Chase Tinker and the House of Magic
(The Chase Tinker Series #1)
by Malia Ann Haberman
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.
Interview with Malia Ann Haberman:
Me: I loved the Tinker house and how quirky it was. How did you come up with such a fun and unique idea?
Malia Ann Haberman: I know this might sound kind of cliche', but the idea came to me in a dream, but it wasn't just out of the blue. I was a Real Estate Agent at the time, and even though I really hated it, I have that job to thank for my Chase Tinker Series.
About 6 1/2 years ago, after a day of showing homes to my clients, I guess I had houses on my mind because that night I dreamed I was living in a gigantic house and every room had some sort of magical power in it. When I told my daughter about it, she thought it would make a terrific kids' book so we started brainstorming and thinking up all kinds of crazy magical powers. Then a lot more fun ideas came to me when I was actually writing the first book. (The second book "Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets" will be out as an ebook this Spring.)
What made you decide to write a middle grade fiction?
I've actually been interested in writing for Middle Grade and 'Tweens for quite a while now. So when I came up with my Chase Tinker Series, I jumped on it.
I think kids are wonderful to write books for because they're open and engaging and just plain fun. They have such amazing energy and enthusiasm and, of course, imaginations. I have such a good time coming up with ideas for my books that I hope they'll really get a kick out of.
In Chase Tinker and the House of Magic, Chase has the ability to move things with his mind. If you could have one magical power, what would it be?
Teleportation. I think it would be so cool to be able to get someplace in the blink of an eye. Plus, it would be a much cheaper way to travel.
The Tinker house is magical and each room has a magical power, like the premonition room. What room would you find the most useful?
I think the room that controls all the magical cleaning equipment and Tidy Tornadoes would be very useful. Then they could do all the housework and cleaning up, and I would have more time for writing, reading, dancing, and goofing off.
Of all your characters, which one would you be least willing to kill off or have die?
I think that would be Maxwell the ferret. I would definitely never let anything happen to Maxwell. 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.
The Chase Tinker Series reminded me of being a kid and having adventures and exploring with friends and family members. What is one of your favorite adventures you had as a kid?
Going to Disneyland with my family when I was 13. My brother and I, the two older kids, were allowed to each bring a friend, and for the first time, we were allowed to just go off and have fun without having to tag along with the parents. My friend and I had such a good time running around riding the different rides and creating our own exciting adventures.
Chase develops a crush on Persephone in the story, but keeps it mostly to himself. Will we see anything develop in the next book? Do you remember your first crush?
Their friendship grows and deepens, but as for romance? Everyone will just have to stay tuned. :) I do remember my first crush. I was in the first grade and really liked one of the boys in my class, but, alas, he didn't feel the same. Sometimes, love hurts. Then I moved away and never saw him again. (sigh)
Chase Tinker and the House of Magic has been compared to The Harry Potter series in a few reviews. How do you feel about this comparison? What would you say about your book to fans of The Harry Potter series?
You know, I didn't write my book thinking that I wanted to write something just like Harry Potter, so I didn't. The only things they have in common are fun adventurous kids, awesome magic and good vs. evil. What I want most is for my Chase Tinker books to have the same "appeal" as Harry Potter. Not only kids, but people of all ages all around the world love Harry so that's what I would really like for Chase.
So, with that in mind, I don't mind people saying that my book is reminiscent of Harry Potter or any of the other wonderful fantasy books that are filled with magic, in fact it's kind of flattering, but I really don't want any of my Chase Tinker books to be judged like it's some sort of competition about who wrote the best books. I had one reviewer say that she really liked "Chase Tinker and the House of Magic" but that it wasn't as good as Harry Potter. So I have to admit, that comparison bothered me because it's not what I was aiming for. When I wrote the first book, I never expected or wanted it to be compared to J. K. Rowling's brilliant books.
So to the fans of Harry Potter: I wrote my Chase Tinker Series with just fun, adventure, magic and great characters in mind. I'm really hoping you see it that way and not as a copy or rip-off, or better or worse than Harry. So if the words "Harry Potter" make people want to pick up my book and read it, then that's awesome! But, I don't want them to think that it's anything like wizards and witches going off to some sort of magic school, because it isn't. The whole magic and good vs. evil premises are completely different, and unique in their own way.
Were you an avid reader as a kid?
I definitely was a voracious reader when I was a kid. I spent so much time reading in my room, that whenever I came out, I think sometimes my parents wondered where this extra kid came from. :)
What are some of your favorite books?
Besides Harry Potter :) I really like The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Unwind, Book of a Thousand Days, The Heir Chronicles, Gregor the Overlander Series, On the Island, Sisters of the Sword, The Sword of Truth books and, oh my gosh, so many others.
What is one book you were dying to share/talk to other people about?
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Snape killing Dumbledore was about the most shocking thing to happen in any book I've ever read. And I've read a ton of books.
What are some of your favorite movies?
Hmm...let me see...Notting Hill, The Avengers, Pirates of the Caribbean, the new Star Trek (with Chris Pine), The Count of Monte Cristo. A bunch from the 80s: Dirty Dancing, Indiana Jones 1,2&3, The Breakfast Club, Big, The Empire Strikes Back, Stand By Me, E.T, Back to the Future, The Princess Bride; sooo many good movies from that decade.
If you could teleport yourself anywhere in the world like the Tinker's can, where would you go?
Even though my kids tell me I would hate it, because it's way too hot and I hate hot weather, Hawaii. It's just so gorgeous and colorful, and it looks like it smells really good. Plus, my friend just moved over there so now I have a place to stay.
Favorite television series right now?
Okay I have to admit, I'm a bit of a couch potato so I have several: Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, Arrow, The Big Bang Theory, Castle, Grimm, Oh, and Downton Abbey too.
Which character from your book do you think you most identify with?
I think that would be Chase. He's impatient like me; hates onions and sucks at math, but he'll stick up for himself when he really needs to. Also, no matter what plan of action he takes, things have a way of blowing up in his face. That seems to happen to me way too often too. A happily ever after would really be nice at some point. :)
What's the most difficult thing about writing?
I think for me it's staying focused. There are way too many distractions these days what with the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, television, my iPad. I just have to take a deep breath, plunge right in and work hard to ignore everything except my characters and their story.
Do you have any weird habits while writing/thinking of ideas?
Not really, since I don't think playing Scrabble on my iPad is too terribly weird. :) For some reason, though, I do seem to come up with a lot of ideas when I'm in the shower.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Just don't give up, and keep writing and writing and writing. If you have the talent and the drive, I think things will eventually start to happen for you.
Thank you, Malia, for letting me pick your brain for a little bit!!
Goodreads Author Page
Book Two in the Chase Tinker Series will be out Spring 2013.
Now for the Giveaway
Giveaway Ends Jan 18th.
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