Brandon Mull is best known for his Fablehaven series, but young readers looking for adventure will get a big kick out of A World Without Heroes, the first book in the new Beyonders series.
A World Without Heroes tells the story of eighth grader Jason Walker and ninth grader Rachel, the only two "beyonders" (people from Earth) who have reached the world of Lyrian. As the book's title suggests, there are no more heroes in Lyrian—but Jason might be the guy for the job.
Before he headed out on his Beyonders tour, we contacted Mull at his home in Highland, Utah, to find out more about heroes, Frodo . . . and yodeling.
What was your favorite book as a child?
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The Narnia books really created my love of reading.
Where do you write?
I write in an office in my basement. Usually on the floor with a laptop. I'm highly distractable, so I need to be alone.
How would you describe the world where your novel takes place?
Lyrian is a fantasy world apart from our own. The main characters in the Beyonders cross over to Lyrian from our world. Lyrian has a long history. In the past, wizards used their powers to create a variety of magical races and species. Over time the wizards died off, but many of the races they engineered have survived. To help Lyrian feel truly elsewhere, I wanted to create creatures and races that I hadn't seen before.
Of all the characters you've created, which is your favorite and why?
So hard to pick! I try to only write about characters that interest me. The Blind King in the Beyonders is one of my favorites because he used to be a great swordsman and hero, but after he was captured and blinded, he lost his heroic status and lives a more anonymous life. As the series goes on, we get to see him pick himself up and try to be great again.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
My Fablehaven launch parties have caused some of my proudest moments. We've had thousands of fans show up to watch the show we put on, and it feels cool to think that all these people came together to have a good time because they enjoy my crazy books.
The first book in the Beyonders series is called A World Without Heroes. Aside from your own characters, who is your favorite fictional hero?
I love Frodo from Lord of the Rings. I love that he feels like a humble, regular person with huge responsibilities thrust upon him.
If you weren't a writer, how would you earn a living?
Before I made my living writing fiction, I was paid to write advertisements and marketing copy. If I wasn't allowed to do any kind of writing, I'd probably have to fall back on yodeling.
Author photo by Laura Hanifin.