Hey all, I got to interview Justin R. Macumber!!!! So excited for you all to see what he had to say.
1. Tell me about Skylar, where did she come from?
In my head, or in the story? I'll tackle both. So far as inspiration goes, my niece Aleena -- who is now 13 -- is the reason I wrote A MINOR MAGIC. I wanted her to have a hero that wasn't defined by a man or a romantic relationship, who didn't need saving or protecting. I felt like a lot of the books my niece was reading had their female characters that weren't as strong as they could be, who were swept up in events and just sort of carried along. So, to give her a hero that fit my idea of who she should look up to, I created Skylar, a girl with magical powers and a great destiny to work hard toward. She's a little bit Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a little Arya from Game of Thrones, and a little bit Princess Leia from Star Wars, none of whom are passive wallflowers looking for a boy to define them.
As far as the story goes, Skylar is a young girl who's grown up nearly her whole life in a world burnt to ash by magic. Her father is long dead, her mother died after trying to keep her safe in the wasteland that is America, and in the beginning of the book her home with an elderly couple is threatened when magic springs from her hands unexpectedly. She's only 15, and now she has to question everything she's ever known, or thought she knew. Not just about the world, but about herself. A MINOR MAGIC is about her journey to discover what those answers are.
2. What authors inspire you?
I'm inspired as much by authors as I am by writers of movies, television, video games, and comic books. I draw inspiration from all sources. Stephen King is without doubt my greatest author hero. If I can even come close to achieving what he has in storytelling, I'll die a happy man. Robert R. McCammon is another writer whom I greatly admire. His novel SWAN SONG was huge for me. I mentioned Willow before, so you know I have to bring up Joss Whedon. I think he's amazing, and I credit him with proving that there was an audience for smart, strong female characters in today's world. He should get more credit than he does, though, for his work on the comic books "Astonishing X-Men" and "Runaways."
3. Do you have a playlist you listen to when you write?
I do, though it changes depending on what I'm writing. I use music as a mood setter, so if I'm going to write something dark, I'll play a score from a horror film such as "The Decent," or horror games like "Silent Hill" and "Heavy Rain." If I want something to bump up the adrenaline, I'll listen to the scores for "Conan" and "Gladiator," or the orchestral group known as Two Steps From Hell. And, if I need something emotional for those touching scenes, I love listening to a composer named Kerry Muzzey. His music for the short film "Hole In The Paper Sky" is heartbreaking. For A MINOR MAGIC I also played the heck out of the music for "Stardust" and "Pan's Labyrinth."
4. Who designed your cover?
Crescent Moon Press designed it in-house. I'm not sure who the specific artist was.
Right now I'm editing two manuscripts. One is a horror novel entitled STILL WATER, and the other is a follow-up to A MINOR MAGIC called A BROKEN MAGIC. I also have two short stories coming up for two different anthologies. I'll let people know more about those at my website as information comes available.
Thanks for chatting Justin!!!