Fiction Focus: Q&A with Preston Norton, author of ‘Blud and Magick’

When offered a spot on the Fiction Focus Hot Seat, Preston Norton wasted no time in tackling our questions head-on.

Norton’s solo debut, “Blud and Magick,” was released on Jan. 8, 2013, and is available in book stores and on and He co-authored 2012’s “The Lost Son” with his mother, Tamra Torero.

Without further ado, take it away, Preston!

In fewer than 75 words, tell us what “Blud and Magick” is about.

I think of it as an “anti-Harry-Potter.” Whereas Harry inadvertently defeats the dark lord as a baby and becomes an instant celebrity, my protagonist, Darla Summer, is the opposite, born from the ashes of the dead Shadow Lord, Remmus Alrad, and becomes an automatic outcast. She not only has to prove to the world and even herself that she’s good, but the Shadow Lords followers are intent on somehow resurrecting their master from her soul.

Which authors have had the most influence on your writing style?

Not to sound cliché but probably J.K. Rowling. She is literally the master of weaving seemingly insignificant plot details into a mind-blowing climax.

You are the casting director for “Blud and Magick: The Movie.” Who do you sign to play the main characters?

Darla would be played by Chloë Grace Moretz (“Let Me In,” “Hugo,” “Dark Shadows”), Ash would be Asa Butterfield (“Hugo,” “Ender’s Game”), and Cirrus would be Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road,” “Let Me In”). Yes, I really, really, REALLY like “Hugo” and “Let Me In,” if you couldn’t tell. But I think those three child actors are the best in Hollywood right now. And lastly, to play as Edwin, I would cast Michael Caine. I love that man.

Who would direct the film?

I am so completely in love with the work of Christopher Nolan, it isn’t funny. I realize that my book is completely outside of his genre, but considering that Martin Scorsese was just as out of place directing “Hugo,” I would definitely be willing to take the risk.

What one event, in relation to writing, has brought you the most joy?

I finished writing my first novel when I was eighteen””a whopping 100,000-word YA fantasy novel that I called “The Mark of Mekken.” That manuscript may never see the light of the publishing world as it is in very rough shape, but it is one of the dearest to me because it proved I could do something that I would have never thought possible.

What is the most challenging aspect of writing for you?

Getting started. Once I get past that first page, it’s a breeze!

Does music play a role in your writing routine? If so, please describe.

I usually have a number of songs that I feel are the theme songs of my novels. If I’m struggling to write a scene, sometimes I will go running while jamming to these songs on my iPod. And then there are songs like Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” or Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” that can pump me up no matter what I’m writing.

Top 3 must-see TV shows? Past or present.

“Sherlock,” “The Walking Dead,” and I suppose “Lost”if you ignore the fact that the writers had no idea where the plot was going, which really showed in the last season.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

James Patterson. I want to be James freaking Patterson.

What advice would you offer to aspiring novelists?

Being a writer seems like a never-ending cycle of writing, editing, and submitting manuscripts for the inevitable rejection letter. My advice is to never stop doing one of those three things. Never. Life as a writer is almost like standing on the down escalator. If you aren’t constantly moving up it, you will inevitably move down.