Monday, May 29, 2017

5 with Lisa Fiedler--Author of Ages of Oz: A Fiery Friendship

Don't follow the Yellow Brick Road... run along the Road of Red Cobble.
Gabriel Gale's Ages of Oz: A Fiery Friendship takes readers to an Oz before Dorothy on a new action filled adventure featuring a young Glinda.

Today author Lisa Fiedler stopped by to answer my 5 questions.

Welcome, Lisa, thank you so much for visiting LibLaura5!

1. What can you tell us about the Royal Historian of Oz, Gabriel Gale?
Any relation to Dorothy Gale?
Gabe is the creator of Ages of Oz and a true original!  Brilliant, quirky … and wow, what an imagination!  He does claim to be a relative of the famous Dorothy, and you know what? The more I get to know him, the more I believe it true!  He’s made some other, shall we say … fantastic … claims about his knowledge of the Land of Oz, but those who are familiar with Baum will know that when he was writing his books, he said that he received information for his stories directly from Oz by communicating with Dorothy over ‘the wireless.’   So as far as I’m concerned, anything is possible.  Rest assured that all of Gabe’s fanciful truths will be revealed in time as the Ages of Oz series goes on!  

2. Bringing Oz back to readers in a new series seems like a tricky endeavor. What was the hardest part?

The hardest but also the most rewarding part was staying true to the original canon of work.  L. Frank Baum set the bar awfully high and we wanted to honor that.  For example, we tried to include lots of clever wordplay, just as he did, and we gave our characters funny but meaningful names that reflected their personalities.  We’re hoping our readers will pick up on those, so keep an eye out for them.  And even though we are writing for young readers, we followed his example and didn’t shy away from powerful themes.  We took very few liberties with the material—our rule of thumb was that we could add, embellish and extrapolate but not flat-out change or alter, and our contributions all have some basis or precedent in Baum’s body of work or in his life. Oz has entertained us all in so many different iterations, and all of them have had such a wonderful (pun intended) impact.  We challenged ourselves to create something that we hope will be worthy of that tradition.

3. Glinda… goes from being a girl who follows the rules to being the girl who will one day make the rules.
One of the things that mattered most to me and Gabe was to portray Glinda as the younger version of the character Baum intended her to be—the most powerful sorceress in all of Oz.  To us that translated into two words:  GIRL POWER. We chose to introduce Glinda at the moment—on that precipice—when she realizes she can face anything.  Symbolically, it’s when she discovers her magic and combines it with her intelligence.  But readers will make the connection between the power of the magic and the power of Glinda learning to think for herself.  After all, that’s where success begins.

4. Do you believe in magic?

Absolutely!  A thousand times yes!  It has many different names—luck, talent, coincidence, friendship—but it’s definitely out there.  I find a little every day!

5. Sharing the books we love is a way we share about ourselves and connect with each other. What is one book that has been important in your life?

 When I was in third grade I read HARRIET THE SPY and life as I knew it was never the same!  Harriet was a WRITER!!  And I was a writer (even back then).  I didn’t live in a big exciting city like she did, but I totally understood her need to observe the world and comment on it in her own way.  She was funny, she faced heartache, and she was brave (something I never was … so she became my role model for having guts).  Here’s what I learned from Harriet M. Welsch:  WRITERS TAKE CHANCES.  Best advice I every got!  I actually go back to that book and flip through it every now and then.  I still laugh out loud!  And I still consider Harriet a friend.

Thanks, Lisa!

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