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Fern Brady is the founder and CEO of Inklings Publishing. She holds multiple Masters degrees and several certifications. She began her professional life as a foreign correspondent, and taught for 15 years in Alief ISD. She has published numerous short stories, two children’s picture books, and a couple of poems. Her debut novel, United Vidden, which is book one in her Thyrein’s Galactic Wall Series, was given a glowing review by Dr. Who Online, the official site of the fandom. Also available for purchase is volume one of her graphic novel/novella hybrid project, New Beginning. She has returned to the leadership of the Houston Writers Guild, with whom she served as CEO for four years previously. She co-hosts two podcasts – Author Talk and The Hot Mess Express. Besides being Municipal Liaison for Nanowrimo Houston, she is also a member of Blood Over Texas, Romance Writers of America, and American Booksellers Association. Fern lives in Houston TX with her parents and her talkative husky, Arya.
BRAZOS BOOKSTORE | Houston’s premier independent bookseller since 1974
Fern, welcome to discovered Wordsmiths today. How are you doing? I
Fern: am doing well. Thank you so much for having me here.
Stephen: And I love your background. I assume that’s a real background, not a fake background.
Fern: this is, these are my real bookcases, which, I have not enough apparently, because, you can see that they’re starting to stack up on top of each other instead of, just in straight. They should,
Stephen: Is that Nancy drew up there in the corner, the yellow bindings?
Fern: No, the, you mean the golden ones? The golden ones The golden. It looks yellow. Yeah. Okay. So that is a really fascinating series. It’s a series of the royal princesses. Okay. And it’s it’s a historical fiction where people are imagining what like Cleopatra for example. Okay. It’s up there.
And so what would she have been like as a young girl before she Oh wow. Became Pharaoh before all of the things that we know historically have happened, what are, what would’ve been like, what it would, what would it have been like? And Maria Antoinette is up there and oh wow. Some of the Spanish princesses, some Japanese princesses and African princesses.
I It’s a really fantastic series to cuz it mixes a lot of historical things of great women who have done been royal women, in, in royal homes. Across the globe. But it’s fiction. It’s fictional. Nice.
Stephen: Oh, I love that. I didn’t even know about those. Great. I’m glad to look those up now.
You just added to my bookshelves, . I’m always happy to do that. Yeah. Oh, I don’t any help, believe me. So Fern tell everybody a little bit about yourself, where you live and some things you like to do besides writing.
Fern: I live in Houston, Texas, which right now is cold, but by the end of the day it will be 80.
So it’s one of those places in which, know, you have to dress in multiple. Yeah. Cold is like 58.
Stephen: Oh, okay. See the last couple ahead. Cause the last couple weeks it hasn’t gotten above the forties for us and Christmas, Ooh. It was in the negatives with a windchill of negative thirties.
Fern: Oh no.
That’s a tragedy down here. Okay. That’s the kind of thing we had that one winter where that February that we had, I don’t even remember. It’s just like my brain has blocked it out. But it was horrible because for one day we were super happy because there was like snow and we were like, oh, look, snow.
And then, it stayed cold and it froze and the powers were out. Power was out. I It was just, yes, no negative numbers. Down in Texas, that’s just like a tragedy. It’s like a tragedy,
Stephen: right? Sorry, go on. Keep telling us about yourself. .
Fern: Oh okay. So Houston, we’re from Houston, and actually started off as a journalist. I was a freelance journalist, a foreign correspondent for a Mexico City Daily Bulletin that published in English. Then I went into full-time teaching. I taught sixth graders language arts e l a, and the social studies. Everybody taught social studies.
And and then, I decided UK teaching was getting a little bit too too much into the testing mode and having to do a lot of things that really were just time wasters that, we made all kinds of binders that made no sense because we weren’t gonna use any of it.
And so I was like, why am I doing this? So I decided to step out and go into full-time te writing. When I hooked up with the Houston Writer’s Guild I met a lady that was part of the guild and she invited me. and I had always continued to write with my kids, I hadn’t really pursued it as a potential real career.
