Isle of Chaos by Sophie and Chris Brousseau
Updated: Jan 23
Do you love a good adventure? I certainly do! Today I am talking to Maple Lion Fiction. Otherwise known as Sophie and Chris Brousseau, authors of Isle of Chaos.
I received an ARC (advance review copy) of Isle of Chaos. What a fantastic read! This book gripped me right at the start with the capture and hanging of Captain Kidd. His legendary treasure is still out there and the people of Nassau want to find it. The six main characters stole the show. Each are unique in their own way and capture your heart. My favorites are Issac, who’s loosely-goose drunkenness reminds me of Captain Jack Sparrow, and Joy, who is a kick-ass assassin. There is action and adventure that makes your heart accelerate. Comedy that makes you laugh out loud and mysteries to solve. If you love a good pirate adventure or hunt for buried treasure, you will love Isle of Chaos!
Before we talk to the dynamic duo, let’s read the synopsis for Isle of Chaos:
Grab your cutlass and prepare for an exhilarating adventure on the Isle of Chaos, where six lives intertwine in the quest for money, power, and revenge.
Ambitious yet impoverished Isaac Carver has been hunting Captain Kidd’s legendary buried treasure ever since he was cruelly abandoned as a young boy. With only two locations left to search, he’s determined to escape his pitiful past and live a life he’s only ever dreamed of. But little does Isaac know that his actions will be the catalyst in a devastating chain of events leading to an all-out war for control of the island.
Crossing paths with Crow, a quirky yet feared pirate captain who’ll do anything to avoid a mutiny; Joy, a fiery bounty hunter and loving sister on a mission to right wrongs; Popino, a sex-addicted widower and desperate, anguished father; Molly, a vengeful apothecary intent on inciting war; and Jane, a sharp-witted mercenary boss, Isaac soon realises everyone has something to hide and few can be trusted.
Can Isaac overcome his past and survive long enough to complete his quest – or will clashing ambitions lead to his demise?
J.C. - Hi guys! Let’s start by having a brief introduction.
Sophie: Thanks for having us Jess! Hi everyone, we’re Sophie and Chris Brousseau the husband and wife writing team behind Maple Lion Fiction. Together we have published five novellas which we have now revised, re-edited and put out into the world as Isle of Chaos, our first full length novel. Chris is the one responsible for structuring the story and writing the first draft. And I’m the one who writes the subsequent drafts. Our working backgrounds are both very different, mine is in healthcare and research and Chris’ is all video games hence we have very different skill sets which when combined form our rather unique writing team!
J.C. - Isle of Chaos is your debut novel. What made you come up with the idea?
Chris: The first season of Game of Thrones had just aired, and it got me thinking… At that time, there was a distinct lack of pirate tv shows. But I wasn’t about to make a tv show, so I thought why not write a book. The idea was clear, I’d set it in a pirate world with multiple main characters and an intertwining story ala George R. R. Martin. I wrote around fifteen chapters worth and created a bunch of characters most of whom made it into Isle of Chaos then life took over and I shelved it. I relocated to Melbourne, Australia and those drafts sat in my google drive untouched.
Sophie: Fast forward several years, we met, we married and then we decided we wanted to work on a project together. We both think very similarly, and I had been writing research papers, so I’d got used to writing professionally but certainly not fiction. It was all very new to me. When Chris mentioned the draft and the pirate world I was sold! Read those fifteen chapters, killed off a couple of characters, wrote a second draft, then a third… and the rest is what’s out in the world today. We wanted the novel to be an escape for people, what we call an ‘old skool’ adventure. A similar vibe to eighties and nineties adventure movies.
J.C. - This story was previously released as a five-part serial titled Pirates of Nassau. What made you change the title and publish it as one novel?
Chris: A few things actually… first of all we thought some people might be put off by the whole pirate thing. It’s quite niche and we wanted to appeal to a wider audience, so changing the title seemed like the ideal way to do it.
Sophie: Plus, since it’s not set at sea, we wanted to manage any expectations there. A few readers of the serial commented that they had expected the book to be filled with seafaring pirates and it’s not, so we didn’t want that for the novel. It’s about life on land…
Chris: As for publishing it as a full novel, that was always our intention. We wanted to do it as a serial at first to see if there was any interest, and also to keep us accountable since it's a big project. We found breaking it up into manageable chunks helped us learn a lot about both the writing and publishing process too, so it was worthwhile for us, but we wouldn't do it again.
