'The Magician': Young fans quiz fantasy author Michael Scott
The Salt Lake TribuneArticle Last Updated: 09/24/2008 07:45:54 PM MDT
Liam Flanigan, 8, helped compile questions from his classmates in Mrs. Leslie Edwards' third-grade class at Salt Lake City's Hawthorne Elementary. (Scott Sommerdorf/The Salt Lake Tribune)Dublin-based author Michael Scott has been called "The King of Fantasy in these isles" by the Irish Times. He arrives in Utah Thursday for two readings to promote The Magician, the second book in his planned six-part series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. His first book, The Alchemyst, was released last summer, and rocketed onto the New York Times bestseller list, where it stayed for 16 weeks.
The Tribune invited avid fans to ask Scott their most burning questions via e-mail. Liam Flanigan, 8, helped compile questions from his classmates in Mrs. Leslie Edwards' third-grade class at Salt Lake City's Hawthorne Elementary. "Dear Liam and Friends," Scott wrote. "Thank you all for the great questions. You have given me a couple of tough ones, too!"
Do you already have the whole story figured out or are you still mapping the series out?
Yes, the entire six book series was mapped out in great detail before I even started to write. I can even tell you now what the last line of the last book will be! Because this series takes place over such a short period of time - less than a month - I had to know exactly what happened on every day. All the action in book one, "The Alchemyst," takes place in two days, and the action in "The Magician" also takes place over two and a half days. If I had not got my notes and outline, it would be very easy to get lost.
The twins' parents are digging in Utah. Is what they are doing in Utah going to tie into the story? Are you coming to Utah to do research for you book, by any chance?
Well spotted, yes. Sophie and Josh's parents are in Utah for a reason and I'm quite sure it has to do with the Anasazi and the Fremont Culture. We will see more of the parents in books to come. I've been to Utah several times in the course
of the research for this series. Last year I spend some time in Zion Canyon and the year before that I was in Bryce researching the petroglyphs. I'm hoping to come back early next year to do some more research. I would really love to see the extraordinary collection of petroglyphs in Nine Mile Canyon.
The twins are always on the run in the first two books; will there be a time they can settle in a safe place and really learn about their powers?
Yes, book three, "The Sorceress," gives them a little time to breathe, but not too much! In this series, time is always against our characters. Nicholas and Perenelle have less than a month to live and in book three, we learn The Magician the exact date that Dee, the villain, intends to bring back all the monsters from mythology to this world. As the series progresses, the twins will learn a little more about their powers. The problem is, of course, that Sophie has powers that her twin does not have and he's jealous. But I'll always make sure they have time to eat and sleep!
How did you create Niddhogg? Disir? Dagon?
The Nidhogg, like every other person and creature in the book, comes from either history or mythology. There are only two major created characters in the series and they are the twins, Sophie and Josh. You can research every other character, creature and beast in the stories. All the main characters - Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel, Doctor John Dee, Niccolo Machiavelli and Joan of Arc - really existed. The Nidhogg comes from Norse Mythology. It was the huge serpent-like creature that lived in the roots of the World Tree. When Dee destroyed the World Tree in book one, he freed this primeval dinosaur-like creature. [Disir] comes from the [Norse] word..."ladies or goddess." They were later called Valkyries, the ferocious warrior-maidens who are so central to Norse lore....Dagon..is a merman. The word "dag" can mean a "swimming beast."
When will the next books be coming out?
Book three, "The Sorceress," will be out in May 2009, and then there will be three more books after that.
Will there be movies of the books?
Even before the books were published, the movie rights to the entire series were taken by Mark Burnett and he, in turn, placed them with New Line, who made "Lord of the Rings." The script of the first movie is being written right now by Eric Bress, who wrote "The Butterfly Effect," and I saw recently that the movie of "The Alchemyst" is up on IMDB.com for December 2009.
- Compiled and condensed by Julie Checkoway