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 is available now in both eBook and paperback format. Check it out!
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2neguFt