TwoSpells by Mark Morrison
1- What's the best thing about bike riding?
The freedom, the music from my Ipod, the wind in my face, the strain in my thigh muscles, the sun beating on my sweating skin and the joy in reaching my distance goal for the day.
2- What five words represent your most notable characteristic or values? #In5Words
Empathy, tenacity, honesty, integrity, curiosity.
3- What ignited your passion for writing?
My imagination of course. I wanted everyone to read my stories, my creations, my thoughts and ideas.
4- Would you share a picture with us of your book in a library?
I'd have to use a photo from my own library and you'd make fun of me if you knew some of the child-like books I read. I'm still a kid at heart. (IE: Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
5- What are some of your short and long term writing goals?
My short term is to have my next novel, in editing now, available in three months and the second of the TwoSpells series available by February of 2019. My long term goal is to write at least the stories I've already either written completely or in part published before I run out of time on this world.
6- How well do you get along with your seven siblings, and do you have any tips for others in big families?
I have a very close relationship with three of the four sisters, one has passed long before she should have, and two of my three brothers. One has chosen a life of seclusion, nobody knows why. The best tip I can think of is; love each other and be happy.
7- What is your favorite book (by someone else), and what do you love most about that book?
By far the most influential book that changed me in any profound way was the Holy Bible. I'm not religious by any standards but it opened my mind at a very young age as to how so many folks can believe so strongly in something they cannot see, touch, or hear. I was absolutely amazed at its impact on families and culture and based on faith alone. A truly outstanding book!
8- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?
My son Jason. He's my mentor, my tutor, my editor, my sounding board, and an inspiration in so many other ways. Someday I'll write his remarkable story if he doesn't beat me to it first.
9- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?
Joy! I do love the scene near the opening of the book where Jon was sleeping, open mouthed, and Sarah watched the disgusting orange-brown glob run down from Jon's mouth and join his collection of tee shirt stains.
10- What most helped you to improve your writing craft?
More writing. TwoSpells was really the first thing I've ever written in my life. Corky was the second and the next in the TwoSpells series will be my third. I better be getting better after all the help I've gotten from wonderful reviewers like yourself.
11- How important do you think social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, are to today's authors?
I'm sure a lot, but I'm computer illiterate for the most part. My VCR still has the clock flashing off and on. Maybe I should upgrade my technology?
12- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?
My first instinct is to say the numbered tattoos on the Golem.
13- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? https://diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks
Sarah and Jon are of mixed species. They'll have to deal with their own kind, the Irregulars, in the future. After the great war their similarities may become a detriment to the twins belief in themselves as well as others.
My favorite character of diversity was Jim from Huckleberry Finn. The relationship between him and Huck was touching.
14- Which character has your favorite Personality Contradiction?
Liam. He's spontaneous but cautious as well.
15- Does your book hold a mirror up to society, and in what way?
Yes! It still shows that certain cultures are still stigmatized and pushed away from standardized beliefs and silly guidelines considered the norm.
16- Can you think of any small change in the world you could make to benefit hundreds of other authors or readers potentially?
If every person in the world suddenly went blind for just a short time maybe we'd all see each other in a different light.
17- As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
The cover first, I'm a visual person, then the blurb cause I'm a sucker.
18- How will you measure your publishing performance?
By how many who've read my story and liked it. I have enough of everything else in my life I didn't start writing for the money, fame or accolades.
19- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
Self-publishing because my father used to say you could only control one person, yourself. I like the control of my own destiny.
20- What's the best book marketing strategy you've come across?
I haven't found that yet. I'll let you know when I do though.
21- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?
Will Sarah's family ever be reunited?
22- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
TwoSpells is a magical tale about teenage twins, Sarah and Jon, who find out that they're heirs to an ancient, magical realm containing an enchanted library that can transport a reader to anywhere or anytime the author has written into a story. They soon realize that moving through the uncharted inner-sanctums of multidimensional worlds isn't the safest nor wisest of choices.
Both are emboldened with a wondrous mystical gift that no being has ever possessed. But fate intervenes pulling them into an evolving inter-dimensional war between their kind, Irregulars, and treacherous evil forces flowing from parallel universes looking to claim the library's unique magical enchantment as their own portal to besieging and conquering all realms outside their own.
The two must rescue their world from a phantom hybrid alien race controlled by a demented dark-wizard, Jeremy Sermack. They'll either assimilate or be exterminated.
Will they embrace their true identities as Irregulars and become the valiant saviours the prophets envisioned, or will they retreat to the perceived safety of their distant homeland populated with the Regulars?
Chapter 12 Excerpt
THE FRONT DOOR LAY FLATTENED, hinges bent and twisted and the sliding bolt-lock contorted. The door jam was broken and splintered.
“What is this?” Grandpa roared, waving his walking stick at the mountainous intruders. “Which one of ya’ is gonna pay for all this?”
The dust settled and the two ominous figures stood just outside the doorway, the bright moon blazing behind them. Tattooed across their pale blue foreheads were the numbers thirty-seven and thirty-eight. Each was stuffed into a suit two sizes too small and busting at the seams, barely able to contain their hulking, muscular bodies. Black, wraparound sunglasses hid their eyes from view and Sarah could tell that something strange lay behind them. One muttered into a small microphone curled toward his lips and the other stared straight ahead.
Grandpa rolled up behind them. “Collectors!”
“Collectors?” Sarah whispered to Jon. He shrugged.
“You know why here,” Thirty-seven grunted, flipping one side of his jacket open and exposing a peculiar gold badge attached to his belt. It was a cluster of mechanical gears embedded with astrological symbols and a mechanical winged dragon clinging to a peculiar orbs.
“We do not!” Grandma shouted, leaning on her walker.
“Overdue book,” the other one boomed, holding out a six fingered hand.
“I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about ya’ thug,” Grandma said, rolling her walker closer. “Who’s gonna fix me door?”
The Collectors muttered something in another language to one another.
“We haven’t even been ta’ the bloody library in years,” Grandpa argued. “Ya’ have that written in your records?”
Thirty-seven moved closer, his hand out again. “Special text overdue.”
Sarah and Jon eased backward a little. The tone of its voice sounded threatening.
Many years later an empty nest left him to his true calling, storytelling. His first remarkable story is about a heroin whose courage and unrestrained personality, like his daughters, breathes passion and fervor into this adrenaline packed fantastical story.
TwoSpells by Mark Morrison