The Witch with the Glitch

As the child who carried around Brahm Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,  Adam Maxwell’s book The Witch with the Glitch would have been the perfect alternative–with a much more aged appropriate plot. It incorporates all the characters (a vampire, ghost, and werewolf–not to mention a Witch with a bit of a glitch!) that would have intrigued my young mind, which was fascinated by Gothic horror. When the story first started off, I thought it was going to be your basic Hansel and Gretel story re-packaged, but I was quickly proved wrong much to my delight! It has the perfect amount of grit to capture a child’s imagination, while not causing mom and dad to worry about any pesky nightmares.


I am happy to announce that Adam Maxwell is joining us today to discuss his book and viewpoints. But first, a few….

Book Details

TheWitchWithTheGlitchTitle:  The Witch with the Glitch
Series:  A Lost Bookshop Adventure
Author:  Adam Maxwell
Illustrator:  Dale Maloney
Publisher:  The Lost Book Emporium
Review Format:  Kindle Edition
Age Level:  5-11 | Grade Level:  3 – 6
Price:  $0.00 | Free on Amazon

Summary:  “When they find themselves zapped by the wand of a witch with a glitch they begin a race against time to reverse the spell. They must find the mysterious Izzy before the clock strikes midnight on Halloween or risk being stuck in the fairytale land forever.”  Source:  Amazon

Book Quotes

I found myself outright smiling when I came across the following:

“Oops.” The witch lifted the front of her pointy hat and scratched her head. “Yes, that sounds a bit like something that was possibly completely my fault.

 And another that left me giggling:

 “She slimed me!” he screamed.

[Van Helsing]

 “Meh,” said Ivy giving a little shrug. “Who you gonna call?”

 As I reminisced and chuckled while reading, I knew my daughter would have been just as enchanted by the book as I found myself to be.

A Discussion with Adam Maxwell

The protagonist in my series was written specifically for my daughter in her honor. I understand one of your characters represents your own child as well. Can you give my readers a bit more information on which character that is and the similarity/differences between the character and reality?

The main character in my books is called Nina and she’s an exaggerated version of my daughter. I gave her enough of my daughter’s traits to make her recognise herself but layered on different qualities too. Sometimes those qualities are things that I hope she’ll aspire to and sometimes they are just in there to serve the plot! When I was plotting the first book I originally thought about putting two of her real life friends in there as her companions in fiction but in the end I built them out of pieces of quite a few of her friends and gave them different names. It may be spineless but the last thing I wanted were angry parents berating me because I decided to make the fictional version of their child do something horrible!

Is the Lost Bookshop your first series? And/or have you written other children’s books (#kidlit) my readers may be interested in?

The Lost Bookshop is my first series for kids. I also write in the crime genre for adults and have a couple of series there but they are definitely not for anyone under 16.

Have you written other children’s books (#kidlit) my readers may be interested in?

MissingMonkey I have previously written a picture book as a one off which I turned into an animated app but that is currently out of print. When I was coming up with the idea for the Lost Bookshop I wanted to set up a series that could deliberately give the kids in it the chance to have a completely different adventure every time so you have the Grimm Tales inspired ‘Witch With The Glitch’, you’ve got a detective story in the circus-centred ‘Mystery of the Missing Monkey’ and you’ve got a Wild West adventure in ‘Search for the Sheriff’s Star’.  The next book in the series is currently being written and it’s called ‘Pirates versus Ninjas’… you can guess what that one is about I’m sure.

Are you a full-time author or do you have a “day job” as well?  If so, do you hope to become a full-time author in the future?

I’m currently a part-time author so I still have a day job but it would be fantastic to get to the point where this was full time. If I work hard it might happen in the next few years.

As a child who grew up loving Gothic horror, I personally respect that your books offer a touch of grit and contain characters not normally found in younger children’s books.

Thank you! I remember growing up and there being certain movies that I wasn’t allowed to watch because I wasn’t old enough but my parents had no problem with me going to the library and borrowing the most gruesome books imaginable without batting an eyelid. I’m not suggesting that my books are like that BUT I do think that a large proportion of books for middle grade have lost their bite.

What influenced your writing?

When I began writing the Lost Bookshop series I deliberately had it in my head that there would be parts of every book that would take the reader on that rollercoaster ride, that would make them wonder if things really were going to work out in the end but that they trusted me as an author enough to know that I wouldn’t let the cars come off the rails.  In fact I can pinpoint the post on Facebook where I was asking my friends to help find books that weren’t just the awful princess and fairy tosh that abounds, I wanted books for my daughter that showed girls who kicked butt, got into scrapes and got themselves out by using their brains. Unfortunately my friends were all useless and said ‘you’re supposed to be a writer – go write it yourself’!

What kind of feedback have you garnered from your choice of characters from both children and parents?

Sheriffs StarThe feedback I’ve had from parents and children has been overwhelmingly positive. There are a small contingent of parents who seem to think that if a book doesn’t have a clear moral then they don’t want to give it to their children but I don’t believe children want to be lectured to or to listen to that sort of babyish moralising anyway. They are quite happy for you to grab them by the hand and whisk them off on an adventure. There can be other layers in there about friendship, self-reliance, anything at all but, to me, it should be part of a wider story. Kids are often much cleverer than they are given credit for being!

When I first began reading the story, I instantly thought it was going to be a modern-day Hansel and Gretel. I was pleasantly surprised when you flipped the plot.

The idea that I’ve been building through the series is that the kids step into these stories and the stories have an impact on them but they also have an impact on the stories. No matter how good a story is, the idea of simply retelling it wouldn’t really interest me so I started with ‘well we know what the landmarks are in this story – now what happens when the kids mess with them and we mix things up a little?’

Was it your intention to lead the reader down this path?

There are a lot of ‘tropes’ in storytelling and you can play with the readers expectations if you know what they are. You lead them down one path and then suddenly you’ve got ghosts, werewolves and vampires roaming the pages and they aren’t expecting that.  This is the only book where I’ve done it as blatantly by using the actual Grimm tale as a jumping off point – the other stories are original tales told within those genres rather than re-tellings of anything.

Finally, I like to ask all my guest the same question:  What advice would you give youth today?

Don’t listen to grown ups. They’re just kids trapped in old-people suits and they don’t know half as much as they think they do.

Final Thoughts

Children will instantly connect with the main character, Nina, along with her friends, Ivy and Oswald. Their friendship is both believable and endearing as their camaraderie unfolds throughout the story. For the child who craves a little more daring in their books, this is the perfect choice! It is filled with humor, a touch of danger, some mixed-up characters, and a plot that is sure to engage the reader.


 

ADAM

I’d like to thank Adam for joining me today. To find out more, visit him at:   Adam Maxwell | Twitter

Until we meet again next week, I’d like to remind you to avoid summer brain drain!  All it takes is a trip to the library or bookstore to whisk your child off on a new adventure…

Warm regards,

K. Lamb

 

 

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