And until I hooked up with the Guild and I started attending conferences and critique groups and things and I was like, you know what? I’m gonna go for this. I’m gonna go for it. So I did. And that was in 2013. And since then I had a couple of children’s books published. I’ve had a lot of short stories published.
My novel in my crazy Thne Galactic Wall Universe has been published. And coming up next month in February, we’re going to be having a book, one of the Dragon and his kitten series, which will eventually combine with book three. United vi. So yeah, that’s a little bit about like the crazy world of Fern.
Stephen: Nice. Great. And we are going to talk on the second half for the authors a little bit more about teaching kids and working with kids. Cuz that’s something both you and I are doing. And I thought it’d be great to talk for the podcast and for my personal reasons also . You told us a little bit about when you switched from teaching, but why did you wanna start writing in the first place?
Fern: I have always been a writer. I, when I was a kiddo I made up stories. I played with my puppets. I had a a set of puppets and I made up little stories and I invited my parents to come watch the puppet show and I charged them for the popcorn that mom actually made. That was me.
And I’ve always just been a writer. I have like tubs of notebooks where I’ve just pour all these ideas and I went through a pirate phase where like a hi. I had a lot of stories where that featured pirates, I think because we watched a lot of Errol Flynn movies during that time at my house.
I don’t know.
Stephen: Show me I what edge, sorry?
Fern: It’s just a it’s what happened. I went through my pirate phase and I still coplay as a pirate cause I love pirates. Nice. But they don’t show up too much in the books, although they do actually show up in gort of offensive, which is gonna be book two, but, . But yeah, I just I’ve always written, I don’t remember a time when I have not been a writer.
I’ve always made up stories and put them on a p on paper and they just live in these notebooks in my attic and, every summer I bring one down to just look at some of the stuff from way back when and see what I was thinking and what kind of person was I back then. And, just flip
Stephen: through. Nice. Okay. The book we’re gonna talk about and feel free to bring in the other series and other books and series, but we’re gonna talk about United vi which is a unique title . So tell us a little bit about that book, especially the title.
Fern: United Villain is book one of Tyne Galactic Wall.
And I consider it like the main line series, right? It’s you know how Star Wars has the nine movies, right? And that’s the main, the Skywalker, right? Main line. And then you have all these offshoots. So that’s how I look at it in my world, is like Brennan and Amy, the Royal House on planet Jordan is the focal point of what is really gonna happen with the Intergalactic Alliance.
And so that’s kind what this book is. And it’s called United Viden because on planet Jordan, you have two continents. You have the continent of Viden, and you have the continent of part. Yet. Now, originally the humans who live on Planet Jo, they came from Planet Drooling and Planet Frater.
Okay? And they were colonists. And so there were humanoids, they were lizard like humanoids, living on j. En Viden and the colonists took over that continent. It’s like the best co land on the planet. So they moved the lizards to the continent of Parta. Okay? So the four Gor Tiv tribes have been living on Parta for now centuries.
And and when we open and united Viden, there’s a threat they’re beginning to unite, right? Which has never happened before. The four tribes have never united. They are always fighting between each other which is why they were so easy to conquer, right? They’re starting to unite and we know that they’re going to maybe a, make an attack on Viden.
King Decile, who is the head of the Kingdom of Dia, reaches out to the principality of Alden, which is the other kingdom on there and says, Hey, we need to unite, fight together. Princes always wanted to marry Brenna. , right? She’s the heir to the throne. And so he pushes for a marriage petal her father gives in, which means she doesn’t get to rule as queen.
And this, unfortunately, her father doesn’t bother to actually tell her what’s happening. He just tells her she has to marry. And so she feels like, wait a minute, has he always wanted Amy to be king? Has he, she begins to realize, she’s the only child maybe he always had this plan, right?
And so she does what young people sometimes do, reacts. She runs away, throws the kingdoms into a war because Amy was like, oh, you’re hiding her from me. Cuz you did try to do. Treating without her, the marriage. So they fighting and then, and so eventually Verna is wait a minute, I should not have done that.
That was dreadful. I threw away my birthright. I should fight for my birthright. I can make this right. So she comes back, but she comes back a little too late. And so United villain is all about how Brenna reclaims her birthright, how she redeems herself, and how she’s able to finally unite the continent of Itin, right?
