When was that moment when you realized that language had power?
When I was younger, I had a stutter. It was pretty bad. And people wouldn’t talk to me and I was frustrated and isolated…and then I got speech therapy and I was suddenly able to express myself in correct language. it changed my life and I tried get better as communication. The whole world suddenly opened up simply because I suddenly could use language.
If you could sit down with one writer from any period who would it be?
I would seriously love to pick the brain of my favorite author, R. A. Salvatore. He writes fantasy in such an epic way, and his prose is always so full and expressive. I pick up his book and by the time I put it down I go “How did he do that” because five hours have gone by. Alternately I might chose Neil Gaiman because I love his writing style and hopefully he’d bring his wife Amanda Palmer because she is basically my spirit guide.
If the universal super being came down right now and said, “I give you two choices: One – I will give you 100 million dollars for your work, but no one will ever be able to read a word you write, or Two – You can never ever benefit even one dollar ever off of your work, but 100 million people will read every book you ever write. Which one do you pick?
That’s easy. I love my work and I enjoy writing, but seriously, 100 million dollars could do so much for so many people. I think I’d take the money and use it to do good. I could help so many kids at the Dyslexia Centers of Cincinnati, or help LGBT authors who are trying to find a voice. That would be a major win.
Elsha has started novels based on a picture and every scene Young writes is based on a song. How do other mediums of art influence your work?
A lot of my work is influenced heavily by mythology. The Wizards on Walnut Street uses so many obscure mythical creatures in a modern context, while No Place utilizes the ancient mythologies of the Irish isles to propel the story. There’s so many stories out there that are on the verge of being forgotten, and I love to help give them extra life.
How long did it take to write this book? Pantser, Plotter, or Planster?
I keep telling myself that I’m a Plotter. I have all these great plans when I start. The problem is that as soon as I begin I go off the rails completely, so all my planning was for nothing. But ultimately I don’t think my plotting impacts the end result enough to call me a plantser, so I guess I’m left with just pants.
Are there any parts of your book that are true to life for you?
I think in a way a lot of the characters are impacted by struggles I have: Social connection, communication, dealing with emotions and anxiety. They all manifest here in some way or another. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a writer for whom that isn’t true to some degree.
What accomplishments do you want at the end of the year?
Ideally, I’d love to have another book done and get some great reviews. My expectations are kinda low, but at the same time I think legendary voice actor Lee Tockar said it best: “Expect nothing. Everything else is a sweet surprise.”
Fifteen years after an alien invasion, Gail, a seventeen-year-old girl raised mostly in solitude, wanders through the slowly-crumbling world in search of a family she has never known. When she runs into a snarky “computer witch” named Crow, she becomes embroiled in a plan to take down the oppressive Mori–a 4000-year-old enemy of Earth. The two are joined by other people in on this plan, including a US marine trapped inside an experimental power suit, and a knife-throwing con man.
When Gail accidentally kills the younger brother of the self-proclaimed “Duke of the East,” Gail is branded a criminal. While she traverses a post-technology world, Gail learns the importance of a “found family,” while also discovering the truth about her own heritage and growing ever closer to her new friend Crow. She also learns that the Mori are planning a mass extermination of humans, and she may be the only key to stopping them.
No Place is an homage to one of the first legendary fearless women of fiction–Dorothy Gale–and is a post-apocalyptic retelling of L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
When well-respected corporate sorcerer Tom Lafayette is murdered, Tom’s eldest child Andy moves to Cincinnati to investigate, discovering a magical society bubbling just under the surface of the mundane world. Encountering odd characters such as an Incubus barista, a knife-happy security guard, and an enchanted espresso machine, Andy uncovers a plot to overthrow the magical society’s hierarchy.
The Wizards on Walnut Street plays with fantasy tropes and juxtaposes goblins, unicorns and dragons into our modern world in a way that is both satisfying and hilarious. Grab a cup of coffee and hand onto your Employee Handbook; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
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I am an avid blogger and podcaster. I am the author of upcoming game Cold Start as well as the Andyverse, a series of fantasy novels.
I am available to write and produce blogs at short notice. I also write short stories and other forms of written media.
I’ve been a stage actor most of my life, and only over the past few years did I discover my talent working with voice. After doing some training with Lee Tockar, I realized where my work is and what I want to do. Since then, I’ve done work based out of my home studio in Cincinnati, OH.