The Magic Pipe. In many ways it is still my favorite.
How did the idea for the book come to you?
I like an occasional cigar. One day I was enjoying one and the smoke was curling around. I got the idea that the smoke could contain a magic spell. My dad and grandad both smoked pipes. Somehow the story about a wizard that wanted immortal life could construct a cursed pipe that would ensnare those that smoked it. I just started writing. The character Boaz and Sarna suggested themselves.
Was Cecil Barnes modeled after anyone you know?
No, not really. In the first drafts, he was this evil person that tried to ensnare people with the smoke. I didn't like that approach so I turned him into a nice man. He suffers the tragedy of falling in love with Penelope Pace. He fears she will be drawn into his nightmare world.
And she was eventually?
Yes, with almost tragic consequences.
How about Halloween Party? That one deals with a ghoul that wants to take over the Underworld?
Yes, the Gatherer. He needs to gather enough souls that are enslaved to him so he can overwhelm the Underworld and become master.
And he settles on Kelley Dawes.
Yes. She bears a remarkable resemblance to his mistress before he was tossed from the Underworld.
I love the scene where Rich proposed to her. Does this have any parallel events in your life.
Sort of. My wife and I like to go to a restaurant in a small river town near our home in Indiana. We went there one Labor Day and were surprised to see fireworks over the Ohio River that the restaurant sponsored. They were on the Kentucky side of the river and looked quite spectacular as they exploded over the river.
What about your long epic Fantasy series, Tales of Island World.
That has been a work in progress for several years. I have all the novels written now, except the last one. I am currently editing the second last one in the series, The Wizard King.
The Pirate King was the first one you wrote, is that right?
Yes, I wrote that one and realized that I had really started near the end of the story. So I wrote the four novels that begin the series, starting with Island World.
How did the creature Gwaum get his name.
I have sometimes wished I picked a better name, but in the Rise of Gwaum he sort of named himself after he ate his first victim.
How many volumes will there be?
Seven all together. I have five finished, one in editing and one still to write.
Will there be more to the series?
I haven;t decided yet. There is the question of Bearl's flotilla that set off from the Lion Kingdom. They became separated. I have thought of having them play a part in the final novel, but I haven't decided yet.
What is your newest work?
Tales of the Flea Market.
That is an interesting name. How did you pick it?
I used to sell things at the flea market in Indianapolis at the State Fairgrounds. Flea markets are interesting places with all kinds of stuff for sale. I sort of envisioned an old man that sold things that had a curse on them. The Flea Market Tales are all independent short stories that all sort of blend together to form a single story. Five of the shorts are published now and the collection of them, Five Tales of the Flea Market published a couple of weeks ago. There is a sixth story in there that begins the set and the final book, Ten Tales of the Flea Market will have the entire story.
That is all the time we have now, Mr. Mableson. Thank you for your interview.
And thank you for your interest.
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