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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Interview: MG Author Richard Due

I'm very excited to have the fantastic Richard Due here today for an interview. Richard is the author of the MG book The Moon Coin, the first in the Moon Realm Series.

So, let's get to know Richard and his book...

WS: What three words best describe THE MOON COIN?
RD- Tales never lie.

WS: In one sentence tell readers why they really MUST read your book?
RD- If you want to know what a Rinn or electrimal is, or the secret behind Ebb's bedtime tales, or want to meet a cursed sword that talks, then you MUST read The Moon Coin.

WS: Now, using as many sentences as you'd like, can you tell us a bit more about this series?
RD- One of the big themes running through the book is the difference between tales and stories. There's a quote I really like that I use on the dust jacket flap: "Tales, unlike stories, never lie. You see, a tale is an account of things in their due order, often divulged secretly, or as gossip. Would you like to hear one?" —Lord Autumn
The protagonists are Lily and Jasper Winter. They grew up listening to their uncle's bedtime tales about a place called the Moon Realm. The prologue introduces these three very important characters at a pivotal moment: the telling of the first tale, when Lily and Jasper are four and five years old and complete believers. Then it fast forwards; they're thirteen and fourteen, so they've long since decided the Moon Realm was pure fantasy. But their uncle goes missing, and they discover that the bedtimes tales weren't just . . . tales. That's where the book really begins, as they try to find their missing uncle. Armed with nothing more than memories—and the moon coin—they quickly realize their only hope is piecing together Uncle Ebb's shattered tales and uniting the fractured Moon Realm. The consequence being that, should they fail, they'll lose the moons they loved so much . . . all over again.

WS: Where did the idea or inspiration for this book and series come from?
RD- I was racking my brain one night, trying to tell my daughter a new bedtime tale. I was exhausted, physically and mentally, and kept stumbling into that wonderland between dreams and sleep. My daughter kept elbowing me: "Wake up, Daddy, you're not making any sense!" But I kept drifting off. And then, all in one jolt, I brought back with me The Moon Realm. About nine books worth.

WS: Who is your favorite character to write and explore in THE MOON COIN?
RD- Wow! That's a tough one. I'm currently typesetting Book 2, THE DRAGONDAIN, so I had to go back, look over the chapter names of The Moon Coin, and think very hard. (My favorite character to write thus far doesn't appear until book 2, The Dragondain.)

Hm. I get a real charge writing Curse, but I think I'm going to have to say Nimlinn Goldenclif, of the clan Broadpaw. Her mix of royal bearing (she's so darn proud) and spunk always makes for an exciting dynamic—she plays by her own rules.

WS: THE MOON COIN has beautiful illustrations done by Carolyn Arcabascio...did you give her free reign when it came to what scenes would be illustrated or did you have a clear idea of what you wanted depicted?
RD- Carolyn's narrative skills are top notch. But I'd be adding unnecessarily to her workload if I didn't give her jumping-off points. So for each book I give her up to three scene suggestions per chapter. Frankly, most chapters scream out to have a certain scene used. But to answer your question more clearly, yes: Carolyn has free reign to make any suggestion she wants.

WS: THE MOON COIN is filled with magical and wondrous creatures and beings...which one is your absolute favorite? What mythical being, that you haven't explored yet, would you love to write about?
RD- In THE MOON COIN, that would be the Rinn. As far as the series is concerned, I'm really looking forward to writing the Tinkers. The Tinkers are so good with mechanical devices that, to the other characters in the Moon Realm, the devices seem like magic.

WS: If you could switch lives with ANY literary character for a day, who would it be and what would you do as them?
RD-  Boy, that's a tough one. My very first thought was to be Sam Spade, and spend my day working on a case in 1930s San Francisco. But then I thought I'd be missing out on my big chance to be Puck, that "shrewd and knavish sprite" from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream! Then I thought, well . . . I might not want to be Puck for a whole day. Of course, if I were Prospero, from Shakespeare's Tempest, than I could spend the day reading in his library from the book of magic. And after my day was over I'd be a magician! (Btw, did you know that Prospero was based on the real-life Dr. Dee, the same Dr. Dee that appears in Michael Scott's wonderful The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series?) Being Severus Snape for a day would be exciting, but I'm not sure how well I'd handle all the sadness. Smaug, the red dragon from Tolkien's The Hobbit would be a blast (ooo, sorry about that), but then I'd have to eat lots of horses and dwarves. The horses probably wouldn't be so bad, but the dwarves would probably give me some indigestion (all that pesky mithril armor). Okay, okay, I know: this is getting long and we haven't gotten anywhere . . . hm. I would be d'Artagnan, the young musketeer of  Alexandre Dumas' romance novels. And I would want to live out the morning d'Artagnan—while not yet a musketeer—first offends, then challenges Aramis, Porthos, and Athos to duels scheduled for later that afternoon. It's a great scene. I won't spoil the end here: you should read the book.

WS: Fill in the blanks:
I'm really awesome at ordering cannoli at Italian restaurants for dessert: I NEVER miss.
I'm embarrassed to admit that: embarrassed?! Pa-leez! I can asure you, embarrassment and I have never met.
My favorite book as a teen was: hm . . . teen is a pretty big time-frame. How about I narrow it down and choose a single year. Let's say when I was 13, which would make my favorite book either Nine Princes in Amber, by Roger Zelazny or Dune, by Frank Herbert or The Three Musketeers, by Dumas. Either one of those or a bicycle repair manual. Take your pick.

WS: If you were to create/bake a THE MOON COIN cupcake, what would it look/taste like and what would you call it?
RD- It would look like the pendant that holds the moon coin. It would be lemon butter frosting on a spiced-orange cake. And, naturally, I'd call it a Moon Coin Cupcake.

Thank you so much for stopping by Richard!

Connect with Richard: Site / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Richard Due (pronounced “Dewey”) first imagined the Moon Realm while telling bedtime tales to his children. He makes his home in Southern Maryland, where he and his wife have owned and operated Second Looks Books since 1991. The Moon Coin is the first novel in the Moon Realm series. Visit for more information.

The Moon Coin

Tales, unlike stories, never lie. You see, a tale is an account of things in their due order, often divulged secretly, or as gossip. Would you like to hear one?—Lord Autumn
Uncle Ebb was so good at telling his tales of the Moon Realm that sometimes it
sounded like he’d been there himself.
As children, Lily and Jasper listened raptly to his bedtime tales of a place where nine
moons swirled around one another, each inhabited by strange and wondrous beings:
magical lunamancers; undersea merfolk; wise birds; winged dragons; and Lily’s
favorite, the heroic, leonine Rinn.
There was only one rule: don’t tell a soul.
But now, years later, Uncle Ebb is missing. Lily has learned the secret behind the
tales, and soon Jasper will too. But there’s one big problem. You see, something
terrible has happened in the Moon Realm. . . .

Purchase: Amazon / B&N / iTunes
Read the first six chapters

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