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J. Steven Young Character Interview

Hashtag Magic is a contemporary fantasy where magic has a new medium, hashtags. Young Colby Stevens learns of his magical lineage, the war that has been playing out for millennia, and his place at the center of everything. Colby and his friends must learn to fight back, and learn fast. Not everything is how it appears and the battle to survive won't be an easy one, but Colby has no choice if he wants to withstand what's coming. His muse, an odd little blue man who turns into a cat, has followed Colby to keep him safe. This new generation needs a new way of being taught an ancient magic. This proves difficult when Colby's powers get the attention of the rest of the supernatural world.

Each book in the five part series, has a technology theme with the forth installment, Open Source, due out mid 2018.

Welcome to Ink & Magick. I’m your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you today?

Colby: Oh…I’d love a unicorn smoothie if you can whip one up.

Interviewer: Welcome Mr. Stevens, Happy to have you here today. Why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself?

Colby: Please call me Colby. Boy, where do I start? Well, I’m pretty much just an average guy or young adult as they say these days. I am just finishing up at a private school and preparing for college, oh and I have magical abilities.

Interviewer: When did you first discover magic?

Colby: It happened twice actually. When I was a small child, I first exhibited magical talent by making a toy train disappear while playing. It really frightened my parents, I now understand, because I wasn’t supposed to even exist, never mind have magic. They hobbled my abilities, but they came back when I turned 16. Weird things started happening that day, and then I sort of blew out all the lights at school. So I had them all my life, but only the last couple years have I been learning to use magic.

Interviewer: What is your favorite thing about magic?

Colby: That’s easy, making time bubbles. One of the few things I can do without runes or an enchanted item is create a bubble of time. So like if I need extra time to study—or sleep—I can make a warp in time around myself or a room and time will move much slower or faster inside.

Interviewer: What is the best thing that ever happened to you?

Colby: So far, finding out my father is still alive and out there somewhere waiting for me to find and help him. He disappeared the night my magic was first hobbled as a toddler. It was the price of the magic he used to protect me.

Interviewer: A price to the magic? Can you elaborate?

Colby: All magic comes with a cost, and the spell he invoked used a lot of Emassa, the source of all magical energy. The magic required a sacrifice, and he willingly paid the cost. His spirit was pulled from his body, while another being summoned to assist in the spell, stole his skin to escape the spirit realm.

Interviewer: Seems like a touchy subject, so we’ll move on. What is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

Colby: I have to say it was the time I was seen talking to my cat. You see, he isn’t really a cat, just that he uses that guise, and only when he wishes do others see his true form. Fizz is a Nefsmari, short of stature and blue-skinned beings from the ancient world. They’ve served as muses over the ages.

Interviewer: Who has been your greatest role model? Was it this Fizzlewink fellow?

Colby: Though he was not there growing up, I have to say my father is my role model. He sacrificed everything for me and left behind a journal for me to find my way back to him.

Interviewer: What is your biggest fear?

Colby: That I’ll fail at finding my dad.

Interviewer: What is the one thing above all else you wish you could change?

Colby: Honestly, at times I wish I could do away with magic all together. It’s a serpent with a head at both ends. It will always come back to bite you, no matter how you hold onto it. Sure magic can create and change, but it manipulates and comes with that cost. Had I not had magic, my father would have never left. But then again perhaps without magic I wouldn’t exist at all. So I try to focus on the things I can change and accept those I can not.

Interviewer: Any final words of advice to those just learning their own magic?

Colby: Yes, being able to travel time has taught me the value of not messing with the past and just using it as a learning tool. Experience is a dear school for which only fools attend. So learn from it, and don’t repeat mistakes.

Author J. Steven Young shares adventurous and imaginative observations on life across multiple genres, including children's activity books, young adult, and fantasy. His Hashtag Magic collection is quickly moving up the fantasy charts on Amazon, and the third book in the series is now released.

Raised in the Chicago area, J. Steven witnessed his fair share of injustice growing up and always imagined how he could make life better for everyone if only he’d had magic or super powers. It took years for him to understand that he did have a gift. Though he traveled the globe in his youth, he still favors the lands of his imagination and wants nothing more than to share his visions with the world. He hopes his gift will allow readers to escape from reality, if only for a spell. Following his education in technology, with a focus in writing and communication, he’s spent his career working in the tech and travel industries. It allows for some creativity, but it doesn’t compare to the freedom of creating new worlds and magical creatures. A passionate home chef, J. Steven, can often be found in the kitchen with his agreeable husband, Tom, and their spunky little Siamese kitten, GusGus, who runs the house. When he isn’t working or writing, J. Steven is never more than a step or thought away from adventure. Whether spending time in his enchanted garden, conjuring up new recipes, or spending time with family and friends, he’s always dreaming up new fiction based on over-the-top characterizations of the people he meets. J. Steven is the author of over a dozen books and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

You can connect with J. Steven on his website, Twitter, or Facebook. Check out his author page on Amazon to get copies of Hashtag Magic.

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    D. Lieber has a wanderlust that would make a butterfly envious. When she isn’t planning her next physical adventure, she’s recklessly jumping from one fictional world to another. Her love of reading led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

    Beyond her skeptic and slightly pessimistic mind, Lieber wants to believe. She has been many places—from Canada to England, France to Italy, Germany to Russia—believing that a better world comes from putting a face on “other.” She is a romantic idealist at heart, always fighting to keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.

    Lieber lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John) and cats (Yin and Nox).

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