The one thing you must do as a writer, in which I found was the secret to my success, was to surprise my subjects. And on this mild summer day, with the farmers outside making their last minute preparations for the transitioning of the harvest season, the Elyria Herald is bustling. With the series of successful news reports released no more than a fortnight ago, the employees of Elyria Herald have been scrambling to handle the sudden influx of would-be writers and reporters and even a few town criers, looking to cache in EH’s success.
I waited just outside the Chief Editor’s room, dodging to and fro of as employees bustled around me, dropping off reports, receiving rumors of new stories to sleuth out.
“Come in!” A voice from inside called out, a sense of urgency hung in the air
Swallowing my anxiety, I walked through the doors of the man himself, Bradford J. Wilshire’s office, the Chief Editor of Elyria Herald.
“Excuse me, sir. I know you’re busy, but I wanted to ask you a few questions, if you’re not too busy?” I said, attempting to quell the nervousness that began to rise back up into my stomach. It was almost a blessing of Angelica that I didn’t hurl my breakfast right there on his dark oak-wood desk.
“I’m busy right now, but I could use a break. What is it that I can help you with?” Master Wilshire looked across his desk, regarding me, almost thoughtfully.
Gathering what courage I had left, I dug through my book bag and procured a scroll, ink and quilled pen. I set the paper and pen down, and pulled up a seat. I focused all my attention on dipping the pen in the ink and setting it gently down on the paper, then looked up to meet Mr. Wilshire’s look of astonishment.
Merx Tandun: “Master Wilshire, are you afraid you created a monster, in regards to Elyria Herald? How’d you feel when you saw your work being recognized and widely distributed?”
Bradford J. Wilshire: “Is this an interview?” *as he chuckles*
MT: “No, I’m curious. Did you expect something like this to happen?”
Bradford J. Wilshire recomposed himself quickly, and regarded the question with some thought.
BJW: “Honestly I didn’t expect such high praise from anyone, really. I kind of started writing out of fun, to see if it was even something people would read. I haven’t ever done anything like [this] before, and I am really honored and excited at the reaction from the kingdoms and readers of The Elyria Herald. Everywhere I have gone so far, people have been really open and excited to share with me. Even before the ‘fame’ from [Caspian] today.”
MT: “For people such as myself, it’s really inspiring to see someone who started, from essentially nothing, and now you have a small following. What do you see yourself doing in the future?”
BJW: “I would actually like to figure out how building a news source plays out. Once I can gain an understanding of the inner workings of the Herald, maybe test things, fail, and make them better, I will know the foundations I want to build upon. Then I would love to integrate all I have learned to create as seamless and fluid interaction between us and our readers. News should take on the vibe of our great bards and storytellers, and become known to assist anyone and everyone.”
MT: “Are there any mentions that you’d like to make, for those who’ve been there for you or helped you?”
BJW: “Absolutely! I have only just begun writing, a mere 12 days ago, yet there are others who deserve the following far more than me. That being said, it can be done with a bit of hard work. Not to take away from others efforts, of course. Count Lawrie of House Zabi as well as King Zultra I of House Coshall created the circumstances that I was able to first report on. Also many of the folks of Dol Aderyn have been very supportive readers. So many others have shown their support in all different ways, and we have a few new folks starting to write!”
MT: “Last question, how large do you think or see the Herald will be, in order for it to be a viable news source in all the kingdoms?”
BJW: “That’s an excellent question and one I have been asking myself quite a lot today. I would say The Herald has a good start, we sent out over 2,000 newspapers today, and I started it yesterday. That is an honor for me directly from our readers. First of all, I think we are going to need to be perceived well, regardless of numbers. I want us to deliver value to everyone at some level. I want to curate stories with purpose, for example an article about Canis Rabbits, imagine if it wasn’t just a “fluff” piece. If the rabbits are an issue in some far away village with a high price on their heads, hunters may travel there and get paid quite well for their services. I don’t intend on making all the connections for our readers, I’ll leave clues, and I hope every story can give some reader out there in Elryia an opportunity, or even a head start. ”
BJW: “Does that make sense? I kind of rambled there..”
Master Wilshire laughed a minute, clearly becoming more and more at ease with the interview, but I knew his time was short and he was a very busy man. As I scribbled down the final bits of his last statement, the sunlight began to wane as the sun sunk further down the horizon.
MT: “Excellent. Yes, that makes sense. Would you like to close with a statement, perhaps to those individuals hoping to be journalist and not knowing where to start?”
BJW: “Be Bold, Be Known. Journalism isn’t trying to be someone else, it’s about being true to your inner voice and sharing it with those who will listen. And anyone interested in starting, you can always find a starting place at The Elyria Herald.”
MT: “Thank you. I’m absolutely positive people can relate to that.”
BJW: “Happy to share, thanks for asking!”
As I collected up my things and shuffled out the door, Bradford J. Wilshire went back to what he did best, writing.