In the series of Mythrill Author Spotlight we are introducing April-Lynn Davis-Pugh — the author of Do Hand Grenades Work on Dragons?
Tell us about your writing? What is your process?
I like to start by creating the characters, their quirks and attitudes and personalities. Then I try them out in various settings until I find where they fit. Once I have a character and a world, the story starts to grow in my mind. I usually write short scenes, little vignettes that play like movies in my mind. I describe what I "see" as accurately as I can, and then when I have enough scenes, I arrange them into a coherent plotline, and finally I fill in all the in between scenes.
Who would you say are your influences in writing?
I was always a huge fan of Andre Norton and her blend of fantasy and science fiction. She was the first author I sought out by name to read. Her stories were, at heart, about finding your place in the world. I was an awkward child, so seeing her characters find their way even if it sometimes took a while gave me a sense of optimism about my own chances. Mercedes Lackey's books were an escape and a comfort for much the same reason. Her worlds always had a place for the outsider, the awkward loner, and the outcasts. I want my stories to be that kind of refuge for the next generation of readers.
Did you have previous experience with Serialized Fiction before you partnered up with Mythrill or did you have to adapt to the format?
I had written for the Readercoin app a few years ago. I really enjoyed the format, especially the chapter by chapter comment section. I did not usually write in a "beginning to end" style originally, so that was an adjustment, but I adapted and I found the experience rewarding and a real boost to my writing productivity. Knowing someone was waiting for that next update really pushed me to keep going.
What has been the experience like seeing your characters come alive in Lore Cards?
Getting that first "please look this image over" email was exciting. The artwork was beautiful and it really felt like the artists were working hard to bring my strange little world to life. And clicking the little tab on my phone filled me with literal childlike glee. I bounced around the living room and showed it to everyone, including the cat. My family was extremely impressed and happy for me, except the cat who would have preferred I showed him an open can of cat food. I really enjoy the ability to world build with these lore cards, because there are always details that I want the readers to know but just don't fit with the flow of the narrative.
You got 2 sentences to hook a reader into your story. Go!
Seasoned drill instructor Buck Masterson faces the challenge of his career when a bizarre storm transports him, twenty of his recruits, and a chunk of their training base into another world. His only ally in this situation is a strange young woman known as the Champion Autumn, who is hiding a cataclysmic secret.
Finally, tell us why you partnered up with Mythrill? What made you go for it?
I saw a promotion for the Lore Cards system in a new serialized storytelling app. I enjoyed episodic writing in the past, and I love any chance to have art made from my stories, so I thought I would give it a try. I'm excited to see where this platform goes and I'm really happy to have the chance to be a part of it from launch.
You can read Do Hand Grenades Work on Dragons? exclusively on Mythrill by downloading the app.