With Amy to be ready for what is coming. Because little by little, as we see, the Gort tib are making strides towards being able to attack, right? So that’s what the book is about.
Stephen: Kinda. I was gonna say that sounds like a whole lot for one book. But it’s the start of a series, correct?
Yes. Yes it is. And what’s the age range that it’s targeted towards?
Fern: This is definitely for adults, like new adults in higher because it does have very very deep content. It does have violence. There is, a war going on. There, there are some romance scenes because a lot of the book and a lot of the series really is about Verna and her coming of age, and her managing her relationships.
And very specifically with Amy, who she has now slighted because she ran away from a marriage with him. But in the end, she has to forge a marriage with him. And so it’s all really about how does she manage that, and how do they come to terms with each other And are able to defend their kingdom.
And then of course, beyond just the planet, the alliance itself is in jeopardy, which is what we’re gonna see in Book two, which is gonna be out in December of this year. And and then from, so we’re gonna have a much wider scale conflict going on as we move towards them, figuring out how do they relate to each other now.
Stephen: Okay. And so what, you’ve got some other books out. What made you wanna write this book in this series particularly? Is there something, a reason behind it? Oh
Fern: yes. Okay. The World of Planet Join and the galactic wall that has 51 planets in it was born in my c. Like I said, everybody taught social studies and in sixth grade social studies is world cultures.
And we started the year always with, geographic features and then we were talking about different cultural elements and we went, talked about cultures around the world. And so since I was doing language arts and reading, we would read mythology from around the world and we would, read about Knight in Samurai and we would read, we would read stories that kind of went with some of the cultural elements we were learning about.
And so of course we wrote, right? And so I, every year had my students, my sixth graders create an imaginary planet. They had to decide where the land features were going to be and how do those land feature. Affect the development of different cultures on that planet. And we different government styles on that planet.
And so we would create, throughout the whole year, we would create these stories. We would create mythologies for our planets. We would create, what did our warriors look like in our planets? And so basically United villain and all of these stories that happen in Tyne Galactic Wall were born in a classroom.
I was making planets alongside these kiddos and writing these little stories with them. And so I’ve got like a ton of all these just short little pieces of stories that I would work with my sixth graders with. And so when I decided to step out and actually, begin to write as a full-time writer, I was like, I’ve got all this beautiful material.
Yeah. So this is what I’m gonna create here.
Stephen: Nice. And I love that as being the answer to the question of where do you get your ideas, . So that’s one of the best ones I’ve heard. And for me that we’re gonna talk about this more on the second half alluding again. But that’s one of the things I work with kids that I don’t think we encourage them and work with them to use their imagination to come up with stories and the variety of stories that can be come up.
And that’s perfect. I love that, that it fits in with my classical Dungeons and Dragons also where you had to create a whole world. A town. A country, and the politics or whatever that was going on in your campaign, which is, interactive storytelling. All right. Slight technical difficulty.
Fern: I was gonna say about the Dungeons and Dragons. I love Dungeons and Dragons. I play d and d I have a d and d group. We meet every week. We try to meet every week, but, sometimes that doesn’t happen. But mostly we do. And I just love that. And for me, with the kids, it just made sense as a teacher.
And I know we’re gonna talk about teaching later, right? But it just made so much sense to make everything connected thematically, so we’re looking at this element of what cultures in our world look like. What does cultural development in books that we have, right? The books that we that we are reading, the book club novels that we’re looking at and then writing them, and extending it into the writing piece.
And it just, I think that for the children it creates a really good way to hold information because it’s not just, I’m not just talking about geographic features. Now we’re talking about your planet. and what the geographic features do for your characters on your
Stephen: world. Yes. And you mentioned Star Wars earlier and it’s a great example what they’re doing now because, when I was growing up, we had three movies, , and then this is always my we had three movies and in one little sentence, Obon mentioned the Clone Wars, and that’s all we had for 20 some years. We knew nothing about. But as a kid with my friends, we got to talk endlessly. What are the clone wars? What did, what happened, who was, and the stories that could come out of that. So what you’re doing is very similar, that it’s not one story and that’s everything.
