Welcome to The Book Nympho, Anton! Before we start discussing The Spellmason Chronicles, tell us a little about you.
I’m an Aquarius. I love long walks on the beach, and heavy pett—I’ve said too much. Let’s see. I’m an author with Ace Books, and I have a day job in publishing with Penguin Random House, which I swear is not as nepotistic as it sounds! Joss Whedon is my master, and if we ever meet I don’t think I will be at all intelligible. Some would argue that I have already achieved this state. Some people are mean!
I’m a voracious pop culture nerd, consuming all manner of shows, movies, comics, games and oh yeah, books! My first series followed the adventures of psychometrist Simon Canderous and his cases while working for New York City’s Department of Extraordinary Affairs, which I swear I’ll get back to after the Spellmason Chronicles.
Is there any of your own personality in any of your characters? Like maybe Stanis the gargoyle? Come on you can tell us, you spend your free time perched on roof tops, right?
I’m in my forties now, so I cramp up easily so no perching for me, I’m afraid. I do have seventeen month old twins, however, and that is about as harrowing as gargoyles, witches, warlocks, and alchemists at war in the streets of Manhattan.
I think I strive to be like Stanis—loyal, brave, trying to do the right thing for those around him. In reality I am more like Marshall Blackmoore in the series. He’s the kind of alpha nerd who will spend hours telling you why he brought rope along with him in the old subway tunnels (hint: because Samwise Gamgee talks about the importance of it in The Lord of the Rings). I’m okay with that. We all want to be heroes, and both are heroic in their own ways.
Without spoilers of course what can you tell us about The Spellmason Chronicles?
The urban fantasy series is a dual first person narrative that tells the interconnected stories of a centuries old gargoyle and the descendant of his creator. From a chance encounter the two are drawn up into a world of immortality seeking cultists, witches, warlocks, alchemist, and gargoyles. A Buffy the Vampire Slayer level of hijinks and nerdery ensue.
Which of the three books was your favorite to write?
I’m going with the middle one, STONECAST.
I’m a fan of The Empire Strikes Back. In it we now know the established Star Wars characters, we see them interact in whole new familiar ways, and it sets up the events for Return of the Jedi. And it ends on a downer. Han has been carted off in carbonite by Boba Fett. The rest barely escape Cloud City after Lando’s betrayal. Luke loses his hand! Not a happy note, but it had fourteen year old me chomping at the bit to find out how the hell they were going to recover from all that.
In STONECAST, I get to have a little fun with the characters I developed in ALCHEMYSTIC. I get to pull my camera back a little and show the reader the bigger picture of modern day Manhattan as it learns that magic and gargoyles do exist. While I resolve some issues, there is much that was the set up for INCARNATE. It’s bittersweet writing the conclusion of something, which is why the middle book is my favorite. It’s not the end, and it’s not the beginning where I’M struggling to figure out who these characters initially are. All the pieces are in place and I get to knock ‘em around a bit.
Favorite character from The Spellmason Chronicles?
You love all your children equally, right? That said, there is a special place in my heart for Bricksley. As one might assume from his name, this little guy is a stone golem crafter from (wait for it…) a single brick. He has wire limbs, clay hands and feet and a drawn on face with a big smile. He’s Lexi’s first attempt to create anything with Spellmasonry, and there is a magical simplicity to him that I find peaceful, almost like having a pet around the house for companionship. He’s very handy when it comes to keeping her alchemical workshop clean, as well as sorting out the books from her great-great grandfather’s secretly coded Spellmason libraries. An awesome reader made him out of a foam brick and gave him to me at New York Comic Con and I nearly died. I love him so.
In the world of social media, if you had to pitch The Spellmason Chronicles to new readers with only 140 characters what would you say?
Centuries old gargoyle meets the GG-granddaughter of his creator. Hijinks ensue as they struggle against evil in an ever expanding magical world.
Thanks for stopping by The Book Nympho today, Anton.
My pleasure! Thanks for having me.
HITTING ROCK BOTTOM When Alexandra Belarus discovered her family’s secret ability to breathe life into stone, she uncovered an entire world of magic hidden within New York City—a world she has accidentally thrown into chaos. A spell gone awry has set thousands of gargoyles loose upon Manhattan, and it’s up to Lexi and her faithful protector, Stanis, to put things right. But the stress of saving the city is casting a pall over Lexi and Stanis’s relationship, driving them to work separately to solve the problem. As Stanis struggles to unite the gargoyle population, Lexi forges unlikely alliances with witches, alchemists and New York’s Finest to quell an unsettling uprising led by an ancient and deadly foe long thought vanquished. To save her city, Lexi must wield more power than ever before with the added hope of recovering a mysterious artifact that could change her world—and bring her closer to Stanis than she ever thought possible…