The Reluctant Wizard by A.A. Warne ~ Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
By day, wizards rule the world. At night, warlocks seek to destroy it. Now, one boy will challenge them both.
Eli never wanted to be a rebel. All he wants is an end to the famine and war threatening his community. To save his mother and baby brother from marauding warlocks, Eli is forced to make a heartbreaking decision. He must travel to Terra Magicae, the mysterious land of the wizards, to study magic. In exchange, the wizards will protect his family, but this protection comes at a price: once Eli enters the Grand Wizardry Academy, he may never come home.
Full of lush landscapes and magical marvels, Terra Magicae is more wondrous than Eli ever imagined… and more dangerous. At first, Eli’s struggles to fit in at the Academy seem ordinary. But the more he questions the wizards, the more he suspects a sinister purpose behind their bizarre rules and tests. For a dark secret lies at the heart of this mystical land, one so terrible it threatens not only the students at the Academy but the lives of everyone Eli loves.
To save them all, Eli must step into the midst of the battle between the wizards and warlocks and defy both sides. He must become the rebel he was always meant to be.
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A. A. Warne writes elaborate, strange, dark and twisted stories. In other words, speculative fiction.
Located at the bottom of the Blue Mountains in Sydney, Australia; Amanda was born an artist and grew up a painter before deciding to study pottery.
But it wasn’t until she found the art of the written word that her universe expanded.
A graduate of Western Sydney University in arts, Amanda now spends her time wrestling three kids and writing full time.
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Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I was never really interested in books as a child. I had a few stories read to be here and there but nothing grabbed my attention. I loved art and I always believed I was going to grow up and become an artist. I studied painting and pottery after high school and I love creating sculptures.
But as I became a mother, these messy arts were not practical. My baby hated to sleep. She rather stay awake all day and play with me. So I put aside my art while she was young.
For a creative being, this was not a good idea. A creative person MUST create. My friend noticed that I was struggling and she threw a book at me. Twilight. I laughed. I didn’t read! But she made me read all of it. And I did. Then I went out and brought book two, then three and by the time I finished reading book four, I starting brainstorming ideas for my own book.
The best part about writing is there are never ending possibilities.
It started as a way to be creative but it wasn’t until I spoke to a friend about the story I was creating and she encouraged me to keep going. Since then, I haven’t stopped.
I now write everyday and clock forty hours a week, writing, brainstorming, researching and now publishing.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
Even though I have a great life, wonderful family and seriously interesting kids, I often live inside my head. If I’m not researching something strange or wacky, I’m creating it mentally. Stories have been a huge part of my life, especially as a kid. I always had a movie playing in the background while I was painting or creating some time of art. Little did I know, that as I listened, I was developing skills that helped me discover the structure and the composition of a story. Now it has become something natural that ticks over in the back of my mind while I focus on characters, worlds and what’s happening for them.
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
I met a wonderful author who is just as wild and crazy as I am, Michelle Crow. She lives on the opposite side of the planet and as soon as we met, it was like we had always known each other. In fact, we’ve gone onto writing a book together, she has been my bridesmaid, and we plan on visiting one another so many times in the next couple of years. She is the one who gave me the Madame of Darkness title. Even though we live in two different countries, that hasn’t stopped us from talking everyday, knowing what’s going on in each other’s lives, and supporting one another in writing.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Contradictions! I can see them a mile away. But don’t get me wrong, I do them myself. There’s nothing like saying I’m going to eat clean and healthy but then I buy chocolate… okay, I know that’s a contradiction, but I have weaknesses too!
Where were you born/grew up at?
I live at the bottom of the Blue Mountains, in Western Sydney, Australia. I am third generation in this town and we don’t have plans on moving anytime soon.
Western Sydney is a large place, with the majority of Australia’s population here. I can see the mountains from my home, and yes, they are blue.
Who is your hero and why?
I do love superheroes and anyone super-human. But in real life, it’s the everyday person. Each and everyone does amazing things. Look after sick parents, survive a horrific car accident, go on adventures and to me that is amazing. We live our lives and we’re not amazed by our own steps we take across the planet. So for me, a hero is someone who sets a goal and walks the path until it’s achieved. If we get knocked down, fail, detoured, or sidetrack but get back up and keep going, that’s even more amazing and that’s what I define as a hero – someone who achieves their inner purpose in their life.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
Oh rulers! I actually hate that word. It means to stand over a group of people and dictate their lives. Instead of that position, I prefer leader. Leaders mean so much more. A leader can also be part of the team. If a leader is part of the same team, and not above them, then they can ensure that freedom remains possible so that we can chose how to live our own lives. Leaders can be pushed aside and replaced, questioned and scrutinized – anyone who has that position should always be questioned at the very least. A ruler doesn’t have that same scrutinization which is sad because it trickles traits into a society that will easily diminish the importance of a group. Together humans are strong and we’re even stronger when we work together harmoniously.