There’s so much more to the world and I, I love that and I hope it inspired and sparked some imagination of the kids, each person in their world has a story to tell. And I love that you used that for your series.
Fern: Oh yeah. And the, and Book one is dedicated to them. It’s dedicated to my sixth graders and because that was where everything was born.
And I think that, I like to think that there may be some kiddos out there that went through my classroom that may still have all of these stories. I hope so. Like I have all my attic full of the stories when I was a kid, and who knows, someday they might take ’em out, look at them again and go, Hey, I think I wanna pursue this.
And they might because there was some really good stuff, . We had a lot of fun and there were some really goofy ones. We had kiddos who made worlds out of candy, right? The whole world was made out of chocolate or something. And we had some really fun ones and then we had some that were, that really took it to like whole serious level.
Stephen: I love that even with the candy one, because okay, you can do that, but now you gotta stop and think how does everything grow? What, how do they manufacture things? How do the people, what do they eat? So you can, if you’re creative, that’s wonderful. That’s really push in the limits and your imagination and thinking.
I know there’s probably some kids that did it just cuz they thought they’d be funny. And then , they probably didn’t work as hard as I might have trying to figure all that stuff out, because to me, that’s all fun,
Fern: And it was entertaining because then they had to figure out, okay, so the mythology, right?
Mythology is all about, the early people. How did they make sense of their world, right? They had, they created parthenons of gods that that guided their world and they created stories about how. , know, how come there’s an earthquake? How come the sun goes across the sky . And so now you’ve got this chocolate world, okay, what are gonna be the myths about the chocolate world, and what are gonna be the gods of the chocolate world?
And so we had, it was entertaining as we went along, and I did occasionally have one or two that decided to can we just start over, Ms. Marie , can I just ? Can I just do a different planet? I’m like, yes, you can do a different planet. Go for it. That’s great.
Stephen: Great. So United vi we’re getting, we can probably sit here and talk forever, , but I, is it already out or is it about to.
Fern: United bid is out. Okay. It’s yeah, it’s on Amazon and anywhere where eBooks are sold. So you can order it on Barnes and Noble, et cetera. All the places that you can buy books basically.
Stephen: And what’s the feedback you’re getting from people who have already read it?
Fern: I have gotten some really great feedback.
I, I think it’s really cool when you have a totally random person that you don’t know reach out to you and go, I loved your book, and when’s the next one coming? I really love that really adds to the pressure of get it done, but it’s good pressure. But I’ve also had some really amazing reviews because Dr.
Who online which is the official like website for the franchise I followed them because I liked Dr. Who, and they followed me back apparently. And they saw my cover, and I did not know this, but they review books and they give book recommendations on one of their pages. And so it was very interesting.
They reached out, they’re like, I think our, I think your book would be something that we would be interested in reviewing. They explained to me if the, if they didn’t like it, they would just leave, let me know privately what they, why they, why it wasn’t gonna work, blah, blah. So I was like, okay, let’s do it.
So I sent them a copy and they loved it. Wow. They loved it. They gave me a beautiful review, which I promptly put on Amazon. Of course. Of course. And and they love, they compared it to Dune. It was, and I think my world is esque. Wow.
Stephen: Although that’s impressive feedback and nice accolade there.
Fern: really cool and I think, it’s, you can see a lot of Star Wars and you can see a lot of Lord of the Rings and a lot of other stuff in my books, but I do love the very, they’re very social geopolitical in nature cuz I love all the intrigue and stuff. So Nice.
And I do have my power wielders and things. That’s like my best review. I was like, that’s my favorite review of all time.
Stephen: I think I’d be putting that review on everything I’d put out . Definitely. Cause if people like Dr. Who and they hear, Dr. Who says your book’s good. That’s your, there’s your niche, there’s your target.
So who’s your who’s your.
Fern: My doctor. Okay. I, okay. I really love Matt Smith. I’m sorry. I just adored him. Thank you.
Stephen: That’s my doctor also. That’s my favorite. My kids are David Tennon. But I also grew up, with some of the past ones. So Brady what number four is like one of my best friends.
