Drollerie Blog Tour: JA Howe

Writer Tamago is pleased to host JA Howe on the Drollerie Blog Tour. While Jessica is here, I’ll be over at Imogen Howson’s. And after you’re done at this stop on the tour, please be sure to continue on over to Fraser Sherman’s place.



Greetings to all readers of Catherine’s blog; it’s a neat place to be!

I thought of a few sweet ideas for this entry, but I kept coming back to the land of Perriwinkle, my newest place to play — well, new-old. And so I think I will give you folk a tour of the land where fairy-tale and Candyland meet.

I collect ideas, I really do; I’ve idea books dating back into the late 1990’s that I keep around in a little box just in case — somehow — there comes a day when I have no idea what to write. One of these ideas went screwy a few years back, when I tried to write about a wizard who adopted two baby dragons. It was a terrible story, I finally realized, and so I scrapped it; just another of my melodramatic over-the-top writings. Seriously, it was bad. But, the idea wouldn’t leave my mind. And well, a couple years ago I put it down as an outline in my computer… but I STILL couldn’t figure what to do with it. At some point last year I was watching TV, and there was something on that gave me the concept for “twisted Candyland.” I swear, that’s what I got. And it grew and grew, like the little green man in “The King of Ireland’s Son,” one of my favorite Irish tales, till I had Perriwinkle.

Map and all.

I wrote of Perriwinkle with the help of many fairy-tale books and nursery rhymes, which is why I’m happy to be at Catherine’s site this month, since I know she shares my love of tales from around the world! Seriously, I don’t know how often I went through my extensive collection while writing it, from Japan to Germany to Ireland… And then I stuck in my own versions: For instance, there’s a veterinarian in Perriwinkle who is really a vampire in therapy, there are Candy-Flour-Fighting-Fairies which every baker has nightmares about, the gingerbread men of the land work construction or are specially baked to be part of His Majesty’s guard, and there’s a few districts in the capital at Cookie Cutter which are devoted to Asian-esque culture. There are also some seriously nasty clans of families of Cinderella and Snow White, which are the cutthroat upper crust of the land….

…and there’s my dragons. I’ve only just begun to play in Perriwinkle, though hearing about Halloween everywhere has started me thinking about it again (of course right when I’m working on something else!) I’m hoping that sometime soon I get to share it with the rest of the world — it’s already seeped into my wedding for next week, because my fiance and I wanted to have a theme of music and writing, our two respective fortes. Trouble is, well, while he has some lovely lines such as “through all the dischordant times…” I had nothing in my head till I started thinking well “I want to share with you my knights and goblins, protect you from the Candy-Flour-Fighting-Fairies…”

Durned things won’t leave me be!

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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