By: E. Oberio/May 23, 2017
Welcome to today’s author interview. I’m so delighted to have this conversation with Mackenzie Flohr, author of the fantasy novel, “The Rite of Wands”.
Hi, Mackenzie. At what point in your life did you start exploring the idea of writing this novel?
It’s still hard for me to comprehend, but it was thirteen years ago. Of course, the novel doesn’t look anything now like it did then. I was on my way to the state of Indiana to see a costume exhibit from The Lord of The Rings movie trilogy. I passed by a sign on the expressway and then it was like I was struck by lightning, I had this amazing story in my head.
Who is your favorite character in the novel and why?
Mierta. I find myself having to be loyal to this character because without him in all honesty, The Rite of Wands wouldn’t have ever been finished. He’s what you would call a discovery character so I never really know what is going to happen, which makes writing him really fun!
Have you had an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Yes. My parents wanted me to have a good education so they enrolled me at Incarnate Word Academy in Parma Heights, OH, which they now regret. It was a Catholic institution, but at the time I attended, teachers and students were also both abusive and bullies. I can still recall one particular student’s words – “Go throw yourself in a garbage can. No one will miss you!” Words and past experiences from that school still have an ill effect on me.
That must have been very difficult for you. Sorry to hear about that. To continue, would you kindly tell us what book or books have had a strong influence on your writing?
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.
What did you edit out of this book?
Honestly, I spent more time editing in versus out. I mostly edited out extra wording or misspelled words.
Do you have any unpublished and half-finished books you wish to publish someday?
Absolutely. I’m currently working on the next book in the series of The Rite of Wands, and I’m also working on a futuristic sci-fi series inspired by The Last of Us and the #FlintWaterCrisis. And if I ever decide to go back to it, I have a story involving politics in theatre.
Well, that sounds interesting. Now, what one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
I’ve actually been asked this question before, and then I did not know, and that same answer would still remain. I consider myself very fortunate. I have an amazing team I already work with under BHC Press. They are unbelievably supportive and really know how to make me look good. I also have an editor, whom I adore, and have met some really great people through them and Wizard World such as Genese Davis, Rachel Caine, James Morris, Drea Damara, etc. The only way one really hones their craft is by doing, and I hope that by doing so, I am becoming a better writer and therefore a better person.
What is the most effective marketing strategy you’ve done so far for the book?
That would definitely be having a wand from the novel replicated. I wanted something to have to remember my series by so I contacted Magical Alley in Washington to replicate the wand of one of my main characters in The Rite of Wands. This particular character I was inspired by actor Matt Smith, and actually ended up writing the character as if someday I may be lucky enough to see him perform it on screen. Right around the time my wand was being crafted, I discovered he was going to be at Wizard World Cleveland Comic Con, which was in the area I grew up in. I ended up bringing him the wand, hoping he would sign it, which he did. Since the wand has become my brand. You’ll see it in my logo, and on the cover of The Rite of Wands. I’ve also been lucky enough to capture the attention of Doctor Who Online, and recently signed a contract with Doctor Who impersonator, Jake Dudman, to produce my audiobook!
What does literary success look like to you?
When you can go out your door and meet some stranger on the street and they recognize you because of your book.
Finally, please let our readers know we where can we find more about you and your work.
Here are the links:
Please grab a copy of Mackenzie Flohr’s The Rite of Wands now available at Amazon Kobo and Waterstones.