Hello! We're really happy to be hosting Steve Bryant today as part of the blog tour for his new book, Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show! We've got an interview with Steve for you, as well as a giveaway! So be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.
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About the Book
Title: Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
Publication date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Steve Bryant
Synopsis: Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10 year old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember.
But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know.
Like the rest of Lucas’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters?
If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them.
When a ghost hunter determines to shut the show down, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing.
There’s little time and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show’s enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family?
Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.
About the Author
1. How did you come up with the idea for Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show?
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 is the result.
2. If you had to describe your book in just three words, what would they be?
The closest I can come is Ghosts Among Us. The conceit of the novel is that ghosts not only exist but interact with the spooky side of 1959 American pop culture. Although the ghost show theater audiences are fooled (they believe the performers to be alive), others (who dabble on the dark side of life) are not fooled and take advantage of their ghostly talents. This would include the likes of Charles Addams, Alfred Hitchcock, horror movie directors, managers of all-night bowling alleys, mediums at Lily Dale, etc.
3. What book(s) is currently on your nightstand?
I am re-reading a P.G. Wodehouse novel. The previous new novel was MaddAdam, the third in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake series. The more or less permanent books on my nightstand are The Norton Anthology of English Literature (mainly so I can dip into “Rape of the Lock” when I feel like it), The Ode Less Traveled by Stephen Fry, Ada by Nabokov, Possession by A.S. Byatt, From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury, and all three volumes of the recent Lemony Snicket noir series.
4. How do you deal with writer’s block?
I don’t really have it because I plot/outline pretty thoroughly. I know what is coming next, and it becomes a pleasure to finally get to certain scenes and flesh them out. When I am stuck for ideas, I prefer to make a list of options rather than try to come up with just one. In the plotting phase, when the timeline gets tricky, I use lots of note cards and rearrange them as necessary to make things work.
5. What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing?
Easy: magic. 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.
6. If you could spend an evening with any other author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Among the dead authors, what an amazing thing it would be to meet with Jane Austen and tell her how relevant she still is today. Among the living, I’d love to have dinner with J.K. Rowling. I am jealous that some of my magician friends have socialized with Larry McMurtry, Margaret Atwood, and the late Martin Gardner.
7. What is your favorite ghost story?
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The Disney version captivated me when I was a boy. In junior high, I wrote a radio play version, and my classmates and I performed it on our local radio station, WKRO. As an adult, I wrote a lengthy version in rhyme, “Ode to Sleepy Hollow.”
8. What is your favorite circus attraction? Least favorite?
My agent, Anna Olswanger, is a staunch advocate of humane treatment of animals, and I fully support her views. But I didn’t know better as a little boy, and at that age would have said the elephants. They were just majestic and took my breath away, and I had no notion that they might be at risk of mistreatment. These days, I would say my favorite is the magician, if there is one. A couple of years ago, Ringling hired the talented Alex Ramon to be its “zingmaster,” a combination ringmaster and magician, and the entire circus was themed around magic.
My least favorite is clowns that aren’t funny. “The Ed Sullivan Show” used to feature Emmett Kelley as America’s most famous clown, and he would do a bit in which he swept up spotlights with a broom. It was never funny, just poignant. I never got it.
9. Which character in Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show was your favorite to write?
Yorick, a floating talking skull that wears different headgear to express his moods, was fun, but the most fun was Columbine, the lanky fifteen-year-old psychic and love interest. I love her aloof, matter of fact turns of phrase.
10. Do you have any projects you’re currently working on?
Sure. The most important is editing the second book on my contract for Month9Books.
In the magic arena, I recently learned of a brilliant use for a Ouija board. I’d love to host a séance to try it out.
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