20 Minutes with Maurice Broaddus

October 19, 2012 Posted by Dave Robison

Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus – author of the “Knights of Breton Court” series, editor (with Jerry Gordon) of the newly released “Dark Faith: Invocations” anthology, speaker of the pompetis of love – joins me and guest co-host Ryan Stevenson for an remarkable Showcase interview. During our 20(ish) minutes with him, Maurice discusses the writer’s lifestyle, explores theme and genre, and presents an amazing personal insight into the power of genre fiction. There’s so much writerly goodness here, we can barely contain… so take some for yourself! (and check out Maurice’s Workshop Episode!)

PROMO: The Weekly Podioplex with Michael Faulkner

Showcase Episode: 20 Minutes with Maurice Broaddus

[caution: mature language - listener discretion is advised]

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Episode Breakdown

01:00 – Maurice’s Intro

 

06:40 – You were quoted (in ) as saying “…I started putting myself in odder and odder situations in order to have something happen to me that I could turn into another story.” Is that how you get inspired to write?

  • 07:10 – If you just lead an interesting life, you will be inspired. Stuff will just happen to you that begs to be written about.
  • 07:40 – I’ve often referred to writing as my own cheap form of therapy
  • 08:10 – I warn everyone I come in contact with that their lives are free for alls for me to draw on
  • 08:40 – Like the “Knights of Breton Court” series… volunteer work at a teen center turned into a trilogy of stories

 

10:35 – Where does theme and its structure start to come into play in for you as a writer?

  • 11:05 – Themes for me depend on what I’m internally wrestling with at the time
  • 11:15 – With “Orgy of Souls” I was wrestling with the idea of what “saving faith” looks like
  • 11:35 – So my main character was wrestling with the same issues

 

12:30 – Do you have a theme BEFORE you start a story or does it evolve as you write?

  • 12:45 – A little bit of both.  Sometimes I’ll have an idea of what I want to write ahead of time
  • 13:30 – Other stories have no theme, I just want to let my hair down and have fun
  • 14:20 – As I work the second draft I may discover a theme I didn’t realize I was exploring

 

14:40 – PROMO: The Weekly Podioplex with Michael Faulkner

 

15:50 – How long does a draft take for you?

  • 16:05 – For a novel, about six months
  • 16:10 – I tend to become more disciplined as the actual deadline looms

 

16:20 – What advice would you have for your younger self?

  • 16:40 – Younger Maurice did okay… he was free to write and be willing to fail
  • 16:50 – It took me seven years to write my first novel
  • 17:15 – I made the first-time novelist’s classic mistake: I tried to write a story I didn’t have the skill to write
  • 18:05 – The experimenting along the way came in the form of writing short stories
  • 18:35 – “King Maker” was my first novel-length work published, but the fourth or fifth novel I’d written to that point

 

21:10 – What the heck happened to writers sticking with one genre?!

  • 21:45 – I’ve been telling people that, after years of therapy, I have no demons to write about.  I can’t quit horror.
  • 22:20 – I don’t read a lot of horror… I read crime fiction for fun
  • 22:55 – I just really love stories… whatever catches my attention or whatever challenges I want to set for myself

 

23:20 – “I can say I write Urban Fantasy and have it mean exactly what I think it should mean”… can you expand on that?

  • 23:55 – I didn’t know how to classify “Knights of Breton Court”… everybody said it was urban fantasy
  • 24:30 – Everybody said it was something fantastical that takes place in an urban environment where the city is as much a character as anything else
  • 24:40 – That’s true for “Knights”… Indianapolis is as much a character as any other character
  • 25:00 – When I write urban fantasy, I’m writing about black characters in the city and it’s truly an “urban” urban fantasy

 

25:50 – What are some of the discoveries that you’ve made at Mo-Con about cultural issues in Spec Fic

  • 26:35 – We don’t draw resolutions at Mo-Con… it’s all about continuing the discussion
  • 27:00 – We did a Mo-Con focused on homosexuality, the church, and genre and I asked everyone “What are your stories?”
  • 28:30 – A lot of people were motivated to rethink the entire issue
  • 29:25 – The thing is… it took genre [literature and culture] to make me re-visit my own theology
  • 29:45 – It’s easy to have a dogmatic stance when there’s no face attached, but there were people I cared about
  • 30:15 – This year we spoke about people of color in genre literature
  • 30:50 – We’re in the first and second wave of people of color writing genre fiction

 

31:25 – How does that impact your role as a writer of genre fiction?

  • 31:40 – I’m always about challenging the status quo
  • 31:45 – My story in Weird Tales was about a guy revisiting his roots in Jamaica… these are my stories
  • 32:40 – These weren’t stories I read coming up, but I’m here now

About Dave Robison

Dave Robison has indulged in creative pursuits his entire life. His CV includes writing Curious George fan-fiction at the age of eight, improv theater at age ten, playing trumpet at age twelve, as well as a theater degree, creating magazine cover art, writing audio scripts, designing websites, creating board games, hosting mythological roundtables and generally savoring the sweet drought of expression in all its forms. His years of exploration give him a unique, informed, and eloquent perspective on the art of storytelling.

One Response to 20 Minutes with Maurice Broaddus

  1. Peter Ellis says:

    Another recent urban fantasy with a black protagonist is Midnight Riot (a.k.a Rivers of London) by Ben Aaronovitch.
    I have only read book 1 so far but I highly recommend it. A friend of mine tells me book 2 is even better than book 1.

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