Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have Mackenzie Flohr with her book The Rite of Wands, the first book in her series of the same title. Later I will share an interview I did with Mackenzie, so keep reading.
Mackenzie Flohr grew up in the heartland of America, chasing leprechauns and rainbows and dreaming of angels. Her parents nurtured a love of fantasy and make-believe by introducing her at a very young age to the artistic and cultural opportunities that the city of Cleveland had to offer.
From the time she could hold a pencil, Mackenzie was already creating pictorial interpretations of classic stories, and by the age of nine, she and a childhood friend were authors and reviewers of their own picture books.
While following her love of adventure, Mackenzie found a second home, the Beck Center for the Arts Children’s and Teen Theater School. It was there that a world of wonder was only a script and a performance away.
Yet it wasn’t until she was on a trip to Indiana, viewing a Lord of the Rings exhibit, that the innermost desire of her heart became clear to her. She wanted to write a fantasy of her own, one that could inspire imagination in others and lead them into a magical world of their own making. She hopes The Rite of Wands will do just that.
Wherever we live and wherever we come from is our individual heartland. Anything is possible and everything can happen. Pure imagination is in all of us—we only need to discover it, and sometimes story telling helps.
I’m originally from the Cleveland, OH area, but now reside in Hartland, Michigan.
Does your area have a good writing community?
I am part of a fantastic writing community called the After Hours Group. They meet once a month to share writing and critique each other’s work. They have been extremely helpful to me.
What genres do you write?
Fantasy, Scifi and Horror
What is the oddest thing you’ve ever researched for one of your books?
Slugs. Slugs that go to your brain!
If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?
If he was still alive, definitely it would be J.R.R. Tolkien. I’d want to know more about how he creates his languages.
Do you feel the support of family and friends is helpful to you as an author?
Absolutely! Being an indie author, I depend on the word of mouth from my friends and family to tell others about my book, help me gain sales, and to read and review my book. Without them, I would be destined to remain an unknown in the writing world.
What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
Do you prefer ebooks, print or both?
I like both, but there’s something special about being able to hold a book physically in your hands.
What made you decide to self-publish?
I wanted more control over my series rights.
Are you a pantser or outliner?
I’m honestly a bit of both. I did work from an outline, but I found the character Mierta had to be written on the spur of the moment. That actually made writing the book challenging and fun because I never knew where he was going to take the story!
What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?
Honestly, it was figuring out how and when to specifically start the story. I’ve lost count how many re-writes I’ve done!