That’s his doctor. And the only one I don’t really care for is number two. I’ve, watched some of the reconstructed stuff and I just couldn’t get into him. But the rest of ’em I’ve liked across the board.
Fern: Yeah. Yeah, it’s, there, it, the whole show is awesome. I just love the whole concept and everything, and, but for me Matt Smith was like the epitome.
that’s what Dr. Who should be,
Stephen: Matt Smith was the reason I actually got interested after my kids in the revamped stuff. It was, thanks to him. I thought he, he clicked with me very much. . Speaking of, if you were given a choice right now would you rather see your book as a movie or a TV show?
Fern: I think that my book would probably be better as a movie just because of the scope of the way that it wor that it’s created. It’s it’s very much about the relationship aspect and then there’s a quest aspect. But it could be a TV show. I think at this point, , either one is great because I feel like there’s so much interest in since Game of Thrones, and the Mandalorian and these shows. I feel like there’s a huge audience that wants to see it episodically. Who can, who might not like necessarily to sit through a really long film but could just enjoy little short snippets of it. Me, I prefer to binge watch because I like to see the whole thing.
I like to
Stephen: see the whole, I think studios, executives and. Watchers are discovering that sometimes having eight episodes that are a half hour long and that build the story, build the character, they can put things in it. And it doesn’t have to be flashy effects. It doesn’t have to be over the budget, over the top budget, but you can get story in there that you just can’t get the same in movies there’s a skill to make a movie, tell a story correctly without making it feel like something’s missing.
And you get that opportunity. With the extended TV shows we’re getting now, and I say extended, they’re only like eight, the 12 episodes usually, which is shorter than a normal season. The normal season is going away anyway.
Fern: It is. And then you’re getting like the next level or the next chapter in it.
The next season, but you are right about movies because like I have been reading. The Dark Power Series. Oh. And I had not read it. And I watched the movie Guns Slinger, and I can see why the people who read the books didn’t like the movie. I can totally comprehend because, they’re trying to literally, they tried to condense all these seven books into one film.
Stephen: I love that the Gun slinger series. I thought the books got better. My personal comment feeling is a lot of people complained about the ending, so he wrote an epilogue ending and I feel the ending was perfect. So my personal opinion is, Forget about the epilogue ending. Just let it end the way it does.
And the movie, the problem was they wanted to do three movies with a TV show tied to it in between the movies. So they had this big, long 10 year plan, and then they’re like, oh, we don’t think it’s gonna make enough money and we’ll just do this. But it’s actually not retelling the story. It’s supposed take place after the last book in another world.
So it’s like a retelling from another universe. And I’m like, yeah, that’s kinda, yeah. So yeah, interest elbow is great, but
Fern: yes. And you know what was terrible is, I didn’t read the books first, which is rare. Usually I read the books first and then I go and critique the movies. But I didn’t, with this one, I actually first saw the film and I saw the film because of Idris Elba.
And Matthew McConaughey. Yeah. And so when I started reading Book one, the Gun Slinger. That’s who worsen my head. I’m, I know that the gun slinger is supposed to be white. He’s just not white in my head. I’m sorry. He’s just intra from that one .
Stephen: I think that’s actually perfect. I know in my books, I don’t really talk about skin tone color at all, and I leave that open even though the artist drew the pictures on the cover a certain way.
In the book story itself, I don’t actually go into that because it’s a fantasy world. And I actually, to make that point, I think in book three, I’m going to have a character that I specifically point out that her skin is greenish. And just to make that point, that use your imagination, imagine who you will.
And I think, yeah
Fern: and that’s interesting because like I do have skin colors and and I have black characters and I have some that are very much Asian characters that, or they have that flavor, but they’re in these other planets. So what I’ve done is take basically our cultures and mesh ’em together.
But I have a lot of indigenous people that are humanlike in the sense that they’re sensient, they have cultures, they have, family, they have societies. They’re not human, d n a, right? Because my theory in my universe is that human d n a would be everywhere. So we would find humans everywhere, but we would also find that there might be other species that would’ve developed into more of a, evolved into more sentient beings, right?
