So today I celebrate the release of ESCAPE MAGIC, Book 2 in the Sleight of Hand series. Just for your reference, you can BUY IT NOW HERE. To sweeten the deal (and hopefully get you hooked), I decided to make CLOSE UP MAGIC free today only (GET IT WHILE IT’S HOT). And of course, I’ll be awarding prizes to commenters here and over on my Sleight of Hand Facebook page. But then I had to figure a good way to REALLY celebrate, and I figured, why not invite Lady Lydia, the heroine of ESCAPE MAGIC, into my office to interview ME?
I’ve never done it before, but if you’ll take a moment and step into my imagination, I’ll do it now.
She’s sitting here now, behind my desk, of course. I’m in the easy chair because Lady Lydia’s always in control. Well, almost always. Except where Tony Hawkins is concerned, of course.
LADY LYDIA: I thought I was conducting this interview.
MGF: Of course you are. You’re my guest.
LADY LYDIA: Good. Because I want to know who you are and why you think you’re qualified to tell my story. How long have you been writing?
MGF: I started writing stories when I was in the first or second grade. I still remember my mother telling me that someday I might be an author, and I decided right then that I wanted nothing more. Of course, I got sidetracked into the whole journalism thing, which wasn’t really for me, and then I got my library science degree, and that was a little more my style…
LADY LYDIA: That’s not what I meant. How long have you been writing romance?
MGF: Oh. Well, if you want to be specific about it—
LADY LYDIA: I do.
MGF: Well, I guess, officially, about four years? My first romance novel, SECRETS OF THE LOTUS, was published in 2010, but I know I’d been writing romance a while before that. In fact, most of my more successful short stories and flash fiction were women’s fiction. I know so many brave and courageous women, and they never cease to inspire me.
LADY LYDIA: How many novels have you written?
MGF: I’ve written five novels that fit into contemporary romance or women’s fiction, and one coming-of-age novel. And Escape Magic is my first novella.
LADY LYDIA: Which makes me wonder…how come Tony and I didn’t get a full-length novel?
MGF: I could tell you that it’s because your story fit nicely into the novella box, but the truth is, I wanted to experiment with a different format. I’ve written short stories and I’ve written novels, but I’ve never tried to make a story fit into fifteen to twenty thousand words with a complete story arc and conflict and everything.
LADY LYDIA: Conflict? What conflict?
MGF: Your conflict and Tony’s were both internal. They come from different sources, but they boil down to fear.
LADY LYDIA: I’m not afraid of anything. But moving on. Why on earth did you decide to write about magic?
MGF: If I had a penny for every time I’d been asked that question…well, I’d have a handful of pennies, anyway. I love magic. I believe in magic, and stage magic is, to me, just an extension of that. I love that I can watch a really good magician and never see the trick. Of course, even a mediocre magician has a pretty good chance at fooling me because I don’t WANT to see the trick. I want them to help me believe. That is the magic.
LADY LYDIA: And that’s all sweetness and light, but escapology is a whole different ballgame. It verges on revealing some tricks of magic.
MGF: Not if it’s done right by a good magician. Like you.
LADY LYDIA: I can’t be sweet-talked. Well, maybe a little bit. Finally, you’ve been calling ESCAPE MAGIC “the anti-50 shades bondage romance”. Is that really how you see it?
MGF: I didn’t set out to write it like that, but, yeah. I do. I mean, you and Tony definitely have a little fun with a certain silk scarf, but you know all the tricks of escapology, so that empowers you to a degree that I’ve never seen in a bondage romance. In fact, there’s no dominant or submissive, just a meeting of equals. Ahem. So to speak.
LADY LYDIA: Yes, well, speaking of silk scarves…I should probably be getting back to Tony now. Not to spoil the ending of the book, but your readers know it’s got an HEA.
MGF: I understand, and yes they do, but one question before you go, Lydia. Do you think you and Tony really have an HEA (happy ever after) to look forward to?
LADY LYDIA: Well, we have just as much chance at one at the end of our book as Stacey and Andre had at the end of CLOSE UP MAGIC. And you saw how they ended up in ESCAPE MAGIC. Maybe you’ll give everyone a hint at our fate in Book 3 of Sleight of Hand, huh?
MGF: Maybe so.
And she’s off, back to Vegas to practice for her show and work on her relationship with Tony (hopefully with a little bit of play, too). But I imagine if any of you have a comment or question for her (or me), she’d be happy to pop back in, especially since, in my imagination, she can get from Vegas to NC in the snap of my fingers. So leave us a comment below and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a fabulous prize!