Yesterday, I reviewed the fantasy adventure TwoSpells, by Mark Morrison, a fun blend of the Narnia series and stories like “A Wrinkle in Time.” Below, Mark shares how he got the idea for this whole new world, where his imagination comes from and check below for a little bit about his next book!
The family would gather in the living room and one of us was elected to start. That person would start creating a totally fictitious story out of thin air. Then they’d pause mid-sentence and let the next player take over from there. This continued around the room until someone hesitated or said “uh”. That player was out and the game continued until only one person was left. The stories we created were most often incredibly strange because each of us was attempting to make the next in line chuckle and fumble by saying, ‘uh!’. It was an awesome game of improvisation, so I credit my love of storytelling to that silly game my father claims to have invented.
Why did you choose to have two main characters instead of one?
I think for two reasons. One; my oldest son, my mentor and personal tutor, said it would be wise and that’s that’s good enough for me because he’s much smarter than I am. And two; a famous song I heard as a child says, ‘one is the loneliest number next to two.’ That same son agreed.
The book has some serious/scary moments followed by some really funny, lighthearted scenes. How did you strike that balance?
It’s a simply reflection of my own life so it came naturally. I work as a grief and family counselor and am surprised at how resilient families can be after a loved one has passed. I guess humor is a coping mechanism for a lot of folks. I handle adversity the very same way by trying to let it roll off me and move on usually by trying to find some humor in the issue. Another great saying my father had was “i, ‘it’s not a problem if money can solve it, otherwise it’s just an issue.'” I’ve found that most bad things start out as appearing to be problems but are really just issues.
Why did you choose to end on a bit of a cliffhanger?
For only one reason, I love them myself. I can’t be the only one who loves a good cliffhanger. I can guess that’s why so many writers use them too.
What do you like about writing for young adults?
Because I believe I probably maxed out in my maturity somewhere within that bracket, so it makes me completely comfortable with that writing level or below. Birds of a feather right.
What can we expect from the sequel?
That would be sequels because I’ve rough fleshed out outlines for four more of the series already, each very unique from the others. The beauty of the sequels is I don’t need to reenact all the backstory as in the first. It’s pure story-line from this point. I’ve got approximately 25% of the second TwoSpells completed and it is spectacular, at least in my mind that is.
Mark was also kind enough to share the cover of his next book with me – and it’s also gorgeous, done by the same artist who designed the cover of TwoSpells.
About the Book
A young pig named Corky witnesses his mothers abduction, leaving he and his father alone and frightened, both now forced to fend for themselves.
His father enrolled him an obedience school for dogs where he doesn’t fit in because of his very unique physical differences.
He must overcome adversity and discrimination at every turn which he manages to defeat valiantly. He eventually becomes overwhelmed and runs away from home, only to face a wild series of twisted mishaps, strange characters, brazen heroes and wicked villains.
His remarkable adventure will ultimately mold him into the most interesting pig in the world.