And so that’s the issue that we have in the, at the heart of United Vi, is that, the gor Tiv who are lizard like beings, humanoids. They have had, to deal with the effects of the colonizers, much like the indigenous population got stuck into reservations, right? In America. And so now they’re wanting to reclaim their home and they’re getting help from this cal, the Cal scene who destroyed their home planet and have become space-based society.
And so they’re, their physicality has changed over the years because they’ve been in space for so long that they started out with human d n a. We know that if you stay in space for a long time you begin to change, the humans would begin to change even if you like even with the astronauts, right?
They try to do all these things to keep themselves toned, but ultimately if we left them out there for years, they would come back different. They would come back different, right?
Stephen: And the last couple years, one of the things that. Just, I had to shake my head and got it irritated me the most was when Kenobi came out and they had the third sister Inquisitor and it was a black woman, and people like exploded and got upset about, it’s are you kidding me?
I’m like, first of all, the character was fantastic and , some of the things, the one scene where she’s doing parkour and stuff across the city, that was a fantastic scene. Wonderful. But I’m like, really? This is in 2022? This is what we’re getting upset about, that in a fantasy outer space, world of millions of worlds where we’ve seen ians, we’ve seen huts, we’ve seen woos that were gonna get upset because the inquisitor is a black woman. I’m like, come on, people. Seriously.
Fern: And that’s the, that was part of the ridiculousness, even with the other films in that they were like, oh there’s not enough women characters, really.
Come on. Star Wars was like Princess Leia. I think she was one of the very first I wanna say one of the very first iconic, strong female character leads we ever saw. And it came in a fantasy science, fantasy world. Because we can, and that’s the beauty of the science fiction fantasy world Yeah.
Is that we can actually explore gender issues and racial issues and socioeconomic and geopolitical issues. We can explore these in worlds that are not our own. So there is no confrontational to it. It’s here’s this right, here’s some lizard people. Okay, there’s lizard people on this planet. Do they deserve the right to have a space on the in and live amongst the human population?
and why have they been on these like reservation type situations, and, we can and what are we really exploring? The issues that we had with Native Americans, and the issues we had with as colonizers. So I feel like people who have those reactions are they’re reacting because something inside’s not.
Stephen: that’s a whole long discussion on that. . Yeah. You
Fern: got some issues you need to work through
Stephen: And you gotta also remember that the Empire is very much a afraid of the other cultures they were enslaving all the aliens of. So yes, it made sense that everybody, there was a white guy in the empire. It was to point out the fact. That’s a man. I could talk Star Wars in the good, bad, and ugly for days. Let’s not get away from your book too far because we could probably go on, we, maybe we will sometime that’s an idea. .
Fern: I’m happy to do that. Cause I love me some Star Wars.
Stephen: Oh yeah. Alright. So Fern, do you have a website?
Fern: I do. My website is Fern brady.author. No. Okay. Fern Brady. It’s literally just fern brady.com. Okay. Yeah, because I beat the other Fern Brady at it. So here’s the funny thing. Every so often someone will message me about, oh, I love the show you did in wherever.
And I’m like, what show are you talking about? And they’re talking about the other Fern Brady. The Fern Brady. That’s a Canadian comedian. Oh, of Scottish descent. Oh
Stephen: wow. Okay. .
Fern: Yes. Yes. And it’s hilarious cuz she has some books out and and she and I don’t look that different. We have very similar looks and so that’s funny.
It’s kinda funny. But I actually beat her to the website. So www.fernbrady.com, that’s my author site.
Stephen: Nice. Okay. All right. So we’ve talked about a bunch of things that we enjoy. What are some of your favorite all-time books and authors?
Fern: Oh , how much time do we
Stephen: really have? , right?
Do you remember the U2 rattling hum live video thing they did back in the late eighties? They were all sitting there with the camera on ’em and they’re like not saying anything. And the one guy goes, so how much is film cost? He goes, oh, film’s cheap. It’s okay. Keep going. . So this is digital.
It’s cheap . It’s
Fern: cheap. Oh my gosh. Okay. So for me, the books that I love the best, CS Lewis. The Chronicles of Narnia. I remember multiple times reading through all the series. Me Too. The Lord of the Rings. That’s a hard book to get through. But I loved it. I loved every, I loved all the di Digressions of the world building that he just, you know, because that’s Tolkin, right?
