The Magical Adventures of Brian Leonard - Mr. M
If you're looking for a wild ride of a book, then I have to recommend this one. Mr. M immediately throws you in the plot and the roller coaster doesn't come to a screeching and abrupt halt until the very last sentence.
Despite the fast pace and short length of the story, the characters are well developed and I genuinely enjoyed each of them. I had no issues whatsoever following the plot. It was entertaining and quite unique. At least, I've never read anything like it before.
I was saddened and a little disappointed with the ending of the book, as I feel the author wanted me to be. I'm hoping there's a follow up story in the works so that the remaining open plot points can be resolved.
This was a fun story that kept me hooked until the end. And I'm interested to read more by this author. I'd like to see what he's capable of in other genres. His tone, despite the serious nature of the plot, maintained a lighthearted and almost joking tempo, which I really enjoyed. So I'd very much like to see what he would offer up in an adult genre.
Some Bio Information
Mr. M graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in Film and Television Production. He received his MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. As a television executive at CBS, UPN, and ABC he worked with writers and producers supervising comedies and dramas for the networks. Some of the shows Mr. M worked on were Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Girlfriends, Alias, George Lopez, and the short lived Invasion. Mr. M was always interested in teaching and decided to make a career change. He attended Pacific Oaks College where he earned a Masters of Human Development and a multi-subject credential. Fulfilling his long time interest in building character, Mr. M created a character education curriculum while teaching. Independent Schools Magazine published an article he wrote under a different name about his curriculum. He is also mentioned in a book by David Streight titled Breaking Into the Heart of Character. Mr. M also participated in think tank discussions about character for the Council of Spiritual and Ethical Education. Mr. M lives with his wife, son, and daughter.
1. Who is your favorite author?
One of my favorite authors of all time is S.E.Hinton. The Outsiders and Rumblefish are classic YA books. The best writers are also enthusiastic readers. Like most people I go through phases of what I am reading. When I was in elementary school I read Matt Christopher books. My favorite Matt Christopher book was Catcher With A Glass Arm. When I reached middle school I went through an S.E. Hinton phase, which was followed by a J.D. Salinger phase. This was followed up by a healthy diet of John Steinbeck books. Upon arriving in high school I started reading sports autobiographies. I am a Laker fan. Kareem Abdul Jabbar is a great writer.
2. Which character in your book do you most relate to?
Brian and Johnny are the two characters that I relate to the most. They are the kind of kids that persevere during tough times. I’d like to think that I use perseverance in my daily life. Someone once described Brian and Johnny as sounding “witty.” This was definitely the tone I was trying to establish. I don’t know if people think of me as witty in my personal life!
3. Is Brian’s story over?
No character is completely over. That being said, I have plans for a part two. There is a heavy cliffhanger at the end of The Magical Adventures of Brian Leonard. I can’t reveal what happens. The best characters live on in our hearts and minds forever. Brian will always be in my heart and mind.
4. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
This is a great question. I do a lot of prewriting. Prewriting allows me to understand the backstory of the characters. It also helps me develop the voice of the characters and the tone of the book. I actually had no intention of writing a young adult novel. I wrote a short story about a boy who has a crush on the new girl at school. It was relatable, and exciting. The setting was at The Santa Monica Pier. This short story became the first chapters of The Magical Adventures of Brian Leonard!
5. Describe your favorite place.
Any place where my family is hanging out is my favorite place. That being said, the characters live in Santa Monica. If you have never been to Santa Monica, you should go to the Santa Monica Pier. The carousel is amazing! There is also an aquarium underneath the pier! Go see it!
6. What’s your least favorite part of the writing process?
The revision process is always the most challenging for me. Revision is different than editing. Many writers get this confused. Ultimately, the revision process elevates my writing. However, the time and energy that goes into this stage can be exhausting. If you want to be a writer, get used to rewriting. I normally try and break down this process into writing strategies. For example, I may do a dialogue pass first. After that I may focus on adding descriptive language to the setting. Once I feel positive about the plot, characters, setting, tone, and voice I move on to another part of the process.
7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?
Well, I would like to sell a zillion copies of The Magical Adventures of Brian Leonard and retire on my own island. Naturally, I flew from Los Angeles to my own personal island in a Millenium Falcon. Aside from that I would like to continue to challenge myself. I am currently writing another short story. I am also planning on finishing up part 2 of the Brian Leonard series. When I am not writing, I teach fourth grade. I am having a wonderful school year!
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