Interviews - The 411


Interview Questions (from Word Spelunking)

What three words best describe The Magic Shop?

Unexpected, adventurous, Page-turner.

Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give The Magic Shop a try?
When Marcus and Ellie sell a magical item that they shouldn’t have from their grandparent’s Magic Shop, they find themselves thrown into a strange world full of sketchy characters with unclear intentions, and embark on a journey to reclaim the object that was to have ultimately restored their family.
(How’s that for a crazy run on sentence?)
Grab a copy of The Magic Shop and answer the following:
favorite chapter? Chapter 26: The Brimlets. Epic family fight in the blood circle.
favorite page? 160. I wrote it half asleep, and when I woke up, I really liked it.
hardest page or chapter to write? Chapter 1: Issues. Getting the beginning just right is always a challenge.
flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser: “He glared at Mr. Diddley’s yellow-toothed smile, and thought how he’d like to shove a toothbrush in his mouth and teach him how to use it.”


What inspired The Magic Shop? How did the story come to be?
I was working on another (unreleased) book, and got stuck. Someone in my writer’s group was in the same situation, and she had decided to leave her work in progress behind, and to start on a new book. She encouraged me to do the same, but I was reluctant.

One night, I was watching an episode of Fringe (a good Sci-Fi show), and I was thinking about twisting a sci-fi theme and turning it fantasy. There was a great scene about a pawnshop, and a universal soldier entering and asking the shopkeeper for “the back room.” For whatever reason, that stuck with me.  So, I wrote a scene about a young boy that had to miss out on an afternoon of Basketball (my favorite sport) because he had to watch his grandparent’s shop. As he was sulking, a stranger comes in, and asks for “the back room.” They have a strange interaction, and Marcus discovers that there is a shop within the shop, filled with real magical items. Although he did it with good intentions, Marcus sells something that he wasn’t supposed to and thus commences a crazy adventure to set things right in a world he never knew existed.
Who is your favorite character in The Magic Shop? What do you love about him/her?
Elba, the Crypt Keeper (Keeper of the Dead –You know, that kind of thing).  She’s hard to read, and you never quite know what side she’s on. This makes her complicated, and interesting.
Can you tell us a bit about the actual magic shop in The Magic Shop? What makes this place unique?

Well, they live in The Magic Shop, for starters, and there are so many secrets right under their nose. Also, it’s a humble little family shop juxtaposed against a glitz and glam Magic Shop down the street.

If you could possess one magical power or enchantment/spell, what would it be and how would you use it?
Um, “World Peace?” Kidding.
I guess I would live forever, and do lots of great things. Flying would be cool too, though, wouldn’t it?


What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an author?

I think it’s the over-thought, or subliminal thinking that is happening when you are writing (or not writing). You can be totally stuck on the conscious level, but in the subconscious, the brain is still plugging along. It’s amazing when you just write, and then suddenly realize how everything connects in such a special way.

Fill in the blanks:
  • I’m really awesome at_ foosball__.
  • I’m really embarrassed to admit that__ I fell off a stage once__.
  • The last great book I read was_ Larry Correia’s, Monster Hunter International__.
If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by The Magic Shop, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

It would look like Phoenix droppings. I’d call it Uribrim, and it would taste like licorice. (This will make sense if you read the book!!)


Interview Questions (from The Cult of Me)

What first inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. If I had to pin it down to one thing, it would probably be my mother. In our younger years, she was the type that would give us a treat if we memorized a poem and things like that. She always enjoyed good books, and I think she instilled that in us. My grandmother (mother’s mom) had also done some writing. So, that probably influenced me as well.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be and why?

This is a tough one. Perhaps my grandmother, Sybil, who recently passed away. Why? Well, she wrote a short book called “Toronto Teddy,” and no one can find it. Having written a book, and knowing what goes into it, I felt an absolute loss; an additional loss, upon learning that the manuscript had disappeared. I’d spend time with her, talk with her, and secure a copy to make sure it got published.

Are you a planner? Or do you prefer to dive straight into writing?

I’m a hybrid. My impulse is to dive straight in. I have more success, however, when I resist that urge, and think things through a little bit before I go crazy.

What is your favorite word?

I’ve been saying, “bugger” a lot lately – don’t know why 🙂

What is the best writing tip you have ever been told?

“Write what you see.” I believe that’s from Stephen King’s, “On Writing;” at least the audiobook version. So, yeah, he literally told me that.

What is the last book you read?

Monster Hunter International, by Larry Correia. His books are fantastic. By the way, he’s also a great speaker. I’ve seen him at a couple of writing conferences.


Interview Questions (from Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile)

Lightning round! Please fill in the blanks:
  • If I had to choose one word to describe myself, it would be _Jokester_____.
  • My favorite color is _Green______.
  • I’d describe my “currently reading” bookshelf as _Too many books, too little time_____.
  • If I could only read one genre it would be ___Urban Fantasy_____.
What is it that draws you to writing Fantasy?

The sense of wonder. The ability to escape from reality for a while, and live on another world, by other rules. I’ve always been an imaginative person, and I just love diving into other people’s creative worlds, and getting lost for a while.

Are there any books that you'd recommend right now?

Sure, a bunch. I’m usually reading 3-5 books at a time, in little sips. Currently, I’m reading Larry Correia’s, Monster Hunter International. Great read. Also, James Dashner’s Eye of the Minds. There’s also The End Games, Partials, Nightingale, and Wool. I’m enjoying them all. 

Please share with us as a tweet (140 characters) about The Magic Shop!

When Marcus and Ellie tend the family Magic Shop, they discover family secrets, and enter a dangerous realm to undo a mistake they made. 

What would you say to readers who are looking at picking up your books?
First of all, thank you for your interest! It’s very flattering that someone might consider reading one of my stories.
My books tend to be adventurous, and full of twists and turns. I like to keep the reader guessing by having a strong element of mystery present at all times 🙂 I’ve also written across multiple genres, including horror. So, some of my stories have a darker bent to them.

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