B56 Mini Interview with Auston Habershaw, Marshall Ryan Maresca & K.R. Branch

Happy Friday and welcome back to the Boskone 56 Mini Interview series! Have you bought your tickets to Boskone 56 yet? We are only 3 weeks away! Well, if you are still on fence about it, today we are talking to Auston Habershaw, Marshall Ryan Maresca, and K.R. Branch, who are more than happy to tell you exactly why they love Boskone and what they enjoy most about coming each year 🙂

Auston Habershaw

On the day Auston Habershaw was born, Skylab fell from the heavens. This foretold two possible fates: supervillain or scifi/fantasy author. Fortunately he chose the latter, and spends his time imagining the could-be and the never-was rather than disintegrating the moon with his volcano laser. He is a winner of the Writers of the Future Contest and has published short stories in F&SF, Analog, and Galaxy’s Edge among other places. His fantasy series, The Saga of the Redeemed, is published through Harper Voyager—the final installment of which, The Far Far Better Thing, will be released in March of 2019. He lives and works in Boston, MA, and you can find him online at aahabershaw.com

Visit Austin on his Facebook, Twitter, and Website!

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

Well, in the first place, Boskone is a local convention for me (I live in Boston) and I think it’s important as an author to support local organizations that encourage and attract fans and authors like me. Even more important than that, though, is the simple fact that Boskone is a convention that consistently attracts top talent in an intimate setting. If you’re looking to meet your favorite author and talk with them without having to deal with the mob scene that is some of the larger conventions, then Boskone is an excellent choice.

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?”

I’m going to go pretty old school here, but I’d love to encounter Stevenson’s TREASURE ISLAND for the first time again. That book is so rich in character, in setting, in dialogue–in *everything*–that it sucked me in as a kid more than any book had before. And the plot twists! And Long John Silver! God, so often as a kid I imagined being Jim Hawkins. Now, as I begin to reach John Silver’s age (his 40s), I long for those adventures of my youth.

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?

This is a tough one, since self-analysis is inherently biased, but I’d say that there is an awful lot of me in both Tyvian Reldamar and Artus in my series The Saga of the Redeemed. Tyvian is the worldly, cynical, arrogant me and Artus is the optimistic, naive, and humble me. Part of the point of the story is that they need each other, even though they often try to escape from each other.

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?

Book 4 in The Saga of the Redeemed (my fantasy series)–titled THE FAR FAR BETTER THING–releases on March 5th of 2019. It will be the conclusion of the series.

My short story “Applied Linguistics” will be in the January issue of Analog.

There are some other short works that should be appearing at some point that year, but I don’t have the pub details yet.

Marshall Ryan Maresca

Marshall Ryan Maresca is a fantasy and science-fiction writer, author of the Maradaine Saga: Four parallel series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. This includes The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages, The Holver Alley Crew and the forthcoming The Way of the Shield. His work also appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced. He lives in Austin with his family.

Visit Marshall Ryan on his Facebook, Twitter, and Website!

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

This year will be my fourth time coming to Boskone, third as a panel participant, and I find it to be one of the real standouts of fan run conventions, with the quality of the panels, the breadth of talent attending, and the open, friendly environment.
Plus, I won’t lie, my sister lives in the Boston area, so it gives me the opportunity to visit her family at the same time.

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?”

I’m going to have to go with DIE HARD, which remains one of my favorite movies of all time. It really is a masterpiece of structure and character work. Part of why I would want a do-over in experiencing it for the first time is because I really didn’t get a proper go of it the first time around. I first saw it when it was on rotation on HBO, and saw it starting halfway through. So when I did see it from the beginning, I had already been spoiled for the back half. So getting to see it unfold completely fresh, properly from the beginning, that would be a real treat.

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.

OK, this is kind of a cheat, but I was recently one of the Guests of Honor at PhilCon, and a few friends from college came out to see me. That included brining their teenage children, who were HUGE FANS of my books and were super excited to talk about them, with me and with each other. So it was wonderful, both as a chance to see old friends, but also to see that kind of enthusiasm in its raw, unfiltered form. That’s exactly why I write books: for people to geek out over these characters and stories as much as I do. And that’s pure joy for me.

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’ve got two novels coming out in 2019. First is A PARLIAMENT OF BODIES, which is the third Maradaine Constabulary novel (and the ninth in the overall Maradaine sequence), which comes out March 26th. Our inspector heroes, Satrine and Minox, are called to solve the mystery of a murderous atrocity on the Parliament floor, which will team them up with some of the main characters from the Maradaine Elite series which started with THE WAY OF THE SHIELD last October. And then, in October 2019 I have the next Maradaine Elite novel: SHIELD OF THE PEOPLE, in which our heroes Dayne and Jerinne deal with a radical protestors and a threat to the integrity of the Parliamentary elections.

K.R. Branch

K.R. Branch is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program. She lives in Nebraska but goes adventuring at the drop of a hat. Her most recent writing endeavors include participating in #querykombat, presenting a paper at the International Conference for Fantastic in the Arts, and an author spotlight on The Stonecoast Review.

Follow K.R. on her Facebook, Twitter, and Website!

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

I attend a lot of large conventions centered around anime and manga which host more than thirty thousand people in a weekend. It’s fun, but it’s an entirely different kind of fun than Boskone’s intimate, laid back atmosphere. At the big conventions, I spend a lot of time people watching. At Boskone, I can actually talk to people!

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?”

This is a hard one, because so much of my perception of books and films is connected to where I am in my life at that point in time. For instance, the first time I read “Snowflower and the Secret Fan” I had just had a big fight with a good friend, and when I got to the end I cried for hours, knowing that my friend and I had experienced something very similar to the characters. I sent that book to her as a mea culpa and we’re friends again now.

I’d love to watch all of the Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Nickelodeon series) again for the first time. The sheer wonder of the world, the comedy and drama of the story, the characters, that would be really fun to experience again without spoilers.

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.

I met Tamora Pierce at Boskone 2018. I had this tatty old copy of “Wild Magic” with me because when I was a kid I would take this book everywhere – it was one of the first books I bought with my own money in my own decision – I knew I liked Tamora Pierce and she had another book, so I bought it. I’d read in school, on trips, in the bath, and this book looked it. Everyone else in line had these lovely, hardback copies, and I started to get a little nervous. I knew how much this book meant to me, but after seeing all these carefully conserved hardbacks, would she?

Shouldn’t have been worried at all. She carefully opened my half-falling apart book and signed the title page and encouraged me when I sputtered about how she had inspired me to write. Top 10 moment of my life.

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

Mrs. Coulter from “His Dark Materials” series by Phillip Pullman. She is written as a beautiful person doing evil things (and occasionally using her beauty to those ends) which is a nice change from the “ugly person is evil” thing. The way she chooses to end her story is fascinating.


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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