I swear the earth tilts back and forth (hence, our seasonal changes) faster and faster all of the time! Can you believe it is August already? Well, with the first Friday of the month comes the post for A Drift of Quills.
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 decided we would interview him.
Here are his initial comments. (Did I mention that he has a sense of humor?):
After a rigorous training program, several severe examinations, and a truth serum administered by Professor Snape, I've been asked to join the writing group, A Drift of Quills. They are really nice, lots of fun, and super talented. And they like second breakfast. Bilbo Baggins was a part of their group for a while before he took off for the Grey Havens.
They asked if I would be willing to sit down for a short interview. We started talking about reading and writing but ended up talking about myth, legend, Tig's sarcasm and the sequel to A Hero's Curse.
Welcome, Parker! Now, here's your first question(s): What are your earliest memories of reading as a child? Did you visit a library regularly? A bookmobile? How did that impact your life as a reader and/or writer?
I recall reading quite a bit as a kid. One of my earliest favorites was Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry. I loved it! I drifted toward adventure stories and we had a whole shelf of G.A. Henty's historical novels that I enjoyed. I read Treasure Island several times but I particularly loved the fantastical. Alas, we didn’t have much in the way of fantasy, but at least we had the best: The Chronicles of Narnia. My favorite continues to be The Horse and His Boy. Harry Potter didn't come out until I was nearly grown, and I didn't take the chance to read them until I got to college.
If we’re talking about formative stories, I have to mention a 1920 reprint of the 1907 original copy of The Myths of Greece and Rome by H. A. Guerber. I found the stories, illustrations, and themes, brutal, epic and fascinating. It developed in me a love for myth that was later molded and defined by Lewis and Tolkien.
As for library visits or book mobile interactions, not so much. We lived on a cattle ranch about 80 miles from the city library. I remember it being interesting and fun the couple of times we went to the library, but what we really enjoyed doing was reading and re-reading the books we already owned. Like C.S. Lewis said about re-reading old favorites: “I probably do it too much. It is one of my greatest pleasures: indeed I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.” ~ C.S. Lewis, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Volume II, Letter to Arthur Greeves Feb 1932
We may not have made it to the library very often, but that didn’t quell my imagination. I made up stories all the time. Most of the time my younger brother would be the compliant listener and I would regal him with imaginary adventures by the hour.
So there you have it! A glimpse of what reading and storytelling looked like for me as a young whippersnapper. What about our readers? What were your earliest memories of reading as a child?
Find our more about Parker here.
At this point, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, and interrogator extraordinaire, takes over the questioning. (Lest you wonder, Parker is seated in a lone chair in the center of a room. Bare walls and hard floors surround him, his hands are tied behind his back, and a bright light is shining in his eyes . . .) Here's Robin:
When we had Parker as a guest on the Quills a few months ago, Patricia and I liked his style and his wonderful sense of humor so much that we hunted him down and trapped him in a dark corner (nix that that part) . . . invited him to join us full time. Much to our surprise (nix that part, as well) delight, he agreed!
By way of introduction, 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?)
What is your most recent published work? Do you have a favorite character from it? If so, who, and why?
Oh, nice. Fun question. 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...(Read the rest on Robin Lythgoe's site!)
Once again, find the rest of Parker's response to Robin's question on her site, here.
This month, we Quills discuss how we find time to write. Thank you for joining us!
First up, is Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies. Here are her comments:
Time—we all need more, right? Can I have a secret extra day in the week? Or how about a clone?
I’m one of those blessed souls who theoretically has time. Awesome, right? Mmmmaybe…! Anyone who looked at my life would assume there are great gobs of the stuff lying around, waiting…
Read more on Robin's site here.
I have some thoughts to share, as well. Here they are:
Time in a bottle.
Time will tell.
A time to love, and a time to hate . . .
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .
A time for every purpose under heaven . . .
The time is right . . .
Time and tide wait for no man.
Hey! Have you got the time?
Most would agree, I think, that there never seems to be enough time to go around. So how, in a life filled with family, friends, day jobs, and more, do we find time to write?
I recall as a child, my mother saying that it annoyed her when people asked her how she found the time to do things. With eight—yes, count them, eight—children, she was a busy woman. She always said: “I don’t have time, I make time.” I guess the same is true for me when it comes to my writing. I could fill my hours with many things, but I squeeze in my writing whenever I can. Why? Because the only way I’ll know the end of any of my stories, is if I write them. That is great incentive to keep at it.
I practice law by day. I’ve had the good fortune of working a little less than a full time schedule over the past years. Thus, I’m usually able to say: “Wherever I am, is exactly where I belong.” What I mean by that is that when I’m working, I’m generally not distracted with details about home, and when I’m home, I do my best not to be distracted with office details. I seek not to lose time with either, focusing on the other. Rather, I want to focus on whatever is before me at the time.
The best writing times for me are when everyone else is away—although in truth, that rarely happens. When it does, I covet the hours. With them, I sit at my desk uninterrupted, with my music of choice in the background, pecking away at the keyboard to my heart’s delight. I usually get the better part of a day a week to do that—and sometimes more! I turn on “Robbie,” my robot vacuum cleaner, and get started. Then time does, indeed, fly!
What about you? How do you find—or make—time to write?