Title: The Rules of Ever After
Author Name: Killian B. Brewer
Publication Date & Length: June 9, 2015 – 256 pgs
The rules of royal life have governed the kingdoms of Clarameer for thousands of years, but Prince Phillip and Prince Daniel know that these rules don’t provide for the happily ever after they seek. A fateful, sleepless night on top of a pea set under twenty mattresses brings the two young men together and sends them on a quest out into the kingdoms.
On their travels, they encounter meddlesome fairies, an ambitious stepmother, disgruntled princesses and vengeful kings as they learn about life, love, friendship, and family. Most of all, the two young men must learn to know themselves and how to write their own rules of ever after.
The Rules of Ever After is the debut novel from Duet Books, an imprint for Young Adult LGBTQ fiction from Interlude Press.
“Phillip, don’t believe all those stories your scribe told you. Magic is not defeated by waiting for someone to come
rescue you from it. You have to fight it.” Daniel paused and took a breath before reaching out to take Phillip’s hand
again. “I sat around for two years waiting for someone to come along and fix my problems. No one came, and
nothing changed. Then I realized that maybe the person I was waiting for was me. So I went out to find my own
“I’m not you. I don’t even know where to begin.” Phillip sat back on the edge of the bed.
“You begin the way everyone does,” Daniel explained, “one foot in front of the other.”
“I’ve barely been out of this castle. I don’t know what’s out there.”
“Well, you’re in luck. You know someone who does.”
“What? Who?” Phillip cocked his head and stared at Daniel in confusion.
“Me!” Daniel winked and pointed to his chest. “I know what’s out there. I’ve been wandering all over the kingdoms
for months now. I’ve studied the maps and the histories. I know how to fight and how to survive.” Daniel stood up.
“I’ll come with you,” he continued. “I’ll help you find her, and we’ll bring her down together. We will fix this.”
Daniel could almost see the wheels turn in Phillip’s head as he considered Daniel’s offer. He looked over at his
father, then back down at his feet before glancing up to Daniel with a look of tentative hope. “Why would you do
Daniel pondered the question for a moment, unsure of the answer himself. The pain in Phillip’s face touched
Daniel’s heart and made him want to bring back the mischievous, laughing man he had met just two nights before.
This was not his problem, and he had his own concerns to deal with, but looking at Phillip’s terrified face, he knew
he wanted to help. He knew he had to.
“I’m not being completely selfless. I’m still going to be looking for my own answers. But I can help you look, too.”
Daniel held his hand out to Phillip. “Come with me. Let’s go get you some food and make a plan.”
“You’re just saying this to get me to eat.”
“No. As I said, I feel responsible. If I hadn’t gotten in that bed—”
“But you did.” Phillip mumbled before turning to look at Daniel with his eyes wide. “And you passed the test. I
thought for sure you were the answer—”
“The test? I still don’t understand about this test.”
“Yes. You were the first to spend the night in the bed and be kept awake by the pea under the mattresses. Okay,
maybe some of the others could have passed if I hadn’t—”
“Phillip? You think a pea kept me awake?” Daniel stepped back and knitted his brows; he had clearly missed some
element of that awful night’s events. Though he was glad to see some sign of activity from Phillip, Daniel was
thoroughly confused. “Why was there a pea under—”
“Yes. You passed the test. Maybe it is a sign!” Phillip stood and turned to Daniel; excitement spread across his face.
“Maybe you are here to help me.”
1) Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
My writing environment is very glamorous! Ha! Actually, I work on a far too old computer that is sitting on an old desk that I shoved into a corner of the guest room in my house. I like writing in my house because if I get a touch of writer’s block, I can get up and find some other task to do to get my mind off the writing. I may do a load of laundry or wash some dishes. Any mindless task is good for me so I can let a problematic scene just play out in my head. I tried writing in a coffee shop once, but they weren’t wild on me getting up and sweeping in the middle of the store.
2) Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
There is a little bit of me in both of the princes in The Rules. Like Phillip, I knew the pressure of growing up with expectations for your future that I knew as a gay man would be hard for me to fulfill. My parents expected me to grow up, marry and have children. Things are different for a lot of LGBTQ people now, but when I was a teen, the concept of marriage equality and raising a family was impossible to imagine. Like Prince Daniel, I have a sappy romantic side but am also a bit of a pragmatist. I had a lot of fun writing the process of him falling for Phillip and the emotions he didn’t expect that arose on their adventures.
3) If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
I have always thought it would be a blast to be a tour guide. My partner and I took a tour of Savannah, Georgia once that rode around looking at the sights in a trolley car. The driver told stories about the houses and statues and entertained us as we rode. I think it would be fun to have a job that still involved telling stories, even if they aren’t my own original stories. Also, I enjoy history and entertaining people, so that would be an excellent combination.
4) Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
I had often heard about the importance of world building in a fantasy story, but I discovered it first hand while writing rules. I had originally conceived of a different series of events at the climax of the story, but the “rules” of the world the characters live in that I had established early in the novel made that scene not make sense. I am actually happier with the scene that I ended up writing, but it taught me that you need to think carefully about unintended consequences of saying something has to happen in the world a certain way.
5) Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
I wish I had devoted a little more time to Andrew and Marina’s relationship. They may have to be a one-off story at some time. I think it could be fun to write to very vain people falling in love and for the first time in their lives becoming interested in someone else for a change. Since they were background characters, there wasn’t really time to explore them and I would like to do that.
6) What’s next for you as a writer?
I originally thought The Rules would be a one time visit to the world of Clarameer but after I finished the book, I realized there are still stories to tell about these characters. I think it would be interesting to explore what happens for these characters after the happily ever after. So I’m currently working on further adventures for Phillip and Daniel. Also, I am working on a story that is set in South Georgia and deals with living life as a gay man looking for love in a small town in the Bible Belt. It sounds like a serious book, but it will be comedic as well.
7) Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
I grew up and live in the southeastern United States. This area of the States was a big area for Irish immigration and the Irish have a long history of oral storytelling. I grew up hearing the same old stories told over and over at every family gathering. This definitely influenced me as a storyteller and writer. My father taught me two rules of storytelling that I always try to follow. First, never let the truth stand in the way of a good story. Second, if you take joy in telling a story, others will take joy in hearing it.
8) Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
I am a peanut butter fanatic. Nutter Butter cookies, peanut butter ice cream, any Reese’s product are all irresistible to me. Usually I am not a sweets eater. I prefer salty treats like potato chips or popcorn, but peanut butter is my biggest weakness. The Girl Scouts sell two types of peanut butter cookies and I nearly bankrupt myself buying boxes of those!
Killian B. Brewer grew up in a family where the best way to be heard was to tell a good story, therefore he developed an early love of storytelling, puns and wordplay. He began writing poetry and short fiction at 15 and continued in college where he earned a BA in English. He does not use this degree in his job in the banking industry. He currently lives in Georgia with his partner of 10 years and their dog. Growing up in the South gave him a funny accent and a love of grits. The Rules of Ever After is his first novel.