This week we chat with a couple fiction authors who have magicians as the central character in their stories. Greg Koren is up first who talks about his newest book, “The Memory Trap”. The book is directed towards young readers and also for parents to read to their children. The premise of the book is that the central character, Henry Dunne, is about to be suspended from his new middle school for something he didn't do, and the principal's old but beloved car is about to disappear for the last time. Henry and the principal agree to help each other, but these unlikely friends don't realize the deck has been stacked against them, and time is running out. Henry must confront his fears and figure out whom to trust before the sinister force making their lives miserable steps from the shadows to deal the final, crushing blow. In helping to solve this mystery, Henry uses his knowledge of Tamariz’s “Mnemonica” card stack for his “memory palace”.
Greg is a recipient of the Maryland State Teachers Association’s School Bell Award for excellence in education writing, the Associated Press’s Mark Twain award for his feature writing, and six awards from the MDDC Press Association. He is the author of the critically acclaimed one-act play An Arrangement of Convenience, a winner of the Maryland Playwrights Festival, which was produced by the Vagabond Theater in Baltimore in 1989.
Koren fell in love with the imaginative world of middle-grade fiction after becoming a homeschooler and stay-at-home dad for his two children. Currently, he lives with his wife in Baltimore and works as a professional magician and mentalist.
John Gaspard is the author of the Eli Marks mystery series as well as two other stand-alone novels, "The Greyhound of the Baskervilles" and "The Ripperologists." He just completed “The Zombie Ball” as the sixth in the Eli Marks mystery series, which he discusses in this week’s podcast. “The Zombie Ball” opens with Eli being asked to perform his magic act at a swanky charity gala, The Zombie Ball– a former zombie pub crawl which has grown into an annual high-class social event. What begins as a typical stage show for Eli turns deadly when two of the evening’s sponsors are found murdered under truly unusual circumstances. Compounding this drama is the presence of Eli’s ex-wife and her new husband, Homicide Detective Fred Hutton. Under pressure to solve the crime before the 800 guests depart, Eli and his detective nemesis go head-to-head to uncover the bizarre clues that will unravel this macabre mystery.
In real life, John Gaspard is not a magician, but he has directed six low-budget features that cost very little and made even less – that’s no small trick. He’s also written multiple books on the subject of low-budget film making. Ironically, they’ve made more than the films. John lives in Minnesota and shares his home with his lovely wife, several dogs, a few cats and a handful of pet allergies.