Saturday, February 25, 2017

INTERVIEW with Christopher Hansen and his co-authored book THE MAGICIAN'S WORKSHOP

1) I love Magicians, have you ever seen a famous Magician live? We saw David Copperfield years ago, it was fascinating! You created a whole world of them, was that difficult?

At first glance the Magicians in our book are not at all like magician’s like David Copperfield. All of the people in this world have the same magical ability. Everyone can create what we call projections. The magicians are the people who have the most talent with these magical abilities.  


2) What sort of research was needed to create the magical powers for each character?

The magic in our book is not like any kind of magic we know of. Thus we couldn’t do any traditional research on it. Instead we spent many hundreds, if not thousands, of hours creating this new magic for the book. We looked at it from every angle we could think of. We labored to figure out what could be done and what could not. We had to figure out what a world that was based on this magic looked like. 
Then, as we figured out the wide variety of magical powers possible in this world we could then start thinking about characters. We wanted to find the magical powers that were the right fit for each character. We tried to make these powers feel like they were a natural outgrowth of that character. 

3) Are there characters with more than one power?

Yes. Lots of them do. 

4) I love mountains you created the islands of O’Ceea are islands your favorite setting in life as well as writing?

Yes, exactly. I love islands and forests, thus you will find both in the book. (I also love mountains, but for some reason they don’t show up as much in my stories.) 

5) I like the idea of the conflict as Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. Is it easier to write the beautiful or the monstrous for you?

What a great question!
Monsters, for me, are easier. But, like Layauna, I want to create beautiful things. This is what another character, Talia, also wants to do, but she has a lot more success at it. Like Talia, this does not come easy for me. It requires a lot of hard work. 
Writing about the beautiful is difficult. It’s easy to lean upon cliches. The emotions need to be far more subtle. Beautiful things are more easily damaged. They also tend to be concocted out of a complex mixture of emotions that need to be formed to just the right taste.  
I do enjoy creating monsters though. There are relatively simple ways to create simplistic monsters, just add claws, sharp teeth, creepy masks, and fireballs. There is a fair amount of this sort of thing in the book. The hope is that it makes a nice contrast with the beautiful. We try to paint with both bright and dark colors. 

6) What is the best part of the writing process?

There are so many, but I will say it's the actual act of writing. To be more specific, one of my favorite things in life is when time disappears while I’m writing. Every so often I discover hours have passed as if they were minutes. In these times writing is effortless, and words flow without friction. 
A second is the ability to create worlds and characters and then to fall in love with them. 

7) What is the hardest part of the writing process?

There are so many things here as well. I will again say the actual act of writing. Finding the right string of words can be tough.

About the Books:

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Published by: Wondertale, California
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
ISBN: 1-945353-11-2
ASIN: B01MQGHGBH
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.
Length: 85,000 words / 290 pages


Book Links:

Synopsis:
Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.



The Magician’s Workshop, Volume Two

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr
Print Length: 273 pages
Publisher: Wondertale
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
ASIN: B01N988TW7
Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic
Ages: 12 and up.


Book Links:


Synopsis:
Return to the world of The Magician’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality.

In Volume Two, the Festival of Stars has finally arrived, and the Color Ceremony is about to commence. As children from all over the islands gather to stand before a puller, one question remains: who will have a Color, and who will be found void?

Rejoin your favorite characters as they step forward and receive a label that will have the power to dramatically alter the course of their lives forever.

About the Authors:

Christopher Hansen

The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.




J.R. Fehr

When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.




Contact the Authors: