Category Archives: miniviews

PS Broaddus, Quills new team member!

A Drift of Quills: Welcomes P.S. Broaddus to the Team!

Welcome to another edition of A Drift of Quills, bringing you fact, fantasy, and… a brand new team member!

When we had Parker—who publishes as P.S. Broaddus—as a guest a few months ago, we talked about Tackling Writing Challenges. We liked his style and his wonderful sense of humor so much that we hunted him down and trapped him in a dark corner invited him to join us as a full-time team member. Much to our surprise delight, he agreed!

By way of introduction, P.S. (Parker) has kindly agreed to be the subject of a mini-view: one question from each of us. (Is it cheating that they’re multiple-part questions?)

And, just as I suspected from the telltale gleam in his eye, he’s another pea in the pod. Er… writer in the ream! Hack in the stack?

Okay, before I get carried away and start doing Dr. Seuss impressions, let’s hear from Parker!

Robin: What is your most recent published work? Do you have a favorite character from it? If so, who, and why?

Parker: My most recent published work is my debut novel A Hero’s Curse, book one of the Unseen Chronicles. It was published this past Christmas, with the audiobook having launched last month, over the 4th of July. A Hero’s Curse follows the adventures of Essie Brightsday, a young blind girl, as she attempts to find her kingdom’s lost king. The nature and structure of A Hero’s Curse pushed Essie and Tig, her sarcastic talking cat to the forefront of the story. They get the most screentime. Essie is a fascinatingly complex young lady, and Tig’s dry, sarcastic humor is so akin to my own I can’t help but like him. But there are several characters who I really enjoy. Illiana, the cheerful and bubbly friend Essie makes in the Kingdom Above the Sun is unbreakable. She is a glass-half-full type character and she always makes me smile. King Mactogonii and Queen Leonatrix are interesting and powerful characters with tangled histories. I can’t help but want to know more about their past and their future.

I am working hard on book two in the Unseen Chronicles, with high hopes for another Christmas release. The structure of book two is completely different from A Hero’s Curse. Rather than a quest or journey structure, the story is a mystery, set in one city. There isn’t a lot of travelling and there are a ton of characters! Here’s my favorite part. Many of the characters I loved so much from A Hero’s Curse are back, but this time we get to see them developed in a way we didn’t get to in book one.

Robin: Secret? “Dry, sarcastic humor” is a prerequisite for becoming an official Quill! Scroll down to find links to Parker’s website and book—But don’t miss his answer to The Next Important Question!

Patricia RedingPATRICIA REDING

Author of Oathtaker and Select
Patricia’s website

This is a particularly exciting time, as we Quills just added a new member, Parker Broaddus, who publishes under the name, P.S. Broaddus. And wouldn’t you know it? Parker, like Robin, is blessed with an incredible sense of humor. (Needless to say, I’m feeling a bit like chopped liver . . .)

In celebration of Parker’s joining us, we’ve decided we would interview him. Here are his initial comments. (Did I mention that he has a sense of humor?):

Patricia: What are your earliest memories of reading as a child? Did you visit a library regularly? A book mobile? How did that impact your life as a reader and/or writer?

Parker: (Read the answer on Patricia’s website!)

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Be sure to go visit P.S. Broaddus on his website, and don’t forget to check out his middle-grade book!


Website
A Hero’s Curse

A Hero's Curse, by PS Broaddus

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Reader or writer, who is your favorite fantasy character? Why?
Do you have any questions for Parker? Ask away in the comments below!

Miniviews (With A Drift of Quills)

A Drift of Quills is here again! We’re like clockwork that way, every Friday! Today we’re doing “miniviews” — shortshortshort interviews with some of our favorite authors. We each picked a victim, er… writer, and asked them the same three questions. Read on to see how they answered.
A.E. Marling leaped into the indie writer scene about three years ago with his impressive debut, Brood of Bones. (Not that I’ve talked about that before, but who’s counting?) Behind the book’s gorgeous cover is a story about an enchantress with a sleeping problem and a city full of pregnant women. All of them, from virgin to grandmother. What’s a curious, respectable, responsible woman to do?
I thoroughly enjoyed the book—and his others as well. So I asked him if we could take a tiny peek at his writerly self, and he was gracious enough to accept.
Q: What makes you write?
A: I want readers to be able to take adventures to the farthest shores of imagination. To see things they’ve never seen. To be told a new story with a beginning, middle, and resonate end. To have it finish in a weekend’s worth of pages.
Q: Badguys: pure evil or misunderstood adversary?
A: Every story is a tragedy from the perspective of the antagonist. I write my villains as having some of the same strengths as my heroes, but whereas the heroine overcomes her fatal flaw, the villain fails to grow. The villain’s inability to change dooms him in the final act.
Q: What was the toughest challenge you faced when writing, and how did you overcome it? 
A: My first draft of Gown of Shadow and Flame was a disaster. No one liked or understood one of the principal characters. I self-medicated with a binge session of Skyrim, then I set about making the mechanics of her magic clearer. She’s a character who has sold her humanity for the power to survive, and in the first draft her depression and bitter thoughts dragged down the reader. In the next version I gave her moments of joy, so we can glimpse her younger self and wish for her to succeed. Now Gown of Shadow and Flame is my best-reviewed story. 
I completely agree with this way of thinking  — except for the “weekend’s worth of pages.” I want mooooore!  I love big books and I cannot lie. And the misunderstood villain is challenging to write, but fantastic to read. Thank you for joining us, Mr. Marling! As always, I look forward to reading your next books (and he’s a blast to follow on Twitter, too) and wish you the best of luck with your writing. 
Be sure to check out A.E. Marling’s books!
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KRISTIE KIESSLING
Author of the short story, Sanguis Dei and a poetry collection, Light and Dark
I hear tell that sometime in the late 1980’s, Deanna Smith, author of the children’s book The Dragon’s Rocketship, received an old Mac Plus computer from her step-Dad and Mom. Trees all over the world heaved a sigh of relief. Because Deanna writes. About everything. Anywhere. All the time.
Read about what she’s up to (Read more!)
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PATRICIA REDING
Author of Oathtaker
I would like to introduce you to one of my new and dear Australian author friends, L. J. Clarkson. L.J. is the author of The Silver Strand (Mastermind Academy, #1) and Heaven and House – Rise of the Alpha.  She writes for middle graders and trust me when I say that she has a unique ability to think and speak like one!  She offers some interesting and off-beat characters, and providers readers with some good laughs!   
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Now it’s your turn: Pick one of the questions and answer for yourself. We’d love to hear what you have to say!