In another lifetime, August was a punk kid running a writing-themed e-zine in 2002 and participating in online survivor writing contests; these days, she’s a punk pseudo-adult with an office job and a studio of her own. Her husband, friends, and job keep her tied to the misty Pacific Northwest of the U.S., and her insatiable love of stringing words together keeps her writing a little bit of everything, every day.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Daugment is a direct product of the stew of books I loved as a kid. Redwall, Watership Down, Firebringer, and the Warriors series were all incredibly influential. Since then, I've become a bit of a sci-fi fiend, so I've decided to take everything I loved about my childhood favorites and set it in space. (Just add "in space" to the end of any idea, and you've got a winner. Maybe.)
More specifically, Daugment is based off of the Irish myth of the hounds of Fionn. In Irish folklore, Fionn is a warrior king, a bit of a bastard and very much a hero. He has two half-human hounds, Bran and Sceolan, who accompany him into battle. I read this story several years ago and decided I wanted to do something with the rich mythology of Ireland - and, well, a talking animal story was the obvious choice.
I wrote Daugment during NaNoWriMo of 2014, and it took the better part of two years to edit.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and most of my family's vacations were to deserts (Utah, eastern Washington, and eastern Oregon, mostly) - so those landscapes influenced my writing in that my characters often find themselves in a desert, or it's often raining. Besides that, there's a certain stoic sensibility to people on this coast, where we keep our secrets and our personal mysteries close to the vest and make our foggy magicks. I think my characters often reflect that in their unwillingness to reveal everything right up front, so the reader and the supporting characters have to go through the same journey of discovery.
Meet Pitney Scolan, Pit, for short. He’s protected his species' colonies from vicious native animal populations and hostile alien life, and he’s really looking forward to retiring on his personal planet in the very near future. Except…now he has to be a dog. So Pit grudgingly allies himself with some well-meaning scoundrels and discovers a galactic conspiracy to force him to make friends.