Authors who frequent the Writing Forum on often keep a low profile. They perfer to read the nattering (and sometimes inane) discussions (or are those arguments?) between more boisterous authors. But there are a few who participate by quietly building worlds for us to get lost in.

Allow me to present…

P.J. Richards

P.J.’s story, titled The Road to Pareidolia, is an immersive discovery of patterns. For what are maps if nothing other than the recording of the patterns we see around us? (Go read it, you’ll never look at a leaf the same way again.)

We sat P.J. down for a quick interview to learn what made her write about a map (or wait, I mean, a leaf?).

What inspired you to write a story about maps?

When ‘maps’ was chosen as the theme for the anthology, I wasn’t sure if it would spark a story in me, because I tend to associate maps with epic fantasy which (aside from Tolkien) isn’t really my thing. I challenged myself to draw the subject into the realm of contemporary-mythic and the natural world, where I feel most inspired, and then the image of leaves and the art of being able to look through them to other worlds evolved.

Do you have a special place where you go to recharge your creative muse?

The beautiful hills around my hometown in Somerset, have nature, history and folklore in abundance – everything I want for inspiration.

Can you tell us about a time when you wished you had a map?

I have absolutely no sense of direction, so I really need maps all the time!

P.J. Richards lives in England with her husband, kids, cats, an owl, and all the legends and history of the Westcountry. Can be found in castles shooting a longbow with the medieval group Bowlore, or occasionally as a unicorn at Stonehenge. The rest of her time is spent writing and painting.

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