Max Hamby and the Blood Diamond
Author: Kathy Cyr
Published September 18th, 2014 by Gaslight Press
Summary: The first book in the children’s fantasy series Max Hamby.
It’s the last week of school. With sunny days ahead and no more tests or bullies, life for Max Hamby is about to get a lot better…..until he crashes into an odd exhibit at the local museum.
Strange things begin to happen.
When Max’s mother disappears, he’s left in the care of his eccentric neighbor where lawn gnomes come to life and a bird meows. Mrs. Pitt shows him that magic is real and not all like the fairy tales he once knew.
The discovery leads him to Merrihaven, where even stranger things await, including a dwarf, a troll and a couple of pixies.
He quickly finds himself at the center of a battle between good and evil.
Someone has resurrected the Shadowstone to free the evil imprisoned inside. Max must summon the courage to find seven magical stones to save his mother and stop the evil, before it’s too late.
About the Author: Kathy Cyr writes in an underground cave, but has her eye on a wizard’s castle.
On an average day, she’s usually surrounded by a dwarf with a curious addiction to coffee, a moody dragon and a pink pixie with a large sweet tooth.
When not writing books, she can be found daydreaming about faraway places, enjoying a cup of coffee with the dwarf, sharing a laugh with the moody dragon (when he’s in the mood) and sitting on a rainbow of treats with the pink pixie.
For more info visit http://www.kathycyr.weebly.com
What inspired you to write your first book?
The inspiration for the Max Hamby series came from my love of folklore, fairytales and fantasy. I have a love for all things magical.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I wanted to create something that would take my readers on a fantastic journey. As the series progresses, there are moments where it’s important to believe in yourself and even in the scariest of times, you can find the strength to be brave.
Give us an insight into your main character.
In the beginning of the series, Max is reluctant, shy and tends to keep to himself. In a strange way, he finds comfort in being invisible. It all changes when he’s forced to be the leader in some dangerous situations.
What genre are your books?
Max Hamby is a middle grade series – ages 9-12. Because there’s such a wide array of characters, fantasy and human, the series is for anyone who enjoys a fun read with a lot of twists and turns.
What draws you to this genre?
I’m drawn to the middle grade genre, because it’s a time of wonder and excitement. It’s also a time when anything is possible.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved to write, but I didn’t get serious until I was an adult.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me about two to six months to write and edit a book.
Do you write every day?
I usually write seven days a week. There are times when life takes over and I’ll miss a day or two, but it’s not hard to catch up.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I don’t have a set number of pages or words. I let the story take me where it wants to go. On average, I end up with five to eight pages per day.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I have to write longhand. It’s the only way I can connect with the story.
Where do your ideas come from?
Ideas come from anywhere. An idea can spark from a conversation, a news article, or a blog entry. The name, Max Hamby, jumped into my head first and stuck. It took longer for the story to fully form.
Do you work to an outline or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I do outline a little. I make lists of what’s going to happen and work them into the story as I go along.
When did you write your first book?
I started writing Max Hamby and the Blood Diamond in the spring of 2014 and finished mid-summer.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m always writing or updating my website and social media. I don’t really have an off button, though I enjoy spending time with my family, reading and occasionally, sculpting.
What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading the Secret Zoo series. It’s a great read with a unique plot.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have a few favorite authors. Their writing styles are exciting. There is so much detail in their work. It’s not hard for me to see the story in my mind and feel what the characters are feeling.
J.K. Rowling. I am and will always be a huge Harry Potter fan.
Jenny Nimmo. The Charlie Bone series is filled with magic and mysterious characters.
Lisa McMann. The UnWanted series is amazing and keeps me wanting more.
Henry Neff. The Tapestry series is also amazing.
Toby Neighbors. The Five Kingdoms was the first series I purchased from an indie author and was hooked.
What was one of the most things you learned in creating your books?
I learned that is writing is hard, but I love it so much that it doesn’t feel like work.
How many books have you written?
Max Hamby is a seven book series. I’ve written four books and have recently started the fifth.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
Sit down and write. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you do it. It’s easy to find an excuse not to, but why wait? Follow your dream. You can make it happen.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure. Chapter 1 is on my website as a free read.
Thank you to Kathy Cyr for taking part in our interview!