Tuesday 24 February 2015

Interview with Steve Bryant

Today we're chatting with author Steve Bryant as part of the blog tour for Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show.

Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded The Little Egypt Gazettea 40+ page monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction; and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journalsRecent articles were about the séance at Hollywood’s Magic Castle and about Jack White’s Dr. Blood’s Zombie Show.

Hi, Steve! Welcome to We Do WriteTell our readers a bit about LUCAS MACKENZIE AND THE LONDON MIDNIGHT GHOST SHOW.

Spoiler alert: Lucas is a ghost, and so are all his friends.
Emerging from years of postmortem amnesia, Lucas Mackenzie comes to realize that he is dead and his family is alive, and he yearns to get in touch with them. But Lucas is a ghost in the company of a traveling midnight theater ghost show, and contact with the living is against the rules.

Lucas keeps his attempts at contact a secret as he and his fellow phantoms hobnob with the celebrated dead at Forest Lawn, party in abandoned funeral homes, watch movies outdoors in cemeteries, vacation at Lily Dale, bowl in all-night bowling alleys, and frighten teenagers in old theaters on Saturday nights.

Can Lucas keep the show going despite dwindling audiences and a dedicated ghost hunter? Can he capture the heart of the incomparable Columbine, the show’s enchanting fifteen-year-old psychic? Can he find his way back to his once-forgotten family? I dare you to read long, long into the night, to the final act, when the London Midnight Ghost Show plays in Lucas’s former home town, to surprising and afterlife-altering consequences.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

When I was 12, I read a magazine article about Robert A. Nelson, who supplied magicians (and scam artists) the books and apparatus with which to perform séances and midnight ghost shows. I’ve been in love with this dark side of magic ever since. Later, the loss of a child got me thinking about what it would be like to be a child ghost, cut off from family. I put the two ideas together, and the book and its title are the result.

Cool! Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Mostly a plotter. I try to adhere to the Syd Field Screenplay three-act paradigm. Outlining is critical.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Getting started. Committing. It’s a big block of time, and you want to make certain the project is worthwhile before beginning.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Resources. You would think that you could sit at a pristine computer and google anything you needed, but I don’t work that way.  I find myself surrounded by fiction that inspires me, nonfiction background info, magazines, grammar books such as The Transitive Vampire and The New Well-Tempered Sentence, books on writing and character development, dictionaries, note cards, notebooks, and whatnot. You can tell how deep I am into a project by the stacks of crap that surround me.

What are you reading right now?

I am re-reading a P.G. Wodehouse novel (French Leave). A month ago I would have said MaddAddam, by Margaret Atwood

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Immortality would be nice. We are knee deep in grandkids right now, and what a treat it would be to not only watch them grow up, but their kids too, and their kids, on and on.  There would be time to read all the novels I’ve not yet read, to go back and learn all the physics I failed to learn properly in college, to master the hard sleight-of-hand moves with cards that still elude me.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

Hmm. How to get a cardinal out of my garage? How to remove super glue from counter tops?

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 

Practicing card tricks. I’ve been an amateur magician since I was seven and have an enormous library of hardback magic books, mostly on sleight of hand with cards. I love to attend magic conventions and socialize with other magicians, or to attend the Magic Castle in Hollywood. I’ve run a monthly web page since 1995 that has made me well known in the magic community, and I write for the major magazines in the field. Beyond magic, I still enjoy reading and movies, and lately watching British mystery series on TV with my wife.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I owe so much to my agent, Anna Olswanger; my publisher, Georgia McBride; my editor, Jackie Morse Kessler; and my publicist, Jaime Arnold. Even if I had nothing to do with these ladies, I would be most impressed by their accomplishments.
Dorothy Follow on Bloglovin

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