Lights. Camera. Action.
Welcome to Type AJ Negative’s Quick Shots, where needles rule and bloodletting occurs if you pull that needle out too soon.
Our guest today is a talented young lady whose novel, The Mighty Quinn was recently released by Dark Continents Publishing. She is no amateur to the publishing world—or in life, for that matter. Her bio reads like a person who has done a lot of interesting things during her lifetime. Check it out for yourself:
Possessing a quixotic fondness for difficult careers, Paula R. Stiles has driven ambulances, taught fish farming for the Peace Corps in West Africa, and earned a Scottish PhD in medieval history, studying Templars and non-Christians in Spain. Currently Editor in Chief and Copy Editor of Lovecraft/Mythos ‘zine Innsmouth Free Press , Paula Stiles has also published 40 science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories, and a supernatural mystery novel, Fraterfamilias, co-written with Judith Doloughan . Its sequel, Confraternitas, is due out next year.”
She’s also co-edited three Lovecraftian/Gothic anthologies with Silvia Moreno-Garcia for Innsmouth Free Press, grew up in Vermont, has lived in Vancouver (the latter two being relevant to The Mighty Quinn), and currently lives in eastern North Carolina.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel I am not worthy to host the lovely Paula R. Stiles. Give her a round of applause everyone.
Paula, this will hurt for just a second, and then Herbie will asks you a handful of questions and… there we go. Drip line in… and go.
Herbie: Paula, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m just a random citizen of the world. I’ve ridden horses, driven ambulances, farmed fish and ridden motorcycles in Africa for the Peace Corps, studied Spanish Templars for a PhD in Scotland (It made sense at the time, really), and been a Census worker. Most recently, I worked the polls for early voting and the 2012 election. Which was busy. I’ve lived in four countries on three continents. I love swimming. I do it for an hour four times per week.
Really, I’m pretty boring.
Herbie: Boring, eh? We all have different reasons for writing. Mine is to free the insane characters from my mind. Why do you write?
Money. Fame. To tell stories. To clean out the garbage in my head. Because it’s the one thing I’m really pretty good at. Oh, and money.
Herbie: Tell us about The Mighty Quinn.
It’s about a guy who is “gifted” with a special, extraordinary and extraordinarily dangerous power. He flees Vancouver after a growop raid, lands in Vermont, and encounters most of the folkloric fauna there. And very bad weather.
Herbie: I am one of those readers who enjoy learning about where story ideas came from. Can you tell us where the idea for The Mighty Quinn originated?
It came from a few things. First of all, Quinn Bolcan started out life as the narrator of a short story called “Icebergs and Butterflies [http://theopinionguy.com/OG18.pdf].” I got the inspiration for that from a Canadian indie film called “Lola.” Ian Tracey’s nameless plumber in that film was the original inspiration for Quinn. I had trouble selling the story, but editors kept telling me they’d totally read a book about Quinn. The mythology I researched from growing up in Vermont and local folklore books by Joe Citro. And I got the idea for Nan Carreira from a friend who was married to a Cape Verdean guy and Klea Scott’s character in the Canadian TV series, Intelligence (in which Tracey also appeared). I was living in Vancouver when I wrote the rough draft for The Mighty Quinn.
Herbie: Interesting. The publishing process. Do you find it easy or difficult? Or somewhere in the middle?
Hard. The writing is the easiest part. And the better I get at it, the more I seem to suck at it.
Herbie: Let’s go with a few one to two hundred word answer questions: Favorite writer?
Lois McMaster Bujold. I want to be her when I grow up.
Herbie: Favorite fictional character?
Herbie: Favorite place to write?
Herbie: Favorite character you’ve created?
Mmm, that’s a toughie. Probably Alan Kedward from Fraterfamilias. He’s fun to write because he’s so unpredictable and has a flexible grasp on reality.
Herbie: Okay, enough of the really quick shots. Paula, tell us a little about Quinn, the character.
Quinn’s the kind of guy you meet in a honkytonk bar—nice guy you can count on in a bad situation, but kind of nondescript and always somehow makes the wrong choices in life.
Back in the 80s, when I was captain of a rescue squad, I used to hang out with a friend who was a former captain and member of a biker organization. She and I frequented this local biker bar, (long-since defunct) called “The Sheik,” that was kitty corner to a wild western-themed college bar called “The Chicken Bone.” Ironically, the Bone is still running, I think.
One night, we had a mayoral election and I was chatting with this biker over a Bud when the winning candidate, for whatever reason, came in with some friends to celebrate (Vermont’s the kind of state where the largest city’s new mayor goes to a biker bar at midnight to a victory-party. At least, it was in the 80s). The guy I was talking to immediately got up and went to the other side of the room. I followed him and asked him politely if perhaps my deodorant had failed. He matter-of-factly admitted that nothing of the sort had occurred. It was just that he had a record (minor roughneck kind of stuff) and he was concerned about being too close to the mayor and being accused of something. Our conversation then amicably resumed.
Quinn’s that kind of guy.
Herbie: Where can we find The Mighty Quinn?
You can find it in all sorts of places, in both print and ebook:
The publisher: Dark Continents Publishing
Herbie: Paula, where can we find you and more of your work?
You can find me at: thesnowleopard.net
I also edit a zine/micropress of Lovecraft/weird fiction, Innsmouth Free Press.
And you can check my Amazon page for my novels and some of my short stories here
Paula Stiles, thank you for appearing on Quick Shots, here at Type AJ Negative. Easy when you stand up. Before you leave, make sure and grab a cookie and some orange juice.
Everybody, give another round of applause for Paula R. Stiles. Don’t forget, you can pick up a copy of The Mighty Quinn.