Today, I'm taking part in the blog tour for Allison Tebo's new book, A Flash of Magic, which is a collection of short stories set in her Ambia world. I got to interview Allison about this new book and her writing, and I'm sharing that with you today! You don't want to miss the recipe she shares, and there's info about a book givaway toward the end of this post. Read on!
Rachel Kovaciny: Do you like writing books or short stories better? Which comes more naturally to you?
Allison Tebo: I actually prefer writing shorter stories! I’m a very visual writer and editor and it feels far easier to step back and evaluate the story as a whole when the book is more condensed and I can see the entire thing “at a glance.”
I also love finishing projects and shorter works make it far easier to achieve the exhilaration of completing a project in a shorter amount of time.
As far as what comes naturally, it depends on the project. I don’t think I’m naturally inclined towards one or the other. Some projects are short and others are (lamentably) long!
RK: Would it be better to read all three Tales of Ambia novellas first, before reading these short stories?
AT: You absolutely should. A Flash Of Magic is a collection of short stories featuring characters from the previous books and these short stories continue the respective arcs of the characters. It is only by reading the previous books that A Flash Of Magic will be understood and appreciated.
RK: Could you share some inspiration behind creating Burndee, Ella, and their friends?
AT: I wish I could share specific inspiration behind these characters but the truth is Burndee, Ella, Colin and Cynthia simply sprang into my head fully formed: as did the entire story.
Characterization is the easiest part of the writing process for me and characters tend to just walk into my mind and make themselves at home. Poppy was the one character that grew more slowly. She began as a more classic archetype in A Royal Masquerade but a dear friend of mine inspired me to expand the character. Now Poppy is a multi-dimensional character partly inspired by some of my favorite book characters, and partly inspired by said friend!
RK: If you could step into a fairy tale and take over for a character in it for a day, what fairy tale would you choose, and who would you replace?
AT: I would like to step into Cinderella and become the fairy godmother! I honestly can’t think of anything nicer than making people’s wishes come true. I love helping people and surprising the people I love with gifts, so it’s a good fit for me. I’m also a bit of a fashionista with a love for parties, so I would definitely be the person to get you the right outfit for an event and an invitation to the ball.
RK: Do you have any recipes you're particularly fond of baking, ala Burndee?
AT: I love baking my great grandmother’s gingerbread! Every time I make it, I feel a special connection to past family and the previous generations of women who brought comfort and nourishment and love to the people in they care about through their baking. Here’s the recipe!
GREAT GRANDMA PEARL’S GINGERBREAD2 1/4 cups flour1/3 cup sugar1 cup dark molasses1/2 cup butter or oil1 egg1 tsp. baking soda1 tsp. ginger3/4 tsp. saltSift dry ingredients together. Add wet. Mix for 3 minutes on medium speed. Bake in 9 x 9 pan at 325 for 50 minutes.(note: I’ve actually found that baking this gingerbread in a mini bundt cake pan is superior to a 9 x 9 pan. The texture gets even better when the gingerbread is made into small cakes).
RK: What are you writing now, or planning to write soon?
AT: Right now I am drafting a retelling of Beowulf. It’s one of my favorite pieces of classic literature, so I’m both excited and intimidated to tackle it. This retelling is a very serious project, more in the style of Rosemary Sutcliff or Tolkien, so it’s typical territory for me.
I also have a Wizard of Oz retelling that I’m in the process of outlining that is a return to my comedy writing and a salute to another one of my favorite classics.
And, as always, I have the next Tales of Ambia story rattling around in the back of my mind. Ambia grows exponentially with every book and I can’t wait to unleash the next adventure!
RK: Thanks for answering my questions, Allison!
And now, a little more about this new book:
A Flash of Magic is a magical and rambunctious compilation featuring eight stories with eight irresistible characters navigating their way through the oddities and the wonders of fairy tales.
The Tales of Ambia series continues with this charming collection of short stories and novelettes offering a deeper look into a magical land like no other.
Whether it’s an intimate look at Ella’s wedding day, a hilarious glimpse of Burndee’s holiday baking, or an explosive first meeting between a prince and his fairy, there is adventure for everyone in A Flash Of Magic.
You can buy A Flash of Magic right here on Amazon in both paperback and e-book formats.
And, you can learn more about Allison Tebo and her writing at these places:
Allison is currently hosting a giveaway to celebrate this book's launch! She's giving away one signed paperback copy. You can learn more and enter that giveaway on Instagram here.
This book tour continues today at the following websites: