Hello! I hope you have been feeling magical this week as Book Talk with R & T has been focusing all the attention on THE MAGICIAN’S LIE by Greer Mcallister!
Remember there is a giveaway happening of THE MAGICIAN’S LIE and give my fabulous partner in all Book Talk crime- the fantastic Rhiannon @ Ivory Owl Reviews– some major love this week by checking out her review & other things she has cooked up at Ivory Owl Reviews!
And now.. the star of the show- the absolutely magical- Greer Mcallister!
The Magician’s Lie is being described as like” Water for Elephants” meets “The Night Circus.” Were you inspired by these two novels? How does this comparison make you feel?
It’s a lot to live up to! They’re both beloved novels with passionate fans, so it makes me a little nervous, but it’s also flattering. And they’re definitely both relevant – Water for Elephants because of the touring, performing aspect, and The Night Circus because of that dreamy, evocative quality, the unspooling of magical illusions. I hope that people who like those books will like this one, but of course it also needs to stand on its own. You could also say it’s a little bit Alias Grace, a little bit The Usual Suspects… everyone will have their own comparisons to make, I’m sure.
A majority of The Magician’s Lie is set in Iowa and you grew up in the Midwest. Where did you live and have you visited all the towns in the story?
I grew up in Janesville, which is a very small town, and Waterloo is the largest nearby city, so I’m definitely familiar with the modern version of both places. There are a lot of other named locations in the story – especially when Arden starts touring, first with Adelaide’s company and then her own – and I haven’t been to all of those. She really gets around!
Hey Greer- Lots of writers have quirky habits. Care to share some of yours?
I do in fact have quirky habits, some writing-related and some not, but I think I’ll keep them to myself for now! I have an air of mystery to preserve, you know.
What was the first magic trick you saw?
Great question! It was probably the good old “pull a coin from behind your ear” trick that adults do to kids. That’s always good for a sense of wonder.
What is your writing process like? (Every day at the same time, same desk or here and there and fluctuating)?
Wildly fluctuating, especially these days, with two young kids at home. I’ve got to snatch moments here and there while I can. I’m doing research when I’m up nursing in the middle of the night, and taking notes on my phone when I’m on the move, and then when I can snatch a few minutes with my computer on the couch or at the kitchen table, I can make the most of them. When people ask if I write every day, I say I think about writing every day, which kind of sounds like a joke, but isn’t. The thinking is just as important as the writing. And keeping the characters alive in my mind every day is enormously helpful, so I’m living in their world, and by the time I sit down to write about them I really have a good sense of who they are and what they’re going to do.
What is your advice to other authors working on their debut novel?
Reach out. Please don’t go it alone. No matter what part of the process you’re in, there are other writers who are in that stage too, and it’s so nice to have their support and companionship (even if you never meet them in person). Writing can be so isolating and solitary, but it doesn’t have to be. And smart, honest writer-friends who can critique a manuscript in its early stages are absolutely worth their weight in gold.
What’s next for you? (Hopefully, a second novel in the not so distant future?)
The second novel is definitely in the works, and I’m very excited about it – it’s another strong central female character, based on a real person in the 1850s, so I’m deep into the historical research and starting to get some words on the page. As I go on tour for The Magician’s Lie, I’ll have some quiet time in hotel rooms and on planes, so I expect to get some writing done then. But I’m also just really excited to get out and talk to readers, and meet booksellers, and enjoy the process of getting The Magician’s Lie out in the world.
**Special thanks to Greer for taking time to answer some questions!
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
Book Talk with R & T