Brandy, tell us a bit about yourself. I’m a sophomore in high school and the lead singer in a band called “White Noise”. I put up with a lot of sexist crap as the only female in the band. The only reason I do is because, at fifteen, there aren’t too many opportunities to be in a garage band that’s headed out of the garage, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I have five fighting Irish brothers so I can handle myself quite well around the guys. The only thing I can’t seem to handle is all the paranormal crap that keeps going on around me. When I was fourteen a banshee appeared to me right before my mother died. A pale silver apparition on my window sill, she looked just as upset as I . My dad told me I had “the sight”. I wasn’t comfortable with that but I accepted it until the banshee's “evil twin” showed up at one of my gigs and tore the place apart. Then I found out my family was cursed! After that, well, let’s just say I’m not a fan of paranormal experiences.
We can see that reasoning, real well. Are you a rebel or a good girl?
A bit of both. I had to do a lot of things I didn’t want to do to help my family overcome the banshee’s curse. I lied, manipulated my boyfriend Farrell (he kinda deserved it), “borrowed” some of his money and my brother’s credit card, and ran away to Ireland. I knew it wasn’t right at the time, but I was desperate and didn’t see any other way. Oh, then there was that street fight with Farrell’s fling Lisa and the incident in the high school auditorium with her thuglettes. I guess you might say I’m feisty.
Sounds like it, but knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you do something different? Nope. I love my family and I’d do anything to save them. Well, maybe I wouldn’t have had those fights with Lisa and her thuglettes.
Thuglettes, a pants-wetter description for certain. So, what's your biggest fear? Uhhhhh….evil banshees, of course! Seriously, I guess, the real answer is losing my family. Losing my mom tore me apart; I’d like to keep the rest of us together as long as possible.
What is your favorite book and why? Well, it’s NOT Twilight or any of that deadly stuff I have to read for AP English. Seriously? It’s no wonder teen suicides are so high. Grapes of Wrath is DEPRESSING! I like reading books about art and history. I love Frank Delaney’s Ireland.
Tell us about the best advice you ever received. I’m one of the few rockers in a school full of gangsta wannabees. When I was a freshman I felt really out of place. I came in early to art class one day looking sullen and my teacher, Ms. Carozza, told me, “You are not invisible. Be seen, be heard, be proud.”
I dyed my hair a bright burgundy that very night.
Good for you! This has been cool, Brandy. Thanks for opening up to us. We'd like to chat for awhile with M.D. if you don't mind.
Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, [or both] have had a major impact on your writing?
I loved Holly Black’s Tithe series. The dark urban settings mixed with fey mythology was a juxtaposition that intrigued me. Brandy’s life and world are very different but I wanted to explore that same juxtaposition of modern world clashing with ancient myth. As much as I enjoy reading YA fantasy, I must admit that I love to see the stories on the silver screen. I am greatly influenced by movies because I am a very visual person. I taught high school art. My students and their concerns greatly inspired me and kept me in touch with that part of myself that went through all the same youthful traumas and dramas. As an artist, I cannot approach writing any other way than cinematically. My writing runs as a movie in my head.
With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? I have no idea how the idea of writing about an Irish American teen popped into the head of an Italian American adult but I recall dabbling with a book on Irish myths at the time. After the idea was formed, my research started with more books on the subject and led to a trip to Ireland where I stayed at a youth hostel and did research in the National Library of Ireland in order to walk in my characters shoes. I wanted to be able to describe everything Brandy was feeling and experiencing in an authentic manner. A visit to Christ Church directly inspired one of the books most dramatic scenes.
Fascinating. And good for you! We can see where Brandy got her guts. Tell us a bit about your publisher. I self-published this book and have a few regrets about that. Amazon will never allow your book to “disappear” because of “aftermarket sales”. It will always show on their site as unavailable with all the attendant information about the book. They even had my Twitter feed up on my author page without my permission! It really made me feel out of control about my work, especially after a UK publisher I made an acquaintance with showed serious interest and had to pass because of this.
What are you reading right now? Mail…my Christmas bills are coming in droves….and aimlessly trying to plod through A Dance With Dragons for the third time.
Yep. Been there, done that. What's next for you? I’m moving between sequels and a new book in a completely different genre. The latter is called Construction and deals with a young female architect with a penchant for fixer-uppers - both in houses and men!
This has been a refreshing experience, MD. Thanks so much for visiting us this week. It's been a treat.
Kat and Veronica
To learn more about M.D. Mascaro and the stories she creates visit, go to: