Thursday, April 1, 2010

Interview with Author James C. Wallace II

Today we are interviewing with James C. Wallace II author of Magician of Oz. Please be sure to follow his Virtual Book Tour, and leave any comments. Anyone that posts a comment will be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of the book Magician of Oz!

James C. Wallace II Bio

James C. Wallace II, originally a native of West Virginia, currently lives in Terre Haute, Indiana with his wife Amanda. They have been married more than 26 years, with a herd of 5 children and 12 grandchildren.
His background covers over 26 years in children's education, including experience working for the world's largest children's museum; The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, where he was the Planetarium Educator for SpaceQuest Planetarium.
In addition to children's books about Oz, he is recognized by NASA as a leading developer of web-based educational games, educational exhibit design, curriculum development and implementation. He is involved in the DiscoverHover program, which is an educational program developing and utilizing hovercraft in a unique and fun way.
He nows serves as the Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma, Sovereign Ruler of Oz and endeavors to fulfill her royal command to tell the tale of her newest Royal Magician to the children of the Great Outside. Magician of Oz is the first of three tales of Oz with Shadow Demon of Oz taking the middle ground of Oz. Family of Oz lies just over the horizon, awaiting the turning of Mother Earth.

Magician of Oz Book/Author Blog Site

Magician of Oz website

Magician of Oz book description

Life in Indiana was quite the adventure for young Jamie Diggs and his parents. After a tumultuous move from Kansas, Jamie explores the covered bridges, forests and cemeteries of rural Indiana where he discovers the ways of the Hoosiers. When his parents bring up an old humpback trunk from their basement, Jamie discovers his magical heritage lurking inside.
Jamie learns the ways of magic from a local magic club, meets Tree-In-The-Road, gathers Morel mushrooms for his mother's legendary potato soup and discovers his great grandfather, the original Wizard of Oz's sentry stone.
He soon finds himself transported to the Land of Oz where he must face the wrath of the Fighting Trees who have grown bitter after their defeat at the hands of the Tin Woodman so long ago.
In this compelling tale of fantasy and adventure in the Land of Oz, the young magician discovers new friends along the way, conquers his fears and battles the oncoming wave of trees and mushrooms alongside Dorothy and Toto.

Shadow Demon of Oz book description

It was in the early month of Spring when the old humpback trunk of O.Z. Diggs, the original Wizard of Oz was opened by his great grandson, Jamie Diggs, revealing a magical heritage lurking within.
Following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, a young boy named Jamie pursued the ways of magic and soon found himself transported to the magical Land of Oz where, alongside Dorothy, he faced his greatest fears and the fearsome Army of Trees in defense of the Tin Woodman.
Now the young magician is called to return to the Land of Oz to take his place as the new Royal Magician of Princess Ozma; Ruler and Sovereign of Oz.
And for his first Royal Command, Princess Ozma sends her Royal Magician and his best friend Buddy off to battle the Evil Shadow Demon and save the Hyups of Mount Munch.

1. What is needed for a story to be good?

I find that the best element for a good story involves a personal invocation. It requires a willingness to reveal a personal side that many would rather read about than write about.
Consider Oz, for example. It is an established world with very well established rules. The nice thing here is that so often, those rules and our rules coincide, making for a natural fit and thus a good story evolves. Values of Love, honesty, loyalty and friendship are pre-requisites in any story I am involved with.

2. Till now how many books have you written?

I am published in a number of science and education journals relating to physics, astronomical research, education & curriculum development, script writing & production, as well as having recently published Magician of Oz on the prior Summer Solstice. Shadow Demon of Oz is in final pre-publication phase and due for release within the month.

3. How much time do you take to finish a book?

Many find it hard to fathom, but I wrote Magician of Oz (28 chapters) in 30 days. It was followed by a period of 2 weeks or so for read-throughs, additions of a word or two, commas and periods and the like. Shadow Demon of Oz (33 chapters) took 31 days and a similar period of revisions. Once the muse strikes, it’s very difficult to arrest that flow of thought. Oz takes on a life of its own when I begin the process. This is typical of my normal writing style, which is rapid, concise and occasionally brilliant.

4. Where do you get ideas for your writing?

I grew up in a loving household where my parents read to me on a daily basis and taught me the joy of reading. Many a night I recall sitting in our front room as my mother would read from the many books of Oz and my father would act out some of the odd scenes pictured within.
Although it took another 42 years for that world to return to me, here it is and so am I.
In the past, my writing was rather broad and covered a wide area of science and education. I do enjoy research and the process that goes with it, including writing. Science can be fun to write about too.

5. Tell about your first book?

For me, writing has been a lifelong process, so I look at Magician of Oz as my premiere work as a published author. The story came to me on a flaming cherry pie (or so I’ve heard), proclaiming “You are Oz!” for all to hear. For me, the moment brings the words and sometimes it’s a flaming cherry pie. Ooops.
I have always wanted to write a story for children. I grew up as a child and find my best inspiration when I think as a child. Oz fits well within any child’s’ fantasy, be it now or then (over 100 years ago). The MGM movie represents for most their understanding of Oz… and yet Oz is so much more, comprising 14 books by L. Frank Baum and many more by many others. And now I join the ranks with an eventual trilogy storyline. It does offer a measure of immortality.

6. What is the hardest part of writing?

The hardest part is awaiting the muse. Once she, or he…I’m not quite sure, strikes, the story flows easily and freely. Finding the story is a challenge but not the most difficult part. Stories can be found everywhere if one knows where to look. But getting the muse to inspire and begin the process is the most challenging and difficult step to attain. You know its coming… just hurry up!!!