• INTERVIEW: Penumbra Quill Sheds Some Light on Ponyville's Mysteries

    Illustration: Penumbra Quill. Image provided by Little, Brown and Company & Hasbro.
    Image used with Permission.

    Well folks we have got a big surprise for you tonight! Ahead of the July 3rd Release of the first two My Little Pony: Ponyville Mysteries Equestria Daily has an interview with the author of the series! That's right folks we got an interview with the world famous novelist, Penumbra Quill!

    Our ace Equestria Reporter, Italic Quip, made his way from our EQD Offices in Manehatten to Ponyville to interview Penumbra about her upcoming series. They discuss Penumbra's early literary career, what it's like to live so close to the Everfree Forest, and most importantly of all what it was like getting to know the Cutie Mark Crusaders for this book series!

    Be sure to check it out after the break!

    Italic Quip: Ms. Quill, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview with Equestria Daily. I must say you look absolutely lovely today! Is that a new dress from Rarity’s Boutique?

    Penumbra Quill: Why yes in fact it is. Good eye! This was actually a gift from Rarity herself. A thank you for, in her words, "making her sound as fabulous as she thinks she is." One of the pleasures of working on this latest series was the new friendships it brought my way. No surprise, I suppose. After all, Ponyville IS the capital of Friendship isn't it? But we're not here to talk about dresses are we? You wanted to discuss my latest series?

    IQ: Yes! So to get the ball rolling, what has it been like living in Ponyville while writing this new novel series of yours? I take it the first thing that happened was having the welcome wagon brought out before you by party pony extraordinaire Pinkie Pie.

    PQ: Pinkie Pie really does have an almost supernatural level of energy don't you think? I arrived in Ponyville from Canterlot and met with Princess Twilight first. Princess Luna and Princess Celestia had informed her of my interest in Ponyville and in particular the Everfree Forest. I had heard rumblings of some pretty major magical goings on in Ponyville. Of course Princess Twilight wanted to make sure my intentions were pure before I met everypony else. I think she wanted to make sure I wasn't a villain with plans to take over Equestria!

    IQ: I know you’ve gone into this story a couple times before over your illustrious career, but if you could indulge me for a moment, could you please tell us about how your encounter with the Ghost in The Whinny Resort changed your writing career?

    PQ: You know many ponies find this amusing, particularly given my body of work, but I was never a very superstitious pony. I always assumed some of the more fanciful tales and legends in Equestria were just that, stories. It wasn't until I saw that ghost in the halls of The Whinny that I realized there was much more to my homeland than I had thought! As I delved further into the stranger aspects of Equestria I discovered that even some of the stories we think of as fiction are in fact true. For example there's a contemporary of mine who... well, let's just say that Equestria is much more "Daring" than most ponies realize. I decided to try to document some of these strange occurrences. But simply writing articles recounting the facts wasn't enough. It's the ponies that struggle and fight against the darkness that fascinate me and it's their stories I have a passion to tell!

    IQ: You have the absolutely cutest pet phoenix I have ever seen! How did you end up coming across such a beautiful bird?

    PQ: THIS little rascal actually found ME. I was up in the mountains past The Crystal Empire, halfway to Yakyakistan for a story. I was researching legends of a banshee and living out of a yurt. It was FREEZING. The wind was howling (or perhaps it was the banshee), the ink in my quills was frozen solid and I thought I may have inadvertently found myself on my last expedition. At that moment Firebrand came swooping into my tent and kept me warm throughout the night! I don't know where he came from but I like to thing that because I bring the strange and unusual to light, the strange and unusual sent a guardian to watch over me. Isn't that right scrumptious?? (Quill nuzzles Firebrand affectionately). He accompanies me everywhere no matter how dangerous. While here in Ponyville he has become quite fond of the Everfree Forest.

    IQ: I see. That begs that question if you’re worried at all about the dangers of the Everfree Forest. I mean there have been confirmed reports of Manticores, Hydras, and Ursas--both major and minor--in there. So there is some cause for concern being so close to that forest.

    PQ: Well the entirety of Ponyville lives next door to the Forest and they seem to have survived. In fact it is the UNKNOWN parts of the Everfree Forest that drew me here. Or I guess it would be more accurate to say that The Everfree Forest drew other ponies here. What they discovered, what the Cutie Mark Crusaders faced because of them, that is why I am here. But for more on that you will have to read the books.

    IQ: Of course, of course. Though to get back on topic, how did you hear about the supernatural adventures these three went on? I know Sweetie Belle’s older sister Rarity likes to regale her customers with the various exploits of the residents of the town. So…

    PQ: It was actually through Princess Luna. Luna and I have become quite close recently. Our interest in the darker aspects of Equestria (both literally and figuratively) have brought us into each others lives more often than you would expect. In fact we have been discussing working on a book together about a recent adventure we shared. However THAT one would require I write myself in as a character which I am loathe to do. But back to your question, I first heard through some of my more "colorful" sources about a "sizeable magical occurrence" in Ponyville. Because of the nature of these rumors I went straight to Luna. You see the occurrence involved... well... again, you'll have to read the book. But I knew Luna would be able to confirm its accuracy. When she did I begged her to be able to tell the story. I knew Princess Twilight and her friends would be cautious about who they revealed the details of this event to. But with Luna's blessing, they welcomed me with open wings.

    IQ: How did your first--let’s go with--“encounter” go with Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo? Did you meet them at their clubhouse business, the local eatery known as Sugarcube Corner, or a more disaster proof location like Princess Twilight’s Castle?

    PQ: Our FIRST meeting was actually at Sweet Apple Acres. Granny Smith made an absolutely delightful dinner. The entire Apple Family was there, which of course included Apple Bloom. Sweetie Belle and Rarity were there, as was Scootaloo, who brought her Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty as well as Rainbow Dash. It was a lovely way to get to know the young ponies along with those closest to them. I have to say, those three really are impressive. So young and yet so experienced! And their matching cutie marks? Well, I was of course particularly interested in that since it is so important to... ah, there I go again! You really MUST read the books for the full story!

    IQ: Well, apparently those three have a reputation for causing all sorts of mayhem which would somehow end covered in tree sap while they were searching for their cutie marks. I haven’t had the chance to interact with them yet… but have you found if their reputation has held true while you were interviewing them?

    PQ: Those three do have a talent for attracting, shall we say, a disproportionate amount of adventure? But if they didn’t, then I wouldn’t have a story, so I suppose I can’t complain. Quite a few "adventures" occurred during my stay in Ponyville. Their clubhouse collapsed under strange circumstances while I was interviewing them the first time. And there was an incident when we visited Zecora -- by the way, I don’t believe I’ve ever met a more talented potion-maker! Suffice it to say, just because two flowers look alike, doesn’t mean they have the same magical properties, as Apple Bloom quickly demonstrated for us all. Then there was the encounter with Sweetie Belle and the diamond dogs - fortunately, I know how to deal with those particular creatures. Did you know they cannot stand high-pitched noises? My time in Ponyville was definitely filled with surprises.

    IQ: Speaking of surprises, what were some of the most surprising facts you learned about those three?

    PQ: That for such young fillies, they have tremendously brave spirits and kind hearts. It takes a good deal of courage to face your fears and stand up to monsters, something I’ve seen grown ponies shy away from. For example, that moment when Scootaloo— OOH! You almost caught me that time, Italic! I don’t want to scoop my own story before you read it.

    IQ: Considering how many ponies were involved in the events covered in these books, I take it you took the time to interview all parties involved. Who were some of the more interesting characters you interviewed while researching these stories?

    PQ: Research is always the lifeblood of my books. I find that it’s not good enough to read one account of an event and presume you know everything - interviewing each pony involved, and those affected by what has happened starts to paint a clearer picture of the truth. And occasionally it’s what ISN’T said that’s particularly revealing. For this series of novels, I spoke with ponies as diverse as the Wonderbolts, to Princess Luna herself. But the most intriguing witnesses were the members of a very unusual family that had just settled in Ponyville. And of course I spent plenty of time with my three protagonists, as well as Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie… MY GOODNESS! Was that a confetti cannon?

    Pinkie Pie: OHMYGOSH How is the Interview going? Are you hungry? Want this cupcake? I was saving it in my mane for later but I'd be happy to-- Oooo! Oooo! How about we have a "hey this interview is going really really really really great party"?

    IQ: Uh no thank you Pinkie Pie! I’m all set on parties! You threw me a very good one the night I got here!

    PP: Okely Dokely! Heyyyyyyy Penumbra don't forget to tell them about the part where I--

    PQ: Shhhh! No spoilers Pinkie!


    IQ: … Does she always appear when she’s mentioned out loud?

    PQ: Names can be powerful summoning tools. I learned that the hard way when I was investigating the Beast of Fetlock Moor. Sometimes simply the act of speaking about something can give it magic! For example, I’m certain that all the latest gossip surrounding Feather Bangs is the only reason he's gained such popularity among the young fillies. It surely can’t be because of his songs!

    IQ: Well, that should pretty much do it, so let’s wrap this up. Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of Equestria Daily about your upcoming series?

    PQ: Destinies can be shaped by the smallest ponies among us. As you enjoy my books, remember that all of it really happened, and take inspiration from the courage of Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. For though the world is filled with strange and mysterious forces - I have come to realize that friendship is the strongest of them all.

    Equestria Daily says thank you Mike Vogel and Nicole Dubuc—for bringing the character of Penumbra Quill to life for this interview—and to Hasbro & Little, Brown and Company for not only allowing this interview to take place, but to also review and approve the content of this interview.  

    My Little Pony: Ponyville Mysteries: Schoolhouse of Secrets and My Little Pony: Ponyville Mysteries: The Tail of the Timberwolf will be available on July 3rd everywhere books are sold.