Friday, November 30, 2012

TBR welcomes Stephen L. Brayton

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Stephen. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Stephen: I was born in Antarctica, abandoned by my parents and raised by penguins.
I survived on fish, all the while plotting my revenge upon the civilized world...

Yeah, a little rip-off of the Oswald Cobblepot story, isn't it? Actually, I grew up in southeast Iowa, graduated from the oldest college west of the Mississippi (bonus points if you know which one), and have occupied positions in radio, printing, trucking, and hospitality. In 1991, I started attending taekwondo classes and in 2007 earned my Fifth Degree Black Belt.

TBR: Tell us about ALPHA and where it's available.
Stephen: My third book is entitled Alpha. It's available at:

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Stephen: On a rainy October mroning, Mallory Petersen, private detective and martial artist, discovers the corpse of her boyfriend, Bobby Furillo, in front of her office in Des Moines. Bucking police authority and continually attacked by unknown adversaries, Mallory uncovers Bobby's devastating secrets. Each new revelation puts Mallory in deeper peril from powerful and dangerous people. And just what are those enigmatic RSVP cards that keep showing up in Mallory's mail?

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Stephen: I began martial arts in 1991. I earned my black belt in 1993 and my Fifth Degree Black belt in 2007. I have attended numerous tournaments, seminars, classes, training workouts, and instructor camps. I have admired all of the wonderful women in my organization. They inspired the Mallory Petersen character and I even went so far as to use one of the instructor in a book trailer. I wanted Mallory to be emotional, funny, caring, and have her cases affect her deeply.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Stephen: I wanted Mallory to be emotional, funny, caring, and have her cases affect her deeply. So I try to put her in circumstances where she's is constantly challenged mentally and physically. She has a habit of bottling up her feelings and when they do come out, they are very strong and Mallory takes a long time to recover. Many of the minor characters I've based off of real people, their attitudes toward me, their quirks and personalities.

TBR: Any tips or tricks for world building youd care to share?
Stephen: Stay real. I envy the late Ed McBain, who created an entire city for his 8th Precinct novels. I enjoy driving to the locations I want to use to be able to describe the area better and to be inspired to write a better scene. I've encountered interesting people and situations I've included in the stories.

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Stephen: I'd love to dine with Mallory. She's hot, gorgeous, funny, intelligent, and I'd enjoy sharing taekwondo adventures with her. I do not want to dine with Edward Brougham. He's a drug dealer. 'Nuff said.

TBR: What's next for you?
Stephen: I'm working on the sequel to my first book, Night Shadows, as well as the next Mallory Petersen novel. I am also do the first rewrite on a stand alone novel featuring another private detective.

TBR: Any other published works?
Stephen: My first book, Night Shadows, and Mallory's first book, Beta, are both available in eBook format from Amazon, Barnes and and

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Stephen: I have a blog at:
My book review blog is at: Friend request me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @SLBrayton.

TBR: Is there anything youd like to ask our readers?
Stephen: Well, I thank you for buying my books. If you like them, please recommend them to others. If you don't, please recommend them to someone who might and let me know why you didn't like them. Don't worry, I won't cry. Much.

TBR: Readers, Stephen will give away a copy of Beta to one lucky commenter. Since we're nearing the Christmas holiday, please let him know what present you'd give to Mallory. (Keep the presents decent, please.) He'll pick a winner on December 15, 2012 and announce the winner here. Be sure to leave your email address so he can contact you.

Thanks for visiting TBR, Stephen. Best of luck to you.


  1. Welcome, belatedly, to TBR, Stephen.

  2. Wow. Cool detective. I bet the fight scenes are off the charts given Stephen's extensive knowledge of martial arts. Nice to meet you, virtually, Stephen.

    What exactly do you give a girl that can royally tear you apart? Perhaps I would give her something I made myself, something that says it's from my heart.


Talk to TBR guests!