He was really more concerned about building these cultures and these backstories and all this. Then I don’t know that it would be published that way today. ,
Stephen: probably The ho the Hobbit and Fellowship I, I like a lot, but the two towers and the Return of the King, maybe not so much, honestly.
I’ve read the Return of the King three times and I still can’t tell you what happened, cuz my brain just kinda shut down. It just didn’t click with me. But Hobbit and Fellowship I like.
Fern: Yeah, and it’s, and you know what I think about those two books? . I really love the changes that were made for the film.
. Cause the books are masterpieces in, of, in and of themselves. But the films are masterpieces in a different way. They what they left out, the way they tweaked it made sense. I could understand why. And, from a perspective of creating a film and I think they’re just masterpieces.
I agree. and you just have to enjoy them separately,
Stephen: And the argument I give to people is that it’s completely two different mediums. Even a book, if you do it with a full cast as a radio play, there are changes you need to make for it to come across well from the printed page to what the cast does.
And sometimes things can be cut out for time. If you really took every scene and made it into a movie scene, it would’ve been even longer than the extended editions and it probably would not be as interesting. So people gotta and realize that they really loved the books and they put everything they had into it, love into it, to get it.
So the feel of the world that what Token was saying is what came out the most and they got the important. For the most part. There’s a few silly things, but , whatever. Oh, yeah.
Fern: Yeah. I think so. And talking about the books, even if thinking about my own book is I don’t think you could just directly go chapter by chapter, putting it onto a film.
I think there would be tweaks that would be necessary because, you’re talking about a completely different medium of, for the story to, to be told. . But like speaking of other authors that I love a Agatha Christie. Oh really? Agatha Christie. I
Stephen: love Agatha. She’s one that I have a hard time getting into.
Just Oh, interesting.
Fern: Yeah. Do you like Conan Doyle? Do you like Sherlock
Stephen: Holmes? Yes. Sherlock Holmes. I do love .
Fern: So it’s interesting because I find that people who love Sherlock Holmes tend to, not necessarily like Agatha Christi, and people like myself who love Agatha, don’t really like Sherlock Holmes that much.
Stephen: What would, there’s a point right there for authors write your story because there’s somebody out there that’ll like it and somebody that won’t. .
Fern: Oh, yes. Oh yes. And I think what made Agatha Christie for me more, more interesting than Sherlock was that I could go back and I could see all of the clues were right there.
If I had paid a little more attention here and there, I could have solved it. And towards the end of my reading her book, I started picking up on what she would do. And that made it super exciting. And for me, Sherlock Holmes was difficult because Sherlock sees things that only Sherlock sees, right?
You, the reader don’t get to see that. And so he tells you what he. Later, but I the way that Agatha would weave in the clues in there that you could actually pick up on, yes. And did I think that’s what draws
Stephen: me. I did get that from the books of hers. I did read, I saw that totally.
And I see where like Orient Express, I’m like, oh, every story that’s used, that type of thing. This is where it came from. I totally get that. And I think my part of it might be is you could say Agatha Christi is a little bit. Literary mystery where it’s more realistic. Whereas Conan Doyles, Sherlock Holmes was almost a little closer to fantasy mystery with Sherlock Holmes, and that’s probably why I like it better.
But also the way his mind thinks, reminds me a lot of MacGyver. And MacGyver was like one of my favorite shows of the eighties, so Oh, I
Fern: love MacGyver . Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s interesting that the dynamics of how her characters versus hi Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson’s characters. think they’re really cool to see how you can do really great detectives and they can be totally different, and they’re still really effective characters.
Stephen: And she wrote more than one type of detective, so Oh, yeah. didn’t stick with just her q p Perro she did Miss Marle too. So you got a bunch.
Fern: Oh. Oh yeah. And so I’ve got her and of course Dean Koons. Oh yeah. I love Dean Koons. And and I’ve only recently really connected to Stephen King because I’m not a humongous horror author.
