Interview with B.L. Brown, Author of Ritual Income

19 Dec 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Ritual Income?

The first seeds of Milla’s story were planted when a woman I knew from high school popped into my Facebook messages with a “great new opportunity” and proceeded to pitch me on a weight loss MLM. The experience was super jarring, and I didn’t know much about the MLM World, so it became a bit of a fascination/hyperfixation. The more I learned about the predatory tactics and outright bullying involved, the more this idea percolated in the back of my head (and if you have not read through Elle’s Poonique Blog, I highly recommend it as a behind-the-scenes view on how nasty MLMs are).

Fast forward a few years, and I had this wild pregnancy-induced dream while visiting a friend and pitched her the very basic plot over breakfast: a witch with a secret kind of magic trying to figure out why women in her hometown are dropping dead. I knew an MLM was involved, that the predation and manic hype were the root cause of the deaths, but how? Why? What kind of person would get involved in an MLM? What kind of person would succeed, and at what cost to their downline? How easy would it be for an outsider to turn a blind eye or remain unaware of how nasty multi-level marketing schemes are? From there, Ritual Income’s Hipster Witch vs. MLM Huns was born.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Ritual Income, what would they be?

Milla – “Good Intent” by Kimbra

Darkly – “Love Me Dead” by Ludo (specifically, how he feels about Milla)

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I definitely write within my favorite genres. As a kid, my favorite books were Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain and The Westmark Trilogy, and Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles. As an adult, I remember picking up A Court of Thorns and Roses and being gleefully surprised by the addition of romance to my fantasy books. I haven’t looked back since, but have journeyed into my second reading love: Urban Fantasy.

Ritual Income definitely blends the two genres into something I like to call “urban romantasy.”

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Please don’t make me admit how tall my TBR pile is haha. I’ll admit to: The Once and Future Witches, by Alix E. Harrow; A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske; The Goddess of Nothing At All by Cat Rector; and Evensong by Krista Walsh.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The entire New Orleans sequence brought me so much joy, from the memory Milla shares with the readers to their ill-advised pub crawl through the French Quarter and the introduction of my favorite character in the series, Dies-well.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I curate playlists around each book I am writing (and share the links in the ebook) and listen to the same songs on repeat as I write and revise. Ritual Income’s playlist has seventy-seven songs, and my partner is exceedingly tired of every one of them.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

My immediate answer is, “Don’t be a dick.” My partner informs me, “But did you die?” feels more appropriate.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

That you are worthy of love and being loved, regardless of your past mistakes.

Also, don’t forget to feed the raw-head.


B.L. Brown is the author of the new book Ritual Income (Witch of the Demesne Book 1)

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