Today we are very excited to share an interview with authors Brianna and Matthew Penfold!
Read on to learn more about the authors, the book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: Brianna and Matthew Penfold
Brianna and Matthew Penfold are a wife-and-husband writing team. The Intrepid Three: Animus Revealed is their debut book. This work is a labor of love enlightened by their lifelong faith journeys and diverse experiences in medicine, law, victim advocacy, crisis intervention, research, and children and youth mentorship. By day, and sometimes by night, Brianna is an attorney, and Matthew is a pediatrician. They currently reside in Virginia where they are having a blast raising their energetic toddler.
About the Book: The Intrepid Three: Animus Revealed
Dez, Arabella, and Walter are seemingly ordinary teenagers from different worlds. Dez is a dejected coder living in Euporia under the oppressive conglomerate E-Corp. Arabella skates through life in an Aurelian aristocratic family. And Walter treads a typical path in the technology-obsessed society of Immerxia.
In a day’s time, their lives are turned upside down when they meet Author, the writer of the universe, and discover they have gifts to heal the past, alter the present, and foresee the future. Author implores the three teens to restore their broken worlds. Complicating the kids’ decision are supernatural forces working to end humanity and free a dark army from their prison known as Animus.
Can Dez, Arabella, and Walter save their worlds? Jump into The Intrepid Three: Animus Revealed to find out.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
Our book came first. Naming it felt like naming a child. We definitely wanted to make sure we got it right. We had a working title for most of the writing process, but it wasn’t until the end that we selected: The Intrepid Three: Animus Revealed. Our title developed as the story did. This book is the first in a series of three, so we also named the book with the future installments in mind.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
We are most proud of Chapter 16 in our book. There is a big reveal by the antagonist to the protagonists that will have major consequences for the rest of the series. Without giving too much away, this scene can evoke quite a bit of emotion from the reader. It evoked a good bit of emotion from us while writing it. The scene is an important culmination of storylines, the beginning of an exciting climax, and hurtles the reader to a dramatic end.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned
as a writer from then to now?
Patience! We had to be patient with ourselves, with each other, and the process. There were many times while writing that we wanted to rush to the next chapter, but we found slowing the process produced better content. We have thoroughly enjoyed writing together as a married couple, but there were unique challenges to blending our writing styles. It was important to take the time to hear each other out because the combined ideas were more unique. Finally, after creating a labor of love, it was not a straight line to getting published. The process had many ups and downs that we had to endure.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
A unique challenge for us was writing dialogue for our character Author. This book is Christian allegory, and Author is the God-like figure. We wanted to create dialogue that tried to do justice to God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. We felt a weight to represent God in an approachable but respectful way. Even though writing this dialogue was a challenge, it was edifying.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your book?
At times, the supernatural characters of the Lumen and Murk were especially difficult to write. They are good and evil creatures that are out of this world, so their appearance is incomparable to our reality. The Lumen and Murk do not speak words, but they do communicate, so this aspect also needed to be developed from scratch. We wrote multiple drafts trying to pinpoint the best way to describe the indescribable. Like the dialogue for Author, the final product of the Lumen and Murk was gratifying though.
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this
We want readers to remember that while there are flaws in society and ourselves, none of these issues are too big to overcome with the light of Christ and the support of each other. The following passage from our book, The Intrepid Three: Animus Revealed, summarizes our message:
“Be assured, light may seem fickle when it flickers and flutters, but oh, it is much more powerful than dark when it is freed. It adapts, it changes, and it grows. Darkness stays stagnant and depends on the absence of light. Light always has the potential to overcome darkness, if only we allow it.”
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
It’s hard to imagine having a superpower, but if we had to pick something we’re good at, it would be empathy. Our empathy spurred us to write the book and helped us to create characters that people could identify with. We’ve had multiple readers tell us they especially connect with one of our protagonists, Walter. We created this character based off of our understanding of young people’s difficult realities in today’s technologically obsessed world. We know empathy isn’t too much of a deterrent for bad guys, but hopefully it can rally people together in a positive way.
YABC: What advice do you have for new writers?
We know this isn’t novel advice, but keep going! It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to write your book. It doesn’t matter if no one wants to publish your book. By finishing, you will have created something personal and unique. We’ve all heard that writing is a labor of love. At times, it is more of a love, and at other times, it is more of a labor. Regardless, keep going.
Title: The Intrepid Three: Animus Revealed
Author: Brianna and Matthew Penfold
Release Date: May 23, 2023
Publisher: Koehler Books
Genre: Young Adult
Age Range: 12+
Three (3) winners will receive a signed paperback copy of The Intrepid Three: Animus Revealed (Brianna and Matthew Penfold) ~ US Only
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*