Humphrey Quinn - Suspense, Action and a Lot of Fun
Humphrey Quinn writes fantasy and paranormal series for young adults, or the young at heart. With today's Author of the Day, we chat about the book: Awaken.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I started writing very young, throughout school and into college. But I decided to take a break—a very long break of ten years while I began a career in the airline industry. I was just turning thirty when I picked up writing again. I retired from the airline at forty and have been writing full time since.
Do you consider yourself a disciplined writer? Do you have a schedule that you stick to, or is it more in the moment?
I’m very disciplined—said pretty much no one ever. I wish I could be, but really, it’s much more about write hard, write now, write while the story is with me.
Awaken is the first book in a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
This series needs to be read in order starting with book 1, as the story continues and my characters age with each book. They begin the story just turning thirteen and are in their late teens when it ends with book 11. But the great news is there’s no waiting, as the series is complete.
How much fun do you have coming up with these storylines and characters?
The ideas are the best! And endless. So many notebooks filled with possible stories and never enough hours to get them all down on paper. This series is finished, and I still come up with ideas for possible future stories and spinoff stories. All of which I hope to someday complete.
Do any of your characters take off on their own tangent and refuse to do what you had planned for them?
They do this often. I have plans, they don’t always agree, we fight about it, they usually win. But I think it’s better this way because it means I’ve managed to get into a character’s frame of mind and out of my own. And I like to think they appreciate it when I don’t force my will upon them—even if it means way more work for me, because I have to rewrite an entire chapter, or more often, a complete storyline just to make them happy.
What inspired you to write about strange new neighbors and an otherworldly adventure?
The Fated Fantasy Adventure began as a story a bit like my own past. Growing up, I lived a very gypsyesque lifestyle—my family moved around a lot and didn’t really settle until I was in my early teens. Part of this was because at the tender age of three months old, the Great Chelsea Fire of 1973, in Massachusetts, burned down not just my own parent’s home, but also the homes and the family business of pretty much the entire family (on my mother’s side). Recovery takes a very long time when an entire side of a family loses just about everything.
The other part was that my parents, and my father’s family, were members of a religious cult. So, there were many hurdles in my youth and my life were anything but ordinary—but this adversity also fostered an intense imagination and desire to create. Many of these experiences are where the Fated series was born.
What drew you to write for this audience?
I only set out knowing I’d be writing a fantasy series, but never intended it to be for a specific age group. And even though it’s considered a young adult series, I’m thrilled to say I have fans all around the globe, and of all ages. But I’ve always been a fantasy and sci-fi fan, so naturally, that’s where my writing ends up going. Combine my personal childhood experiences with my love of all things fantasy, and it’s the perfect mix for an epic adventure.
Your book contains a lot of humor, but also has more serious parts - why did you write it this way?
Humor is survival. Humor is life. Humor is the strength to keep going. Without humor, it would be so much harder to cope with dark times. Humor lightens us, if even for just a moment. It’s like a little reset button that reminds us we can fight whatever darkness comes our way.
Dream writing space… I’m sure every author has their own version. But mine has been, and always will be, one just like depicted in the opening of The Ray Bradbury Theater. I fell in love with it at a young age and someday, just maybe I’ll actually have this space. You can see it in action in the video below… or better yet, just tune in and watch some episodes or read anything Ray Bradbury—he’s been a favorite author of mine since childhood. And Awaken, Book 1 in the Fated series, has unbelievably and graciously been compared to his writing in “Something Wicked this Way Comes”.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I run a book club. I’m a mosaic artist. I was a singer in a swing band and once upon a time, was an opera singer. Alongside my airline career, I spent many years as a manager and booking agent for various musicians. I’m all about rescuing furbabies—adopt today! I’m pretty sure I have maple syrup in my veins. My spirit animal is a loon. My spirit food is donuts.
I’m also a barista and love all things coffee. One of my favs—molasses cookie in a cup. And here’s the recipe:
Molasses Cookie in a Cup:
The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it right in your regular drip coffee pot. This recipe is for a standard 12 cup maker.
Cinnamon Flavored Coffee
Whip Cream (optional)
Inside the coffee pot, before you brew, you’re going to add 2 Tablespoons of the molasses and 1 Tablespoon of packed brown sugar. Take a piece of the crystalized ginger and cut it up just a little—I find cutting each piece 2-3 times helps release more flavor. I like a real ginger punch, just like a good molasses cookie should have, but 4-5 dime sized-ish pieces in the bottom of your coffee pot should be perfect. Brew the cinnamon flavored coffee (brewed to whatever normal strength you prefer—I’m a dark and muddy kind of girl).
Once your pot is finished brewing, give the coffee a gentle stir (with a non-metal spoon so you don’t crack your pot—yes, I totally oopsied that hard). After a gentle stir, it’s ready to serve. You can drink it however you normally enjoy your coffee, but I typically add cream (dairy or non-dairy are both totally yummy) and a dollop of whip cream (does not need to be homemade, any pre-made store version you like will work deliciously).
And then just sit back and soak in the molasses cookie awesomeness. And if you’re lucky enough like me, you have a wonderful childhood memory of your great grandmother and her magical ability to always have my favorite cookie ready and waiting for any visit.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?