To Stand Alone, To Stand Together: Author Interview with Laura Brewer (Noblebright Spotlight)

Hello, everyone! It’s almost mid-way through December, and today we have noblebright author Laura Brewer with us. Laura writes fantasy and sci-fi, and she enjoys being a grandmother, grower of herbs, baker of treats, sometimes potter, and servant of cats. She is currently on a new fantasy series with her husband, Roland and her novel, Winds of Chaos, released just over a week ago.

She’s here to discuss with us what noblebright means to her and how that expresses itself in her stories, and share a few recommendations with us at the end as well!

What does the genre/term ‘Noblebright’ mean to you?

Both the genre and the term, brings to mind the best and strongest of good vs evil. It may get dark, evil is not pretty, but we are called to write characters who stand against it. They aren’t perfect. Sometimes they slip and fall, but they get back up again and they stand for what’s right, even if they have to stand alone.

Can you share something about your newest novel, Winds of Chaos, that shows how you express that in your books?

In Winds of Chaos, there’s a scene where the king, under an evil influence, makes a decree that’s outside his authority and Rowan stands up to him in front of a huge crowd. Her team and their entire class stand behind her, but she’d have stood alone if necessary. Others step up and assist to both break the influence over the king and to resolve the problem with the evil that had corrupted him.

In another scene, Alvinar stands by her side, fighting to protect her against many enemies when she’s seriously injured, though she doesn’t quit. They both work with mentoring others and helping them grow past circumstances to learn how to stand with the Light.

Both of these sound super awesome!

Can you give us a quote, a scene, or a theme from your book that feels ‘bright’ to you?

One of the brightest and strongest themes that will underpin the entire Chronicles of Asgard universe, I expect, is the way they train their children to take care of themselves and stand against evil from the time they can walk. It’s not just a physical training in arms, but the spiritual training in fortitude and why they need to learn and do these things.

The best scene to show that is in the next book (in progress). The MC needs to talk to all the children and has the older twins go with him to the nursery. The twins take up guard positions between the door and their younger siblings automatically. It wasn’t something they were specifically taught to do, but a mindset that they acquired by training and experience – to protect those weaker than you. The twins are only seven in this scene and papa is quite proud of them.

In the interest of expressing hope and redemption, it’s sometimes necessary to write some of the darker things in the world. What are some of the harder themes to tackle that you find, and how do you feel about trying to work through them?

Confronting abuse in various forms is hard. It can be almost as hard to read as it is to write. I had an interrogation/torture scene, not very graphic but quite intense, in the space opera, Selarial’s Song. That scene was hard, but it was even harder to write a later scene where she had to face what happened in order to heal. In Winds of Chaos, the MCs are confronted with a life changing trial that they refuse to accept. I won’t go into more detail (major spoilers), but in both cases, I had to dig deep in my own past to find the pain of fighting something you can’t control and a battle you may not win. The circumstances were very different, but the nature of the pain was similar, if more intense. Digging deep like that is not easy and it will alter how you look at life. Do think it’s necessary to explore the depths of such internal conflict that everyone goes through in one form or another. It makes a story meaningful instead of just entertaining.

That’s a great thought, and I think it speaks to something that transcends genre distinctions, like fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, and is part of what really makes a book for me, as a reader.

Have any of your characters shown you something about any of these themes in a way you didn’t expect?

Yes. There are two princesses in the MC’s class in the beginning of Winds of Chaos who come from a completely different culture that not only allows, but fosters abusive behavior. (The full story of that won’t come out until the second book.) Those two arrive, timid, completely unprepared for the place they are in and trying to adjust. In writing the MC’s early mentoring of them, it became even more apparent to me how important a little compassion and understanding can be in helping someone to overcome and awaken their own potential. In helping them, the MC’s capacity for compassion and helping others grew as well. Perhaps even more important is how the two girls grow to extend that to others in turn.

How do noblebright themes affect or express themselves in your worldbuilding?

In Winds of Chaos, the world, Eamon, is literally one of the training grounds for the Armies of Heaven. Not all the nations/cultures are in line with that, but there is a strong and distinct difference between light and dark. Only with individual humans does this occasionally get murky. The gods of Asgard, in command of this army, know those who belong to the Creator and those who do not, but the mortals don’t, any more than we do. Most of the conflicts that arise are between those opposing forces. Even many of the monsters they face are servants of evil. One of the biggest effects this has on worldbuilding is the training of the children and that the humans there are stronger and larger, as well as far less inclined to be lazy, than we are these days. After all, in most places on Eamon, there are things outside the walls that will eat you if you’re careless and unprepared.

What are a few books by other authors that really speak out to you? That show what the genre means to you or what aspects of it are nearest your heart? That you would recommend to readers wanting to explore the genre? Or who are already familiar with it and love it?

