Welcome to my tour stop for Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand by R.S. Mellette. This is an upper middle grade, lower young adult sci-fi adventure novel that's perfect for the whole family. This tour runs Feb. 9-20th with reviews and interviews. Check out the tour page for more information.
"E = mc2 is no longer the most powerful force in the universe. Your wand is."
Twelve-year-old Billy and his best friend Suzy Quinofski didn't mean to change the universe. Billy, a quantum physics prodigy, just wanted to find a way to help his hoarding, schizophrenic mother – and maybe impress a coven of older girls in high school. Suzy, his intellectual equal, wanted to help her friend and cling to her last remnant of childhood, a belief in magic. Together they made Billy a real, working, magic wand, and opened a door to the Quantum World where thoughts create reality, and all things – good and bad – are possible.
R.S. Mellette has written, directed, designed and acted in theatre, film, television, and publishing for over 30 years. His credits in various jobs include XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS, BLUE CRUSH, and his own JACKS OR BETTER, which won Dances With Films Best Screenplay award in 2000. He has been working with the festival ever since.
Also find him on Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook.
What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
A lot of things led to the creation of Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand. One of them was watching the movie “The Craft” for the umpteenth time. Great film. I got to wondering why I didn’t know girls like that when I was in school. Then I had to laugh. I was very much like Billy when I was in 7th, 8th, 9th grade … okay, who am I kidding, up until my junior year. I was so into science that I was a bit clueless about life, and certainly clueless about anything cool. To this day, I’m a bit of a contrarian. I’ll take the other side of most any argument just to keep the conversation going – which is not a great way to win friends and influence popular people.
At any rate, the idea of my 9th grade self trying to impress a bunch of witches was one of a bundle of inspirations for this book.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
Oh, that’s not fair. That’s like asking a parent which of their kids is their favorite. Even if there is a favorite, a parent can never admit to it, and neither can an author. They all live inside my head, and if I were to pick a favorite character, the rest would shun me.
There might also be a bit of my acting training in my inability to answer this question. An actor has to find the good reasons their characters do what they do, even when playing a villain. Experiencing a character from the inside out, moment-to-moment within a story, gives a person great empathy for them. I try to do the same thing when writing them.
Which came first, the title or the novel?
I would definitely have to say the novel, since I originally called it, “Billy Bobble Has A Magic Wand.” A writer-friend, R.C. Lewis (Stitching Snow) said, “I thought the title was ‘Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand,’ since that’s the most important part.” I can be dim sometimes. I changed the title right away.
Of course, I did have the title at about the same time as the idea for the book, and I knew that Suzy would be quoting it in the first scene, so the title might be a more honest answer.
What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
All of them. I’m a very sparse writer. Anything that can be cut, will be cut – from story, to chapters, scenes, dialogue, sentences, words. If I’m not most proud of a scene, then it’s either cut, or fixed.
And, yes, I know there can be only one “most,” so if you like, the scene I’m most proud of in the final draft is the scene I happen to be reading at the time.
Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
My beginning was an actor, but the lessons transfer. The most important thing for any of the arts, is a clear objective and obstacle. What does the character want, what’s stopping him or her from getting it, and how will they overcome the obstacle.
What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Isn’t that a great cover? Kirbi Fagan did a fantastic job! I like how she fit so many of the story elements into a single cover, plus the color scheme really pops.
What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?
Billy Bobble and the Witch Hunt, but Shhhh, that’s not official yet. Elephant Bookshelf Press is putting out a book by Cat Woods that I can’t wait to read. She has a voice that jumps off the page, so I’m very excited about that.
What was your favorite book in 2014?
I can’t remember if I read The Maze Runner in ’14 or ’13, but it’s a favorite. As is, Stitching Snow, and Not A Drop To Drink – but the book that moved me the most was Battery Brothers, another EBP book. I couldn’t put that one down, and yes, there were tears.
What’s up next for you?
I’m finishing up the second Billy Bobble book, and waiting to hear on some Hollywood projects. Cross your fingers for me.
Is there anything that you would like to add?
I just hope that Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand will be the kind of book the whole family might enjoy. Sure, it might look and sound like a kids book, but I tried to put in a little something for everyone. I hope you like it, and if you do, tell the world. Give it some stars on Amazon or Goodreads. If you don’t… well, you can let people know that, too. Just so long as you’re honest.
Thanks for reading.
1st Prize- *signed* copy of Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand
2nd Prize- Season two of Xena: Warrior Princess
Open to US only