Official Interview: Charles Townsend (The Magician's Secret)

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Official Interview: Charles Townsend (The Magician's Secret)

Post by kandscreeley »

Today's Chat with Sarah features Charles Townsend author of The Magician's Secret, an upcoming book of the month.

Official Review

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1. Tell us about your very first writing experience.

My very first writing experience was some 56 years ago when I was at school. I wrote a short story entitled The Solitary Growth. I then converted it into a film script and made a 16mm film of it. At the time I wanted to become a film director. Rather than go straight to film school after school, I went to Manchester University and got a science degree. I was in the process of applying to film school during my final year at university when I got offered a job in business. I spent the next 39 years in business, the last 29 of them running companies.

I originally wrote The Magician’s Secret over 25 years ago. It remained in a drawer in my desk until a fire burnt my house down. I managed to retrieve the manuscript, singed, part burnt and soaked and put it in a box in my cellar. During lockdown I wrote a book on my family‘s history. After self-publishing that, I thought I would get the old manuscript out. I had to prise some of the pages apart and reconstruct others. I was pleasantly surprised by it, rewrote parts, tidied it up and published it. That’s how The Magician’s Secret came to be.

2. What authors have influenced your style?

I read Tolkien long before he became popular, and that was a strong influence. I like stories that are very direct and which move fast. Dick Francis is a good example of that.

3. Let's discuss your book The Magician's Secret. Can you give us a short synopsis?

The Magician’s Secret is a fantasy novel. A young farm lad Delvin was taught magic by a travelling magician called Borlock. When Borlock is murdered, Delvin inherits his magic tricks and decides to try to become a magician himself. He travels to the city of Hengel with his friend Greg. But strange things start to happen. Occasionally he seems to be doing real magic and not just tricks.

The Duchy of Hengel is at war with the neighbouring Duchy of Argent. Argent has accused Hengel of kidnapping their princess. The ruthless Princess Jarla of Hengel wants to stop the war by returning the princess to Argent. She hears of Delvin’s apparent magic and decides to force him to help her. She and Delvin abduct the princess and set off for Argent. They are pursued by Grimbolt, the Duke of Argent’s fixer.

When Delvin and Jarla set off to try to stop the war between Hengel and Argent, Delvin had his rabbit with him. This is the rabbit Delvin uses in his magic shows, and he uses the rabbit to help him and Jarla in their quest.

During the journey, Delvin discovers that the apparent ‘real magic’ comes from a crystal he had inherited from Borlock. When touching the crystal he can project thoughts into people’s minds that make them do what he wants. But if the other person is also touching a similar crystal, the thought comes out as a direct message.

Delvin and Jarla realise that the war has been started not by Argent, but by the magicians from the Guild of Magicians who are the only people other than Delvin to have these crystals. The Guild of Magicians guards the secret of the crystals fiercely, sending the black magician to kill anyone who learns of the secret. The black magician is pursuing Delvin. He wants to kill Delvin for knowing the secret and wants to retrieve the crystal that Delvin inherited from Borlock.

Delvin and Jarla must rescue the Duke of Argent who has been imprisoned by the magicians, stop the war between Hengel and Argent and try not to be killed by the black magician.

4. What character do you most identify with?

I most identify with the character of Delvin. I am an amateur magician and a member of The Magic Circle. Delvin has lots of ideas. I too have lots of ideas and I have held over 10 patents. Delvin plays lots of practical jokes on people. I play occasional practical jokes but nothing like as many as Delvin!

5. The reviewer commends the world-building. How did you make so many different places so realistic?

I have drawn maps and plans of most of the places mentioned in the book. This enables me to visualise much better what the characters are looking at and where they are going. I have also tried to give logic to the places in the book, show why a town grew up where it did and show how the towns generate their wealth. In many fantasy books, cities just seem to exist with no apparent industry or means of providing jobs for their inhabitants. Showing how the various places economies work probably comes from me being in business for many years.

6. What did you leave out of the book?

I left out details of sex. Delvin does have sex. But I do not describe it. I want the book to be suitable for young adults.

7. Is there a central message you wanted to convey?

I just want the book to be a thumping good story with a few good twists.

8. What is in the works for you?

The Magician’s Secret is the first book in the trilogy Illusions of Power. Each book in the trilogy is written to be able to stand on its own without having read the earlier ones. The second book The Three Card Trick is just out. The third book The Magic Lantern is written and about to go to the publishers.

I like to end with fun questions.

9. What's your favorite color?

My favourite colour is turquoise.

10. What's your favorite dessert?

My favourite desert is chocolate brownie.

11. What’s the one item of clothing you couldn't live without?

I like wearing a smart jacket.

12. What’s the most annoying thing people do in public?

I hate people spitting in public.
A book is a dream you hold in your hands.
—Neil Gaiman
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Post by Chelsyyyyyy »

Margi zuu202
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Post by Margi zuu202 »

Afantasy novel aimed at adult but suitable for teenager for practical joker delving set up as a magician after inheriting murdered magician tricks,strange things happens when he performed real magic but not just tricks... I like this book
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Post by Marcelino Cruz »

is ok no bad entertaining
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Post by Mbali Qalinge »

The author said that he wrote Magician’s Secret over 25 years ago; I'm curious if he wished he had published it back then or if he finds it better that he got to publish it now. I guess what matters at the end of the day is that he got the chance to publish it. It sounds like a great book, and I look forward to reading it.
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Post by Mimi Frawley »

This is a book I believe I could use for a Christmas preset - it's not to my taste, but an older in my family, who also dabbles in magic tricks, would love it.
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Post by Raykhona »

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Post by Amadife sarah »

Books about magic is a no no for me,but I think book got me wanting to know more
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the story was great I love it
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Post by Fathima Muskaan »

Wow! The interview, the book, the author, everything is so mysteriously intriguing!!! I would love to read this book.
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Post by Shantae F »

Absolutely amazing!
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Post by Grace orji »

This sounds nice. I am looking forward to reading this book.

I actually would like to know if he had any second thoughts about taking the job in business or going to film school.
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Post by croquetmagic »

Thank you for your kind comments. I was trying to write the sort of book I enjoy. Fast paced, lots of twists in the plot and fun characters. Book two "The Three Card Trick" is now out. This continues the story of Delvin and Jarla and adds a new character called Nippy.
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Post by erick otieno »

The interview is timid and the book has emphisised more about it's title.
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Post by Alain Dieudonne K 1 »

The Fantasy book intended for adults, but it's also good for teenagers to deal with a joker dressing up as a magician after inheriting slain magician's props. Strange things happened alongside his universe when he performed actual magic, not just tricks.
It's a fantastic novel.
Last edited by Alain Dieudonne K 1 on 22 Aug 2022, 10:36, edited 1 time in total.
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