Thank you for joining us here at Rhodes Review, Mr. Wallace:
James C. Wallace II:
“It’s always best to start at the beginning,” and so I do…
I would offer my sincere gratitude for this opportunity to speak of Oz and all it contains. Here in the Great Outside, we often forget that Oz exists. Only when circumstances permit do we unveil the mist, cross the Great Sandy Waste and discover that which the mind contains.
I am questioned and respond as best time and sanity permits.
Rhodes Review: Who are some of the writers you enjoy? Books?
James C. Wallace II: I have found only a few writers for whom I seek out and read regularly. Of those, I name the following:
Mark Twain; For obvious reasons as he is connected to the heavens. He was born and died on the appearance of Halley’s Comet.
Edgar Allen Poe; Again for obvious reasons as he is connected to the soul. I cite Evening Star (1827) as evidence.
Gene Wolfe; Once more, obvious reasons prevail as he is connected to the Id. ‘Nuf said.
Finally, Don Marquis; For no other reason than he is just plain weird. I like weird…
Regarding books, Archie and Mehitabel by Don Marquis, The Claw of the Conciliator by Gene Wolfe, Tamerlane and Other Poems by Edgar Allen Poe and Letters from the Earth by Mark Twain.
Oh yea.. I forgot… Heart of the Comet by Benford & Brin.
Rhodes Review: How do you come up with Story Ideas?
James C. Wallace II: I draw upon my own life and the Hoosier surroundings in which I find myself. There’s a lot of inspiration within the countryside. Also, I must write of Love, truth, friendship, family and loyalty. To do otherwise would make for bad Mojo.
Rhodes Review: How do you get your inspiration/muse to write?
James C. Wallace II: My muse is a petite person of 0.33 meters tall, carrying an 8 foot four by four and running at top speed towards me. When he, or she strikes, I cannot stop and I write in a very focused, frantic manner. Out of that madness, saneness arrives and winds up on the page. Go figure?
Rhodes Review: Looking at your website, it seems like you have a great love for Oz. How did you get this interest?
James C. Wallace II: I grew up in a loving household where my parents read to me on a daily basis and taught me the joy of reading. Many a night I recall sitting in our front room as my mother would read from the many books of Oz and my father would act out some of the odd scenes pictured within. As I grew up, my love for reading never diminished and my parents support for my love of reading never wavered. To date, I have yet to tire of reading… and now writing!
Rhodes Review: Was there anything special you had to do in order to write about the land of Oz?
James C. Wallace II: Just make sure my wife’s cooking was included in the storyline. Trust me when I say it is legendary. That woman can cook up roadkill and make you ask for seconds. I have chosen to make food a primary ingredient in my stories. In Magician of Oz, its Potato Soup. In Shadow Demon of Oz, its the Reuben Samich. In Family of Oz (due out in 2001), its Blackberry Cobbler. By the time you’ve read the trilogy, you’ve had soup, samich and dessert!
Rhodes Review: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
James C. Wallace II: The hardest part is awaiting the muse. Once she, or he…I’m not quite sure, strikes, the story flows easily and freely. Finding the story is a challenge but not the most difficult part. Stories can be found everywhere if one knows where to look. But getting the muse to inspire and begin the process is the most challenging and difficult step to attain. You know its coming… just hurry up!!!
Rhodes Review: What’s the best thing about being an author?
James C. Wallace II: Having the ability to place my inner mind onto the outer world and fill the pages with imagery and feeling. Its very rewarding when a child joyfully explains my story to me. Their’s is a unique and wonderfully honest perspective.
Rhodes Review: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
James C. Wallace II: I can only speak from my perspective but… I believe the most common mistake authors make are allowing others to dictate what you write, how you write it and how you promote it to others. So often, we permit someone outside our realm to give superfluous advice that, at the time would seem to make sense, but in reality does nothing but impair our productivity. As an example, I allowed others to convince me that Twitter was the do-all, magic bullet that would propel my work into stardom. In fact, I have found Twitter to be a colossal waste of time, taking away from other, more productive avenues of marketing and promotion.
Also, I have been told by others that this is wrong, or that is wrong. Never what is write… Ignore them all!
Others will disagree but my perspective is mine alone.
Rhodes Review: Any plans to write fantasy set in other lands?
James C. Wallace II: At this point in time, Her Majesty, Princess Ozma has yet to release me from her Royal Command to tell the Great Outside of her new Royal Magician and his battles against Evil in the Land of Oz.
I must confess though that I couldn’t imagine writing of any other world on Earth, below or above!
Rhodes Review: What is your current writing project?
James C. Wallace II: I am currently awaiting the muse’s four by four as I prepare to complete Family of Oz, the third volume of the Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy. Afterwards, I foresee a spin-off tale of wooden rolling pins, auctions and Bean Dinners.
Rhodes Review: How has the reception been from Oz fans?
James C. Wallace II: For most, the reception is overwhelmingly positive and uplifting. For others, who can say?
Rhodes Review: What is one thing you’ve always wanted to be asked, but haven’t been?
James C. Wallace II: “It’s odd that penguin being there, isn’t it?”
Rhodes Review: Are there any appearances/conventions you’d like to announce to our readers?
James C. Wallace II, author of the critically acclaimed Oz novel, Magician of Oz and the newly released sequel, Shadow Demon of Oz has been invited and will be attending Oz-Stravaganza! 2010 as one of the featured authors of Authors Alley from June 4-6, 2010.
I will be appearing and speaking about my literary adventures in Oz alongside 3 of the original Munchkins from the 1939 MGM movie; The Wizard of Oz.
These include Jerry Maren, the Lollipop Munchkin; Karl Slover, First Trumpeter Munchkin; and Margaret Pellegrini, the Flower Pot Munchkin.
In addition, I will be appearing with Bob Baum, the great grandson of Frank Baum, the author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (1899) and his wife (Bob) Claire Baum, along with Jane Lahr and Maya Gottfried. Jane is the daughter, and Maya the granddaughter, of Bert Lahr the “Cowardly Lion”.
I will speak on several occasions and do book signings during the festival and will appear in the Grand Parade on Saturday, June 6th.
I will also be attending the 29th annual Wizard of Oz festival in Chesterton, Indiana, September 17, 18, and 19, 2010.
Once again, I will be featuring my newest book, Shadow Demon of Oz as well as Magician of Oz and spreading the story of Princess Ozma’s new Royal Magician, Jamie Diggs.
Rhodes Review: Thank you again Mr. Wallace for joining us here at Rhodes Review, it’s been a real pleasure.
See our review of Magician of Oz by clicking here.