Empress Gammen and her reign of terror. Will she survive it all or will she fall victim to the whispering evil that surrounds her?
MIDNIGHT CHILD (Midnight Guardian #3)
Join Keira Ryan as she chases her destiny in this exciting third installment in the Midnight Guardian Series. While Keira searches, her enemies draw closer. A history of trust is tested. A promise of passion turns deadly. A surviving evil creates doubt and there’s only one way to stop it…Find the Gift. Just what do you get the spoiled gremlin queen that has everything?
SHADOWS RISING (Midnight Guardian #4)
Senior year has begun. Keira Ryan should be worrying about the two boys that are vying for her heart. She should be worrying about Prom. She should be worrying about graduation. But instead of a dress, she’s choosing which dagger to carry. In this fourth installment in the series, Keira and her friends race against time to rescue her charge before The Harvest. They must hurry. Their enemies are bringing forth a new evil to sway the balance. The shadows are rising.
Excerpt: Exclusive Shadows Rising Excerpt that you will only see on YA Indie Carnival author sites…
The night was warm, even though a slight breeze stirred. Keira made her way through the soybean field. She knew the way over the uneven path, even if she couldn’t see. That was nearly the case as clouds worked to block out the moon and stars. The air was thick; the kind that always preceded the summer rain.
As the dirt started to dimple here and there, her steps came quicker. Cool drops chilled her shoulders left bare by her tank top. Steps turned into a jog as the two-story farmhouse came into sight. If she ran hard enough, she could reach his porch before the downpour.
In seconds, she covered the yard. Just a few strides more would land her on the steps where she could wait out the rain on the porch.
Maybe that’s why it happened. Keira was so focused on escaping the rain. Her sneaker slid on the wet grass. Arms circled wildly over her head, eager to find balance or support. They landed on clean, soft cloth. Her feet skittered beneath her as the man under the white robe grabbed her hair and pulled her head back.
“The guardian,” a whisper rose and echoed among the small group. “The guardian,” their murmurs above the tumbles of the strengthening rain. “The guardian.”
Hands flew to her sides and held her arms out. She pulled against them, but there were too many. “Let me go,” she screamed.
Immediately, they let go. She hadn’t expected it and fell on her knees.
“We wish you no harm, guardian. We have come for the midnight child. Trust that this is for the best,” a tall man said. His mouth barely moved, unmarked by expression or emotion of any kind.
Rain began to pour over them. Keira scanned the group to etch every face into her memory; two eager young men, perhaps twins, with strong chins and light coloring; a plump, young woman with red curls falling out of her hooded cloak; a buxom brunette with a permanent sneer; and a mustached brute with a nasty scar through his left eyebrow.
Then, her eyes flickered back to the leader, a bald man with soulless black eyes. Him she knew. It had taken her only a moment to realize he was the one that crashed Jumper’s last Halloween party. He had come for her charge that night too.
“You know that I will never allow you to take him.”
“Your loyalty is misplaced with the Hayes family,” the bald man answered with a voice that chilled her to the bone. “Allow us to remove the distraction so that you may fulfill your true destiny.”
“He is not a midnight child. He is my charge.”
“He is of no consequence.”
A crack sounded, causing everyone to look up. A dark figure stood on the edge of the roof. He stepped forward and landed softly on the ground. He stood tall beside Keira.
Brun’s voice was heavy with anger. “You heard her. The child is not to be touched.”
“But…” the leader of the group started.
His dispute was not heard because Brun was behind him in the next second. The shine of Brun’s short sword glistened at the man’s ear.
“If you will not listen, perhaps you do not need this ear,” Brun growled. “From this day forward, let it be known that the guardian and I both protect this child. Whoever dares to approach him will succumb to the full wrath of the Empire and Elsted. You will leave now…ahhh!”
The leader wrenched his dagger out of Brun’s side. Blood dripped from the dagger’s edge. Brun stumbled back, his face a mixture of disbelief and horror.