Interview with YA authors Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

Two special guests are
with me today. They are young adult co-authors Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr.
We’re all talking about their new coming of age fantasy novels,
The Magician’s Workshop,
Volume One and Volume Two.

Christopher Hansen:
Christopher Hansen
first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he
had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!”
cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen
all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of
expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic,
prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now
he’s chosen to write stories about it.

J.R. Fehr:
J.R. Fehr
J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the
four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind
exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in
the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold
water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending
some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began
to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far
grander than anything he ever thought possible.
Welcome, Christopher and J.R., please tell us about
your current release.
Christopher (CH): It’s
about a collection of young adults who all have the same magical power. Over the
course of the story we follow the journeys they take as they use their magical
powers to try and earn the title Magician and work in the Magician’s

J.R (JF): Yup. Everyone in O’Ceea can create magical things called
‘projections.’ These things stimulate all five senses and give the illusion of
real things, just like augmented reality. It’s a fun power, as it allows of all
sorts of creativity to come out of the characters. Imagine being able to
project outfits on yourself, or change your hairstyle whenever you wanted, or
mask the taste of foods you don’t like with that of something yummy. The
options are endless.

What inspired you to write this book?
CH: I’m inspired by the
fact that we have the ability to create things. This can be anything. We can
sing a goofy song or build a tall glass office building, we can stitch up a
yellow sundress or draw a picture of a sunset out of chalk on the sidewalk. The
dedication to the first volume in the series is to “those who make and love
their blue wallaroos.” This won’t make sense unless you read the story, but
it’s for people who make things and love the things they create, even if they
don’t turn out the way you expect.
What exciting story are you working on next?
CH: When I was in college
I had a job at Disneyland where I worked as a Disney Character. It was an
incredible experience and ever since I’ve wanted to write a story that takes its
inspiration from this. The book I’m working on is set back in the early days of
the theme park when Walt Disney is still alive. The story is about a ten-year-old
girl who sneaks into Disneyland and manages to stay hidden for a few days
before being caught. Just as she’s about to be reported to child protective
services Walt Disney steps in. Somehow, he knows about her, and he wants to
protect her. So, he allows her to stay inside the park for a few more days while
an investigation is done to find out who she is. Disney instructs some
construction workers to remodel a dark and dirty storage room up at the very top
of Cinderella’s Castle into a bedroom. The story then follows the relationships
that are formed between this girl and the variety of people she gets to know
inside Disneyland. The title I’m considering for it is The Princess of Disneyland.
JF: I’m currently working
on a children’s novel (for ages 8-12) and for the child at heart. It’s called Glandorious the Glorious. It’s a story
about an average New Yorker named Gary who finds a genie in a lamp and is then
transported to a magical land where he struggles to become a great hero. It’s a
fun and silly story that I’m excited about. And, of course, we plan to work on
Volume Three of the Magician’s Workshop as we continue to promote and build a
readership for the series.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
CH: It was after my first
book was published and I started hearing reports that the people who were
buying it were recommending it to others. That to me communicated that I had
written something that people found valuable.
JF: For me, it was around
the time that I started to pursue writing several hours every day. Up to that
point, I’d only called myself a writer. But it wasn’t until I was actually
‘writing’ regularly that I felt I could call myself a writer in truth.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to
CH: Yes, I write full
time. I get started between eight and nine in the morning and stop around five
to six in the evening. I’m generally writing or editing six to seven hours of
this time.
JF: Currently, no, I’m not
writing full-time. I work three days a week with a guy who has a disability and
help him do activities in the community. I’ve also started doing some
background acting work in movies/tv shows as a way to pay my bills. But
whenever I’m not doing those things, I’m writing. I try to spend at least three
hours a day writing.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
CH: Someone watching me
write would find it rather boring. I’m just typing at my computer. I don’t
listen to music or do anything. I suppose the most unique thing is that I spend
time preparing to write before I begin. I want to be in the right place
physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So I exercise each morning and during
this time I try to work out any emotional issues I may have. Then I spent time
in prayer. This is a time when I let go of problems and focus on my
relationship with God, where my true value comes from. Writing requires me to
be very active internally, thus I find that if I’m all stirred up on the inside
it’s difficult to think or create. It also makes it difficult for me to focus
on the characters and tell their story. My time in prayer is a time where my
needs are being taken care of so that I can then care for others. It’s kind of
like how on an airplane the safety instructions tell you to place your own
oxygen mask on before putting one on your kids.
JF: I don’t think I have
any writer quirks, unless you consider the fact that I’ve been able to sit down
and write for hours and hours at a time without wanting to jump off a cliff. I
should say, though, that often the writing process for me requires a long walk,
laying on the floor in strange places, or doing mindstorming exercises to
unlock my thoughts. Like Chris, I also try to spend time working on my mental,
emotional, and spiritual health, as the things I write and create are highly
affected by imbalances in those areas.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
CH: I wanted to be a
homeowner. I didn’t know this wasn’t a job.

JF: I wanted to be a movie director. I loved the idea of making movies for a
living and telling stories. I also had a dream of owning a big production
studio, where people I loved and vouched for could work for me and together we
could create great content for the world.
Anything additional you want to share with the
JF: I really hope you’ll
be able to take some time to read our series, The Magician’s Workshop. I know
it can be difficult to start a new series (I’m terrible at it.) But Chris and I
have worked really hard to make this a story that we hope will be an engaging
and meaningful story for you, our readers.

3 thoughts on “Interview with YA authors Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

  1. J.R. Fehr says:

    We took a break after writing Volume One and Two, but we've been working on Volume Three for a little while now. I can't say for sure when it'll come out, but we haven't forgotten! We planned for this to be a six volume series.

    You can follow me on social media to keep up to date.
    Instagram: @jrfehr and @themagiciansworkshop

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