Welcome to Jagged Edge!
Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
First off, big thanks to Kati – you run an awesome blog here.
The Two Brothers Metz (Rhett and Lafe), are from a family of 5 boys and live in Pittsburgh. Gypsy Knights is our debut novel, and is the first book in a series, but unlike many series, we’ve set no boundaries on the Gypsy Knights saga in terms of number of books. Each book is designed to have a satisfying ending and a mostly contained storyline, where the main characters either complete their quests or fail to. But the series itself is potentially limitless. The future books will go forward and backward along Durriken’s lineage – Durriken is the main character of Gypsy Knights – usually skipping a generation.
What inspired you to write?
First and foremost, great writers.
Gypsy Knights in particular was motivated by two things: A bed time story our parents told us about a boy named Peppermill; and, our then five-year-old cousin, who our Aunt and Uncle adopted out of Romania, and who we believe has Romani cultural heritage.
We wanted to provide children like her, and young Romanis in general, with a hero – but not a hero who was defined and consumed by their culture – just a hero who happened to be Romani, and who dealt with the natural consequences of that in the same way all people must deal with the consequences of their cultural background. We stole plot elements of our parents’ story about Peppermill for Gypsy Knights.
What authors influenced you as a writer?
So many. If we had to list our top ten, which we will inevitably regret the moment we say them because it’s an impossible task, we’d say: Roald Dahl, J.R.R. Tolkien, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, J.K. Rowling, Edward Abbey, Nancy Farmer, Susan Cooper, Mark Twain, James Clavell, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. We regret that already.
Your favorite character?
You’re killing us! We’ll call it a tossup between Liesel Meminger and Death, both from Markus Zusak’s maddeningly perfect The Book Thief.
What is your favorite Quote?
This is the hardest interview ever. Lifeline? We should admit that in an earlier version of Gypsy Knights, each chapter began with a quote – we’re kind of quote junkies. The final version still contains a quote before each of the three books that comprise the story.
When one of us was in college, someone (perhaps it was him, he honestly forgets) had written this quote on the pushpin board over the desk in the dorm room in heavy black marker: “If no one loved, the sun would go out.”
It’s part of a longer discourse on love in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. We would include the longer quote, but we would start crying and that would be embarrassing. I dare you to google it and not cry.
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Harry Potter. It’s probably clichéd or too mainstream for YA writers to say, but it’s just such a cool world. We wonder if the real world could collectively pass a law forcing Rowling to produce one book per year? So what if it’s illegal and tramples her civil rights? Or perhaps Kathy Bates could reprise her role in Steven King’s Misery, but this time for real, and trap Rowling and force her to write? We’d be okay with that – just make sure the penguin on the mantle is facing due south!
What is the one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
Patience, books, feedback and plenty of time for rewrites. That’s four things, sorry…
Are your books different to your personal favorite books by other authors?
We hope so! Of course what we’ve read naturally informs what we write, but within any genre we strive to bring our twists and to find a unique voice.
What lead you to writing in this genre?
We were both heavily influenced by what we read growing up. You find yourself asking things like, “Well, how would Aslan react to this?” Once you’re older, new books tend to have less of an impact on your thoughts and actions, and the world can sometimes lose that element of magic that is so palpable when you’re younger (you can still access it if you really concentrate!). Writing for a teen and YA audience is both a way for us to claw some of that magic back into our lives and to perpetuate and foster it for those who are more immediately in touch with it.
Where readers can find you?
Accessibility is really important to us. If you write, FB, or otherwise reach out, we will respond Feel free to email us, you can write to email@example.com or you can find us on FB if you search for TwoBrothersMetz – we just recently set up the page.
Gypsy Knights is an ebook, so you can check it out at the usual locations, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Google Books, etc.
Was their a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
Q. What other books have we written?
Lafe wrote “The Locksmith” – which I (Rhett) don’t mind saying is awesome. I like to think of it as YA, though some of the content is for a mature audience and I would add the caution that there are swearwords and adult situations, so it’s a little hard to put in a genre. It’s based on the true story of a Holocaust survivor and his story of perseverance.