N.A. Broadley is a mother of two grown children, two grand-children, a wife, and a homesteader. She has a passion for writing funny homesteading stories along with post-apocalyptic fiction. She lives and fights with a rooster named Peckerhead, who makes it his mission to make her life as interesting and as challenging as it can be. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Trail of Misery.
Please give us a short introduction to what Trail of Misery is about.
Trail of Misery came to me when I entertained the idea of (what if?) What if a deadly virus hit and I was left alone in the cold northeast? What would I do? To answer this I knew that I would have to travel to warmer climates. And alone, would I be safer traveling through the deep woods or taking the highways. I chose the woods as I am an avid hiker.
Why did you pick the Appalacian Trial as the backdrop for your story?
I chose the Appalacian Trial because of it's location that goes from Maine to Georgia....taking me from cold to warm, longer growing seasons which in an Apocalyptic situation, we would need in order to survive.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Secret skills...oh boy, I am a homesteader, I have a small homestead where I raise gardens, goats, chickens, ducks and rabbits. I also am an herbalist, have been studying herbs and using them to make my own medicine, skin care, wound care. I love living as close to the land as possible.
Which of your characters was the most challenging to create?
I think Sarah was the most difficult character as she is young, mute and I had to tell her story through others eyes.
Beth was NOT a prepper starting out - why did you write her this way?
Beth, yes, she was not a prepper. A lot of Post Apoc books start out with the main character as some badass prepper type with a full stock of supplies including weapons and I wanted to create a character that was unskilled, with no prepper background, a character that was an everyday person and different from the mainstream portrayal. I also wanted her to be a strong, resilient female lead...one that has to dig deep and use her wits to stay alive during a difficult situation that she is faced with.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you plan out your entire story before you start writing, or does some of it just "happen" along the way?
I am a panster. I've tried plotting and mapping for my stories, but it just feels too forced for me. My characters lead the story, I just go where they tell me to.
Where does your fascination with survival and homesteading come from?
I like the tough stories, the What If, scenarios. I've always loved canning and prepping in my kitchen and on my homestead, always had a goal to become as self-sufficient as possible. I think I picked up on the Post Apoc. genre due to the difficulties that I imagine societies face and how to overcome/adapt and survive.
This is book 1 of a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
Yes, this is book one, not a stand-alone, there are five books in the series, each linking to the other, each written about the main characters in the original story. It is a journey that spans over years of time.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I have no set pattern with my writing schedule. I let the story simmer, ideas percolate and sometimes I write in the oddest of places....the couch, the car, the barn if an idea hits me. Daily I normally will write for a few paragraphs but at times, I've written in marathons for days straight, shutting out the world if my muse demands my attention.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on Book Six, Beth's Story and this will be the last in this series. I am also working on a Homestead Memoir-type story, sharing homesteading tips, funny happenings and recipes.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?