I don’t like to read a lot of horror stories. And I always had the feel that Stephen King was much more gruesome. And and so what I liked about Dean Koons is he’s horror, but he’s really more suspense. And sometimes just weird. And I liked that. But but when I saw the Dark Power movies and I was like, oh my gosh, this is King.
How interesting he has this. And even in the prologue, in the introduction of it, he talks about how it’s very different from some of the other stuff that he writes. And yeah. So I think it’s, I could definitely follow him in this line of his. Of his writing.
Stephen: Kutz never wanted to be a horror writer.
He always fought to be a thriller suspense writer. But at the time, because King was big, they pushed him into that horror arena, which he never really liked. And he’s definitely gotten out of it and pushed to be thriller suspense. And the Stephen King is pretty much the exact same way. It’s only like the first eight books that are real horror based.
Everything since then is pretty much a thriller, maybe some supernatural elements thrown in here and there. . But they’re really not the horror the Shining or Salem’s lot and those types of things, they’re way different. I Cujo, it was a round hog, oh yeah. It’s not horror anywhere.
Fern: that was such a traumatizing.
Stephen: Yeah, the movie was, there’s an example of a movie that does not play every scene does that take everything out, but captures the essence of the book and portrays it on the big screen without having to be five hours long. So that’s a good example of, I think a King movie done well.
Fern: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. And so those are some of the books that I love. And more recently, I’ve gotten into Rick Orden his series is very fascinating to me. The Percy Jackson, which they did a horrible job as, in the movies there’s a series coming out. Yes. I hope they do a much better job.
Yes. Cause the books are fantastic. What a one, what a captivating idea of what if the gods of Olympus were alive and were real. And what if they’re still around and. What if they’re still doing the same things they were doing and having half kids with humans and stuff. And it’s fascinating and it’s so much fun to read.
I just loved them.
Stephen: I honestly liked the Den books more than I liked the Harry Potter stuff. So I got into it more.
Fern: Yeah, me too. I, it was hard for me to get into the Harry Potter. I liked the movies. The movies I could really enjoy. But the books were hard for me to read. I don’t know why,
Stephen: ha I was reading the books to my kids and halfway through book four reading it to ’em one night they stopped me and said, daddy, w we’ve both already read this and finished it.
We’re on book five. So I’m like, oh man, now I gotta go read all these myself and finish ’em up. . So That is awesome. Yeah. . Alright, so Fern, do you have a local bookstore that you like to go to?
Fern: I really like Brazos Bookstore. Okay. Here in Houston we do a lot of events with them with women in the Visual and literary arts and the Houston Writers Guild.
We we have an annual Haunted holidays event where our members can come up with short stories that revolve around the holidays, that have some kind of element of haunting this to it, poetry, short stories. And so we’ll gather together and dress up and, we’ll, they’ll let us decorate the whole store and nice.
And we read and we have, we’ve had the, during the pandemic, of course, we had to go digital to Zoom, but this past year we actually were live again and in person, so it was really nice. And so I like Brazos and I like Blue Willow. My, the fav, my favorite one was River Oaks bookstore.
But. They closed during the pandemic. And so it was really heartbreaking to see that happen, yeah. Because they had been in part of Houston for such a long time.
Stephen: All right, so let’s finally close up talking about your book and a myriad of other topics that we seem to have branched out onto.
So anybody that likes what we were talking about, pick up Fern’s book because you’re going to like the book, but let’s if somebody came up to you there in Houston, said, Fern, I heard you wrote a book. Why should I get your book and read it? What would you tell ’em?
Fern: I would tell them because it’s fun entertaining, but also it encourages you because the real theme of Book one is that no matter how badly you fail, no matter what a horrible mistake you make, even if you make the most.
Terrible mistake that you could ever possibly make as a human being. You can come back from it. It won’t be easy, but you, there’s always a road back if you really, choose to change to try to atone. And that’s really what she does, right? She threw away her birthright she threw away her position, her authority, she abdicated, and when she comes back, she has to prove they had believed in her because of her birth, but now they have to believe in her because she has to show that she’s worthy.
And so I think that’s a really great read and encouraging for us, because I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my share of failures that I’ve had to come back with.
Stephen: No, never had any of that . Great. I appreciate that. Thank you much for sharing all of that.