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As part of the Athena’s Daughters Volume 2 Blog Tour, I have the opportunity today to showcase one of my fellow authors from the book, Tish Eggleston Pahl. In the below message she tells us how she uses every moment, every daily interaction to influence her writing. Her specific story in Athena’s Daughters V2 is called Crow Bait and Switch. Now that I’ve heard her inspiration/where she got the idea, I can’t wait to read the story!
Also, just so you know, she picked the title of this blog post! I am not calling Tish an Old Crone!!!
Link to the Athena’s Daughters V2 Pre-sale with all the fun pre-sale freebies and goodies! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/103879051/446846442?token=7732ca66
I came to Athena’s Daughters II via a very circuitous route. My last published fiction was in Star Wars Gamer some fifteen years ago with my awesome co-author, Chris Cassidy. In the time since, I’ve concentrated on things like raising my spawn and progressing to partnership in my legal profession. Though I have written lots (and lots and lots) of derivative work for 20 years, my last original story was for a writers’ workshop with the late Aaron Allston.
Aaron was very much on everyone’s mind at Origins Con 2014 and, while there, I summoned his positive spirit, silenced my harsh inner critic, and participated in a writing seminar with Mike Stackpole and Tim Zahn. This was, for me, epically foolhardy. I know Mike and Tim well from the Star Wars days and admire them immensely. I did research for both them and bits and pieces of me are splattered all over Star Wars books of the late 1990s. Creating on the spot for Mike and Tim amongst so many other talented writers was terrifying. The only thing keeping me from sneaking out of the seminar was that I would see them later and have to justify my sheer cowardice.
I went last, hoping we would run out of time. It did not go horribly. In fact, it went pretty well and my 15-minute fic was well received and gently critiqued.
Emboldened, I decided to try submitting to Athena’s Daughters 2. In homage, I began with the story I had done for Aaron’s workshop so long ago. In that story, a Beagle and her handler in the USDA agricultural import inspection program collectively save the U.S. cheese market from Italian maggots. This was my beginning and inspiration.
Since that first, long-ago workshop, I have become wiser and a better writer. I have learned more about dogs with the recent acquisition of a bossy Welsh Corgi.
Elementary school book reports from entries in Extreme Nature introduced me to brilliant, tool-making crows. Once I realized that the concepts of “uplift” and genetic modification, so familiar to me from epic works of science fiction and fantasy, could get me to fully sentient birds and dogs, Crow Bait and Switch was the result.
From this long, meandering journey of decades to Athena’s Daughters 2, my own modest lessons about writing emerge. It’s never too late, even if you are an old, suburban matron, as I am. I could only rise to the challenge of Silence in the Library’s open call for stories by silencing the nagging voices of fear and failure and moving beyond what had long been comfortable. Inspiration is everywhere – Crow Bait and Switch comes from a combination of a Beagle’s love of disgusting food, geeky websites, introducing a younger generation to my favorite genre stories, seeing Jurassic Park for the umpteenth time while slogging weary miles on the gym’s treadmill, and sitting in traffic in the minivan and watching a crow try to steal a flashing light from a school bus. Nothing is wasted and it all informs a glorious, messy creative process.
Tish E. Pahl is a principal in a law firm. At her day job, she advises on the federal regulation of drugs, dietary supplements, cosmetics, foods, and medical devices. She writes extensively on FDA matters, including speeches, articles, blog posts, advocacy, books, book chapters, and manuals, and regularly teaches a crash course in drug law. With Chris Cassidy, Tish wrote for Star Wars, with stories published in the Tales from the New Republic and Star Wars Gamer magazine. She further provided editorial and research assistance for numerous authors and works in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Tish is also a prolific producer of derivative genre, fantasy, and science fiction content, a long-time member of the Club Jade Star Wars online community, and co-hosted the AsCast podcast for the Narnian Fandom Revolution. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband, son, and two demanding dogs.
Her professional work and social media can be found at:
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