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Today I am so pleased to welcome Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus to Joyfully Jay. Beryll and Osiris have come to talk to us about their latest release, The PV-3 Mutagen. Please join me in giving them a big welcome!


Beryll and Osiris have written some questions and answer to share today.

With ‘The PV-3 Mutagen’, you are starting a new series about a certain Dr. Rene Laurent. For those readers who do not know you yet, how would you describe the Virasana Empire in which the series takes place?

The Virasana Empire is a vast, wildly diverse and colourful space opera setting. Millennia after humanity has left earth, humans and aliens coexist more or less peacefully, struggling to build a better future under the Good Emperor and his government. While the setting itself is pretty grim in places, it offers a spectacular, bizarre and illuminating background for our stories of adventure, hope and love.


There’s an entire wiki detailing this universe’s background, 99.9% of which does not appear in this novel. Why all the work and will readers be able to understand the novel without knowing all the information?

Oh, definitely you don’t need to know anything from the wiki to enjoy the novels. The novels carry everything within them that’s necessary to enjoy both the story and the setting. That said, readers who have a particular interest in worldbuilding and exploration might find the wiki an intriguing addition to the novels. In a setting that’s running on such a long and detailed history and so many different cultures, much that reads like a throwaway quirk in a novel is based on much more intricate reasons. Some readers have already found crucial clues about the books and their future storylines in the wiki – and we love it!


You’re labelling “The PV-3 Mutagen” as non-romance sci-fi adventure. Will it appeal even to readers who do not necessarily like sci-fi – in other words: How much sci-fi is to be expected? Even if someone has no interest in sci-fi – is there a highlight that they would be missing if they didn’t read the novel?

The setting is not hard SF. There are a lot of futuristic, technological details in the background and setting, but it’s never a central plot point. If you like Fantasy, whether High Fantasy or Urban Fantasy, you’ll most probably enjoy the hell out of this setting just for the sheer richness of it.

And just the banter and buddy cop comedy moments between the two main characters – Dr. Rene Laurent and Brother Riccardo – would be a shame to miss for readers of all genres.


What made you decide to write a non-romance sci-fi adventure? How about the series of Dr. Laurent’s adventures?

Well, for us it’s less ‘defying genre conventions’ and more ‘defying marketing conventions’. We write the stories that inspire us, we follow our characters through their journey, and we would be disingenuous if we’d say that every step of that journey would have the same genre.

So yes, we are not reliably writing one genre, fully aware that poses a challenge to some of our readers that they have all the right in the world to skip in their leisure reading.

But on the other hand, we offer another kind of guarantee: There will always be a happy ending to our stories. There will always be hope in our stories. There will never be harsh cliffhangers, all books will end with the characters at least in a safe and stable situation. All our stories will have affirmative content about found and patchwork families, about self-determination and finding happiness against all the odds. We follow the story of our characters, and we guarantee an overarching plot and development for each of our series.

We love our characters and their stories, and managing this love to shine through in our novels is what we consider one of our greatest achievements.

So concerning the ‘Dr. Laurent’ series, this means the first volume is a non-romance adventure, the second will be almost high fantasy with a bit of romance, the third will be an urban fantasy romance in a sci-fi setting, and so on. But if you enjoy the themes we mentioned above, you can enjoy all these books despite their genre.


What do you think sets this new series apart from your other series in the same universe, the ‘Sir Yaden’ adventures? And for the readers who know the Sir Yaden adventures – how can they find their place in this new series? Are there similarities they can look forward to?

Sir Yaden is a noble and his story arc is focused on the current big events in the Empire, telling a grand tale of action and adventure. With Dr. Laurent, we get a chance to explore a commoner’s perspective, to look at the lives of the ordinary people living in the empire. We get a chance to explore the empire’s history and culture much more in-depth than the ‘Sir Yaden’ series could possibly have room for.

Having two series also gives us a chance to showcase how differently these two uniquely talented characters deal with their psionic abilities, their particular strengths and weaknesses and how their different upbringing had shaped them, all while keeping our general themes of family and friendship intact.

But both series are connected by the sense of family, of love and self-determination that we aim to bring to all our books. Happiness looks different for everyone, and the paths there vary wildly, but we will make sure all our characters get there eventually.


So the main character is a young scholar of history?

Agreed, historians aren’t the first profession that comes to mind as main character in an adventure novel. And Dr. Laurent would consider himself the last person suited for an adventure, too. But he is smart, and educated, and can figure out stuff. In a world with a history as rich and complex as the Virasana Empire, knowing the history of things means you know the reasons behind them. And knowing the why always gives you an inkling of how to change them, if need be.


Since this is the first in a new series – how long is it going to get? Is it one overarching plot or will the volumes be mostly separate? What is the next adventure readers can look forward to that Dr. Laurent will have to tackle?

We have written the first three books already, and it could become just as long as the Sir Yaden series – that is, a good dozen of books, maybe more. But each volume will contain a complete adventure, so our readers do not have to wait for the last volume to get a satisfying conclusion.

At the end of ‘The PV-3 Mutagen’, Dr. Laurent decides that he wants to go and train as an active agent of the Circle of Thales. And that’s where the next books will continue. ‘Red Claws, Blue Ink’ will follow him on his first ‘training wheels’ missions to Shiraz and Gui Lin, respectively. The third book ‘Hoverballerino’ will see him finish his education on Floor, before he leaves on his adventures proper after that.

And before you ask, yes, Brother Riccardo will return and remain part of the story, but only from #4 on onwards…


As a history scholar and courier for the secretive Circle of Thales, Rene Laurent is a man of many talents – none of them lending themselves much to a life of adventure.

But when a chance meeting with a young, idealistic Belligra priest drags him into a wild quest to keep a dangerous mutagen off the streets of Floor, his curiosity gets the better of him. Between monsters both human and man-made, he realises that maybe fieldwork is more of his game than he had ever thought possible…

Written by Rainbow-Award-winning authors Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, ‘The PV-3 Mutagen’ is a colourful non-romance sci-fi adventure set in the wildly diverse ‘Virasana Empire’, and the first novel of the ‘Doctor Laurent’ series.

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We are Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, a couple currently living our happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of our cat.

Both of us are voracious but picky readers, we love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, we write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of our happiness with our readers.

An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of our duo.

An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.