Greetings! I’m Claudia Quint and I intend to tell you about a different kind of Sherwood Forest, with a Robin Hood unlike the one you have known, a much wilder Maid Marian, and most of all, a different kind of Sheriff with secret desires in his burning heart. I invite you to meet them all in my story, Arrows Fletched With Peacock Feathers. I concentrate on myth and romance and fairy tales, and have published short stories along those themes. I keep a regular blog examining fairy tales and doing interviews and features on related subjects at https://claudiaquint.wordpress.com
Let’s Get To Know Claudia Quint
Q: What are the top five books that have influenced your career?
A: That’s such a hard question to answer, how to narrow down so many beloved tales? I suppose the first author to really instill a sense of gothic romance within me was Anne Rice with her Interview with the Vampire and later on, The Vampire Lestat. And later on I discovered such love for the Brontes, with Jane Eyre at the top of the list. Especially because it has a particular meaning to my family. I have an old copy in tatters I inherited from my great-grandmother. (Like the title character of Jane Eyre, she was abandoned to an orphanage.) I draw a lot of influence and inspiration from the past. Metamorphoses by Ovid, The Divine Comedy by Dante. And a contemporary favorite of mine has always been Susan Kay’s Phantom, which I thought was a brilliant reimagining of The Phantom of the Opera. I loved it so much I tracked down a hardback for my own library. Though obscure, I feel as though it gave me another way of viewing romance beyond a plot-driven story, but also a character driven story in which the lows of life highlight the romantic pulse that makes a certain kind of romance story so delicious.
Q: What fictional character would you punch if the face if you thought you could get away with it without going to jail?
A: This is something of a funny question, punching people in the face is really hell on the knuckles, I prefer something more long lasting and painful, like psychological torture, you know? An audit, maybe. Fictional characters don’t really inspire this kind of anger within me because shutting a book or turning off a movie is relatively easy, and I can make my own characters if I dislike someone else’s.
Q: Pick a super-power and tell us what you’d do with it.
A: I’d pick the super power that makes you really good at answering interview questions. No, I kid! This reminds me a little bit of Misfits, the UK show about the kids doing community service who end up with superpowers. My favorite part was the story of Simon and Alisha who end up taking this very, very interesting twist on time travel. I want that. I want a superpower that lets me travel through time, and I would do the exact same thing they did with it. So, to know the answer to that, you have to watch the first three seasons of the Misfits. (It’s worth it for Simon and Alisha’s story line alone. But bring tissues, because you will blubber like a baby.)
About Arrows Fletched With Peacock Feathers by Claudia Quint
Nottingham suffers under the ruthless enforcement of the Sheriff, who is determined to live up to his title and forget the difficult childhood that left him orphaned and destitute.
Then a charismatic bandit named Robin Hood crashes through his bedroom window and leaves the Sheriff’s ordered world thoroughly shattered—and threatens to steal the Sheriff’s not so hardened heart.
“Good,” the Abbot snapped. “See to it you do not. All
these years, I thought to upraise you, hold you to the light
and redeem you. That you might have a better life than the
one your mother suffered. When you turned twenty-two, I
thought I might lose you again.”
The Sheriff looked away. The year of twenty-two had
been the year of sufferings and severance, the year the
Abbot found him and Brother Vincent in the garden,
caught them together in lusty idyll.
At first, they thought nothing would come of the
Abbot’s discovery, for all things resumed their usual turn
and the Sheriff (who was not then the Sheriff) and Brother
Vincent might tend the brewery, ring the bells in the
evening, and carry on their work exchanging shy glances in
the belfry, where they at last snuck in their moments of
togetherness, heated exchanges in the darkness and the
deafening thunder of the bells, the sound shaking them
through their skin, down to their tongues meeting in the
middle, pressed together. The Sheriff found heaven in the
belfry alone with Brother Vincent.
And then came the assignation, then came the call to
the Abbot’s side where he was told he would be shipped
out to Nottingham, and there was nothing to be done
“And Brother Vincent?” the Sheriff had asked, kneeling
at the Abbot’s feet, and the Abbot shook his head in the
grip of a bitter disappointment, and the Sheriff, not yet the
Sheriff, tucked his feelings and his vulnerable heart behind
a coat of armor, safe and secret where no one might see it,
not ever again. And he was no longer a brother of the
order, but crushed mercilessly into a diamond—
impenetrable, hard, desirable but unable to be claimed, for
nothing would allow him to open up the hard shell of
My favorite quote from Arrows Fletched With Peacock Feathers is:
“My mother followed her heart over her head and I
saw where it led her!” the Sheriff exploded in a torrent of
feeling, the words running unchecked from him. “She died
with no one beside her at the end, despite many a
profession of love. Tell me, will you be there to defend me
when Prince John demands his taxes? Will you be there to
take up the shortfall for the townspeople when they
cannot pay? Should I abandon my post, just to have a more
ruthless cutthroat take it up and squeeze the people until
blood runs from their purses?”