J.C. - You have quite an ensemble cast. Do you have a favorite character?
Chris: For me it's Captain Crow, I love grumpy old men causing havoc for some reason.
Sophie: Hmm, I am worried what he'll (Chris) be like as an old man actually hahaha. As for me my favourite to write is Popino because he’s an absolute mess, but I adore them all, gah! It’s like asking to pick a favourite child!
J.C. - Captain Kidd’s treasure is out there. If you lived in Nassau, what would you be doing?
Chris: Drinking pina coladas on the beach and applying sunscreen… maybe some swimming. Because honestly, who doesn't love a sun-filled holiday!
Sophie: I second that, might switch up the cocktails for some straight rum or maybe switch to a Dark & Stormy! Wait – are we talking now? If it was pirate days… that beach might be a bit dangerous! Should we be looking for the treasure?
J.C. - What is it like writing together? Name one thing you love about it and one thing that you don’t. Let’s be candid. Do you argue?
Chris: I like it because I have someone to essentially test out the story on and give feedback before it goes to anyone else, and above all else, it's the person whose opinion I trust the most. Sophie knows what's good. If she says something sucks, then it does. If she says it's great and fun, then it is. If she says it's confusing, then it is definitely confusing. As the person who writes the first draft and structures the story it’s very helpful to have that person around all the time. That's what I love.
As for what I don’t… it's more of a style thing. As I said before, she knows how to make things good, whereas I'm looser with it, so when she nit-picks on something for too long I get annoyed. But that's what she's good at, so it's just a difference in style. In the end, it's for the best as we want high-quality products but, personally it drives me crazy haha!
Sophie: I like to think of it as attention to detail! Hahaha. I do have perfectionist tendencies when it comes to some things, that’s for sure. Let’s see… the thing I love about writing together is that we are creating something together that we’ll have forever. I feel lucky to even be able to work with Chris so closely. The thing I don’t is that we can often work too much on projects and forget to have time for the relationship outside of it.
Chris: Yes, need to strike a balance. Hmm, do we argue? Yes, but we try not to, but sometimes we do. Again, it's more about learning how to work together than what we are actually arguing about. We are both opinionated and easy-going at the same time which makes for a strange working partnership, but we're getting better with figuring out how to give feedback to each other and talk to each other about ‘work’ related stuff.
Sophie: Most definitely. We’ve learnt a lot about ourselves and each other whilst writing this book.
J.C. - Who has been your biggest support system while on this writing adventure?
Chris: Each other!
Sophie: We moved from Australia to the UK whilst writing Isle of Chaos too, so we relied on each other very heavily for support.
Chris: Also, friends and other authors, the Instagram author community is awesome!
Sophie: It is, we’ve met a lot of really great people on the platform.
J.C. - Finish the sentence. In ten years I’d like to…
Chris: Have a television series based on our books.
Sophie: I second that, plus I want to design and have a range of some really great merch.
J.C. - The story is most definitely not over! When can we expect book two?
Chris: No, it’s certainly not over but what we're going to do is take a little break from the full Isle of Chaos story and work on something a bit shorter, and a bit different.
Sophie: But in the same world, this will form part of the Golden Age Tales universe. You may have noticed that on the front cover of Isle of Chaos. Chris wanted to create a Marvel like pirate universe, so that’s our name for it.
Chris: So, we’re actually going to be exploring what one of our characters would be like as a detective! We think a pirate detective novel would be interesting and fun, especially because the world of pirates is so chaotic and lawless, so how would a detective work within that context?
Sophie: We shall see! The character for the job is Jane Hatch and this will be her origin story.
J.C. - Lastly, where can readers find you and your work?
Sophie: A myriad of places!
To stay in touch, you can check out our website www.maplelionfiction.com, we have a monthly newsletter where you get free horror stories from our co-written AI anthology and other delights.
If it’s social media you’re after, Instagram @maplelionfiction is the main platform though we are on FB @maplelionfiction and Twitter @maplelionwrites too! Come say hi!
I hope you do hop over to Maple Lion Fiction and say hello. Chris and Sophie are just spectacular. It has been such a pleasure getting to know them and reading their work.