Today, we’re visiting with Malia Ann Haberman, author of the Chase Tinker Series.
Tricia: Welcome, Malia. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Malia: Well I live a little north of Seattle in a cute duplex with my 4 ferrets. (So of course, there’s a ferret in my book. His name is Maxwell.) I teach Ballroom Dancing as my “day job.” Two of my favorite dances are Salsa and Swing. Favorite colors are blue and purple.
I love writing, dancing, music, chocolate, pizza, books, ferrets, my iPad, sunsets, kissing and full moons. I hate bullies, onions, waiting in line and getting up before the sun. I’m really bad at playing sports, but I love to watch football. (Yay, Seahawks!) I’m not married and I have two wonderful, beautiful daughters. A few of my favorite shows are Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, DWTS and The Big Bang Theory.
Tricia: When did you begin writing?
Malia: Around the time I turned 14, I realized, since I’d read so many terrific books, that what I really wanted was to write some of my own awesome books. Though, during my teens, I spent a lot of hours writing sappy love poems and horrible romance stories. 🙂
Tricia: Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?
Malia: When I first started “Chase Tinker and the House of Magic,” I had ideas, but no clear outline to follow. I would just let things come to me as I wrote. But then, my then-agent, wanted me to outline the rest of the series. I thought, What?! Write everything down? Now that’s just crazy talk! But I put on my thinking cap and got to work, and it’s a good thing I did or I would’ve forgotten and missed out on loads of great ideas. So now, I guess you can say I’m a bit of both.
Tricia: How did you get the idea for your Chase Tinker Series?
Malia: It all started with a dream. One night 7 years ago, I dreamed I was living in a house where every room had some sort of magic in it. I rarely remember much about my dreams, but this one stuck with me so I started thinking, what if…and pretty soon, with the help of my daughter, I had two brothers with magical abilities, a missing dad, a bunch of powers to stick in the rooms of a huge magical house, and the source of all this magic. Oh, and then some really evil dudes to cause a whole bunch of trouble.
Tricia: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite and why?
Malia: I love all my characters, but I guess I would have to say, besides Maxwell the ferret, Chase is at the top of my favorites list. I like to make things happen to him, whether they’re good, bad, embarrassing, weird or just plain silly. How he reacts is a big part of it too. I feel you have to be willing to just get in there and enjoy doing things to your main character, and other characters, in order to make a book more interesting and entertaining.
Tricia: Can you tell us about your most recent release?
Malia: Well my most recent is the second book of the series “Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets.” Personally, I think it’s a little better than the first. 🙂 It has loads of secrets, adventure, fun, thrills, and of course, magic.
Tricia: What are you currently working on?
Malia: I’m in the middle of the 4th and last book of the series. It’s called “Chase Tinker and the House of Mist.” A lot of crazy things are going on so I have to concentrate on making sure all of the storylines come together and have a satisfying ending. I don’t want to get on the bad side of my readers. 🙂
Tricia: Of all your characters, which one would you be least willing to kill off or have die?
Malia: I think that would be Maxwell. I would definitely never let anything happen to him. He started out as just the troublemaking pet, but his role has grown until the whole series just wouldn’t be the same without him.
Tricia: What do you think of cursing in MG, ‘Tween and YA books?
Malia: I think some cursing can work fine, especially in books for older teens, but I don’t believe it should be done just for the sake of cursing. Just like when there’s way too much of it in a movie, I think it can also end up being a big distraction in the storyline of a book. But, since it is a part of the language of today, I think it can be written in when it fits what’s happening with the characters at that particular time. I have one part in my book where some pretty intense things are going on and one of my characters uses the expression “damn the consequences.” I didn’t use it just because I wanted to throw in a curse word; I used it because it fit the moment.
Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Malia: The only advice I can give is to write and write and write and don’t give up because that’s the only way you can improve. If you have the talent and drive then hopefully things will begin to happen for you. It’s a lot of hard, yet satisfying, work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author of “The Chase Tinker Series” Malia loves reading, writing, dancing, sunsets, ladybugs, playing video games on her iPad, watching TV, pizza and chocolate. She also has terrible motion sickness and hates onions. She’s always wanted to have the ability to teleport and the power to move things with her mind. She lives in the Seattle area with her four wild and crazy ferrets.
In Chase Tinker’s world, magic, lies and secrets can be a lethal combination…
Thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker can’t understand why he has the power to move things with his mind. Besides that, his dad has been missing for over a year, causing his mom to be too upset to pay much attention to her sons, so now he’s been busted for shoplifting. As if this isn’t enough to worry about, his younger brother Andy suddenly has a weird magical ability too. Can things get any crazier? Chase thinks.
Then, a grandfather they thought to be long dead arrives at their door. He wants Chase and Andy to come visit him for the summer so they can learn about their supernatural heritage and why they have magical powers in the first place.
The boys soon find out that Grandfather, along with their cousin Janie, lives on a remote island in the middle of Puget Sound in an out-of-this-world house where fantastic magic can be found in practically every room, stairway and corridor. Chase can’t believe their dad has been keeping so much from them.
It’s an even bigger shock when Chase learns that all their magic is controlled by a very powerful and mysterious Relic in the attic, and if anything happens to this relic, every bit of Tinker magic will be lost forever. He’s even more disturbed when he learns his family has a dark and powerful enemy that is determined to steal all their magic, their house and their relic.
Now Chase must find a way to stop these evil beings, while at the same time figuring out what has happened to his dad, unraveling even more Tinker lies and secrets and not letting on that he has a huge crush on the housekeeper’s daughter.
After spending the summer at his grandfather’s gigantic, incredibly magical house, thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker thought things couldn’t get any more bizarre, or that the secrets and lies couldn’t get any worse, but he was wrong.
As summer turns into Autumn, join Chase and his family for even more magical craziness. Craziness that will include: the sneezing of strange powers, the reappearance of the evil Marlowe family, another frightening kidnapping, the discovery of a mysterious, magical girl, a dangerous rescue mission, and a secret so mind-boggling, it will lead to a shocking climatic finish that will turn Chase’s world completely upside down and leave him feeling like one of the worst people on the planet.