Michael Scott Author of The Secrets of
The Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series
October 9, 2009

The “catch” regarding this enchanting, globally popular young adult series, is that all the characters (except teenage twins Josh and Sophie) are based on real people. Yep, Nicholas Flamel was a real alchemist who lived in Paris (like, hundreds of years ago). Now, the “immortal part” is where best selling Irish author Michael Scott takes that large leap into fantasy with this outrageously fun story. Flamel and his wife, sorceress Perenelle Flamel, race against time to save our world from the (evil?) plans of Dr. John Dee, Machiavelli and the Dark Elders with the help of other immortals (such as Joan of Arc!). Mr. Scott’s third book, The Sorceress, marks the half way point in this six book series. The fourth book, The Necromancer, is due in stores next spring.

Michael chatted for a few minutes so his American audience could adjust to his heavy Irish accent (yes, it helped!) before launching into his discussion of the series and reading a small sample from The Sorceress. He made the mistake of telling us if we didn’t ask any questions he was going to leave once he was done reading. So, we held him hostage for over an hour with Q&A, then hung around to have our books signed.

Michael Scott is an authority on folklore and mythology and he explained that even though America is a relatively new country, here can be found some of the oldest folklore in the world. Why? Well, because of a combination of immigration and preservation. Villages in Ireland were almost wiped out by disease, and some of the oldest folklore that no longer exists in Ireland is preserved with the Irish who survived here in the States. The same is true for other nations. He drew interesting comparisons between folklore from different cultures, pointing out how they are exactly the same story but influenced with the flavor of each country. Like the tales where children are turned into animals, then back into humans. In China they became dragons, in Europe they became swans, in Africa they became wild hogs, etc. Scott travels extensively, evident by his detailed descriptions in the series.

During our grilling we learned that Scott is quite aware that his female characters are so powerful he has to restrain them or they will take over the story. (But they are fun for him to write.) His method for writing this series is extremely disciplined, plotted like movie story boards. He uses two different softwares to help him plan, and to stay on track as well as plain old paper, spread out on the floor, mapping out not only each book but each chapter. This shows him right where the holes are and he can tell you exactly what is going to happen, say, in book six, chapter 10. This story and its characters are so intricate, this is the only way he can keep it under control. This writing style is in sharp contrast to Angie Sage, who we heard the previous evening share that she has a ruff idea where she’s going, but mostly allows the characters to drive the story… and is often surprised by what they do. Not Michael Scott! He knows Perenelle in particular would run away with him!

We’d finally run out of questions, and were way down in Long Beach, so it was time to jump in the Pathfinder for the drive home. At least it was Friday night (at last), but no rest for the weary, the alarm was already set for the Magic Castle Swap Meet Saturday morning!

Until our next adventure (oh in less than 12 hours!)…

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