Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Author Interview Series -James C. Wallace

Please welcome James C. Wallace to So, Write.  James has written a trilogy of books that build on the fantasy world of Oz: The Magician of Oz, The Shadow Demon of Oz, and The Family of Oz.

What is Family of Oz about?

It has been nearly 6 months since young Jamie Diggs returned from the Land of Oz with his best friend Buddy after defeating an ancient Evil known as the Shadow Demon of Oz while serving as Princess Ozma's new Royal Magician.

Now, he is called to return once more and take his rightful place alongside Her Majesty; Princess Ozma and Glinda; Good Witch and Ruler of the South Quadling Country, as well as Princess Dorothy.

Before the Royal Magician can return to Oz however, he finds himself on a fantastic journey down the Wabash River and a stop in Huntington, West Virginia for a taste of the legendary Stewart's Original Hot Dogs and Root Beer. Then it’s on to attend the annual gathering of their fellow magicians, known as the Magi-Fest and a tumultuous Close-Up Magic Competition.

Soon, the Family Diggs, Hank and Buddy find themselves transported back to Oz by way of The Duke's Magic Box. The only problem they find is that each one of them now find themselves somewhere in Oz... but alone!

As the Family Diggs, Hank and Buddy journey along the roadways, riverways and even above the Land of Oz alone, each one struggles to discover what Love and family means to them and each learns along the way that Love and family have been with them all along.

In a final and most fantastical battle alongside the Munchkin River, Jamie Diggs and his new army of friends battle Cobbler the Dog, a new and most mechanical pet of Tik-Tok, the Mechanical Army of Oz and an Unwilling Villain in an epic struggle of Good against Evil.


How did you come up with the idea for the Oz Trilogy?
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.

As I grew up, my love for reading never diminished and my parents support for my love of reading never wavered. Once parenthood struck me, I found myself instilling in my children that same love of reading through the world of Oz I had known so well. Years later, my grandchildren now share that same love of L. Frank Baum’s magical world of fairies, magicians and wicked witches.

Several years ago, while engaged in testing some educational software about Geography for 6th graders, I encountered quite a number of children who could not read, literally. It's one thing to suggest that there are kids in America who cannot read. It's quite another to come face-to-face with them.
I found myself at the end of the day sitting in my car in the parking lot shaking with remorse and resolving to do something about what I had just witnessed.  It was later that night when Her Majesty, Princess Ozma appeared to me as a vision in an icicle hanging from our back porch and bid me attend Her in Emerald City for a special command.

I soon found myself standing in her mighty palace, surrounded by the very characters I had known from my childhood and Princess Ozma herself commanded me to tell her story of Love, family and friendship for the children of the Great Outside.

In doing so, she assured me that all those who love Oz would embrace her story and give the children of the Great Outside a reason to put down their cel phones, pick up a book and once more immerse themselves in the written word.

What makes the Oz Trilogy different or special compared to the other titles in this genre?
Unlike many books about Oz in today’s culture, my books endeavor to return to the vision of L. Frank Baum and the values of Love, family, friendship, truth and honor that he spoke of so eloquently. In today’s world, there is a trend towards what I call the ‘adultification’ of children’s stories and my work hopefully seeks to reverse that trend.

What type of reader do you feel will enjoy this book the most?
Though I had originally envisioned these stories targeting 10-14 year olds, I have found that if you love the world of Oz, be it the original 14 books by L. Frank Baum, MGM’s 1939 The Wizard of Oz movie or even the stage plays, my stories will appeal to you. Such is the magic of Oz.

What has been the most difficult part of the publishing process for you? The most rewarding?
For me, the most difficult part of this process has been the many brick walls, arrogant attitudes and narrow sighted nonsense of the publishing industry which rejected my writings and denied the world of reading my stories of Oz. Due to these attitudes, I found it necessary to dive into the self-publishing world and it has been that decision which has provided me with my most rewarding experiences in the publishing realm. When a child approaches me and joyfully explains my story to me, then I know my decision was a correct one. Princess Ozma also concurs.

Where can we buy your book?
Currently, my books are available on Amazon.com:

Magician of Oz (Paperback) 

Magician of Oz Kindle 

Shadow Demon of Oz

Shadow Demon of Oz Kindle 

6 comments:

  1. How delightful! I'm an absolutely Oz junkie. I'll definitely take a look.

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, Magaly.

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  3. Oooooh... James, you had me at Stewart's root beer! You're doing cool things here, G.P.!

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  4. I offer my gratitude for this fine opportunity to speak of Oz. As always, opportunities abound in the chance meeting of minds and matters of Oz.

    Per Ardua Ad Alta!

    James C. Wallace II
    Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma
    http://magicianofoz.blogspot.com/

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  5. Good interview! Neat that you chose Oz as a subject/setting, James. I can see how it would be difficult to gather interest from the traditional publishing world, but I can also see it being a good choice for self-publishing--there's already a built in audience!

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