Mackenzie Flohr

An interview with Mackenzie Flohr

Mackenzie Flohr

Hi Mackenzie, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.

Thank you, for having me!

 

First, please could you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

     Sure! I am a young adult fantasy author with BHC Press. I was born and raised in Ohio, and I now reside in Hartland, Michigan. My parents nurtured a love of fantasy and make-believe by introducing me at a very young age to the artistic and cultural opportunities that the city of Cleveland had to offer.

 

When did you become interested in writing and what encouraged you to begin?

     I have had interest in writing ever since I was young, but honestly never thought of it as a career. Growing up, my best friend and I would create our own stories and critique each other’s work.
In my teen years, I attended the Beck Center for the Cultural Arts in Lakewood, Ohio. There, I studied about the entire process behind a production including the writing, casting, building, lighting, directing, etc. It was then when I started to realize I was meant to be a writer.

 

Are there any writers or books that inspire you?

J.R.R Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter) and Michael Ende (The Neverending Story).

 

I really enjoyed reading ‘The Rite of Wands’. What inspired you to write this novel?

     Thank you! That’s actually a good question! I was inspired by The Lord of the Rings. I’m kind of embarrassed to say now, but I started the early stages of this series through writing LOTR fanfiction. I was actually on my way to the state of Indiana to see a costume exhibit from The Lord of The Rings movie trilogy as a matter of fact, when the idea for The Rite of Wands hit me like a bolt of lightning.

 

Could you give us a little insight into the mind of the character, Mierta?

     Mierta is a very troubled young man. Not only does he have to deal with the loss of his Mother, but he also must face something that no twelve-year-old should. We really get to see over time how his obsession over changing his future starts to take a toll on him. However, his journey is what I believe leads the series, and helps the reader really connect to him on a personal level.

 

I believe you are currently working on some short stories set in ‘The Rite of Wands’ universe. Could you tell us about them?

     Absolutely! I am currently editing two short stories in The Rite of Wands universe. The first is an origins story, and introduces the reader to Professor Mortain McKinnon before the events of The Rite of Wands. The second story, is about when Mortain first met Clarinda, and a hidden treasure they come upon. The first story will be debuting at Rust City Book Con this upcoming weekend. And the second story will be appearing in the Literary Escapism magazine.

 

Where do your ideas come from and what is your process?

     It depends on what I am writing about. Using the example of the one short stories from The Rite of Wands universe, it was inspired by a prompt for an author panel from the Rust City Book Convention. The assignment was to write a short story about the origin of a main character of the series.
I had been very interested in exploring Mortain’s background, and felt the prompt fit perfectly into that. I never believed Mortain was just a court physician; there was another side of him, which due to circumstances, he had to keep hidden. I’ll also be exploring more of the why in the next book!

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

     Don’t give up, keep pressing on, and if someone says you can’t do something, don’t believe it. As one of my dear friends has said, sometimes in order for something to happen, you have to give to the universe, and the universe in turn, gives back.

 

Finally, do you have a message for your readers?

     Yes! Some BIG exciting news is underway, which I am not yet allowed to disclose. Stay tuned, and join my mailing list to be the first to know once it is announced.

 

Thank you for your time Mackenzie!

You’re welcome! I had a great time! 

 

The Rite of Wands

The Rite of Wands is available now in both eBook and paperback format. Check it out!

Amazon: https://t.co/ftq6hGnAee
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2neguFt
Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Rite-Wands/MacKenzie-Flohr/9781946006431?id=6822639925501
IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781946006431
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1212546091
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-rite-of-wands
Waterstones: http://bit.ly/2ng09AK

The Rite of Wands

Book Review: The Rite of Wands by Mackenzie Flohr

The Rite of Wands

Title: The Rite of Wands

Author: Mackenzie Flohr

Publisher: BHC Press

Publication date: 10th March 2017

ISBN: 978194600643

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wands at the ready for a tale of magic and secrets! Mierta McKinnon experiences a terrible vision of the future during his Rite of Wands ceremony – an initiation all Warlocks must face. He becomes obsessed with finding a way to change his destiny and does everything in his power to change the future, unaware of how his decisions will one day reshape the kingdom.

I found the exterior to be visually appealing, with a simple but elegant cover that matches the story well. Inside I was pleasantly surprised to find an interesting looking map – a nice touch by the author. Coming from England, I found the shape of the map very familiar! However, it was well edited to reflect the geography of the world I was about to enter. Flicking to the back, I found a couple of sections which provided information on the meaning and pronunciation of the various words and dialects used.

I immediately felt invested in Mierta’s quest and was fascinated by the development of his character. He serves as a great example of how persistence and single mindedness can slowly turn into obsession, fundamentally changing a person. Orlynd on the other hand, gave me a sense of satisfaction, cheering him on as he made the journey from a young, unconfident boy to a brave and trustworthy advisor to the King. I found his sense of duty and the extent he goes to protect his king very touching. Overall there was a good mix of characters with a variety of motivations, from the deeply focused young Warlock Mierta, to royalty with hidden agendas.

The book is structured using a common approach, with the story told through multiple characters in multiple locations by alternating chapters – in this case between the characters Mierta and Orylnd. However, it did not always alternate by chapter, at some points switching after short sections or every few pages. This made it hard to stay immersed in a plot which swapped storylines at a rapid pace, though I admit it also kept me on my toes.

‘The Rite of Wands’ is interesting from a linguistic point of view.  Orylnd uses a dialect that was a little hard to decipher at first, but which I got used to, mainly thanks to the useful guide at the back. It was definitely a fun experience learning a dialect while following the story, but also initially a little time consuming having to stop and look words up. For the most part, the author’s work reads smoothly though at times I felt some word choices were a bit unnatural causing me to re-read sentences, weakening my immersion.

The way that the events developed the characters was enjoyable and kept me guessing. Just as you’ve made your mind up about someone, they make a choice which can completely change your outlook.

This story is suitable for Fantasy fans of all ages and will hook both older and younger audiences. I would definitely recommend giving ‘The Rite of Wands’ a read and look forward to the next instalment in the series.

My Rating:  4/5 stars