I have several, most are older books but there are a couple recent ones. Older first –

  1. The Histories of King Kelson and the follow up to that trilogy, King Kelson’s Bride by Katherine Kurtz have strong themes of fighting for what’s right and just, standing for Truth, and that some enemies may become strong friends. If you give them a chance, they might even redeem a real peace from the ashes of war.
  2. Silver May Tarnish by Andre Norton and Lyn McConchie echoes the ageless theme that “all that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good to do nothing.” It’s about hope, rebuilding lives and not being afraid to confront evil where you find it. The story is so very relevant today. It’s little known, but it cried out to me from the shelf and I’m on my second copy of it now.
  3. Celestial by Hannah Mae takes the struggle between good and evil to a whole new level, as the characters are angels fighting demons and the fallen. I was impressed by her characterization of the Angel of Death and his capacity for love as well as the burden he bears in taking God’s children home.
  4. <pThe Wayman’s Code: Awakening by R.J. Wilson is a YA Urban Fantasy that I would place in the noblebright genre. The MC is a teen just discovering there is a very real spiritual warfare going on and he faces a duty, he’s not entirely sure he wants, to take up the sword in that fight. He’s already close to failing English.

Thank you for sharing that with us, Laura!

You can find Laura on Facebook.

Winds of Chaos (The Chronicles of Asgard: Awakening, #1)

New Release!

Winds of Chaos by Laura Brewer, norse-inspired YA fantasyWelcome to the training grounds of the Armies of Heaven

Born on a world full of dangerous creatures and agents of darkness, Alvinar and Rowan are rigorously trained to hunt and fight all manner of things to survive. Asked to lead a new settlement, far from aid, they throw themselves into the business of exploring and securing the area. Freya and Thor warn them trouble is on the horizon.

When scouts find the remains of an ancient city, they go to explore; concerned at the presence of strange magic that feels – different. Several of the gods from Asgard come to investigate. An attempted invasion by portal stirs the strange magic in defense, but also destabilizes that magic and ripples are felt even in Asgard.

Alvinar is changed by it and Freya takes him to Asgard. When a magical explosion in the ruins spreads chaos, even in Asgard, the very core of Rowan and Alvinar’s perception of who they are will be tried in its fire.

Can they keep to the path of Light when Darkness seeks to sear their very souls?

Check out Winds of Chaos on Goodreads.

Selarial’s Song (The Songs of Talmanor, #1)

Selarial's Song by Laura Brewer, a noblebright science fantasyIgnorance is the greatest danger of all!

Selarial ne Talmanor is wary of going on patrol with the mostly human crew of the Ventura. They have a good combat record, but human suspicions run deep. Will they be willing to trust the Sorthian crew of the Equinox?

Alcar Trent, Captain of the Ventura, knows the captain of the Equinox. He’s skeptical of the Sorthians’ psychic talents, but he does trust them as strong allies to watch his back in a fight. Can he learn to rely on their abilities – and admit to his own?

The Coalition of Free Worlds is on the verge of open war with the Thess’n Empire. As the incidents increase, Selarial and Alcar begin to see the Sorthians are high on the list of targets. When ancient weapons, long thought destroyed, begin to appear, Selarial must trace the source. On Sorth, the Singer Council searches equally ancient records for answers, but finds more questions – and an urgent warning.

Selarial’s Song on Goodreads

Dream Song (The Songs of Talmanor, #2)

Dream Song, The Songs of Talmanor Book Two, a science fiction fantasy romance sagaSelarial is trapped and severely injured after her ship crashed on a distant planet. Her crew is searching for the ancient weapons they came to destroy, but can they do it without the Singer?

Alcar and Selarial’s team are blocked by the Council from making another rescue attempt as the Thess’n attacks increase. He focuses on training up a new kind of Special Operations force and joins with the Trader Guild in covert ops in enemy territory.

When events draw Alcar into a position he never wanted, he must accept it if the Coalition is to survive. Can he do it and still get to Selarial in time?

Dream Song on Goodreads

Battle Song (The Songs of Talmanor, #3)

Battle Song, the epic conclusion to a science fantasy noblebright-hope punk trilogy.Alcar and Selarial rush back into Coalition Space. Dalova has been captured by the Thess’n Empire. With the Coalition Fleet, aided by their old allies of Zhyre and the new Spec Ops Teams of gifted individuals from both species, they plan the rescue of a world. Can the Coalition seize the initiative from their enemies?

The treasonous maneuvering of certain individuals complicates matters and Intelligence is diligently looking for the insider who has been getting information out to the Thess’ns. Will they find the traitor before it’s too late?

The biggest question of all – How can they break the centuries of Thess’n aggression? Even knowing that they were also victims of an outside force may not be enough to turn them around.

Battle Song on Goodreads.

Thanks for reading! If you are a lover of noblebright fiction, and would like to interact with more noblebright author and readers, you are invited to join our Discord, The Noblebright Alliance.

Noblebright Spotlights/Interviews/Guest Posts

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