Monday, July 16, 2007
I have a special treat for you to help celebrate Flag Day*. Joining me today is author Karen Magill, whose latest novel, Let Us Play, A Rock ‘n Roll Love Story is now available through Lulu.com http://www.lulu.com/karenmagill . Welcome to my blog, Karen. I’m thrilled to have the chance to interview you during your month-long Virtual Book Tour.
Thank you for inviting me. I consider it an honor to be here.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How long have you been writing?
Ever since I learned how to put words together, I have written. My paternal grandmother, Katherine Magill, was a published author. She helped support the family by writing articles as well has having two published books. I have always had a wild imagination and preferred living in a world of my own making rather than the real one. At 41, I’ll be 42 in June, I still be prefer my imaginary world. In 2000, I was diagnosed with MS and put on disability. Instead of looking at this as a negative, I instead focus on this as an opportunity to follow my lifelong dream of writing. In 2004 I independently published my first novel The Bond as an experiment. It went so well I published my second Let Us Play in 2006.
Let Us Play, is set in an uncertain time in the future where rock ‘n roll has been banned. Can you tell us what inspired you to write this story?
Rock n’ roll music has always been a scapegoat when young people have done things wrong. Never mind that millions of teens can listen to the same album without incident – a couple go bad and it is the music’s fault. Remember when it was the devil’s music? I don’t like all the music that’s out there but I don’t think it should be banned. Then in the nineties the United States had the PMRC. Tipper Gore’s efforts to help her husband get in the White House. My opinion. They helped a lot of musical artists get a lot of promotion. Not that that was their intention. And a lot of things over the years have combined to inspire me to come up with this idea.
Then, to make it different, I had to make sure that Kaya had the gift of second sight. She is facing a sadistic opponent in the government leader Judah Arnold. So she needs an extra edge.
Your main character, Kaya Moore, leads a group of rebels who are fighting to have everyone’s rights restored. What can you tell us about Kaya? Why will readers care about what happens to her?
Kaya is fighting PARR not only because she believes that everyone should have the right to choose – a factor I think that everyone will agree with – but because of the wrongs that they have done to her. I think the reader will feel for her. She is headstrong and passionate and driven and committed to what she believes in. LUPO is her world. Even when Kaya is stubborn and her passion can lead her to do things that are foolhardy, the reader may bite their tongue and shake their head, but they still empathize with what is driving Kaya.
Censorship can be a very challenging subject to handle in a novel. How did you approach it? Did you have any fears of addressing this issue in Let Us Play?
For Let Us Play I used the censorship of music and I used the extreme notion of total censorship – the music being entirely eliminated. When a person reads the novel they will see the methods that the government used to accomplish this.
I had no fears addressing this issue because it is fiction but as with all fiction, I intended for it to get people thinking. Could it really happen? I don’t know. Would the government ever do the things I say they do in the book? Who knows what power hungry, corrupt people are capable of?
With this novel I went over the top, I had fun with everything. From the characters to the situations. I let my imagination run wild and didn’t try to restrain myself at all. It was great.
When I read the synopsis of this novel and a review from The Book Pedler (http://thebookpedler.wordpress.com/2007/05/21/let-us-play-by-karen-magill/), I instantly thought your novel could be considered a larger scale, futuristic version of the movie Footloose. Do you see any connection between the two or am I just insane?
Thank you, what a compliment! The premise is the same but I guess the theory of censoring rock and roll music has been around since the birth of the music. You know, last year my apartment was broken into and all they took were my DVDs. One of the first ones I replaced was Footloose!
Yes, you could say there is a connection between Let Us Play and Footloose. As well as Let Us Play and Styx’s Kilroy Was Here. A funny story. The whole time I was writing Let Us Play, a line kept going through my head ‘it ain’t the music that’s in question. It’s called a freedom of expression.’ I had to fight not to put that in there because that is a line from a song on the Styx album. But that was playing in my head the whole time.
What’s up next in the world of Karen Magill?
I have to keep promoting this book and my first The Bond. I am working at learning how to change both books into screenplay format. I have to write my next book, which I am planning on being the sequel to Let Us Play. This one will focus on another character in Let Us Play. Keep learning all I can about this business.
Thanks for dropping in and sharing some insight into your last book. I wish you much success.
Thank you for having me, it’s been fun.
Check out Karen's next stop on her virtual tour, which will be tomorrow at The Romantic Fanatic - http://www.romanticfanatic.blogspot.com/
* This interview originally appeared at my Aspiring Author blog on June 14, 2007.