Bryan Tann lives, was born and raised, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. When not working at his day job, or writing books and promoting them, Bryan has a litany of activities that include; Playing Bass, singing karaoke, hanging out with his fiancé, cats, and enjoying binging Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Bryan is signed to CHBB Publishing and Burning Willow Press.
Bryan, thank you for agreeing to this interview. You have had quite the journey between narrating audiobooks and writing your own novels. Tell us a bit about finding the right mentor and how they paved your path into authorhood. What lessons did they teach you that resonated?
Thanks for having me! Well, I’ve always been a writer. I wrote the original draft of my first novel ‘The Enforcer’ back in 2006. Before that I had a library of stories that I had started but never finished. I self-published ‘The Enforcer’ and when I got no traction from it, but I thought it was the greatest book since sliced bread back then, I gave up on writing. I got the idea to do audiobook narrating from an ex, and that’s how I ended up doing the audio for TJ Weeks.
TJ and his wife Kris were amazing mentors for me because they got me wanting to write again. So I guess you can say that TJ and Kris Weeks got me back into writing again. They invited me to write a short story in their ‘Painted Mayhem’ anthology. One of the things that TJ helped me to understand is that what I write isn’t going to be for everyone. Even Stephen King isn’t universally loved, I mean my Mother was never a big fan of his! (hahahaha)
He told me to just write, and love what I do. So that’s what I do.
The explosion of vampires in books has rocked the literary world for over a decade with several authors delivering new twists to the children of darkness. What is the premise of The Dark Lands Saga and what makes your vampires unique?
Oh my God don’t I know it. And, if I can be honest, was the BIGGEST pain in my ass when I first wrote ‘The Enforcer’. I when I went to publishers, I would get ‘We’re not looking for anything Twilight related right now…’ and I would rant and rave and lose my mind! ‘My vampires are NOTHING like Twilight! They don’t sparkle! They’re not teen angst!’ now I just kind of laugh about it.
The Dark Lands saga, in my mind, is a lot different than some vampire novels out there. For one The Dark Lands saga is more than just the two books that I’ve written based on the adventures of Bryce Kreed. I’ve started another book based in the Dark Lands world with another character taking the lead.
In my books, anyone that’s ever played Vampire: The Masquerade can see some of the influences that the roleplaying game had on me because I was really big on the system back in the day. So obviously this was a strong influence, but so are many other aspects of vampire lore; silver, religious articles, etc…but I also added a few additional things in there as well. Such as true religious beings being able to “see” vampires and other “agents of evil” for what they are. However, the biggest difference that I see in my vampires; choice. Sure a vampire can be a bastard, a real monster. But they can also be…a “good guy” if they want to.
Many of your readers reference the fantastic action scenes you create to make each novel a rollercoaster of entertainment. What is your secret to writing killer action sequences that keep the reader invested?
I love to write action scenes. I’ve even deleted pages upon pages of action scenes if its not right. I picture the action scenes in my head. If they make me scream “OH SHIT!” then they definitely will make other people get into it. So when I write action scenes, I want to play to the strengths of the character and tickle the senses of my readers. I want them to see what I see and experience it as if they’re watching the scenes on screen. When Bryce Kreed is battling the Blood Coven, I want you to SEE it. I want you to experience it as if you are sitting in a movie theatre with 3D Glasses on.
You have another series, The John Baker Chronicles, co-written with Kindra Sowder, which each have some jaw-dropping covers. What are these two novels about? How are they connected to Sowder’s series, Permutation Archives?
Well, first and foremost you have to give Rue Volley from CHBB Publishing and L. Bachman from Burning Willow Press the critical acclaim of those covers. Invincible Heart, Book I of the John Baker Chronicles is a CHBB property while the sequel Unbreakable Mind is a Burning Willow Press property.
The John Baker Chronicles are a spinoff to Kindra Sowder’s Permutation Archives. In the Permutation Archives, Mila Hunter is the key to President Emerson King’s nefarious plans for the future United States. When Mila rebels against the President to lead a “terrorist” cell, John Baker is created by the Government to hunt down and/or kill Mila Hunter.
One of the main themes that I try to touch on in both of these novels is the loneliness that having great power has, and trying to find one’s place in the world. I also try to touch on being more than what you’re meant to be, or what you or others think you’re meant to be. I say ‘try to’ because I don’t see myself as being overly intelligent, or some master strategist. I just write and have these ideas that I hope I can incorporate in a way that will make readers happy and entertained.
I personally love the co-writing experience, especially when you find an author in which you can match in voice, productivity, and so forth. How was it working with Sowder on this project? What are the pros and cons of co-writing?
Working with Kindra was amazing on this. I mean, to be fair, I incorporated my character into her world. So the character building and such was all on me. I had to make sure that I had everything perfectly fitting into the world that she created. I really had no cons in working with Kindra on this because we are like…yin and yang when it comes to writing. Our ideas work together so well that we have nothing but positive experiences together.
I would say you want to make sure that you and your writing partner are on the same page from the word go when it comes to vision. That’s what Kindra and I did and it just…it just works. As a writing couple we’re like Superman and Wonder Woman. So long as it doesn’t piss off Edd Sowder. HAHAHAHAHAHA!
You have been open about your novel, Ed and Livvy, being a therapeutic response to your personal divorce with the hopes of combating the pain and anger that accompanied the experience. To my knowledge, this has been your bestselling story. Do you think the visceral emotions and rawness made the story more real for your audience? What did you learn from this exercise?
I think so. One thing that I learned is that…heroes are villains and villains are heroes in every story. I also feel like I was able to give up a lot of the anger that I felt back then. Now my ex-wife and I have a very good, positive relationship and we co-parent our son and we are able to talk and joke and leave the past in the past for our own personal mental and emotional health and our child’s.
However the rage and hurt and anger and betrayal in between those pages are meant to give anyone that went through a painful divorce can lose themselves in so they can, hopefully, get through their own hurt. To just…enjoy the written word and let their feelings be set free for a little while. That world is meant to be sexy, violent, and full of hatred so that those feelings do not dominate in the everyday world.
What can we expect from you in 2019? Will you be publishing any more stories?
In 2019 I’m hoping to release my next novel ‘The Concussion’ a Burning Willow Press property. In this tale, the world’s biggest pushover finally decides he’s ready to push back after suffering a massive head injury that should have killed him.
I’m also working on a Romantic Comedy/Action Novel tentatively titled ‘I Married A Super Spy’ in which a man finds out his wife, who he thinks is simply a Consulate Diplomat is really a Super Spy. When she gets lost behind enemies, he decides he’s going to go in and save her.
I’m also working on the 3rd Bryce Kreed novel in the Dark Lands Universe tentatively titled ‘The House of Kreed: Enter The Horsemen’ and a brand new tale in the Dark Lands Universe titled Nerves of Steele: Private Eye.
It has been a pleasure, Bryan! Please tell us where fans can find you online or in the upcoming year at events.
You can find me online at:
Keep track of me on social media to see where I’ll be!