B56 Mini Interviews with Brad Abraham, Brenda W. Clough & Lisa Hertel

Welcome back to Boskone! Hope everyone is having a happy holiday! We are excited to bring you our inaugural Mini Interviews for Boskone 56 featuring Brad Abraham, Brenda W. Clough, and Lisa Hertel! We have added a few new questions for our interviewees to answer to this year, and these first few interviews showcase a couple of them. We hope you all enjoy getting to know some of Boskone’s program participants over next several week, and we are looking forward to seeing all of you, both new and familiar faces, on February 15-17, 2019 at Boskone 56!

Brad Abraham

Brad Abraham is an author whose debut novel Magicians Impossible was published by St. Martins Press-Thomas Dunne Books in 2017. As a screenwriter, his work includes the feature films Fresh Meat and Stonehenge Apocalypse, as well as the TV miniseries, Robocop Prime Directives. He is creator of the acclaimed comic book series, Mixtape, has written for such publications as Dreamwatch, Starburst, and Fangoria, and was a long-time contributor to Rue Morgue Magazine.

Visit Brad on Facebook, Twitter, or his website!

With many conventions to choose from and limited time in your schedule, what attracts you to Boskone?

I’m new to both Boskone and New England, having relocated here last spring. Getting used to a new city where you don’t know anybody is always a daunting experience, doubly so when you’re a writer looking for a creative lifeline to other like-minded individuals, be they fellow creatives, or new fans. For me, Boskone more than fits that bill.

If you could relive your first experience with any book or film, which one would you pick? What is it about this book or film that you want to experience again for the “first time?”

It’s going to sound like a cliche, but I have to say Star Wars. Not “Episode IV” not “A New Hope”. Star. Wars. It’s the first movie I remember seeing and it totally blew my 4 year-old mind to pieces. It opened so many doors for me, not the least of which was the decision I made ten years after first seeing it to become a storyteller myself. Time travel stories are always popular ones in any medium, but if I could time travel back to 1977 to watch Star Wars again for the first time, I would in a heartbeat.

They say you can find hints of creators in their work. Looking back at your work, which character, piece of art, song, poem, article, etc. most closely resembles you? Why?

Jason Bishop, the main character of my debut novel, Magicians Impossible, is very much me at that age in my life. Wondering if he made the right choices in his life. Feeling his future slipping away from him. Then, presented with a golden opportunity to change everything about himself. He has a lot of heart, but a lot of darkness in the margins as well. He’s who I might have ended up being if I hadn’t gotten my life together when I did. But he and I have a lot in common. Probably more than I’d like to admit at times.

Brenda W. Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel, How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her latest novel, A Most Dangerous Woman, is being serialized by Serial Box.

Visit Brenda on Facebook or her website!

In 10 words or less, how would you recommend Boskone to a friend or fan?

One of the great conventions, with something for everybody.

Do you have a favorite photo from a book event or literary convention? If so, when and where was it taken? What do you enjoy most about this photo?

This was taken at the Pittsburgh Nebula weekend in 2017. Jane Yolen had just been made a SFWA Grandmaster, and here we are with a number of fans all wearing pink pussyhats or pussy ears, which I made for us. Clough-1RiverTwice600x900

Can you share some details about upcoming projects or what you’re working on now? Do you have releases in 2019 that readers should look for?

My latest work, a time travel trilogy, Edge to Center, is coming out in January 2019 from Book View Cafe.

Who is your favorite literary character of all time? What is it about this character that you admire?

At this moment it is Marian Halcombe, one of the heroines of Wilkie Collins’ 19th century novel, The Woman in White. She is one of the proto-feminist characters of the period, doing things that heroines simply did not do in the period. Also Collins took care to make her unconventional. In a period when all heroines had to be blonde clinging and pretty, she was the opposite. It is shatteringly clear to me that there ought to me more books about here, and dammit if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.

Lisa Hertel

Lisa Hertel is an artist at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, Mass., the largest artists’ colony on the east coast. She works in clay, watercolors, alcohol inks and encaustics (painting with wax), and more. Visit her there for monthly first Saturday open studios, or take a class; see her website for more information, or search for “The Cogitation Zone.” In her spare time, Lisa helps run literary science fictions conventions. She used to be a pharmacist before becoming a professional artist.

Visit Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, or her website!

In 10 words or less, how would you recommend Boskone to a friend or fan?

Friendly, old-fashioned, literary convention with better authors and less drama.

What is your favorite memory of a fan interaction at a convention? It could be you as a pro interacting with one of your fans or you as a fan meeting someone you admire.

Meeting Isaac Asimov at Noreascon Three. I told him Caves of Steel would make a great movie — you could even reuse some of the Bladerunner sets. He called me cute and pinched my cheek. (I didn’t know at the time that the story had been optioned and dropped.)

Can you share some details about upcoming projects or what you’re working on now? Do you have releases in 2019 that readers should look for?

I’m still slowly working on a book of animal myths and stories, using my own artwork and rewritten tales. The stories are international. My latest is the story of Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the sea hunt — she gets thrown overboard by her father, and her broken fingers become the sea mammals. It’s not very kid-friendly.

Who is your favorite literary character of all time? What is it about this character that you admire?

Actually, I’ve always liked Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. She starts out trying to be polite and, like most children, acquiescing to her elders, but she eventually decides to stick up for herself and develop her own agency — at which point she wakes up. She’s also the only reasonable, logical person in an insane world. Both books are really coming-of-age stories. As a child, we allow ourselves to be pushed around, but as we age, we gain agency and stop caring as much about other people judging us, and focus on our own needs and doing the right thing.

Register for Boskone 56 today!

About DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

DJ is a year 2 medical student, who in his spare time, loves to interview authors about all the books that he has no time to read :)
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