Thursday, October 5, 2017

Isn't This GREAT?? An Interview With Laurie McKay

October greetings, reader guys everywhere. Fall is here now but that doesn't mean I can't remember some of the fun I had over the summer, especially all the fun I had reading The Last Dragon Charmer fantasy trilogy by Laurie McKay. All three of them are terrific books and they're set in Asheville, NC, which is only a couple of hours from Charlotte. (click on "The Last Dragon Charmer" tab under this post to see reviews of them)

Well, guess what--I've got an interview with the author! How cool is that? Let's  not waste any time but let's hear what Ms. McKay has to say:

The talented Laurie McKay
I’ve heard this nasty rumor that it’s uncool for boys to read. I bet you disagree. Tell us why.

Oh, yes, I completely disagree. Boys who read are cool. How could they not be? Reading takes kids to other worlds – some very real and some very imagined and all fantastic. That is amazing.
There are so many great stories out there, too. Personally, I like stories with dragons and swordfights, and mystery, magic, and humor - so that’s what I write books about. Who doesn’t find dragons cool?
Even if you’re not into dragons, there are un-put-down-able books about anything and everything: school, life in another world, life in another time, bullies, monsters, superheroes, sports. There are funny books and super-serious books, long books and short books and books of poetry. The list goes on and on. And, if you don’t want to read a book, you can read a comic book or a graphic novel or a short story or a manga.
There are a hundred cool stories just waiting for the right reader to choose them.

You’ve written a very terrific fantasy. Did you read a lot of that growing up? If so, what were your favorite books or series? Did you read a lot of other sorts of books as well? What were your favorites?

I read a little bit of everything growing up and fantasy was one of my favorite genres. I especially liked ‘portal fantasies’. That’s where characters go from one world to another like in The Wizard of Oz. The Oz books are a series and I read most of them. I also loved Choose Your Own Adventure books. I’d reread them over and over until I’d found all the possible endings. 
Two of my very favorite books growing up were The Girl with the Silver Eyes – it is about a group of kids with psychic powers, and The Mixed-up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler – it’s about a brother and sister who run away from home and live in a museum.  
I also read Garfield and The Far Side Comics. So I suppose I read a bit of everything. I still do!

Why did you decide to set your books in Asheville?

I picked Asheville for three specific reasons:
One, I’m from North Carolina and I wanted to set the book in this state. 
Two, Asheville has a fiery name, rocky slopes, and mountainous terrain. It seems an ideal home for a dragon!
Three, Asheville is this modern, artsy city set among the Appalachian Mountains. Shops sell t-shirts that tout the city as ‘Asheville Weird’. There are a lot of worlds and people colliding so it seemed a good place for people from another world to blend with the locals.

I don’t normally ask questions like this but these books got me to thinking. You seem to have a theme going—that language is powerful and knowing how to use it properly (even the old languages) can give you power. Is that right?

Definitely. There is a lot of power in words and in language. Words can hurt and heal. They can bring peace or war. Deciphering ancient languages, helps us understand peoples of the past, and sharing common languages lets us communicate. As the books progress, Caden comes to understand and harness some of that power. He uses it for good, but he has to think about what to say, what he means, and what the consequences of his words will be.

Will there be any more books about Caden and Razzon?

I have an idea for two books set in the Greater Realm with Caden and company. I’m working on a few other books right now, but I’d like to get these written and out in the world one day! The actual writing just takes a while…

I always ask these last two questions. Which do you prefer—cheeseburgers or pizza? What do you like on them?

I like pizza. My favorite toppings are not olives and not anchovies. All other vegetables, meats, and cheeses are welcome.

Thanks, Ms. McKay!! We really appreciate your taking the time to answer our questions--and for writing those terrific books! We're so grateful, in fact, that we're going to give you the highest honor we could possibly bestow and make you an HONORARY GUY.

Yes, that means you now have the right to make obnoxious noises at sporting events, crack all the dumb jokes you'd like and eat insane amounts of foods with no nutritional value. We know that you're probably so stunned and overwhelmed by the greatness of this honor that you can't even say anything. Don't worry--your terrific books have said everything for you!

Well, all silliness aside, we truly appreciate this interview. Be sure to check out these books, guys, and let us know what you think of them!


Ms. Yingling said...

Ms. McKay is ALSO going to Kidlitcon! How great she is also an honorary guy!

Laurie McKay said...

Thanks for the interview. I'm celebrating my honorary status with all the obnoxious noises I can muster and an entire not anchovy, not olive pizza.

Charlotte said...

Thanks for the interview--I agree that this is a great series!

Anonymous said...

Great interview and insights from the author. I have this book high on my to read list. Thanks!.

cleemckenzie said...

Boys will gobble up this. Congratulations to the author for writing to engage young males in reading.