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Today we sit down with DISENCHANTED author, Brianna Sugalski, as she discusses her debut release, future books, and creating from grief.

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Your novel, DISENCHANTED, released on March 10th. Congratulations! What was your literary journey like while writing it? Thank you! Well I started writing as a form of therapy. We'd just experienced the sudden stillbirth of one twin and our surviving son was very sick. While bedside with him in the NICU, I scribbled a series of poems about a girl and boy—a princess and originally, a monster hunter (later he emerged in my mind as a wickedly funny monster), who survived treacherous things. Those poems began to emerge in chronological order, and before I knew it I had a mini story. Each chapter of DISENCHANTED is based on one of those poems. After twenty three of them, my husband jokingly said, "How many of those are you going to write? Might as well turn it into a book." So a book it became.

Is there a scene in DISENCHANTED that made you cry while writing it? How about the scene that made you laugh the hardest?

The scene in the first chapter where Lilac speaks with the king, that was actually added in last second during my second round of edits with the fabulous Loni. That part struck home for me in a bittersweet way, and I did cry while writing it. The scene that was funniest to me was when Lilac and Garin are stuck outside the farmhouse trying to figure out a humane way to break in. I laughed a lot more than I cried. Would you consider your protagonist, Lilac, and your anti-hero Garin, to be good people? Be honest. Early on, Lilac had a rebellious streak as a child she perhaps otherwise would have had as an adolescent, and that's probably in part to growing up under the stifling pretenses of pomp and circumstance, which she saw right through. And after her Darkling Tongue is discovered, only then is she held accountable for those things, and many more that weren't her fault. Because of that she lives in fear and resentment before her Brocèliande journey. I'd say she's misunderstood. That doesn't make her an not-good person.

Garin on the other hand is like a bull in a china shop. He went through a lot that he's become remorseful for and drowns the past in drinks and work, but he still has a violent streak that he tempers well with walks in the forest and deep breaths in the cold air. Does that make him a bad person? I don't know, you tell me.

How does a big ego help writers? How can it hinder writers, if at all? I think it all comes down to what we consider a big ego. To survive in this industry, I'd think it important to believe in yourself and your projects enough that you aren't afraid to speak up about it and share it with others, for worse or for better. It might hinder authors if they aren't willing to change anything along the way or never consider getting their work critiqued or edited. I've noticed during my short time being an author (the DISENCHANTED series is my first and only WIP so far) that a level of "ego" has to be there for some amount of personal presence, which I think is key to truly connecting with your readers and potential readers. I make sure to come forth on my public social media as more than the author of this tale; I'm a wife, a mom, a proud Filipino American, the daughter of veterans, etc etc. What is the darkest thing you’ve ever written—presuming there might be pieces darker than this novel? I was fortunate enough to submit a piece for the Bookcon Exclusive anthology that The Parliament Press is releasing later this year. We go into soot and sickness-ridden Victorian London for this one, and I was pretty proud of myself for going even darker when I thought I'd already gotten there. I thought we were already there with Garin ripping people's arms off, but someone gets his teeth pulled, one by one, without anesthetic. What other authors are you friends with? How do they help you become a better writer? I'm really blessed to have found the Parliament House Press. They connect us to other authors who've been published with them, and each and every one are insanely talented. In writing the sequel and for other future endeavors I know I have a team of incredible writers to ask for help and guidance. They've helped me many a time with learning how to market and make graphics and navigate this whole thing, especially on Instagram. So the readers know, is DISENCHANTED a planned series? Yes. It is at least a duology.

If you could tell your writing-self ten years ago anything, what would it be? It would be to not let the success of others intimidate you. That there's room for everyone here. How did publishing your first book change your artistic process to what it is today? DISENCHANTED was my first book, and the only other project I'm currently working on is her sequel. I'm not quite sure what it means so far as my artistic process for other things. I will probably be a little more organized now that I understand how the submissions and editing processes work, but I'll still write on Scrivener. That program is a godsend and worth every penny; it made wr