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The following is an interview with P. J. Richards, author of the short story “The Lady of the Lake,” which appears in Neon Druid: An Anthology of Urban Celtic Fantasy (available now on Amazon in digital and paperback).
1) What inspired you to write your Neon Druid story, “The Lady of the Lake”?
I found the submissions call on Twitter, and really liked the theme but (as is always my instinct) wanted to drag it from the streets and back into nature – Central Park with its beauty and dangers sprang to mind, and when I found The Lake, everything fell into place.
2) What’s something that always seems to pop up in the stories you write?
I always end up exploring the liminal places between the mundane and the Otherworld.
3) Which book/story has had the biggest influence on your writing?
Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock. I aspire to create atmospheres as rich and immersive.
4) Cross over into the Otherworld and tell us about a deceased writer you would most like to chat with and learn from.
That would be Robert Holdstock again – sadly he died in 2009. I think I’d be too shy to formulate sensible questions, so I’d just listen and learn.
5) Excluding your Neon Druid story, what piece of writing are you most proud of, and why?
“The Road to Pareidolia,” which was published in the SFFWorld anthology You Are Here.
6) What do you do when you’re NOT writing?
I’m a fantasy artist/illustrator (in acrylics and ink).
I dig out interesting folklore snippets for #FolkloreThursday. @P_J_Richards
In the summer I live in castles shooting my longbow with my medieval display group Bowlore.
I’m a fully qualified siege-engineer, and can launch missiles from a trebuchet.
7) What writing project(s) are you currently working on?
I’m editing my contemporary fantasy novel, and working on the sequel, whilst sending submissions out into the cold and unfeeling literary universe.
Thanks, P. J.!
P. J. Richards lives in Somerset, England, surrounded by the landscape, history and folklore she loves. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. When not writing or drawing she can be found living in castles, shooting her longbow. Twitter: @P_J_Richards