I Am Mothman.

The Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, is this weekend. I love this event filled with cryptids, Men in Black, conspiracy theories, and everything Mothman.

And a great weekend to announce that this is now the home of IamMothman.com. We’ll have features, graphics, and tons of fun starring your favorite winged legend.

To get started, here’s the schedule for this weekend’s main event…the Mothman Festival. The small, river town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, is awakened this Saturday and Sunday. You’ll even find me there signing copies of the Mothman Mysteries and Midnight Guardian series books.

mothmansched

 

 

 

 

Easter Eggs for Wrong Side of the Grave

A few months after every new release, I love to share some of the hidden gems in my story. Past Easter Egg articles have included what went on behind the scenes, inspiration for settings, namesakes, and those fun little factoids that come with writing fiction.

And now it’s time to reveal the Easter Eggs for the first in the Mothman Mysteries, WRONG SIDE OF THE GRAVE!

B.R.A.N.D. 

The BRAND went through several generations before it became the Biometric Remodeling Apparatus with Necessity Duplicator. For a long time in my manuscript, I called it PRISM (Protective Remote Identification Simulator Mechanics). But the term seemed to confuse beta readers into thinking that it was just projecting an image, not physically changing Eric. It was also called PET, PM, MRU, ACT, and yes, even a BUTLER (Biotic Unilateral Transitioner & Limited Elemental Renderer). Gotta love acronyms!

Bridget’s Sister

In an early version, Bridget had an older, always-perfect-without-trying sister named Rayne. However, Rayne only served to dilute the story so in the end she had to go.

Kendall Mitchem aka Kendalla the Dreaded

When writing for Kendall, I picture Taylor Swift gone bad. Seriously.

Where have I read about Eric before?

Eric had cameo roles in the Midnight Guardian series. He appears in Shadows Rising as Mikey’s drummer friend and again in Book of the Lost as Mikey’s prom date. Keira notices the BRAND on his arm and refers to it as an eagle tattoo.

What’s the name of Eric’s band?

Though no one calls it by name in Wrong Side, his band’s name is Sweet Kick. It is the same band that appears from time to time in the Midnight Guardian series.

Lone Oak Cemetery & Tu-Endie-Wei

Both are very real places in the real Point Pleasant, WV. In Tu-endie-wei Park, the memorial that I describe is really there and there really is a plaque on the back of it with an oddly obvious tree with a fingerprint-sized knot hole. Although, I doubt that placing your finger on it will open a secret elevator to a spaceship…I think…maybe.

Duey’s heritage

Little clues indicate that Duey is French. The city of Gallipolis, located just across the Ohio River from Point Pleasant was originally settled by the French. In 1749, the French created Point Pleasant as a trading post. Although many of those first French settlers in the area died out or disappeared…

Agent Hisato Ikeda

During my research, I came across an account of a strange man who was spotted in Point Pleasant at the height of the Mothman sightings in the late 60s. The man was described as wearing a black suit, asking lots of questions, and exhibiting odd behavior and movements. My MIB Agent Ikeda is the sleeked out next generation version of this very odd little man.

Harbinger

There are many theories as to who/what Mothman is. One such theory is that he is a harbinger that precedes any major disaster. In my book, his Tokyo counterparts, Ren and Katsu, are considered Tengu, which are also mythical birdman-like creatures and have also been rumored to be harbingers of disaster. They’re kind of like the Mothman of the Far East. Thought it would be cool to tie together similar myths from different cultures.

What book was Bridget ranting about in chapter 1?

She had just read Book of the Lost.

More Easter Egg posts on my novels: Of Sun & Moon | Whispering Evil | Midnight Child | Shadows Rising | Book of the Lost

More Behind the Scenes for Mothman Mysteries: BRAND | Cover | Music

Mogdoc News Network: Top 10 Better Uses for a Black Suit

The humans call them the “Men in Black”. These formally dressed do-gooders are a constant thorn in the side of any self-respecting alien. Therefore, in honor of Mothman May and the release of WRONG SIDE OF THE GRAVE –and in dishonor of the boys in black– join me for this countdown of the Top 10 Better Uses for a Black Suit.

young man10. Impersonate life insurance salesman, collect and run

9. Cover up an unsightly stain or girlfriend

8. Wear backwards and securely pin arms for a stylin’ straightjacket that your asylum inmates will go crazy for

7. Tie up ends of pant legs, stuff with hams and hang in smokehouse to cure

6. Take your Wayne Newton impression to a whole new level

5. Gothic quilt

4. Secretly remove stitching from bottoms of all pockets, give suit to compulsive shoplifter, watch the fun

3. Upholster a vampire’s casket or an elegant footstool

2. Cut off legs, sew hem-to-hem…giraffe neckwarmer!

1. Three words…Best Dressed Scarecrow

Brought to you by the Mothman Mysteries, teen sci-fi mystery novels by Bryna Butler on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Sony, and more.

See also:

>The Art Behind the Mothman Mysteries Cover

>The Art Behind the Mothman Mysteries BRAND

>The Music Behind the Mothman Mysteries

>Kirkus Reviews Wrong Side of the Grave, Mothman Mysteries #1

Kirkus Reviews Wrong Side of the Grave

WRONG SIDE OF THE GRAVE
Butler, Bryna
CreateSpace (264 pp.)
$11.99 paperback, $1.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1507898079; February 21, 2015

BOOK REVIEW BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

An alien who feeds on vampires is stumped when the recently dead in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, are apparently no
longer dead in Butler’s (Book of the Lost, 2013, etc.) YA supernatural thriller.

Eric Jansen is just your typical teenager and drummer for a rock band. Except, when not in human form, he’s a red-eyed,
centuries-old alien who has spurred the local Mothman legend. His food source on Earth is vampires, allowing him to
work in cooperation with a secret government agency. But he becomes the men in black’s first suspect when bodies at
the funeral home start sitting up, walking, and talking. He and his human bestie, Bridget, initiate their own investigation,
while the city folk crowd the cemetery, convinced that subterranean loved ones will soon awaken. Eric, however, fears
that someone may be on to him when Bridget suddenly disappears. This entertaining novel navigates well-trod ground
with style. The vampires, for instance, seem like typical bloodsuckers but are actually aliens that Eric’s kind has
followed to Earth. Both Eric and Bridget are cynical but charmingly so, and endless alien-related puns never get old, like
Eric’s suggestion that “people who live in invisible spaceships shouldn’t throw stones.” Along with a grand plot and
vibrant characters, including the enigmatic Agent Hisato Ikeda whom Eric thinks might be an alien, Butler delivers a
notable mystery/thriller. Dramatic tension is wielded expertly; Eric and Bridget, for example, distrust a funeral director
and news reporter, who may have their own agendas. Butler dabbles into Eric’s background but doesn’t overdo the
flashbacks. The same is true for aliens in general; readers only glimpse the interior of Eric’s concealed spacecraft (and
hear what can only be presumed is alien profanity: “Slux!”). Romance between Eric and Bridget is wonderfully
understated, as everyone but the couple appears to recognize that they’re more than just friends. Limitless possibilities to
explore their relationship, as well as a lingering unconquered foe, give the next book of the proposed series a smashing
head start.

Butler revives the moribund with his fresh take on aliens, vampires, and the undead.

You can also check out the review on the Kirkus website, here.

The Music behind Mothman Mysteries

Stay with me on this one…

In developing the character of Eric Jansen, an ancient alien masquerading as a teenager, a love of music seemed like a natural fit for him.

So this is how my warped mind works. On Earth, music is one of most loved and oldest forms of communication. Math, which in itself is referred to as a universal language, is at its core. Beat by beat. Measure by measure. Though music has changed over time, some form of it is always in fashion, and we will likely never live in a world without music. Why wouldn’t a long-lived alien latch onto it?

Eric’s love for music led him to learn how to play. He likes simple things, so he plays the drums. Not because it’s a simple instrument to play; it’s not. It’s just that he finds comfort in the simplicity of the beat. It’s true. Genuine. Music at it’s simplest form.

As for his preference to rock, well, that was just me. Though my hubby takes great pleasure in leaving the radio in my car set to the country station, I change it back to rock every time.

As I wrote Wrong Side of the Grave, I listened to a lot of music which is something I don’t typically do while writing. And as I listened, an idea formed on how to take this book to the next level.

I decided to make a playlist for the book. I’ve seen authors post playlists with music that inspired them to write the story, but I wanted this to be something different. What I wanted was a playlist that would enhance the experience of the story. One track for each chapter to convey the emotion behind the story.

I started with classic rock bands because I knew Eric would love that (yes, in my mind he’s real). Some chapters feature songs from U2, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, The Eagles, Metallica, and The Rolling Stones. I then sprinkled in some of my favorite songs from the soundtracks of movies that were created from YA books such as Vampire Academy and City of Bones. I added Lenny Kravitz because–let’s face it–the guy practically drips cool. And Lindsey Stirling because her music has this eerie quality where you can practically hear the emotion behind it. Finally, I finished it off with some modern rock favorites like Paramore, Coldplay, and Nickelback.

You’ll find the finished playlist at Spotify where you can listen for free:  Wrong Side of the Grave

If you share this post or the playlist, be sure to use the hashtag #mothmanrocks

Take a listen and let me know what you think. Once you get the book start with track number one when you start chapter one and move to track two with chapter two and so on. Succumb to the experience.

Only one legendary creature ROCKS out LOUD!

The Art Behind the Mothman Mysteries: the BRAND

cover1I’ll admit it. I’m a total control freak.

So, when it came time to think about the artwork for my new series, my first thought wasn’t about who to hire. After all, I designed all the covers in the Midnight Guardian series. I do have some professional graphic design experience. If you live in southern Ohio or western West Virginia, some time in the last two decades you’ve likely driven past a billboard that I created. I can drop shadow, gradiate, mask, powerclip, and manipulate fills and nodes like a fiend. Yet, I cannot hand draw. I even have trouble with straight lines. It’s completely sad.

And that’s exactly what I wanted for this. Not straight lines, but original hand-drawn artwork. The main character, Eric Jansen, has an alien tattoo. He calls it his BRAND which stands for Biometric Remodeling Apparatus with Necessity Duplicator. The BRAND has some extraordinary built-it features. I knew that I wanted his tattoo to be the symbol for the series. I didn’t want a stock photo or clipart. I wanted original. And I got it with Joshua Labello. Continue reading “The Art Behind the Mothman Mysteries: the BRAND”